PhD Program

phd in chemistry online

Professor Wender discusses chemistry with his graduate students.

Doctoral study in chemistry at Stanford University prepares students for research and teaching careers with diverse emphases in basic, life, medical, physical, energy, materials, and environmental sciences.

The Department of Chemistry offers opportunities for graduate study spanning contemporary subfields, including theoretical, organic, inorganic, physical, biophysical and biomedical chemistry and more. Much of the research defies easy classification along traditional divisions; cross-disciplinary collaborations with Stanford's many vibrant research departments and institutes is among factors distinguishing this world-class graduate program.

The Department of Chemistry is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development.  This advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement with mutual respect by both the adviser and advisee.

  • The adviser is expected to meet at least monthly with the graduate student to discuss on-going research.
  • There should be a yearly independent development plan (IDP) meeting between the graduate student and adviser. Topics include research progress, expectations for completion of PhD, areas for both the student and adviser to improve in their joint research effort.
  • A research adviser should provide timely feedback on manuscripts and thesis chapters.
  • Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.
  • If there is a significant issue concerning the graduate student’s progress in research, the adviser must communicate this to the student and to the Graduate Studies Committee in writing.  This feedback should include the issues, what needs to be done to overcome these issues and by when.

Academic advising by Stanford faculty is a critical component of all graduate students' education and additional resources can be found in the  Policies and Best Practices for Advising Relationships at Stanford  and the  Guidelines for Faculty-Student Advising at Stanford .

Learn more about the program through the links below, and by exploring the research interests of the  Chemistry Faculty  and  Courtesy Faculty .

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Doctor of Chemistry (D.Chem.) Salary and Information

The 10 Best Doctor of Chemistry (D.Chem.) Degree Programs

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Doctor of Chemistry (D.Chem.) Degree Programs provide advanced-level education in Chemistry for students wishing to pursue careers as research scientists, professors, and/or industry professionals.

Students enrolled in D.Chem. programs explore research topics such as green chemistry, advanced biochemistry, and physical chemistry through advanced lab techniques and case studies.

The challenging path to earning a Doctorate of Chemistry degree demands hours of laboratory work and classroom lectures–and all these render distance learning unfeasible. The traditional educational setup ensures quality education for future research scientists.

If the fees related to accommodation and living expenses make you rethink pursuing this career, worry not because almost all institutions offer scholarships to worthy applicants.

Best Doctor of Chemistry - fact

The Doctor of Chemistry (D. Chem) is a rare title awarded by some universities. The most popular degree is “Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (Ph.D. Chem.)”. The academic degree “Doctor of Science in Chemistry (D.Sci. Chem.)” is also another equivalent title.

10 Best Doctor of Chemistry (D.Chem.) Degree Programs

University of oregon.



School Highlights:

The University of Oregon allows Doctor of Chemistry students to engage in research, not just in chemistry but across a diverse breadth of disciplines.

The doctoral program encourages collaboration with researchers from other fields that’s why it offers various interdepartmental opportunities to work on.

Choose from a selection of concentrations that outline the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s commitment to the discipline. Throughout your program, you’ll be exposed to research rotations, teaching opportunities, and lab work.  Chemistry tutors can provide personalized guidance and support to help you excel in your studies and achieve your academic goals.

The University of Oregon maintains a state-of-the-art science complex with high-tech laboratory equipment, which are available to doctoral students and their independent pursuits. The entire school provides a collaborative and supportive atmosphere that nurtures skills in leadership and innovation.

Additionally, the curriculum offers internships to expose its Ph.D. students in different industries environments and private sectors. Graduates go on to pursue successful careers in various institutions including government agencies, research facilities, and academic institutions. 

Concentration Options:

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology and Biophysical Chemistry
  • Organic-Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry

Campus Location: Eugene, OR


  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities 8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 200 Redmond, Washington 98052, (205) 525-9848

Did You Know? The University of Oregon is situated in Eugene, Oregon, which is surrounded by a view of the mountains and the coast. This allows the students to participate in different outdoor programs like biking, adventure trips, and river rafting. You’ll also get the chance to join environmental activities like trail restorations and clean-ups. 



Michigan State University


School Highlights: Michigan State University houses a well-funded Department of Chemistry that offers one of the most dynamic Chemistry Ph.D. programs in the country.

The curriculum includes a wide range of topics in Chemistry, imparting foundational knowledge while introducing new scientific concepts and research applications.

You’ll be dealing with courses in analytical, organic, and physical chemistry. Plus, work on interdisciplinary topics such as spectroscopy, polymers, and material science. 

The Chemistry Building is home to an incredibly impressive array of research equipment and laboratories, such as the Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and the Shard Laser Facility. The university grants over $9 million for research funding which makes this program even more attractive.

Financial opportunities at MSU are also abundant, offering different grants, scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships. Doctoral students work closely with their expert faculty members and produce outstanding research findings that are often printed in major scientific publications.

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Chemical Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Nuclear Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Campus Location: East Lansing, MI

  • Higher Learning Commission 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500 Chicago, Illinois 60604, (800) 621-7440

Did You Know? Michigan State University has garnered a lot of recognition since its establishment in 1855. Throughout the years, the university has perfected its graduate programs which have landed on top of different academic rankings. MSU currently ranks number one for graduate programs in Nuclear Physics, Secondary Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling according to the U.S. News and World Report. 



University of Houston

At the University of Houston, students taking up a doctoral degree in chemistry will get the chance to explore different areas of chemistry while improving their research and analytical skills.

Be mentored by competent and internationally recognized faculty members who encourage interdisciplinary research and collaboration. You’ll also get the chance to assist them during intensive research projects, which offer an astoundingly rich academic experience.

Located in a hub for scientific and entrepreneurial opportunities, the campus provides opportunities to connect to global corporations and national laboratories throughout Houston.

During admission, students must choose a division that best aligns with their academic standing and career goals. Division options include Organic, Inorganic, and Physical Chemistry. Each division comprises 18 credit hours but differs in core courses and electives.

Additionally, you’ll be required to participate in seminars and finish a Ph.D. dissertation to earn your degree. After graduation, you’ll be qualified to hold high-level positions of employment in government and industry labs and even pursue a teaching career in prestigious universities.

Coursework Sample:

  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • Physical Inorganic Chemistry
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Molecular Spectroscopy
  • Organometallic Chemistry

Campus Location: Houston, TX

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Did You Know? The University of Houston offers different on-campus facilities to make your student life more interesting. If you’re into sports, the Fertitta Center and TDECU Stadium are great venues to watch a match and support the Houston Cougars. Aside from a selection of restaurants, enjoy a stroll in the Lynn Eusan Park or enrich your creative side in the Blaffer Art Museum. 





School Highlights: The Chemistry Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley emphasizes on improving its enrollees’ research skills, driving them to explore creative and innovative means. The curriculum comprises of minimal course requirements since the program is geared towards research and independent study.

You’ll have three concentration options:

  • Physical Chemistry,
  • Chemical Biology,
  • and Synthetic Chemistry.

Although each one has a specific set of degree requirements, you’ll be able to create your own innovative and far-reaching chemistry projects. For example, those in the Physical Chemistry concentration may explore areas in analytical, biochemical, and nuclear chemistry.

The independent research project is the most essential part of the entire degree, aside from the teaching component. The Department of Chemistry requires all doctoral students to assist in an instructional program during the first three years of their residency. A

dditionally, stay updated with the latest research on chemistry and other areas in the scientific community by attending weekly seminars. You may also join small group discussions that encourage peer review and collaboration, The cumulative experiences at Berkeley are invaluable and will surely prepare you for high-level employment in the industry.

  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Interactions of Radiation with Matter
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Group Theory

Campus Location: Berkeley, CA

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges 533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200 Burlingame, CA 94010, (650) 696-1060

Did You Know? University Of California, Berkeley ensures that its students receive the best career options by providing different career services. Its Career Center offers different events and workshops to guide graduating individuals towards the professional world. Some activities include Career Fairs, Coaching, and Information Sessions. 



University of Mississippi


The University of Mississippi’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers some of the most sought-after programs in the field, including the Doctor of Philosophy Program in Chemistry. This 54-credit degree comprises of courses from the available concentrations including:

  • Biochemistry,
  • and Physical Chemistry.

It provides an in-depth learning experience and is designed to enhance your understanding of all of the traditional areas of the profession. To graduate, you’ll need to take four cumulative examinations, an oral examination, and a dissertation presentation and defense. 

