PhD in Chemistry
Southern Methodist University - Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies
4 - 5 years
Earliest start date
* our Ph.D. programs are fully-funded, which includes tuition coverage and health insurance
The Department of Chemistry here at SMU has a long history of excellence in research and teaching. Whether aspiring to a career in industry, medicine, or academia, the comprehensive curriculum provides students with the necessary knowledge and experience to excel in their future careers. The faculty maintain active research programs, attend numerous national and international meetings in their fields, and publishes in major journals. The Ph.D. program, established in 2004, builds on the faculty expertise and emphasizes three major areas:
- Organic, Medicinal, and Bioorganic Chemistry
- Materials and Polymer Chemistry
- Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
Our programs both have the goal of maximizing each student's knowledge in the chosen field of study and preparing him or her for research and a future career in academia and/or private industry.
- First-year core courses
- Two semesters of teaching undergraduate chemistry labs to enhance communication skills
- Cumulative exams
- Written and oral research progress report and dissertation plan
- Research proposal
- Successful completion of a research program under the supervision of the faculty
- Presentation at a professional meeting
- Dissertation and oral defense of the research
Primary Core Courses
The student must complete the primary core courses. The student must then complete secondary core courses, for the materials/polymer track. Additional courses will be selected based on the student’s interest and research program and in consultation with the student’s adviser and faculty committee. A core course may be substituted with another course with the approval of the Department of Chemistry graduate adviser, in consultation with the student’s research adviser.
- CHEM 6110 - Chemical Communications: Literature, Writing, and Presentations
- CHEM 6111 - Practical Laboratory Methods
- CHEM 6115 - Theory of the Chemical Bonds
- CHEM 6116 - Introduction to Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
- CHEM 6118 - Overview of Materials Chemistry
- CHEM 6220 - Modern Aspects of Chemistry
Secondary Core Courses
- CHEM 6113 - Practical Aspects of Spectroscopy
- CHEM 6114 - Chemical Kinetics
- CHEM 6316 - Introduction to Polymer Chemistry
The student will complete at least two terms of the teaching practicum to enhance communication skills.
- CHEM 7111 - Teaching Practicum I
- CHEM 7112 - Teaching Practicum II
Current Topics in Research
All students must register for research topics courses for at least the first four terms in the program.
- CHEM 6120 - Current Topics in Research
- CHEM 6121 - Current Topics in Research
The student will take up to 12 cumulative exams until the required total score is obtained.
At the end of the second year, students will write a paper and orally describe the progress of their research, including a plan for the future research program to be completed for the dissertation. This will be presented to the department and graded by a faculty committee that includes the student’s adviser.
- CHEM 7233 - Research Synopsis and Objectives
At the beginning of the student’s third year, the student will write an original research proposal unrelated to the student’s research program and will present this to the department and successfully defend this proposal before the faculty committee.
- CHEM 7334 - Proposal Methodology
Upon successful completion of the above items, students will be admitted to candidacy. The candidates must then:
Enroll in a sufficient number of graduate courses to complete at least 48 credit hours.
Make a presentation at a professional meeting appropriate to the field of research.
- CHEM 7122 - Professional Meeting Oral Presentation
Complete their research program under the supervision of the faculty.
Successfully write and orally defend before a faculty committee a dissertation on their individual research program.
- CHEM 8698 - Dissertation
- CHEM 8699 - Dissertation