Doctoral candidates are expected to enroll in other advanced courses in their area of specialization in addition to the core program of courses. Completion of a minimum of three additional courses (nine credit hours) at the 600-level or higher, along with 18 credit hours of CHEM 899: Dissertation Research, is required. A minimum of two semesters of teaching is required of all doctoral candidates.
In either program, the remaining courses and seminars may be taken in areas of interest to the student (with approval of their advisor), including the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, chemistry and chemical engineering. Prior to registration for the first semester of graduate study, each new graduate student will meet with a member of the graduate committee who will assist in planning and implementing the degree program until a research advisor is selected.
Each doctoral student will begin a laboratory rotation in the fall semester and select a research advisor prior to the start of the second semester of study. When a student elects to do dissertation research with a particular faculty member, that faculty member becomes the student's research advisor.
In addition to course requirements, doctoral students must successfully complete the four levels of progression toward the Ph.D. degree:
- Literature Review
- Advancement-to-Candidacy Examination
- Original Research Proposal
- Final Dissertation Defense
In each of these steps, the student is evaluated by a committee consisting of at least four program faculty,(three of whom are from the student's sub-discipline, one of whom is outside this sub-discipline) and one member from outside the program. The members of this committee are chosen by the student's research advisor in consultation with the student. To help monitor the student's progress toward the Ph.D. degree, the committee should vary as little as possible.