The University of Mississippi has strong ties to national agencies and labs such as NASA, the American Chemical Society, and the National Institute of Justice. Students often complete research projects in collaboration with these industries and expand their network in the process.

The program is perfect for Chemists seeking a career in education, working as an instructor or school labs, or government agencies that handle research and development. You may also pursue a career in the industrial industry and specialize in different chemistry vocations.

  • Advanced Instrumental Analysis
  • Physical Biochemistry 
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • Chemical Applications of Group Theory
  • Chemical Thermodynamics

Campus Location: Oxford, MS

Did You Know? The University of Mississippi is part of the R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity list, which comprises of research universities classified through the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Being part of this tier means that the institution produces many research resources and conducts the most research activities. 





School Highlights: The Florida Institute of Technology prides itself on an incredibly diverse chemistry education environment. The Chemistry Ph.D. program is a combination of one-on-one mentorship, internships, and assistantships to maximize your learning potential.

Learn from some of the country’s most seasoned instructors and gain insights into different fields like Biotechnology, Disease Pathology, and Nanomaterials. Plus, work with other Chemists and expand your network through collaborative research projects and fieldwork.

Past projects have spanned a vast array of topics, such as degenerative disease approaches, DNA analysis, and chromosome replication. 

Another reason to choose Floride Tech is its modern research facilities and laboratories. The F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center is a 70,000 square foot research center that comprises different facilities that deal with research, microscopy, and photochemistry.

Additionally, Florida Tech has strong ties with the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Kennedy Space Center, which provides incredible opportunities for doctoral students.

Graduates will enter the industry with the needed skills and expertise to effect massive change in different industries including manufacturing, health, and alternative energy. 

  • Interpretation of Chemical Spectra
  • Organic Synthesis
  • Natural Products

Campus Location: Melbourne, FL

Did You Know? Florida Institute of Technology prides itself in having a 92% employment rate after graduation. This shows the school produces capable graduates who are qualified to take on different roles and positions. Plus, most of the graduates receive a good paycheck, with some earning an average of $56,000 years after graduation.



Johns Hopkins University


School Highlights: The Chemistry Ph. D. degree program at Johns Hopkins University aims to align with its student’s academic backgrounds and professional goals. That’s why the program is comprised of different courses that will give you a broad understanding of different scientific concepts and research studies.

With this program, you’ll be hitting two birds with one stone as It allows you to earn both a master’s and Ph.D. in one curriculum. On top of the core courses, you’ll also be able to participate in a series of departmental seminars to further your technical expertise. 

Towards the end of your program, you’ll also be required to do a thesis dissertation that aims to challenge you to think critically and independently. As a future frontrunner in the discipline, get the needed hands-on experience participating in a one-year teaching assistantship.

Additionally, the Department of Chemistry has different student organizations to help you expand your network and improve your extra-curricular experience. Ultimately, John Hopkins is a known institution for providing high-caliber graduates, so you can definitely look forward to a great career ahead of you!

  • Chemistry of Inorganic Compounds
  • Spectroscopy
  • Chemical Biology

Campus Location: Baltimore, MD

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education 3624 Market Street, Suite 2 West Philadelphia, PA 19104, (267) 284-5000

Did You Know? John Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, with over 60 majors and minors. The majority of its students participate in research, contributing to over 50 laboratories and institutes. Plus it has been receiving one of the largest research funding budgets for over four decades.  



stanford university 1

School Highlights:  Stanford University is a well-respected academic institution offering a variety of programs ranging from undergraduate to doctorate ones. Its Ph.D. program in Chemistry is one to look out for. Stanford’s curriculum dives deep, going beyond the basic topics in chemistry.

You’ll be covering sub-disciplines like human health, biotechnology, and catalysis. You can choose from different majors including:

  • chemical physics,
  • inorganic chemistry,
  • and biophysical chemistry.

Aside from the prescribed graduate-level courses, you may take units from related fields such as chemical engineering and materials science. 

You’ll also be exposed to a lot of data gathering and research work through a dissertation. Get the chance to work on testing new theories and developing new models on a molecular level. You’ll be mentored by top-notch instructors in the industry.

What’s more, you’ll receive academic advising so you’ll be properly guided during your research studies and dissertation. Get the guidance you need toward a successful career path in Chemistry. By developing a better understanding of the industry, you may pursue positions in both private and public institutions.

Coursework Sample: Stanford, CA

  • Advanced Physical Chemistry
  • Research and Special Advanced Work
  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Chemical Principles
  • Bio-inorganic Chemistry

Campus Location:  

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Did You Know? Stanford University’s Department of Chemistry was one of the first few departments opened during its establishment in 1891. The department has since then been offering quality programs and has recently opened an interdisciplinary institute where Chemistry majors can collaborate with Engineering and Medical students. Chem-H hopes to spark advancement through research and forward-thinking.




Students attending the University of Akron’s Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry degree will be exposed to interdisciplinary education, covering different approaches in Chemistry and even touching topics in Biology and Physics. You’ll also get the chance to further improve your research and communication skills, which are vital in succeeding in the industry.

Learn from tenured faculty and conduct experiments in high-quality facilities such as the Mass Spectrometry Center and the Center for Laster & Optical Spectroscopy. Learn from excellent instructors and gain access to a selection of academic resources.

In terms of admissions, UA accepts students with a Master’s in Chemistry or any related field. On top of that, you’ll also need to submit recommendation letters and a statement of purpose to be admitted successfully. Students with good academic standing may have the chance to receive financial assistance.

The school also offers free tuition by participating in teaching or research assistantships for the academic year and summer. Well-seasoned graduates of Akron refine their skills as researchers, laboratory managers, and educators in chemistry.

  • Thermodynamics & Statistical Thermodynamics
  • X-Ray Crystallography
  • Enzymatic Reactions

Campus Location: Akron, OH

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Did You Know? The University of Akron got its name from the hilltop area which means the “highest point”. This name fits the university since it offers high-quality academic programs which attract over 10,000 enrollees every year. Some popular programs include Nursing, Marketing Management, and Psychology.  



Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1

School Highlights:  The Massachusetts Institute of Technology aims to produce outstanding leaders from different fields like science, engineering, and mathematics. In the same manner, MIT’s Chemistry Department aims to produce excellent graduates that can positively contribute to the industry.

The Ph.D. program offers both flexibility by letting you choose courses that you’re interested to take, and hands-on experience through a two-semester teaching assistant opportunity. In your first year, you’ll be given the chance to handle laboratory classes. 

Aside from taking graduate-level courses, you’ll also be taking oral and written examinations, as well as working on postdoctoral research. Throughout your program, you’ll be guided by a thesis adviser to help you progress with your research. Additionally, the program involves desk rotations so you can connect with senior Ph.D. students while working on your coursework.

The department values networking and embracing advocacies. That’s why it’s home to several student organizations such as Women+ in Chemistry and Chemistry Alliance for Diversity and inclusion.   

  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry
  • Principles of Organometallic Chemistry
  • Laboratory Chemistry
  • Heterocyclic Chemistry
  • Introductory Quantum Mechanics

Campus Location:  Cambridge, MA

  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) 

Did You Know? Massachusetts Institute of Technology was incorporated in 1861 and has been following a Latin motto, “mens et manus” which translates to “mind and hand”. This is a reflection of MIT’s educational style that involves practical applications, going beyond theoretical knowledge.


What does a Chemist do?

A chemist is a scientist who studies the properties of matter at a molecular level. They observe and measure chemical reactions of compounds through experiments in laboratories.

Chemists also engage in fieldwork to collect data samples to be analyzed using sophisticated scientific instruments. In the modern world, chemists work in teams with scientists and professionals from other disciplines. 

Advanced knowledge of chemistry may benefit different industries like manufacturing, waste management, and food production. Certain advancements in the health sector, like understanding hormones and the production of different medical drugs, may be attributed to the research work of chemists.

Chemists also work with engineers to develop new construction additives, materials testing and even help in environmental initiatives.

It is also important to note that chemists and chemical engineers are different. While both professions deal with chemicals, the latter focuses more on the application of principles of math and physics to produce new material that may benefit different industries, while chemists focus more on the organic, inorganic, and analytical aspects of the discipline. Additionally, chemists emphasize research and testing, while chemical engineers deal with design and production. 

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

If you’re looking for a chemistry program, one of the things that you should be looking at is its accreditation. Accreditation shows if the institution has met the academic standards set by the accrediting body. While these standards may differ, it’s a good gauge of the quality of education that the school provides.

