Chemistry Graduate Program

The Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, has a Ph.D.-focused graduate program involving ground-breaking research across all fields of the discipline.  While nearly half of our graduate students are supported on research assistantships, most entering students start as teaching assistants (TAs); in fact, a one-semester TA service is a degree requirement. Competitive salaries are offered for the 10-month academic year with additional stipends guaranteed for two months of dissertation research in the summer. In addition, tuition and health insurance are covered for all TAs and RAs. For students with excellent academic records, additional funding in the form of various fellowships is available.

Entering students take standardized proficiency exams in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. The scores on these exams are used by the Graduate Program Committee to help new students accelerate the course-work component of their Ph.D. program. Entering students demonstrating proficiency in these areas are only required to complete 18 credit hours of graded coursework, which can typically be completed in the first year. During this time, Ph.D. candidates also take cumulative exams, of which the student must pass four of 16 exams administered during the first 2 years of study. Having completed the course work and cumulative exam requirements, the candidate undergoes an oral qualifying exam in which he or she answers questions posed by his or her special advisory committee usually relating to the student's initial research plan. After that, the path is clear to the Ph.D. degree, and additional time in graduate school is simply a function of research success.

Students considering a career in teaching may take special interest in the Preparing Future Faculty program. Seminars and courses are specifically aimed to help those with academic ambitions.

Contact Information:

Dr. Dong-Sheng Yang
Director of Graduate Studies

Graduate Program Office
(859) 257-4741
(800) 944-CHEM [2436]
Fax: (859) 323-1069

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