2021-22 Graduate Catalog

Chemistry, Ph.D.


The Ph.D. in Chemistry comprises the following components:

Completion of the following courses:

CHEM 50120Teaching of Chemistry


CHEM 90980Dissertation


CHEM 90990Dissertation


AND the following:

1. Lecture courses to provide the student with extensive depth and breadth of knowledge in major areas of chemistry.

2. A seminar program designed to supplement the traditional course program with presentations given both by visiting scholars and TCU students and faculty. Graduate students are required to present one departmental seminar on a topic selected from the current literature but not related to their own research. This is normally given in the second semester, and a second seminar describing the student's Ph.D. work is given in the last semester in residence.

3. A research progress report written and oral, to be presented to the student's supervisory committee by the end of the second year in residence. The written report must provide a summary of the research results obtained up to that point as well as a plan for the future direction of the student's research project. The research progress is evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

4. A cumulative examination program designed to inform the faculty of the student's knowledge and ability in the chosen field and to guide the student in their own development. These examinations are given four times per semester during the academic year in the areas of inorganic, organic, physical chemistry and biochemistry. In general, they are based on advanced coursework and/or the current chemical literature. A student is expected to begin taking cumulative examinations no later than the beginning of the third semester. Once the cumulative examinations are begun, the student should normally pass two during the first six attempts and must pass a total of four within three semesters (12 attempts). Part-time students should consult with their faculty adviser concerning time limitations associated with the cumulative examinations.

5. An original research proposal covering a feasible research plan within their area of interest, but outside their current research efforts. This proposal should be at least five double-spaced pages, 12-point font, and not longer than 10 pages, including references. The proposal is evaluated by a student's supervisory committee on a pass/fail basis, defended in oral presentation before the supervisory committee, and should be completed by the beginning of the second regular semester following completion of the cumulative exams. Upon completion of the proposal defense, a student is formally admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Admission to candidacy must occur at least one full semester before graduation.

6. A teaching experience is considered an important part of the graduate training program. Each student is required to participate in four semesters of teaching, normally as an assistant in an undergraduate laboratory course. During these semesters, the student enrolls in CHEM 50120.

7. A dissertation that is based upon the successful completion of an original research project. Each student presents a departmental seminar on the dissertation research and defends the dissertation in an oral examination before the student's supervisory committee.