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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Ph.D. Requirements

The vision of the Ph.D. program is to develop each student’s knowledge and skill in original chemical research so that our graduates are prepared to initiate new research directions, adapt to changing business or societal priorities, and communicate research for positive impact on science and society. Specifically, the learning objectives of the program are for students to:

This section describes the formal requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon as well as the review procedures designed to ensure steady progress toward that degree. It is intended to provide a clear guide to the steps leading to the Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry. The requirements for the Ph.D. Degree have been formulated to aid the graduate student to develop the proficiency typically expected of a research scientist in chemistry in academia, industry or government. In the interests of both the students and the faculty, the requirements for the Ph.D. degree carry a schedule for their completion. The schedule and review procedures are intended to speed the student’s progress toward Candidacy and provide consistent focus on the student’s research progress. The normal time to complete the Ph.D. is 4.5–5.5 years. Extensions on Ph.D. program deadlines may be possible in exceptional circumstances according to the procedures under Petitions for Extension.

The Department will regularly inform students of their progress toward the degree (see Annual Reviews). Failure to satisfy any requirement on a timely basis is cause for a dismissal from the graduate program following the procedures outlined below under Academic Actions and Appeals. Note that an academic year comprises two semesters, with the summer not being construed as a semester.

In the event that the requirements are changed, students may adopt the new requirements or remain under the requirements in effect on their matriculation, at their discretion.

Requirements were updated in Fall 2015. This online handbook contains both requirements for those entering in Fall 2015 and for those who entered before Fall 2015. When in doubt, refer to your printed handbook, available as a pdf from this website's homepage.