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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Excellence in graduate training is central to the research and teaching missions of our department. The success of our Ph.D. students is of paramount importance to us. This handbook, available here along with supplementary materials, is intended to provide a clear guide to the steps leading to the Ph.D. The majority of this handbook is specific to your academic experience in the Department of Chemistry. All Ph.D. students are responsible for familiarity with the requirements that are in place when they enter the program and should retain this handbook as an important reference. Information about additional university resources such as The Word (Carnegie Mellon’s student handbook), the Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and others are included in Appendix A of this handbook. Be sure to review your requirements at the beginning of each semester.

Our Ph.D. program emphasizes research training and productivity, original and creative thinking, and developing excellent communication skills to support a successful scientific career. The handbook describes:

All of the requirements in this handbook apply to students entering the program beginning in Fall 2015. Since some requirements differ from those that apply to students entering in previous semesters, new students should always check their own handbook to confirm requirements and inquire with us about any questions.

Note that students must complete the academic program requirements in place when they enter unless they elect newer ones in writing. When requirements are changed, it is because the department believes the new rules offer an improvement; any such changes will be discussed at a meeting with the graduate students. However, students currently enrolled whose degree program is affected by a change in requirement may choose to be governed by the older requirement that was in place at the time of their matriculation. In case degree requirements are changed and certain courses are no longer offered, the department will try to find some compromise that allows those students to satisfy the original requirements.

Procedures such as those on program oversight, policies on financial matters and others that are not part of your degree requirements may be updated during a student’s graduate studies (e.g. based on budgetary or other constraints) and the new departmental policies will apply to all current students at that time. Selected university policies are also incorporated in this handbook. Please be aware that, in the case of a conflict, university policy supersedes departmental policy.

Feel free to discuss additional questions with us or Valerie Bridge at any time.
Graduate Program Committee