In the United States, some accrediting agencies include the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Higher Learning Commission. 

Chemistry doctorate programs are usually accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) while the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) may also provide accreditation to interdisciplinary programs.

Ultimately, accreditation is just one of the many factors that you should consider when choosing an academic institution. It’s also important to check on the school’s facilities, learning setup, and employment rate. 

How do I earn my D.Chem. Degree?

One of the major requisites for earning a doctorate in Chemistry is a master’s degree in the scientific field. Taking up a bachelor’s will create a solid foundation for your field, while a master’s will expose you to different complex processes and higher learning that may be applied to your Ph.D. pursuit.

Upon application, you may also need to undergo different examinations to assess your scientific knowledge and skills.

The graduate school committee might test you further, like requiring you to conduct sample research, before considering you for admission. Other documentation may include your statement of intent, recommendation letters, and official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and TOEFL/IELTS if you are a non-native English speaker.

Graduate students attending doctorate programs in Chemistry revolve around classroom lectures, laboratory activities, and even fieldwork. Most programs offer specializations to focus more on a subfield and learn specific skillsets. You can choose from a selection of specializations including:

  • Thermochemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry

Enrollees may also need to take prerequisite subjects in the coursework. In many cases, a graduate student may assist professors in their research work or teach in lower-level classes to further expose them to the field.

Like many Ph.D. programs, the dissertation is also necessary to complete the doctoral program. Most programs focus on independent research to encourage independent thinking, while some programs push for team research to enhance collaboration skills.

Earning a Chemistry doctorate degree program may take three years to finish, eight years at most. Bachelor’s degree holders may pursue a straight D.Chem. program to earn both a master’s and doctorate degree for a shorter period of time. 

What type of degree do I need to pursue a teaching career in Chemistry?

Graduating with a Ph.D., D.Sci., or D.Chem degree may give you a huge advantage, especially when pursuing a teaching position. Some institutions require a doctoral degree, while some schools place Ph.D. holders on courses that deal with more complex theories and higher learning.

Pursuing higher education is also beneficial, especially when you’re looking into advancing in your teaching career. This also helps in tenure security and may give you an advantage when negotiating your salary. To put it simply, a doctoral degree may put you in a better position where you can help mold young learners while enjoying more work benefits.

Additionally, your doctoral research may help jumpstart your pathway to the academe since this may expose you to different academic conferences wherein you may build ties with academic leaders that may take interest in your capabilities for academic employment.

Why take a bridge program before pursuing a doctoral degree?

Undergraduate students in the field of Chemistry who are looking into pursuing higher education may take advantage of a bridge program. This program introduces a mix of foundational and graduate courses and usually takes a year to finish. With this, students may acquire fundamental knowledge and relevant skills to successfully earn graduate degrees like a Ph.D. or D.Chem.

Transitional programs also help students get the needed mentorship to properly assess their academic pathway. Here, you’ll get a glimpse of what’s in store for you if you pursue graduate studies.

Aside from theoretical courses, you may also be exposed to a lot of lab work and research to prepare you for dissertation and doctoral projects. You can shop now at Certified Scale for lab instruments like Sartorius scales.

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my D.Chem. Degree?

Chemists with doctorate-level degrees may work either in the academic or industrial setting, across different job positions. In the academic setting, D.Chem. holders may work as instructors and researchers. Professors and lab instructors may earn an average of  $80,670 per year .

Chemists working in manufacturing and production companies may earn anywhere from $78,000 to $107,000 annually, while those involved in research agencies and private laboratories may take home $116,000 yearly. D.Chem graduates may also pursue a career in health, biochemistry, and forensic chemistry. 

Do I need a license to be a Chemist?

A licensure exam is not required in the United States for those who want to work as chemists or chemical technicians. Chemists may use their diplomas as permits when procuring and transporting chemicals for experimental purposes. With this, chemists may still work on a research project or developmental work.

Furthermore, several US government agencies like the  Food and Drug Authority (FDA)  and the  Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  oversee the rules in transporting hazardous chemicals, keeping a close eye on those conducting research and handling chemicals.

However, chemists may apply for the certification program under the National Certification Commission in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering to be duly recognized by the agency while expanding their network of co-practitioners.

You may register as a Certifees-in-Training (CIT) for undergrad chemists, while graduate students may opt to become Annual Enrollees (AE).  

What are some of the school services in store for doctoral degree students?

Most university’s PhD chemistry programs offer a range of student services that cater to both undergraduate and graduate students. Most institutions have academic support services through coaching or advising to fully guide you in your career path. Graduate students may benefit from this the most since they’ll need help in juggling both your professional work and academic pursuit.

Student organizations and social events are almost always present in schools as this helps in expanding your connections and improves your interpersonal skills. Being subjected to the stress of your job and schoolwork, you may turn to school counselors and mental health programs to improve your mental state. 

Lastly, most academic institutions offer scholarship grants to applicants with good academic standing. Some schools offering grants include the University of Akron  in Akron, OH; the  University of Oregon  in Eugene, OR; and  Michigan State University  in East Lansing MI. Other universities offer bridge programs to help maximize your learning potential.

The following schools bridge programs –  John Hopkins University  in Baltimore, MD; the  University of Houston  in Houston, TX;  University of California Berkeley  in Berkeley, CA; The  University of Mississippi  in Oxford, MS; and  Florida Institute of Technology  in Melbourne, FL.

Be the next Marie Curie or Alfred Nobel. Pursue a doctorate degree in Chemistry and be deployed to the frontline of this ambitiously experimental and solution-finding era of human civilization.

Is it hard to earn a Doctor of Chemistry (D.Chem.) Degree?

It depends on the individual. Generally, it is a very challenging degree to attain, requiring a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field. There may also be other requirements, such as research projects, dissertation requirements, additional coursework, internships, and specialized examinations. Earning a D.Chem. can take several years to complete.

The Bottom Line

Earning a Doctor of Chemistry graduate degree enables graduates the opportunity to participate in a graduate seminar and conduct independent research themselves, therefore providing awesome options for helping mankind in a wide variety of industries.

What are your career aspirations? With a D.Chem. degree, you can focus on physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, intensive research, and much more.

A chemistry degree graduate program is a great way to get that job promotion in research that you deserve.

Additional Information:

  • The Best Doctor of Anesthesia Practice (Dr.AP) Degree Programs
  • The Best Doctor of Applied Science (D.A.S.) Degree Programs: Salary and Information
  • The Best Doctorate in Medicine (M.D.) Degree Programs: Salary and Information

Department of Chemistry

Professor Rebekka Klausen in discussion with grad student at bench in her lab.

  • PhD Requirements
  • Pathways to Your Career
  • Professional Societies
  • Student Groups
  • Chemistry-Biology Interface Program

Johns Hopkins University was the first American institution to emphasize graduate education and to establish a PhD program in chemistry. Founding Chair Ira Remsen initiated a tradition of excellence in research and education that has continued until this day. The Hopkins graduate program is designed for students who desire a PhD in chemistry while advancing scientific knowledge for humankind.

The graduate program provides students with the background and technical expertise required to be leaders in their field and to pursue independent research.

Graduate students’ advancement is marked by entrance exams, coursework, teaching, seminars, oral examinations, and an individual research project that culminates in a thesis dissertation. The thesis research project represents an opportunity for graduate students to make a mark on the world. Working in conjunction with a faculty member or team, individually tailored thesis projects enable students to think independently about cutting-edge research areas that are of critical importance. Thesis research is the most important step toward becoming a PhD scientist, and our program provides an outstanding base with a proven track record of success.

Graduate students make up the heart of the Chemistry Department, and the department strives to support students’ individual needs. Each student is carefully advised and classes are traditionally quite small. Multidisciplinary research and course offerings that increase scientific breadth and innovation are hallmarks of the program.  In addition to academic and technical development, our department also offers several outlets for professional and social development.

For more information, contact the Director of Graduate Studies. Dr. Art Bragg Office: Remsen 221 410-516-5616 [email protected]

Chemistry, PhD

Zanvyl krieger school of arts and sciences.

Johns Hopkins University was the first American institution to emphasize graduate education and to establish a PhD program in chemistry. Founding Chair Ira Remsen initiated a tradition of excellence in research and education that has continued until this day. The Hopkins graduate program is designed for students who desire a PhD in chemistry while advancing scientific knowledge for humankind.

