Ph.D in Chemistry

In order to remain at the frontier of modern Chemistry and Chemical Biology, the department emphasizes rigorous instruction in the fundamentals of chemical synthesis, characterization and function using the most modern methods and equipment available to explore the boundaries and intersections between traditional fields of study. This dedication is illustrated by the number of interdisciplinary centers associated with the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department —all of which involve significant bridges between Chemistry and other disciplines, departments, and schools.

To complete the Ph.D., students must meet institutional and departmental requirements including an oral candidacy examination and a final defense of the doctoral thesis and accumulate 72 credit hours  beyond the B.S. degree (of which 48 credits must be taken while in residence at Rensselaer) of research and course work. For any Ph.D. degree, the courses required will be specified based on the student’s background and research needs.

Program Outcome

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to demonstrate:

  • Exhibit knowledge of chemical principles, theories and their applications across the overall field of chemistry.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with current developments and demonstrate knowledge of the chemical literature.
  • Plan and carry out independent research in chemistry.
  • Communicate at the level of a professional scientist.

Academic Opportunities

A number of awards are given to outstanding graduate students to recognize exceptional performance.