Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 17.8 k / Year(s) Deadline: Apr 15, 2025
351–400 place StudyQA ranking:2691 Duration:2 years

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The department’s graduate program, its Ph.D. program in particular, produces graduates with the basic knowledge, skills, and experimental training necessary to enter productive careers in academic, industrial, and government positions. Faculty and graduate students work collegially, not only in the search for new knowledge at the frontiers of chemistry, but also toward the solution of problems of fundamental societal concern.

Although the department believes it is essential to provide graduate students with a knowledge base spanning the traditional areas of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, it nurtures its particular strengths in several important research areas at the interface of chemistry and the biological/medical sciences. The Department of Chemistry at KU is a worldwide leader in graduate training and research in bioanalytical chemistry, and its additional interactions with the pharmaceutical and biological sciences have led to strong graduate research programs in diverse areas such as bio-inorganic, bio-organic, and biophysical chemistry.

The department also recognizes its central science role by maintaining strong research and Ph.D. programs in areas that interface closely with molecular biosciences, physics, chemical engineering, mathematics, and computer science, for example, in drug discovery, theoretical chemistry, materials, molecular modeling, and laser spectroscopy. The entering Ph.D. student can be assured of finding vigorous programs spanning a full range of chemical studies, and the graduating Ph.D. student can be equally confident that his or her training and skills are marketable commodities.

The department’s M.S. program is a traditional companion to the Ph.D. program and shares the same goals. It is encouraged for students who prefer a program with less depth and a research (thesis) project that is manageable in 2 to 4 semesters. Although most entering graduate students choose the Ph.D.—the most desirable degree for those who wish to work as independent scientists in academic, industrial, or institutional settings—the M.S. serves a useful and essential role for students with other ambitions.

Research support facilities include the Instrumentation Design Laboratory, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Molecular Graphics and Modeling Laboratory, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory, and X-ray Crystallography Laboratory. Anschutz Library contains more than 300,000 books and periodicals spanning the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, geology, and pharmacy.

Each student must complete (with a B or better) a distribution requirement consisting of two courses selected from the following list of introductory courses in the 4 major areas of study:

CHEM 720 Fundamentals and Methods of Analytical Chemistry 3
CHEM 730 Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry 3
CHEM 740 Principles of Organic Reactions 3
CHEM 750 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 3
CHEM 760 Introduction to Chemistry in Biology 3

In addition, the student must also complete (with a B or better) CHEM 700 (Responsible Scholarship in the Chemical Sciences) and CHEM 701 (Laboratory Safety in the Chemical Sciences).

The minimum total credit hours required for the master’s degree is 30.

The candidate for the master’s degree must complete a thesis that does not exceed one-third of the credit hours and demands the solution of some research problem in chemistry. The remaining work may consist of additional specialized courses in chemistry or in related fields such as physics, mathematics, microbiology, biochemistry, or chemical engineering. Students completing a master’s thesis in chemical education must take EPSY 715 Understanding Research in Education and EPSY 710 Introduction to Statistical Analysis. Courses from outside the department cannot be from more than 2 departments.

Applications must include academic transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, as well as recommendation letters from 3 individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic background and abilities. Additional materials that are strongly recommended include Graduate Record Examination scores (GRE), a resume/CV and a personal statement describing the applicant’s qualifications and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in chemistry.

International applicants should also provide official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

While it is not guaranteed, the department does its best to provide funding in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) appointments to all incoming graduate students.  GTA appointments are awarded for the academic year and come with:

  • a competitive academic year (9 month) salary
  • a 100% tuition waiver for all courses at KU
  • payment of up to 3 hours of student fees
  • optional University-subsidized group health insurance 

The appointments are guaranteed based on performance for up to 3 years for M.A. students, and 6 years for students who receive both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at The University of Kansas.  GTAs in the department receive thorough training in language instruction, close mentoring, and the opportunity to teach French at a variety of levels, providing them with a strong base of teaching experience upon entering the job market. Additional information about teaching for the department is available on the Graduate Funding page of our departmental website.

Post-comprehensive students completing their dissertations are also eligible to apply for 1 of the the departmental Max Kade Dissertation Fellowships.

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