The graduate program provides students with the background and technical expertise required to be leaders in their field and to pursue independent research.

Graduate students’ advancement is marked by entrance exams, coursework, teaching, seminars, oral examinations, and an individual research project that culminates in a thesis dissertation. The thesis research project represents an opportunity for graduate students to make a mark on the world. Working in conjunction with a faculty member or team, individually tailored thesis projects enable students to think independently about cutting-edge research areas that are of critical importance. Thesis research is the most important step toward becoming a PhD scientist, and our program provides an outstanding base with a proven track record of success.

Graduate students make up the heart of the Chemistry Department, and the department strives to support students’ individual needs. Each student is carefully advised and classes are traditionally quite small. Multidisciplinary research and course offerings that increase scientific breadth and innovation are hallmarks of the program.  In addition to academic and technical development, our department also offers several outlets for professional and social development.

Admission Requirements

Application materials include:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • The GRE General Test is required.  However, this requirement can be waived for individuals for whom personal circumstances make it difficult or impossible to access the GRE General Test at this present time.  If so, please let the Academic Affairs Administrator (information below) be aware of these circumstances, and the application will be given full consideration.
  • The GRE Chemistry Subject is Test is recommended, but not required.
  • The application fee is $75. However, fee waivers may be requested for applicants that have documentation showing they are a part of SACNAS, MARCC, oSTEM and many other organizations. To access the full list to see if you qualify, go to the  Krieger Graduate Admission and Enrollment  page.

Assistance with the application process is available. Candidates with questions about the application process, or requests for a GRE General Test waiver (or on other matters related to the application) should contact the Admissions Committee’s Academic Affairs Administrator ( [email protected] ).

There are no fixed requirements for admission. Undergraduate majors in chemistry, biology, earth sciences, mathematics, or physics may apply as well as all well-qualified individuals who will have received a BA degree before matriculation. A select number of applicants will be invited to visit campus to tour our facilities and interact with our faculty members and their lab members over a weekend in March.

For further information about graduate study in chemistry visit the Chemistry Department website . 

Program Requirements

Normally, the minimum course requirement for both the M.A. and the Ph.D. degrees is six one-semester graduate courses in chemistry and related sciences. Exceptionally well-prepared students may ask for a reduction of these requirements.

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree include a research dissertation worthy of publication, and a knowledge of chemistry and related material as demonstrated in an oral examination. Each student must teach for at least one year.

Below is a list of the core Chemistry courses for graduate level students.

Course List
Code Title Credits
Organometallic Chemistry3
Chemistry of Inorganic Compounds3
Materials & Surface3
Intermediate Quantum Chemistry3
Statistical Mechanics3
Chemical Kinetics3
Chemical Biology I3
Advanced Mechanistic Organic Chemistry I3
Advanced Mechanistic Organic Chemistry II3
Advanced Organic Synthesis I3

About the Chemistry Ph.D. Program

Ph.d. in chemistry faq's.

Trevor Lohrey, Arnold Research Group

The Chemistry PhD program is designed towards developing within each student the ability to do creative scientific research. Accordingly, the single most important facet of the curriculum for an individual is their own research project. In keeping with the goal of fostering an atmosphere of scholarly, independent study, formal course requirements are minimal and vary among disciplines; advisor's tailor course requirements to best prepare the student for the chosen research field.

The Doctoral program includes the following concentrations, each of which has specific degree requirements:

  • Physical Chemistry : In general, the Physical Chemistry Graduate Program encompasses analytical, nuclear, biophysical, and theoretical chemistry.
  • Synthetic Chemistry : The Synthetic Chemistry Graduate Program includes emphases in either organic or inorganic chemistry
  • Chemical Biology : The Chemical Biology Graduate Program covers a range of research areas at the interface of Chemistry and Biology.

Research. A graduate student spends a good deal of time during the first week of the first semester at Berkeley talking to various faculty members about possible research projects, studying pertinent literature references, and choosing an individual project. New graduate students meet shortly after their arrival with a faculty adviser. From the faculty adviser the student obtains a list of faculty members whose research may interest the student. After visiting these and additional faculty, if necessary, the student chooses a research director, with the consent of the faculty member and the graduate adviser. By the end of the first semester most students have made a choice and are full-fledged members of research group. Students in the Chemical Biology Graduate Program will select their thesis advisor after completion of three-ten week rotations. Thereafter, all students become involved in library research on their projects and many begin actual experimental or theoretical work.

Independent Study. A student who chooses to specialize in physical chemistry is normally expected to take two courses per semester during the first year and one or two additional semesters of coursework sometimes during the second year. These may include topics such Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Group Theory, Interactions of Radiation with Matter, and many more. At the other extreme, a student specializing in inorganic chemistry will concentrate more heavily on special topics seminars and take fewer courses. The course offerings in the University are varied so that individual students have the opportunity to take other courses which serve their own needs. Such as, a student working on nuclear chemistry will probably elect additional graduate physics courses, while a student working on biophysical or bio-organic problems may take courses offered by the Biochemistry Department. Students in the Chemical Biology program will take courses from both Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology departments.

Seminars. Because of the size and diversity of the Berkeley faculty, there are many seminars on a variety of topics which students may choose to attend. There are regular weekly seminars in several major areas, including biophysical, physical, nuclear, organic, theoretical, solid state, and inorganic chemistry. These seminars are presented by members of the Berkeley faculty, as well as distinguished visitors to the campus. These seminars allow the students to become aware of the most important current research going on in the field. In addition to these regular seminars, there are several regular department seminars devoted to presentations by graduate students. One of the doctoral program requirements is that each student delivers a departmental seminar known as a graduate research conference during the second year. Individual research groups also hold regular research seminars. The format of these small, informal seminars varies. In some cases, graduate students discuss their own current research before the other members of the research group. On other occasions, the group seminars may be devoted to group discussions of recent papers which are of interest to the particular research group. In any event, small group seminars are one of the most important ways in which students learn by organizing and interpreting their own results before their peers.

Qualifying Exam. Sometime during the second year of graduate work at Berkeley, each student takes a qualifying examination. The examining board, a committee of four faculty members, is appointed to examine the student for general competence in the area of interest. The qualifying examination is centered around the defense of the individual research project. Upon satisfactory completion of the oral qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. After advancement, the student completes an original, scholarly contribution to science and writes a dissertation on the subject. Most students complete their work and received their degree within five years.

Teaching. An integral part of the graduate education at Berkeley is teaching. The department requires that each doctoral candidate assist in the instructional program of the department as a teaching assistant for two semesters during their graduate careers. The faculty regard the teaching experience as highly valuable for all graduate students, especially those who plan to teach as a career.

Financial Aid. All students admitted to our graduate program receive a stipend for the duration of study in the form of teaching and research assistantships as long as they are in residence and demonstrate good progress toward the degree. Students also receive full tution, health, dental and vision insurance. Most funds for this support derive from research contracts and grants.

For more information see the Berkeley Bulletin

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This PhD program in Chemistry is designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in chemistry or a related field who wish to develop as independent researchers by engaging in cutting-edge research while working closely with faculty who are renowned in their fields.

The program of study includes some course work, but the primary emphasis is on the completion of an original research project, its articulation in a well-written thesis, and its subsequent defense before the thesis (oral examination) committee. The PhD program is a full-time degree program that typically takes five years to complete. Financial support (teaching assistantships or research assistantships) is normally provided for students throughout their period of study if they are found to be making satisfactory progress toward their degree in accordance with departmental and university guidelines.

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  • Application fee – US $100
  • Unofficial transcripts for all institutions attended (Official transcripts required upon acceptance of admission offer)
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  • GRE General – recommended, but not required
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Deadline for completed applications: December 1

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Science in the 21st century is rich with opportunity and challenge. Our pillars for success in this complex world are all tied to interactions—between people and between disciplines. By building both strong interpersonal connections between our students and faculty, and effective bridges between disciplines, entering graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology can thrive at the frontiers of research in the chemical and life sciences.

Our graduate programs prioritize research and exploration. With many opportunities to interact with departments, research centers, and institutions across the Boston area, our students benefit from an interdisciplinary environment that encourages curiosity and innovation. Students can choose from one of our following two graduate degree programs:

Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Our program in Chemistry offers research and training opportunities in many subdisciplines of chemistry, including chemical biology, inorganic, organic, physical, and theoretical.

Chemical Physics

Our interdepartmental Chemical Physics program is designed for students who wish to prepare themselves for the study of chemical problems by the methods and theories of modern physics.

