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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Timeline for Completion of Ph.D. Requirements

Semsester Tasks

Year 1

1st Semester

  • Attainment examinations taken
  • Course work begins
  • ICC work toward English proficiency begins for non-native English speakers

Mid 2nd Semester

  • Commitment to research advisor and joining a group due by mid-semester (typically completed by early in 2nd semester)

End of 2nd Semester

  • TA requirement typically completed

Year 2


Beginning of 3rd Semester

  • English Language Proficiency requirement due
  • Advisory Committee formed

3rd Semester

  • Literature seminar due
  • Attainment requirement due
  • Four Course requirement completed

4th Semester

  • Research progress report and Candidacy exam completed, including poster presentation, written report, and oral exam
  • Ph.D. Candidacy typically achieved

Year 3

6th Semester

  • Original research proposals due
  • All-But-Dissertation Status typically achieved

Years 4–5

7th and 9th Semesters (or preceding summer)

  • ABD committee meeting due, to review data since 4th semester, thesis outline, estimated timeline to graduation, and career plans

10th–11th Semester

Completion of Ph.D. typically achieved.