Chemistry PhD

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College : Sciences Degree :PHD
Department : Chemistry Option : Dissertation
Program Websites : http://chemistry.cos.ucf.edu/

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Chemistry PhD program focuses on Materials Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Science and Biochemistry. The training prepares future scientists and educators for research within contemporary fields to accommodate changing and growing industry demands.

CURRICULUM

The Chemistry PhD program requires 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree with a minimum 18 credit hours of electives in the chosen sub-discipline, an original research project and dissertation presentation. A maximum of 24 credit hours may be transferred for students that have completed an approved MS degree program. At least 27 hours of formal course work, exclusive of independent study, are required in order to fulfill degree requirements. This includes four core courses and four electives, three of which must be taken from Chemistry. Six credit hours of directed research are also required; additional courses may be specified by the student's research adviser.

Total Credit Hours Required:
72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

One of the primary means of education and training in the PhD program is achieved through successful completion of an original research project, close mentorship by their research adviser and the presentation and defense of the PhD dissertation. This intense research experience provides the education and training necessary for the student to substantiate his/her expertise and develop the skills necessary to become an independent professional.

By the second semester, students will choose a dissertation adviser and establish a program of study. Students will take a two-semester seminar, presenting a seminar to the department during the second semester. A third seminar credit hour will be taken in preparation for the dissertation defense. During this semester, the student will present a seminar to the department on their dissertation research. The research adviser and graduate program director will establish an advisory committee for each student. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

Core—12 Credit Hours

Students must take four of the following courses.

  • CHM 6710 Applied Analytical Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6440 Kinetics and Catalysis (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6251 Applied Organic Synthesis (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6240 Chemical Thermodynamics (3 credit hours)
  • BCH 6740 Applied Biochemistry (3 credit hours)

If a student successfully completes all five core courses, one course will count toward fulfilling the electives requirement.

Seminar—3 Credit Hours

  • CHM 6936 Seminar (1 credit hour, to be taken three times)

Elective Courses—18-42 Credit Hours in Chosen Concentration

Students who enter the program with a master's degree need to take four elective courses (12 credit hours) and 6 credit hours of directed research. They may choose four courses from the departmental offerings or three courses from the departmental offerings and one from outside of the department. Directed research will always be within the department. Students who enter the program without a master's degree will be required to take 24 additional hours for a total of 42 credit hours of a combination of elective and research courses.

A program of study requires 27 hours of total formal course work exclusive of independent study. Students and advisers need to be careful about how elective courses are selected so that at least 12 credit hours of electives must be formal course work, exclusive of independent study. Doctoral research, dissertation research, independent study and directed research may also be used to satisfy additional hours in the concentration. 

Materials Chemistry Concentration

Choose from the following courses (one may be from outside the department) in addition to 6 hours of directed research.

  • CHM 5225 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5580 Advanced Physical Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6260 Chemical Unit Operations and Separations (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6711 Chemistry of Materials (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6620 Solid State Inorganic Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5450 Polymer Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5451C Techniques in Polymer Science (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5715C Optical Materials Processing and Characterization Techniques (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6449 Photochemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5305 Applied Biological Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6938 Special Topics (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5235 Applied Molecular Spectroscopy (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6134 Advanced Instrumental Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 7938 Frontiers in Chemistry (three semesters, 1 credit hour each semester)
  • CHM 7919 Directed Research in Materials Chemistry (6 credit hours)

Courses from outside the Chemistry Department.

  • OSE 5203 Fundamentals of Applied Optics (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 5313 Materials for Optical Systems (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 5414 Fundamentals of Optoelectronic Devices (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 5504 Modern Characterization of Materials (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 6518 Transmission Electron Microscopy (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 5108 Surface Science (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 6129 Solidification and Microstructure Evolution (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 6130 Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 6136 Diffusion in Solids (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 6516 X-Ray Diffraction and Crystallography (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 7691 Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomolecules I (5 credit hours)
  • PHY 5933 Selected Topics in Biophysics of Macromolecules (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5527 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 5408L Advanced Biology Laboratory Techniques (3 credit hours)

Environmental Chemistry Concentration

Choose from the following courses (one may be from outside the department) in addition to 6 hours of directed research.

  • CHS 6260 Chemical Unit Operations and Separations (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6613 Current Topics in Environmental Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6508 Advanced Mass Spectrometry for Forensic Science (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5235 Applied Molecular Spectroscopy (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5580 Advanced Physical Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6134 Advanced Instrumental Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6449 Photochemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6938 Special Topics (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 7938 Frontiers in Chemistry (three semesters, 1 credit hour each semester)
  • CHM 7919 Directed Research in Environmental Chemistry (6 credit hours)

Courses from outside the Chemistry Department.

