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The University of Texas at Dallas
Graduate Admissions

Department of Chemistry


Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry; Professor of Chemistry: Ray H. Baughman
Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology; Professor of Chemistry: A. Dean Sherry
Professors: Kenneth J. Balkus, Jr., Rockford K. Draper (Biology), John P. Ferraris, Bruce E. Gnade (Electrical Engineering), Inga H. Musselman,
Associate Professors: Michael C. Biewer, Gregg R. Dieckmann, Jinming Gao (UT Southwestern), Warren J. Goux, Paul Pantano, John W. Sibert
Assistant Professors: Jung-Mo Ahn, Mihaela C.Stefan, Steven O. Nielsen, Jie Zheng
Affiliated Professors: Lee A. Bulla (Biology), Anvar A. Zakhidov (Physics)
Research Professors: Garry E. Kiefer, Duck Joo Yang
Emeritus Professors: Richard A. Caldwell
Senior Lecturers: Sergio Cortes, Sandhya R. Gavva, Claudia Taenzler


The Ph.D. program is designed to produce graduates with a focus on innovation and problem solving in current materials, biotechnology, and industrial process research and development. These graduates, with their broad course background, research skills, and practical attitudes should find ready employment in industry or academic positions. A spectrum of courses provides the student with a broad knowledge of chemistry.

The Master of Science program offers students the opportunity to prepare for positions in industry, for further training in related scientific fields, or for further training in chemistry.


The department has the equipment and facilities necessary for routine use by its faculty and students in teaching and research. Larger items include: 270 MHz (2), and 500 MHz multi-nuclear FT-NMR spectrometers; a powder x-ray diffractometer; assorted spectrophotometers utilizing fluorescence, phosphorescence and absorption; three protein synthesizers; gel permeation chromatographs; workstations with molecular modeling software; and scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopes. Chemistry also participates in the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute which houses instrumentation for modern materials science research. Facilities external to chemistry, but readily available to its use, include a library, the computer center, the cleanroom, and well-equipped machine and electronics shops.

Admission Requirements

The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here.

Undergraduate preparation equivalent to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is required. The Chemistry program has no other requirements above the general admission requirements beginning on page 24. However, admission is competitive and is decided case by case on the basis of the quality of previous relevant academic work, GRE scores, letters of reference, the student's statement of academic interests and, for foreign students, evidence of fluency in English. Foreign students with TOEFL scores less than 600 (paper test), 250 (computer test), or 100 (internet test) are admitted only in special circumstances.

Degree Requirements

The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here.

Graduate students in chemistry are expected to demonstrate fundamental knowledge of lecture and laboratory skills by completing the following courses with a grade of B or better.

Core Courses (12 hours)

CHEM 5314 Advanced Physical Chemistry
CHEM 5331 Advanced Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 5341 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I
CHEM 5355 Analytical Techniques I

Master of Science

A minimum of 30 total graduate semester hours is required.
The M.S. degree can be pursued on a full- or part-time basis.

Other Course Requirements

The remaining requirements beyond the 12-hour core listed above may be satisfied in one of the two ways listed below.

1. Presentation and defense of a written master's thesis. The student must complete, as a minimum, 15 credit hours of research or other graduate electives plus CHEM 8398. A Supervising Committee will be appointed to guide the student's thesis work and to assess the completed thesis.

2. Completion of an approved internship in an industrial or governmental laboratory. The student must complete, as a minimum, 18 credit hours of research, chemistry internship or other graduate electives.

Three of the graduate semester hours beyond the core may be fulfilled by taking an approved graduate elective course.

A Supervising Committee must approve an internship in advance. The final written report must be defended before this committee and filed in the Chemistry department office.

Doctor of Philosophy

Normally pursued by full-time students enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours of approved graduate level courses per semester.

Other Course Requirements

In addition to the 12-semester hour core course requirements listed above, students seeking the Ph.D. degree must take two upper level elective courses that are approved by the student's faculty research advisor and the Chemistry Graduate Advisor. Ph.D. students are expected to complete these six required courses within the first two years of their enrollment. CHEM 8399 is also required as part of the preparation of the dissertation. Additional courses may be required by the student's Supervisory Committee.

Well-prepared students may request substitution of portions of the course requirements from the Committee on Graduate Studies in Chemistry. At least three organized courses must be taken at the University of Texas at Dallas. The opportunity exists to take elective courses during their second and subsequent years.

Qualifying Examination: Original Research Proposal

All Ph.D. students must take the qualifying examination. In the second year, students seeking the Ph.D. degree are required to write, present, and defend an original research proposal. In addition to providing valuable experience to the student, this exam is used to assess the student's originality and skills in organizing an effective approach to solving a novel problem. The results of this examination will be one criterion upon which admission to doctoral candidacy will be judged.


Students have the option of completing a thesis Master's degree as part of their doctoral candidacy preparation, unless this requirement has been satisfied at the time of admission. The doctoral research project may be conducted in the same laboratory as the Master's degree research or, in order to gain a broader research experience, in another laboratory. A manuscript embodying a substantial portion of the Ph.D. dissertation research accomplished by the student must be submitted to a suitable professional refereed journal prior to the public seminar and dissertation defense. A public seminar, successful defense of the dissertation, and its acceptance by the Supervising Committee and the Graduate Dean conclude the requirements for the Ph.D.

Representative Research Areas

Within the Chemistry program, opportunities exist for course work and/or research in nanotechnology, biochemistry/biotechnology, organic, inorganic, materials, analytical, and physical chemistry. The opportunity to take course work in several of the other university programs allows the student to prepare for interdisciplinary work. Specific topics within these broad research areas include nanoscience (carbon nanotubes, sensors, actuators, nanoscale devices, synthesis of nanoporous materials); organic solid-state and polymer chemistry (energy storage, electrochromism, light-emitting polymers, solar cells, membrane separations); inorganic solid-state (zeolites, membranes, laser ablation, sensors, fuel cells, electrospinning); biological NMR (structural biology, using NMR active tracers to follow metabolism in cells, isolated tissues and in vivo); supramolecular chemistry (design of novel host-guest systems; biologically responsive MRI agents, design, synthesis and study of macrocyclic receptors with applications in catalysis, materials science, and medicine); scanning probe microscopy (instrument development, image contrast, application to polymer microstructure); bioanalytical and bionano chemistry, synthetic chemistry (macrocycles, small protein domains to study membrane fusion; DNA recognition and modification; metalloprotein function); biochemistry/enzymology (study of oxidative stress; oxidative metabolism of signaling molecules; enzymology of monooxygenation, molecular modeling; and catalysis).


Last Updated: March 1, 2011