Graduate Resources

Find the support you need to be successful in the graduate program and beyond. For further guidance, download the graduate student handbooks from the Columbian College website.



Advisors serve as mentors inside and outside the lab and can help navigate credit transfers, dissertations, scholarship applications and more.

The Directors of Graduate Studies serve as academic advisors from the first semester of the program. Professors Martín Zysmilch (Chemistry MS and PhD) and Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal and Jakub Kostal (Environmental and Green Chemistry MS) help students in several areas:

  • Transfer of credit
  • Prerequisites
  • Which courses to take and when
  • Questions about registering for consortium courses
  • Exception requests and petitions
  • Record keeping for cumulative exam results
  • Program of studies — initial version and later revisions
  • Advancement to candidacy
  • Assistance with full-time certification forms
  • Degree clearance
  • Help with processing optional practical and curricular practical training

Full-time graduate students should interview with three faculty members and select a research advisor or research group by the end of their first semester. At that time, students must report their choice in a memo to the graduate advisor. We advise graduate students to begin rotating immediately through three research groups during the first semester. They may commit to an advisor at any time during this lead-in period, thus ending the rotation. The research director can help advise on:

  • Content for masters comprehensive and PhD candidacy exam
  • Dissertation proposal content
  • Committee members for candidacy or defense
  • Content for required talks
  • Drafting candidacy paper and dissertation

Doctoral students refer to the Graduate Affairs Committee for advising until placement exam scores have been processed, at which point the student will seek a research advisor.



GW belongs to the Consortium of the Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. This means students are invited to take graduate-level courses at fellow consortium member schools: American University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, Howard University and the University of Maryland.

The director of graduate studies must approve consortium courses, and approval will normally be limited to courses not offered or available at GW or cases in which scheduling problems prohibit a student from taking the equivalent course(s) at GW. Once approved by the Chemistry Department, consortium classes must be submitted through a form from the Office of the Registrar. All approved consortium courses must be added to the student’s program of studies and approved prior to enrolling in the class.


Additional Resources

Desk and Laboratory Assignments

Each full-time graduate student is entitled to the use of a desk. Ask our office staff for assignment to a desk. Full-time and part-time students who are ready to begin research should see their research director to be assigned lab space and a desk in one of the research laboratories. When vacating a desk or filing cabinet, please empty and leave it in a clean condition for the next user, and follow the laboratory’s exit procedures.



Mailboxes in the Chemistry Department office are available for full-time graduate students. Since the number of mailboxes is limited, sharing may sometimes be necessary. As faculty and staff use these boxes to distribute seminar notices and instructions for graduate teaching assistants, users should check mail daily during open hours.



To obtain keys for chemistry labs or classrooms, a student must have a note or email confirmation from the chair, the graduate adviser or research director indicating to which room or lab the student requires access. Upon presentation of this note to the office staff, the keys will be issued. Students are responsible for returning all keys to the chemistry office when they permanently leave a position. The student's research director should reinforce this regulation.

Graduate Program of Studies Form (PDF)
Students are required to complete this form and obtain approval from the director of graduate studies.


CCAS Graduate Student Forms
Find transfer credit request forms, petition forms to request a leave of absence or exception to transfer credit and more on the CCAS website.