Doctoral students perform original research in one of five fields: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic (materials) chemistry, organic chemistry or physical chemistry.
Faculty are deeply invested in helping PhD students develop their professional portfolios, offering ample opportunities for research presentations, publications and awards. Our 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio offers students close access to faculty and mentorship opportunities, while our vibrant community of 40–50 PhD students fosters strong peer connections.
Doctoral students begin with core courses in focus areas and quickly move on to join research groups that match their interests. Most students spend about five years in the chemistry PhD program. Many enrich their program through consortium classes or collaborations with peers in medicine, engineering and nearby federal research laboratories — including the National Institutes of Health, Naval Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.