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Chemistry (PHD) 
Program Description

Chemistry students accepted into the graduate program are admitted primarily to pursue a Ph.D. The Ph.D. program at UA prepares high-achieving students for senior research positions in industry or government laboratories, or a career in college-level or university-level teaching and research. A number of interdisciplinary research and training programs are also available under the Chemistry Ph.D. program including, Biological Chemistry Program, Biological Physics Program, Chemical Physics Program and others.

Primary research and coursework concentrations are available in: Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Chemical Education. Research and coursework may also include an emphasis in chemical physics, materials science, optical sciences, polymer sciences, surface sciences, astrochemistry, biological chemistry and several other interdisciplinary fields.

The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in chemistry is primarily a research degree. The number and selection of courses is tailored to the individual student's needs and interests according to the guidelines available from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. A dissertation based upon original laboratory research is required. All students must pass a series of written examinations, a comprehensive examination, and a final oral defense examination.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Chemistry -

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona offers Ph.D. programs in both Chemistry and Biochemistry. Our, cutting-edge research programs span several traditional subdisciplines of chemistry including analytical, biochemistry, organic, physical, inorganic, chemical education and teacher preparation, as well as a broad range of multidisciplinary research programs including biological chemistry, materials science, surface science, polymer science, protein science, and gas phase and interstellar chemistry. The breadth and diversity of our program provides students considerable freedom in their Ph.D. studies.

In addition to formal Departmental appointments, our faculty members routinely participate in a number of interdisciplinary graduate training programs including the Biological Chemistry Program, Chemical Physics Program, Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Program in Applied Mathematics, Computational Modeling of Biomedical Systems, and the IGERT Program in Comparative Genomics. Graduate students may choose to be affiliated with any number of these programs, some of which provide research assistantships on a highly competitive basis.

The faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry consistently receive research support from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and Department of Energy. Annual research expenditures in the Department are in excess of $23 million. The research endeavors in the Department are further supported and enhanced by our world-class research support services.

College of Science  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Lori Boyd
Graduate Program Coordinator
Lori Boyd
Director of Graduate Studies
Michael L Heien
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi R Davenport
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

1. Three letters of recommendation. One of the letters must come from your research advisor. These letters should be submitted by your referees using the online system.

2. Transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended or are currently attending. Transcripts should be uploaded in your online application.

3. A brief Statement of Purpose, describing your past research experiences, goals, teaching experience and why you want to attend The University of Arizona.

4. TOEFL or IELTS scores.
Please self-report your total internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score and upload a copy of your score report. English proficiency is one of the conditions for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. A minimum aggregate TOEFL score of 80, with a score of at least 24 on the speak portion is required for admission. An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) total minimum score of 7.5 or above with no score lower than 7 on any section of the test.  A score of 8 is the recommended level.composite.
Please upload all application materials to your online application.

Standardized Tests

Minimum TOEFL: 80
Minimum IELTS: 7.5

Financial Aid

Students in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Ph.D. program are supported for the duration of their studies at UA through research or teaching assistantships, as well as full graduate tuition remission. In addition, a number of our students have received highly-competitive fellowships, including prestigious National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowships, which support them for the duration of their studies in the program. Moreover, students who are engaged in interdisciplinary research through one of the externally funded research programs qualify for training grant support.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: January 5
  • Spring:  The Department will occasionally offer Spring Semester admission to very highly qualified students. If you are interested in Spring admission, please contact the Graduate Coordinator for more details before submitting an application. No application for Spring semester admission can be considered after October 1.
  • International Applicants:
  • Fall: January 1
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 0300, 0301, 0303, 0304, 0306, 0399
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Chemistry

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Please refer to the program handbook

Minor Requirements
The Academic Unit has not provided this information. 
Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 55%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 6.00
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 58%
Enrollment Percent Female 42%
Enrollment Percent International 32%
Enrollment Percent URM 5%

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Last revised 21 Oct 2019