  • ENV 5410 Drinking Water Treatment (3 credit hours)
  • ENV 6046 Membrane Mass Transfer (3 credit hours)
  • ENV 6055 Fate and Transport of Subsurface Contaminants (3 credit hours)
  • ENV 6106 Theory and Practice of Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling (3 credit hours)
  • ENV 6126 Design of Air Pollution Controls (3 credit hours)
  • ENV 6336 Site Remediation and Hazardous Waste Treatment (3 credit hours)
  • ENV 6519 Aquatic Chemical Processes (3 credit hours)
  • ENV 6558 Industrial Waste Treatment (3 credit hours)

Forensic Science Concentration

Choose from the following courses in addition to 6 hours of directed research.

  • CHS 6545 Forensic Analysis of Explosives (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6546 Forensic Analysis of Ignitable Liquids (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6508 Advanced Mass Spectrometry for Forensic Science (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6134 Advanced Instrumental Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5451C Techniques in Polymer Science (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6938 Special Topics (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535 Forensic Molecular Biology (2 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535L Forensic Analysis of Biological Materials (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6536 Population Genetics and Genetic Data Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 7938 Frontiers in Chemistry (three semesters, 1 credit hour each semester)
  • CHM 7919 Directed Research in Forensic Science (6 credit hours)

Biochemistry Concentration

Choose from the following courses (one may be from outside the department) in addition to 6 hours of directed research.

  • CHM 5305 Applied Biological Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5235 Applied Molecular Spectroscopy (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5225 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6278 The Organic Chemistry of Drug Design (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5580 Advanced Physical Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 6449 Photochemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535 Forensic Analysis of Biological Materials (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535L Forensic Analysis of Biological Materials Lab (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6536 Forensic Analysis of DNA Data (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 7938 Frontiers in Chemistry (three semesters, 1 credit hour each semester)
  • CHM 7919 Directed Research in Biochemistry (3 credit hours)

Courses from outside the Chemistry Department.

  • IDS 7691 Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomolecules I (5 credit hours)
  • PHY 5933 Selected Topics in Biophysics of Macromolecules (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5654 Applied Microbiology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6417C Microbial Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 6407C Laboratory methods in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 5127 Foundation of Bio-Imaging Science (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5236 Cancer Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5527 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 6516 X-Ray Diffraction and Crystallography (3 credit hours)
  • EMA 6518 Transmission Electron Microscopy (3 credit hours)

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours Minimum

  • CHM 7980 Doctoral Dissertation (15 credit hours)

Within three months before defending the dissertation, the student will present a dissertation research seminar to the Department of Chemistry, registering for one credit hour of seminar.

Qualifying Examinations

Students will be expected to satisfy qualifying (proficiency) requirements (analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry) during the first year by taking exams in four of these five areas. Additional course work may be required if one or more of the qualifying exams is not satisfied. These exams may be waived if the entering student possesses an MS degree in the Chemical Sciences. Satisfaction of this requirement will help ensure that all students are adequately prepared for the core courses. If a student does not satisfy the proficiency exam requirements within the first year, the student may be subject to dismissal from the program.

Candidacy Examination

By the end of the fifth semester (excluding summers), students must pass the PhD candidacy oral examination. The candidacy examination consists of writing and orally defending an original research proposal to the student’s program faculty advisory committee as well as a presentation of their preliminary dissertation research accomplishments and plans. The research proposal will focus on a topic not directly related to the student’s dissertation research and must be approved by the adviser and advisory committee. Failure to pass the PhD candidacy exam will result in dismissal from the program.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Completion of all required and formal elective course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

Dissertation Defense

The final requirement for the PhD degree is completion of a satisfactory written dissertation of the student’s research, along with successful presentation and defense of the dissertation to the advisory committee, including one doctorate-holding non-program faculty member.

Equipment Fee

Full-time students in the Chemistry PhD program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 per semester.

Independent Learning

The grounding in scientific research methodology provided by the dissertation requirement is a central focus of the proposed program. Students will conduct research either on site or at the professional laboratories where they work. In either case, a member of the UCF Chemistry Department graduate faculty will act as research adviser and approve the research topic. This research culminates in the writing and presentation of the dissertation. The student will present his/her dissertation for examination by a committee consisting of a minimum of five members including the research adviser. One of the committee members will be from outside the Chemistry department. A majority of the program committee members will hold tenure-earning faculty appointments in the Chemistry Department. The committee has to be approved by the Graduate Coordinator of the Chemistry program and the department Chair. The dissertation must be judged worthy of publication by the dissertation committee and may not be submitted for examination until so deemed. For students performing their dissertation research off campus, the dissertation adviser will visit the student’s laboratory, where their research is to be performed, before the research begins and on a regular basis until the work is complete.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A Bachelor of Science degree in the Chemical Sciences or a closely related field.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • Three letters of recommendations.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • Résumé.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant's career/academic goals, and the applicant's potential for completing the degree.

Application Deadlines

Chemistry PhD *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jul 15Dec 1

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International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15Jul 1

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International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1Sep 1

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*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.

FINANCIALS

Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Fellowships

Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship. 


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