The Department of Chemistry is located in the Carl A. Olson Laboratories andáLife Science Center,ámodern facilities housing state-of-the-art instrumentation. Major items of equipment include NMR spectrometers (500 MHz and 600 MHz multinuclear NMR); FT-MS (dual MALDI/ESI source); a single crystal X-ray diffractometer; HPLC and GC instruments; a scanning probe microscope; a Raman imaging instrument; UV-Vis-NIR spectrometers and spectrophotometers; pump-probe transient absorption and fluorescence upconversion system; several CW and pulsed lasers; circular dichroism spectrophotometers; a stopped-flow spectrometer; high-performance liquid chromatographs and gas chromatographs; electrochemistry units; GPC; multi-angle laser light scattering; DSC; ultracentrifuges; and computational chemistry workstations.
The department's 15 faculty members provide research opportunities in many fields of specialization, including biophysical and bioorganic, synthetic organic, organometallic, and inorganic chemistry; biologicalálaser spectroscopy; materials chemistry; structural biology; nanochemistry; and X-ray crystallography.
A total of 30 credits is required for the master of science (M.S.) degree. For students choosing to complete a master's degree thesis, 6 of the 30 credits may be research credits. For a master's degree without a thesis, students must complete a library research paper on a topic agreed to by a faculty adviser. The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree requires 60 credits, of which 24 must be in regular coursework.
Each month, the department schedules written cumulative examinations, which are graded on a basis of 2, 1, or 0 points. Students in the M.S. program must score 3 points; those studying for the Ph.D. must get 10 points. Students generally meet this requirement within their first five semesters.
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program typically finish coursework in the second year. At the end of their second year or early in the third year, Ph.D. candidates prepare an original research proposal that they defend in an oral examination. Prior to the of the fifth semester doctoral students have to pass a candidacy exam that consists of a presentation of their research results and detailed discussion of future plans, followed by a formal examination. Fulfillment of these requirements completes a student's candidacy for the Ph.D. program.
The most important part of the Ph.D. program is a doctoral dissertation. This thesis describes the results of original research that the student performs under supervision of a faculty member of the department. Students are required to select an adviser by the end of their first semester in the program.