University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Chemistry

Graduate Program in Chemistry

Introduction to the Graduate Program in Chemistry

John Egan at Sugarbush

Fields of Study

The Chemistry Department currently offers graduate programs leading to either the M.S. or Ph.D. in analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry. In recent years about eight students per year have received the Ph.D. The size of the student body makes for close faculty-student contacts and an informal, stimulating atmosphere.

The educational philosophy of the Department allows for considerable flexibility in a student's graduate program. Thus, a student may take courses in fields outside the Department, such as biochemistry, pharmacology, physics, mathematics, environmental science, and other science areas in a program tailored to the individual student's interests and needs.

In the Chemistry Department, courses are offered in inorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, physical inorganic chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, physical organic chemistry, heterocyclic chemistry, advanced analytical chemistry, optical spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, and polymer chemistry.

Upon arriving in Burlington in the fall, new graduate students in Chemistry take examinations in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry in order to place students properly in the graduate curriculum. The exams are nationally standardized by the American Chemical Society and national norms are used. Appropriate course work and didactic opportunities are in place to strengthen any student weakness that may appear from the exams.

Students generally take two or three semesters of formal course work and the normal course load per semester during this period is approximately six to nine semester hours. A departmental requirement for doctoral students is three semester hours of advanced work in each of three of the five major areas of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry. Courses outside the department are allowable and often desirable in interdisciplinary areas, e.g. pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, solid state chemistry, chemical physics, etc.

Early in the fall semester our faculty present a series of short talks which describe their research interests. New graduate students attend these talks and then discuss specific research interests with individual faculty members. After this process, students normally make a decision regarding their research direction and specific advisor around the end of November of the first year.

Detailed information about the degree requirements of the program can be found by downloading the PDF from the link shown on the left.

Applicant qualifications

The Department of Chemistry seeks to attract excellent students to the program. We evaluate applications based on transcript information, GRE (general test), statement of purpose, and recommendation letters to develop a complete understanding of an applicant's likelihood to succeed in advanced study of chemistry. Virtually all successful graduate students in our program started with a strong background in all four classic sub-disciplines of chemistry and frequently have engaged in research during their undergraduate careers. Non-traditional students, such as those who have worked in the chemical industry for a period of time after graduation, have also been successful.

We have accepted students from across the United States and a range of countries around the world. The department actively seeks to admit a diverse group of students in the program.

UVM undergraduates who will be graduating and wish to continue here by entering our graduate program are not admitted to the Ph.D. program. The faculty feel that diversity of experience is important in professional development and encourage our undergraduates to go on to other nationally recognized programs to experience new perspectives at another fine institution. We do admit occasional UVM undergraduates to our masters program. The purpose is two-fold: (i) to allow undergraduate biochemistry majors to take additional chemistry coursework to prepare them for a Ph.D. program in chemistry and (ii) to allow students who have significant ties to the Burlington area to remain for an additional time to obtain a graduate M.S. degree before seeking employment in the area.



Application for Admission and Financial Aid

Students apply directly to the Graduate College using the on-line application process for admission to our graduate program in chemistry.

For further information send an e-mail to the Graduate Admissions Chair, or call Andrea Lucey (802 656-2594) in the chemistry office.

Students who have questions or would like guidance before making a formal application, may pre-apply at no cost directly to the Department of Chemistry. We will respond quickly to your query about the feasibility of admission into our program.

Applications are reviewed as they are received.



Upcoming Visitation Periods to the Department of Chemistry

Prospective and admitted graduate students are encouraged to visit UVM and the Department of Chemistry any time, but please contact the Graduate Admissions Chair prior to let us know when you plan to visit.

Students that have submitted applications by January 5, 2015 will receive priority consideration into the graduate program in Chemistry, and those that have been accepted will be invited to visit the Department in the spring.

Next planned-visitation date: a Friday, in late February or early March, 2015


Financial Aid

All full-time graduate students in the Department receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research fellowships. Financial assistance is tendered to a student before enrolling at the University of Vermont and can be expected to continue throughout his or her graduate career provided the student's progress continues to be satisfactory. The usual types of financial aid are listed below:

Teaching Fellowships: These fellowships provide a stipend and full tuition remission and are the most usual form of fellowship support offered to entering graduate students. Although teaching fellow appointments are made for the period of the academic year only, the Department provides each teaching fellow with summer support from research grant funds or other resources of the Department.

Research Fellowships: Graduate research fellowships or assistantships are normally awarded to second, third, or fourth year graduate students only. These research appointments provide for the payment of tuition and for a stipend equivalent to that received by a teaching fellow. Appointment is on a calendar rather than academic year basis. Exceptionally well-qualified students are nominated by the department for national fellowships, such as those provided by the National Science Foundation.

Last modified September 05 2014 01:43 PM

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