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Interested in the chemistry phd program.

Prospective students can contact our Graduate Admissions coordinator Ms. Tabi Lemlem (202-687-6073) or the Graduate Admissions chair Prof. Travis Holman .

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Our PhD program guides students to attain the following goals upon graduation:

1.  Broad chemistry knowledge. The students will broaden and deepen their understanding of theories, concepts and models to enhance their success as scientists and educators.

2.  Expertise in a specific discipline.   Each student will acquire a deep working knowledge of a particular field in chemistry.

3.  Communication skills. Graduates will be able to construct and defend arguments with clarity.  They will be able to write for and speak with peers, experts and the public on a range of topics specific to their discipline.

4.  The ability to access and evaluate primary literature.   Students will have the ability to search, read and critically analyze the primary literature in order to understand and synthesize new ideas in their field.

5.  Data analysis skills.  Students will have the ability to produce, analyze and interpret meaningful chemical data and draw sound conclusions.

6.  Become independent researchers.  Graduates will be able to conceive, design and execute research projects independently.

7.  Make original scientific contributions.   Students will solve new and significant problems in their chosen field.  They will understand the importance of this work in advancing the progress of their discipline and be able to explain its relevance.  The quality and value of this work will be such that it can be published in a highly respected peer reviewed journal.

8.  Responsible conduct in research.  Graduates will understand and conduct research exhibiting the highest standards of safety, honesty and integrity.

9.  Teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration.   Graduates will have the ability to work effectively as part of a team and to cross traditional boundaries and execute multidisciplinary research. 

10. Teaching and mentoring skills.   Students will acquire teaching skills and gain experience mentoring less experienced scientists in a research setting.

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Ph.D. in Chemistry

Graduate students earn a Ph.D. through independent research in collaboration with one or more faculty members . A modest amount of graded coursework ensures a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of the chosen field, as well as breadth of knowledge in the chemical sciences. The median time to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. is about five years. Students are required to pass oral examinations in their area of specialization. There are no pre-entrance or qualifying exams.

For complete details about our doctoral program, see the pages below:

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Ph.D. in Chemistry

John Means '07Ph.D. and Abigail Muchenditsi '09Ph.D

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Program code: PH3311

Program Overview

The department’s mission is to provide a quality education to graduate students while they pursue state-of-the-art research in chemistry. The objective of the graduate program is to educate and train students to become highly effective scientists by providing them with the interdisciplinary tools, research skills and ethical and service sensibilities needed to succeed in their future career. This includes offering a variety of rigorous graduate level courses, maintaining cutting-edge research programs within individual laboratories and compliance with the Code for Professional Ethical Conduct espoused by the American Chemical Society.

Candidates for a Ph. D. degree in Chemistry must demonstrate the ability to plan, execute, evaluate, and communicate original chemical research. The graduate program spans all five traditional disciplines of chemistry (Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic and Physical). Within these five areas the department boasts particular research strengths in chemometrics, forensic chemistry, mass spectrometry, medicinal chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, materials chemistry, nanoscience and nanomedicine, nucleic acid research, protein and glycoprotein engineering, and spectroscopy.

This is a full-time program. Normative time to completion is five academic years, in line with national average as reported by the American Chemical Society.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a Ph.D. in chemistry typically pursue academic careers (typically following post-doctoral appointments) and R&D positions in chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

Graduation Requirements

  • See Chemistry Graduate Requirements for details .

Brief Overview

The requirements for a Ph.D. in chemistry consist of a combination of coursework, seminars, research proposals, and original research. Each student will be required to pass three classes (12 credits) in three different chemistry divisions (organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and biochemistry), and pass two classes (8 credits) within their major area of research. A grade of B or better must be obtained in each course attempted. Courses are selected with the assistance of a faculty adviser. Ph.D. candidates must submit and orally defend a dissertation research proposal to their dissertation committee no later than the first semester of their third year of study.

Students select a research adviser at the end of their first semester of study after rotations in several laboratories. Intensive research generally begins in the spring of the first year. The Ph.D. program culminates in the preparation of a research dissertation and a final oral examination.

  • A minimum of 90 semester hours in chemistry and approved electives.
  • Attendance at a seminar course each semester.
  • A qualifying exam must be passed for candidacy. This consists of a written research proposal and an oral defense of the proposal.
  • A written dissertation describing the results of the student's research.
  • Students must present their dissertation orally at a public meeting followed by an oral defense held before the student's dissertation committee.
  • The average period of study is five years.

Graduation Requirements  

The following minimum requirements must be satisfied to graduate.

  • Complete 90 semester hours in Chemistry and approved electives.
  • Demonstrate breadth of knowledge competency by passing at a level of B or higher one 5000-level course in three of these five areas of chemistry: Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, Physical and Biochemistry. One of the three courses must be in the student’s major area, and the other two must be in the other areas. Breadth of knowledge competency must be met during the first year of graduate studies.
  • Demonstrate depth of knowledge competency by passing two classes at the 7000-level in the student’s major area of research. A grade of B or better must be obtained in each course attempted.
  • Attend each semester the weekly departmental colloquium series.
  • Take the graduate seminar course each semester (CHEM 8960, 8970, 8980 or 8990 depending on the student’s research area).
  • Participate in the Advanced Seminar in Research Development and Leadership course each semester (CHEM 8900 or equivalent).
  • Register to the Doctoral Research and Dissertation course (CHEM 8950) any semester during which research facilities and/or resources are being used. There is no limit on the number of dissertation hours that can be counted toward the 90-hour requirement.
  • Take the Chemistry Teaching Assistant Training class (CHEM 5100) during the first semester of graduate studies.
  • Take the Graduate Chemistry Research Training class (CHEM 5710) during the first semester of graduate studies.
  • Submit and orally defend a dissertation research proposal to a dissertation committee no later than during the fifth semester of study, excluding summers.
  • Submit and orally defend a written dissertation to a dissertation committee. The defense is open to the public.
  • The student’s graduate advisor and dissertation committee determine the specific requirements for each student within the above framework.

Culminating Experience: All students will write a dissertation that presents the student’s research.

Competency is demonstrated by passing at a level of B or better one 5000 level course in three of the five areas (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical). One of the three courses can be in the student's major area, but the other two must be outside of the student's major area and must be in the other areas of chemistry and biochemistry. General/review courses will be offered each fall at the 5000 level in each research area of chemistry and biochemistry. Students failing to meet the competency requirement during their first year of graduate study may lose their financial support until competency is demonstrated or may be removed from the program at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.

Program Mission

The department's mission is to provide a quality education to graduate students while they pursue state-of-the-art research in chemistry. The objective of the graduate program is to educate and train students to become highly effective scientists by providing them with the interdisciplinary tools, research skills and ethical and service sensibilities needed to succeed in their future careers. This includes offering a variety of rigorous graduate level courses, maintaining cutting-edge research programs within individual laboratories, and compliance with the Code for Professional Ethical Conduct espoused by the American Chemical Society.

Program Learning Objectives

  • To demonstrate a broad understanding of chemical concepts and an in-depth understanding of a selected topic in chemistry.
  • To demonstrate competence in identifying a significant scientific problem and solving that problem through creative scientific experimentation, data analysis, and evaluation.
  • To effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing, scientific concepts and outcomes.
  • To work effectively both as an individual and as a collaborative team member.

UCI Department of Chemistry

UCI Department of Chemistry

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The UCI Department of Chemistry offers a traditional Chemistry foundation blended with research experience in emerging fields.  Areas of specialization include:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Chemical Biology
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Nuclear Materials Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry

Students primarily enroll into the Ph.D. program and are awarded a M.S. degree when they have completed the necessary requirements. The Ph.D. is granted in recognition of breadth and depth of knowledge of the facts and theories of modern chemistry and an ability to carry out independent chemical research. Chemistry Ph.D. students are competitive for top-level academic and industrial research positions, as well as many other career pathways.

Chemical and Materials Physics (ChaMP) is an interdisciplinary program between condensed matter physics and physical chemistry, which is designed to eliminate the barrier between these two disciplines. The goal of the concentration in is to provide students with a broad interdisciplinary education in the applied physical sciences that emphasizes modern laboratory and computational skills.

What Sets Us Apart?

