Chemistry Degree Requirements

The Graduate Program in Chemistry is structured to develop strong, independent researchers and inspiring, effective teachers. To this end, the requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are tied to a set of specific degree goals.

Both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are awarded. The M.A. degree is a research thesis degree and is required to proceed towards a Ph.D. dissertation. The requirements for both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are listed below. 

Masters degrees awarded from other institutions may be accepted as a prerequisite for entry into the Ph.D. program. Persons who have completed graduate level courses at other institutions may transfer up to two courses to be counted towards the M.A. requirements.

M.A. Degree Requirements

  • Four chemistry graduate courses
  • Two supervised research courses
  • One written MA exam
  • One oral MA exam
  • One M.A. thesis and oral exam

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

  • Two additional graduate courses
  • A Ph.D. qualifying examination consisting of two written exams and an oral exam
  • One original chemical research proposal and oral exam
  • One doctoral dissertation and oral exam

In addition to the requirements, each student working towards a Ph.D. degree is expected to:

  • present two colloquium seminars
  • present research and participate in at least one national conference

The first seminar will be on a topic selected from the current literature and typically done in the third year. The second seminar will present the Ph.D. candidate's dissertation research in the final year.

Typical time to the M.A. degree for students entering with a bachelor's degree in chemistry is two years and about five years to the Ph.D. degree. Graduate coursework may be completed at Bryn Mawr College and at the University of Pennsylvania.