GW graduate student in chemistry lab working with an instrument


The master’s and doctoral programs in chemistry promote active learning through cutting-edge research. Along with rigorous coursework and training in the discipline, our close-knit group of master’s and PhD students engages in research alongside leading chemists. In addition to our 16 full-time chemistry faculty members, professors from GW's School of Medicine and Health Sciences and GW's School of Engineering and Applied Science also teach classes, exposing students to a broad range of expertise.

The Master of Science offers thesis and non-thesis tracks to prepare individuals for academic careers or professional paths. Graduate students are also eligible for the university’s robust teaching assistant program, which offers professional development and financial support to complement graduate education. The PhD involves original research in analytical, inorganic, organic or physical chemistries, as well as biochemistry.


From Graduate Students to Inventors

Professor of Chemistry Akos Vertes always aims to involve his graduate students in invention work and distribute credit fairly. “It’s part of their education; they learn not just about publishing new work but get to know the patenting and commercialization processes,” he has said. Laine Compton, MS ’14, got to see her name on the patent for the award-winning LAESI-DP 1000 Direct Ionization System, which quickly reveals the chemical composition of a biological sample.




Find Your Program


"When you come to graduate school, you don't think you're going to be an inventor of something. You definitely have in mind the idea of contributing to science and hope some people read your papers. But you don't think — and I certainly didn't think — that I would be included on an invention!"

Laine Compton

MS '14, Vertes Lab Member and Patent Holder

Graduate Students in Action

GW Student MS E&GC Dee (Darean) Bague presents to participating faculty, government and industry stakeholders

Environmental and Green Chemistry Students Present to Key Industry Stakeholders

Undergraduate and graduate students from the Chemical Toxicology and Safer Chemical Design course presented their final projects to key stakeholders in the D.C. area, including the Environmental Protection Agency, American Chemistry Council, Natural Resources Defense Council and ACS Green Chemistry Institute.
Professor Cynthia Dowd in the lab

Targeting Tuberculosis and Malaria

With the help of a team of graduate and undergraduate students and a $2.6 million NIH grant, Associate Professor of Chemistry Cynthia Dowd's team is conducting research on techniques for treating malaria and tuberculosis. Students on her team assist with the small molecule design and chemical synthesis required to identify enzyme inhibitors as possible medications.