The UCI Department of Chemistry is ranked 15th nationwide by Academic Analytics, which is based on the overall quality of the research program and faculty productivity. Our rich department history includes Nobel Laureate F. Sherwood Rowland, and amongst our current faculty are three National Academy of Science members, eight Beckman Young Investigator awardees, twenty-three Sloan Foundation Fellows, thirteen Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars, and eighteen NSF CAREER awardees.

UCI Chemistry Faculty members receive about $10M in new extramural research funding each year, with total funding on the order of $20M at any given time. The UCI Department of Chemistry is also home to one of nine NSF Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) programs: Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL). Steady resources have enabled the Chemistry Department to maintain and expand state-of-the-art instrumentation user facilities, including a laser spectroscopy facility, a mass spectroscopy facility, an X-ray crystallography facility, an NMR facility, a molecular modeling facility, and a nuclear reactor, all of which are staffed by Ph.D. specialists. These facilities are accessible to graduate researchers, some on a 24/7 open access basis.  

Home to more than 250 chemistry graduate students, the UCI Department of Chemistry offers a rich and dynamic research environment with an abundance of opportunity for collaboration. Students enjoy the benefits that a large, vibrant research community brings, while still receiving plenty of specialized and individual attention.  Faculty mentors and area advisors meet with students regularly to discuss research, plan coursework, and make sure students are making progress towards their degrees. In the past five years, over thirty chemistry graduate students at UCI have been awarded the prestigious NSF GRFP, another indicator of the quality of student research and individual faculty mentoring.

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Visit the online course catalog for more specific degree requirements

Ph.D. Requirements

Credit Hours A minimum total 30 semester hours with at least 15 semester hours in chemistry courses. An overall GPA of 3.0 must be maintained.

Courses Students must pass at least 6 graduate lecture courses from at least 3 of 6 divisions with a minimum grade of 'C' in any one course during the first 4 semesters (excluding summers). Up to 2 courses may be waived for students entering with a M.S. degree in chemistry (or a closely related field with consent of the Chemistry Director of Graduate Studies).

Mentor The research mentor should be selected during the first semester. Students are required to interview a minimum of 5 chemistry faculty, including members of at least 2 divisions.

Committee The student will select his/her Dissertation Committee in consultation with the research mentor during the first 4 semesters of study. The committee consists of the mentor, a chemistry faculty in the same division, a chemistry faculty in a different division, an additional chemistry faculty, and a faculty member from a different department.

Cumulative Exams Students must complete a series of written cumulative examinations designed to show in-depth knowledge in the chosen area of concentration. Cumulative exams begin in the second semester and are given the third Saturday of January, March, May, September, and November.

Literature Seminar Students must enroll in seminar (Chem 695) each of their first 4 semesters (excluding summers) and attend departmental seminars. Students must make a presentation based on a topic under active discussion in the recent literature during their second or third semester. The remaining seminar attendance requirement may be waived after all other Master's candidacy requirements have been achieved.

Research Proposal Students must develop, explain, and defend a research proposal prior to the beginning of the 7th semester (excluding summers). The proposal may include preliminary results from the student's research and describe possible future directions.

Publications It is expected that prior to the Research Seminar, at least one manuscript based on the student's research would have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Before completion of the Ph.D. program, at least one published article and at least one additional manuscript submitted to peer-reviewed journals is expected.

Research Seminar A one-hour seminar on the student's dissertation research project is to be given before the end of the 8th semester (excluding summers). This seminar must be completed at least 9 months prior to graduation. The MS degree will be awarded upon successful completion of the research seminar.

Dissertation A written dissertation describing the research program is submitted a minimum of 14 days before the defense. The defense consists of a one-hour seminar followed by an oral examination with the Faculty Reading committee.

Ph.D. Milestones

First Year Coursework Attend Seminars Select a Mentor Begin Research Begin Cumulative Exams (2nd semester) Literature Seminar (early)

Second Year Continue/Finish Coursework Continue/Finish Cumulative Exams Literature Seminar (deadline 3rd semester) Attend Seminars Research Organize Dissertation Committee

Third Year Research Finish Cumulative Exams Research Proposal

Fourth Year Research Research Seminar* *M.S. degree awarded

Fifth Year Finish Research Write and defend Dissertation* *Ph.D. awarded

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Survey of Ph.D. Programs in Chemistry

By Joel Shulman

How does your chemistry Ph.D. program compare to others in terms of department size and student demographics? Requirements for the degree? Graduate student progression and support? Developing skills that go beyond knowledge of chemistry? Answers to these questions and many others can be gleaned from the Survey of Ph.D. Programs in Chemistry recently reported by the ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) . Highlights of the survey are given here.

View the full report

The primary objective of the CPT is to facilitate the maintenance and improvement of the quality of chemical education at the postsecondary level. Not only does the Committee develop and administer the guidelines that define high-quality undergraduate education, but it also produces resources such as the ACS Directory of Graduate Education and publishes data on undergraduate and graduate education. Approximately every ten years, CPT fields a survey of Ph.D. programs. The latest survey solicited data from all 196 Ph.D. programs in chemistry and received usable information (base year, 2007) from 139 of these programs.

Figure 1. Size Distribution of Ph.D. Programs

phd in chemistry online

Program size and demographics of students

The 139 reporting Ph.D. programs are divided for purposes of comparison into three groups of approximately equal size according to the total number of graduate students in the program: 44 small (defined as 0 to 40 total graduate students), 46 medium (41 to 105 graduate students), and 49 large programs (106+ graduate students). The number of students in Ph.D. programs ranges from 0 to 394 (see Figure 1) with a total of 13,280 students. Eighteen departments have more than 200 students, accounting for more than one-third (4,460) of the total graduate students in chemistry. The 30 largest programs account for almost 50% of graduate students. The average program size is 96 students (and 23 faculty), while the median program size is 67 students.

Of the doctoral students in responding programs, 27.4% are women, 5.2% are underrepresented minorities, and 42.3% are international students (Table 1). Small programs tend to have a higher percentage of underrepresented minority students (averaging 7.8%), while large programs have a higher percentage of women (28.5%) and a lower percentage of international students (37.3%).

Table 1. Demographics of Graduate Students by Program Size

 All Schools Small Programs
(0-40 students)
Medium Programs
(41-105 students)
Large Programs
(106+ students)
Avg. # of faculty23152033
Avg. # of students962570183
% International42.3%53.0%52.6%37.3%
% African American2.4%3.2%2.5%2.3%
% Hispanic2.5%4.2%1.8%2.5%
% Native American0.3%0.4%0.3%0.3%
% Women27.4%21.6%26.1%28.5%

Requirements for degree (Table 2)

Of course, a doctoral dissertation is required by all Ph.D. programs. Most (71%) graduate programs require entering graduate students to take placement exams, although this requirement tends to be less prevalent as program size increases. The average program requires a minimum of 20 credits (semester hours, corrected for programs on the quarter system) of coursework, a number that does not vary significantly by program size. In addition to course work and dissertation, 96% of programs require at least one of the following: cumulative examinations (58%), an oral preliminary exam (54%), a comprehensive oral exam (50%), and/or a comprehensive written exam (31%). All four of these exams are required by 7% of programs; 17% of programs require three; 43% of programs require two; and 28% require only one. Large programs require cumulative exams less often and oral exams more often than small or medium programs. Only four programs (3%) require students to pass a language exam for the Ph.D.

Table 2. Requirement in Ph.D. Program

 All ProgramsSmall Programs (0-40 students)Medium Programs (41-105 students)Large Programs (106+ students)
Entering graduate students take placement exams71%79%70%65%
Minimum number of credits of formal course work20 cr22 cr20 cr19 cr
Require cumulative examination58%58%73%45%
Require an oral preliminary examination54%37%53%69%
Require a comprehensive written examination50%44%47%59%
Require a comprehensive written examination31%37%27%31%
Require a foreign language examination3%2%4%2%
Require creation and defense of original proposal74%72%70%80%

Graduate Student Progression and Support (Table 3)

The mean time to the Ph.D. is 5.1 years, a number that varies neither by program size nor by public vs. private institution (data not shown). Most programs place a limit on the amount of time allowed to achieve a Ph.D. (average of 7.8 years) as well as on the number of years of departmental support allowed a student (average of 5.9 years). More than 80% of students choose a research advisor within six months of entering graduate school. A significant number of programs either require or permit laboratory rotations before a final advisor is selected.

Monetary support for Ph.D. students comes from teaching assistantships more often than from research assistantships at small and medium programs, while the reverse is true in large programs. There is wide variation in TA stipends, depending on both program size and geographic location. Most programs have a range of stipends, which on average run from $18,000 to about $20,000 per year. Teaching assistants at larger programs are more likely to teach discussion (recitation) sections than those in small or medium programs.

