Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry
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Downtown Pittsburgh at dusk. (Photo Copyright Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2003. All rights reserved)

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Graduate Program

Prospective Students

Ph.D. study in Carnegie Mellon Chemistry combines versatile graduate training in core areas of chemistry with high-impact research projects relevant to human health, energy and the environment. Our research focus areas include atmospheric chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, green chemistry, nanostructured materials, and renewable energy, with synthetic, physical and computational projects in multiple focus areas.

We encourage inquiries from prospective Ph.D. students. You can email the Graduate Program Office ( questions about the application process and program requirements. Please first check the FAQ about the application process.

Please contact individual faculty about specific ongoing research and opportunities in their groups. Contacting faculty is important if your interest is in one particular research group.

Profile of Admitted Students

Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program generally have most, but not necessarily all, of the following:

  1. B.S. in Chemistry 
    We also welcome applications from students with B.S. in Physics, Engineering or Biological Sciences. Previous coursework or research experience related to your area of research interest is very valuable, as well as 2–4 semesters of mathematics through calculus.
  2. Previous research experience as an undergraduate or Masters student, ideally in an area relevant to his/her graduate research interests.
    Applicants should describe their research experience and skills within the 1–2 page Statement of Purpose.
  3. Strong grades in chemistry and other coursework related to their area of research interest, typically with an overall GPA of 3.3 or higher.
  4. GREs that are above the 75th percentile on the quantitative score.
    While applications get a preliminary review before GRE scores are available, GRE scores, including the subject test, provide vital information that is consistent across applicants’ colleges and universities. We do not have a minimum cutoff score for the GRE.
  5. Total TOEFL iBT score of greater than 98.
    A speaking score of 22 or higher is highly desirable to be able to meet expectations as a teaching assistant and for giving required research presentations.