Table 3. Student Progression and Support in Ph.D. Programs

 All ProgramsSmall Programs (0-40 students)Medium Programs (41-105 students)Large Programs (106+ students)
Mean time to Ph.D. degree5.1 years5.0 years5.2 years5.1 years
Limit time allowed to achieve Ph.D. (if so, how long?)73% (7.8 years)78% (7.8 years)69% (8.1 years)73% (7.4 years)
Limit number of years of support? (If so, how long?)60% (5.9 years)70% (5.5 years)56%(6.1 years)55% (6.2 years)
What percentage of students select a research advisor within:

Two months?
Six months?
Twelve months?




Lab rotations are either allowed or required before selecting a final research advisor46%43%40%53%
Percentage of students supported by:
Teaching assistantships
Research assistantships




TA stipend
Ave low
Ave high




Percentage of TAs teaching discussion sections45%32%41%60%

Developing Student Skills

In addition to chemistry knowledge and laboratory skills, it is important that all Ph.D. chemists develop skills in areas such as critical thinking, oral and written communication, and teamwork. Toward this end, 74% of all programs require students to create and defend an original research proposal (Table 2). All but six programs require students to make presentations (exclusive of the thesis defense) to audiences other than their research group; the average number of required presentations is 2.4, with little variation by program size. When asked whether any graduate students receive student-skills training outside of formal course work, 67% responded that at least some students receive specific training in communications; 59% in ethics/scientific integrity; 43% in grant writing; 37% in mentoring; 37% in intellectual property/patents; and 18% in business/economics. Students in large programs are more likely to receive some training in these skill areas than are students in other programs.

The data from this CPT survey provide a snapshot of graduate student demographics, requirements for the degree, and progression and support in chemistry Ph.D. programs. Survey results highlight similarities and differences among small, medium, and large programs across the country.

Dr. Joel I. Shulman retired as The Procter & Gamble Company's Manager of Doctoral Recruiting and University Relations in 2001 and is now an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. He serves the ACS as a consultant for the Office of Graduate Education and the Department of Career Management and Development and as a member of the Committee on Professional Training.

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  • PhD Program of Study

The PhD program requirements consist of a minimum of six credit units of lecture courses  of which are usually completed in the first academic year. In addition to the six required courses, students must also take the Chemical Information Course worth 0.5 credits. Frequently, students having interdisciplinary interests will take some courses in other departments in their second semester. Twenty units of combined course and research credit are required for the Ph.D. degree, after which students enter "dissertation" status until they graduate. Graduate Chemistry Courses are listed here : 400 level and above.

The supervisor selection process occurs during the first semester of study. The process is three stages: faculty interviews, faculty seminars, and rank-ordered choices.

Faculty Interviews

First year students must conduct a series of meetings with at least 6 faculty members as potential supervisors.  Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the professors’ research and the work of their groups.  Every student must conduct these “interviews” with faculty and turn in a form  to the Graduate Office.

Faculty Seminars

A weekly seminar series featuring current faculty members interested in recruiting students for their groups.  These are generally held every Wednesday evening from mid‐September through mid-November (5-6:30pm).  Attendance at these seminars is required and recorded for all first-year students, regardless of division interest.

Rank-Ordered Choices

Towards the end of the fall semester, all first‐year students must submit a rank-ordered list of top choices for research group assignments. Students are then matched with supervisors.

We require students to serve as Teaching Assistants for at least two semesters, usually during the first year. Teaching Assistants are responsible for supervising laboratory sections or conducting recitation classes under the guidance of a faculty member. New Teaching Assistants in Chemistry are prepared for their teaching responsibility through a special training program held for one week before the start of the fall semester.

A regular program of seminars, in which distinguished scientists visit the Chemistry Department, is an essential part of the curriculum. At Penn, there are weekly departmental research seminars in biological, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are strongly encouraged to participate. Additional interdisciplinary seminar series (Biochemistry/ Biophysics Minisymposium; Interface of Chemistry and Biology) and special sponsored lectures (Aldrich, Axalta Coatings, Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Edgar Fahs Smith, ACS Philadelphia Section Award, Philadelphia Organic Chemists' Club, etc.) also offer opportunities to hear from premier scientists.

A major portion of the work towards a Ph.D. degree is a research project leading to the thesis. This usually involves several years of research under the supervision of a particular faculty member. Increasingly, chemistry-based students are becoming involved in interdisciplinary areas of research involving collaborations with faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows from other departments or institutions.

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Chemistry: Chemistry Education (Ph.D.)

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Why pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry education at UNH?

Our purpose is to prepare professionals who will change the field of teaching and learning in chemistry.This requires developing a deep knowledge of chemistry, fluency with the literature and methods of education,and skill with research tools from the cognitive and social sciences. You will be prepared for careers involving college-level chemistry teaching, STEM curriculum design, student assessment and STEM professional development. You will conduct original research leading to submission of a dissertation, and develop strong written and oral communication skills necessary for advanced work in education, research and academia.

Program highlights

UNH has one of the early national Ph.D. programs in chemistry education. You will engage with the program like all other chemistry graduate students—taking a small set of core advanced chemistry courses and participating in master’s-level chemistry research. Some students may enter the program with a master’s degree, courses, and research experience already in hand. Within the first year, you will begin to participate in chemistry education group meetings and to plan your pathway for study of human cognition, qualitative research methods, and quantitative statistical methods. Your research could involve interviews to understand how a few students conceive of molecules or solve chemistry problems. Or you might design and test a new learning approach within a chemistry course of hundreds. There is a variety of interesting research questions in this relatively new field of study. Financial support is typically available through teaching assistantships.

Potential career areas

  • Chemistry professor
  • College laboratory coordinator
  • Curriculum designer
  • Educational program assessment coordinator
  • Teaching and learning center professional development provider

Chris Bauer

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Contact Information

Curriculum & Requirements

Program description.

The Ph.D. Option in Chemistry Education  is designed for students who plan a career at the interface of Science and Education (e.g. discipline-based education research, educational program assessment, STEM curricular design, chemistry teaching, etc.). The rigorous program involves coursework in Chemistry, Psychology and Education and original research in Chemistry Education, leading to the submission of a dissertation. Students with a research-based MS (or equivalent) will be admitted directly to the program. Students with a BS (or equivalent) will first obtain an MS degree, carrying out original laboratory-based research with a faculty mentor, and submitting a thesis. The program has a focus on developing strong writing and oral communication skills. Financial support is typically available through a teaching assistantship.

Requirements for the Program

Ph.d. option in chemistry education.

  • Demonstration of a broad understanding of undergraduate chemistry by passing a series of basic examinations or satisfactory performance in approved courses.
  • Demonstration of chemistry laboratory research proficiency by completing a thesis-based M.S. (or equivalent) either at UNH or another university.
  • Satisfactory performance in a series of courses in science education, cognition, and qualitative/quantitative research methods.
  • Attendance at Department seminars.
  • Attendance at Graduate Research Update (GRU) sessions and presentation once annually from year 2 onward.
  • Satisfactory presentation of a Thesis Research Proposal (TRP) in the second year of residence,
  • Preparation and oral defense of an Original Research Proposal (ORP) in the third year of residence. Successful completion of the Original Research Proposal (ORP) enables the student to advance to candidacy.
  • One oral presentation at a regional or technical conference, and one oral or poster presentation at the UNH Graduate Research Symposium.
  • Preparation, public presentation, and oral defense of a written dissertation.
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher required to graduate.
  • Please contact the department for additional information on this option.

Faculty Research Advisor and Dissertation Committee

Students select a research advisor during the first semester in the program after interviewing at least three faculty members. During each semester thereafter, students conduct independent research under the supervision of the Faculty Research Advisor. In the second year of residence and before the Thesis Research Proposal, a dissertation committee is selected. This committee evaluates the student's Thesis Research Proposal and the Original Research Proposal. Once the Original Research Proposal has been passed and the student advances to candidacy, a fifth committee member is selected and added to the Dissertation Committee to evaluate the Dissertation Defense.

Course List
Code Title Credits
Required department courses
CHEM 800Introduction to Chemistry Teaching and Research Practices1
CHEM 801Modern Tools for Researchers in the Chemical Sciences1
CHEM 802Critical Thinking for Chemists1
CHEM 803Creative Thinking for Chemists1
Chemistry Courses
CHEM 995Colloquium (CHEM 995F Colloquium: Chemistry Education)1-4
CHEM 997Seminar1
CHEM 999Doctoral Research0
3 Chemistry CORE courses in a sub-discipline recommended by research advisor or MS degree
Quantitative Statistics
PSYC 705Tests and Measurement4
PSYC 805Research Methodology and Statistics I4
PSYC 806Research Methodology and Statistics II4
PSYC 907Research Methods and Statistics III4
EDUC 978Applied Regression Analysis in Educational Research4
EDUC 979Applied Multilevel Modeling4
EDUC 981Quantitative Inquiry: Methods and Techniques of Educational Research4
MATH 835Statistical Methods for Research3
MATH 836Advanced Statistical Modeling3
MATH 839Applied Regression Analysis3
Qualitative Methods
EDUC 904Qualitative Inquiry in Research4
EDUC 982Qualitative Fieldwork & Data Analysis4
SOC #904Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods4
PSYC #783Cognitive Development4
PSYC 710Visual Perception4
PSYC #712Psychology of Language4
PSYC #716Cognitive Neuroscience4
PSYC 731Brain and Behavior4
PSYC 914Advanced Seminar in Cognition4

Student Learning Outcomes

All Chemistry graduate students will be able to:

Display a comprehensive knowledge of chemistry, with greater depth demonstrated in at least one subdiscipline.

  • Chemistry students in the Ph.D. and the M.S. program should have a basic knowledge of the field, with that knowledge being at least the level of the material taught in first-year chemistry and the initial courses in undergraduate sub-disciplinary classes (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical chemistry, and biochemistry).

Ph.D. students should demonstrate focused and deep expertise in their area of scholarly exploration, including an understanding of the current status of the topic. M.S. students should also demonstrate clear focus in scholarly pursuits.

  • In the area of specialization, a Ph.D. student’s knowledge of the field should, at a minimum, be comparable to special topics classes at the graduate level.
  • Students should demonstrate capabilities of searching the literature to become familiar with the current state of the field.

Apply critical thinking skills in the evaluation of scientific work, by analyzing, organizing, and evaluating scientific data and knowledge.

  • Careful attention to and critical evaluation of material encountered in the literature, in seminars, and research activity is evidence of scientific maturation.

Generate hypotheses, design strategies, perform studies, and interpret results that lead to new knowledge in the field, including the

  • Application of central methods and techniques, including laboratory skills, statistical and computational methods, data gathering, and record-keeping to deliver detailed information and reproducible results.
  • Demonstration of an understanding of the scientific method through the Original Research Proposal and through laboratory research (dissertation).
  • Conduct of consequential scientific inquiry that advances a scientific field as required for a dissertation and peer-reviewed publications.

Communicate scientific information with effectiveness to both experts and novices in oral and written form, including methods, results, and conclusions.

  • Demonstration of the ability to engage in communication appropriate for the audience.
  • Present scientific material with clarity, accuracy, and precision.

Perform research in a professional, ethical, and safe manner.

  • Students must participate in and apply knowledge from required training in laboratory safety and the responsible conduct of research; additional specialized training in these areas is encouraged.
  • Students should develop skills in applicable professional areas, such as pedagogy, teamwork and team building, and leadership, through mentoring, instructional activity, and workshops.
  • Safety and ethical behavior should be demonstrated in all activities, including both instructional and research activity.

Application Requirements & Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall : Feb. 15 (for funding); April 1 (final)
  • Spring : Dec. 1
  • Summer : N/A
  • Special : N/A

Application fee : $65

Campus : Durham

New England Regional : No

Accelerated Masters Eligible : No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form . This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted , you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts : Please have your institution send the transcript directly to [email protected] . Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts : Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement

Prepare a brief but carefully crafted statement that includes: 1) Research experience. State the goals of your previous research and accomplishments to date. Including a list of publications, presentations, and awards within the Experience and Background section of the application is encouraged; however, please do not send actual publications or presentations. 2) Clear reasons why you wish to perform graduate work in chemistry education research. Include your immediate and long-range objectives. 3) Those UNH Chemistry faculty whose research interests you and why. If you do no yet hold a research-based M.S. degree, be sure to include those faculty whose laboratory-based research interests you. 4) Additional information that will enhance the selection committee’s understanding of your personal background and life experiences, including educational (e.g. teaching and leadership experience), cultural, familial, or other opportunities or challenges.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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Ph.D. in Chemistry

  • Academic Programs

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About this Program

On this page…, program information, program type.

Doctorate Program

Area of Study

Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology

College of Liberal Arts

Program Location

Required credit hours, program details.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review begins December 1 and deadline on April 1

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry welcomes student applications with the following materials. Additional details are found on the department website .

  • Complete the Graduate School’s Online Application.
  • Pay the   application fee   ($50). 
  • Submit   official transcripts .
  • International applicants whose first language is not English may be required to submit scores from an acceptable English language proficiency test .
  • Upload   Supplemental Application   materials for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to the link provided on the application.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation:   provide contact information for three recommenders.

To be admitted to a graduate degree program in full standing, a student must have completed a B.S. degree in chemistry with an average grade of B. Exceptionally qualified students who have not completed a B.S. degree in chemistry but have a degree in a related field (such as biology, engineering, physics, pharmacology, or pharmacy) may be admitted. However they should expect to present a clear case in their personal statement for admission. Additionally, they should expect to be provisionally admitted until specified conditions are satisfied such as prerequisite coursework or other expectations.

Students in the Ph.D. in Chemistry complete 54 credit hours.

  • 18 credit hours of formal nonremedial lecture courses
  • Chem 700: Intro to Graduate Research
  • 1 hour Chem 750: Area Seminar
  • 1 hour Chem 759: Doctoral Seminar
  • 18 hours of Chem 797: Dissertation

A minimum grade of B is required in each course in the student’s area of specialization.

Students must take one core course from each of four of the five specialty areas with a cumulative average of not less than a B.   

Analytical Chemistry

  • Chem 512 Adv Instrumental Analysis
  • Chem 514 Fundamentals of Electrochemistry
  • Chem 519 Chemical Separations


  • Chem 534 Physical Biochemistry
  • Chem 771 Biochemistry I

Inorganic Chemistry

  • Chem 544 Chemical Applications of Group Theory
  • Chem 701 Adv Inorganic Chemistry I
  • Chem 702 Adv Inorganic Chemistry II

Organic Chemistry

  • Chem 527 Adv Organic Chem, Structure Mechanism
  • Chem 528 Adv Organic Chem, Structure Synthesis

Physical Chemistry

  • Chem 531 Adv Physical Chem, Quantum Chem
  • Chem 532 Chemical Thermodynamics
  • Chem 536 Adv Physical Chem, Reaction Dynamics

Other requirements of the Ph.D. program include the following.

Seminar Presentations : Students give three seminar presentations:

  • an initial oral presentation of either research or literature;
  • an oral or poster presentation describing their own research; and
  • a final seminar based on their dissertation.

Cumulative Examinations: Students must pass a minimum of four cumulative examinations.  

Research Proposal/Dissertation Prospectus:  An original research proposal of 10-15 pages is prepared in a professional format on the subject of the student’s dissertation research. The proposal is defended in an oral examination administered by the student’s advisory committee.  

Dissertation. A formal written account of the student's research is defended by the student in a final oral examination.  

Teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified applicants. They are $25,000 per year minimum for 12 months. 

Students with a graduate assistantship funded in the department receive a scholarship that covers some or all of the tuition and non-residency fee, if applicable, for regular semesters and subsidized health insurance .

The Graduate School’s financial aid webpage lists a variety of funding possibilities, including summer support and a recruiting fellowship program that promotes academic excellence and access to graduate education to groups who are historically underrepresented.  

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is housed in Coulter Hall, which includes teaching and research laboratories and a machine shop including glass blowing equipment for use by researchers in the department. See the  major research equipment located in the department.

The   Science Library , housed in the Thad Cochran Research Center adjacent to Coulter Hall, contains more than 20,000 chemistry books and journals and subscribes to more than 140 chemistry research journals. The facilities are available 24 hours a day to our faculty and students. The department also benefits from the presence of several other on-campus research programs and facilities, including the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research, the National Center for Physical Acoustics, the National Center for Natural Products Research, and the School of Engineering.

Nano-Bio ImmunoEngineering Consortium (NIEC)   has established two state-of-the-art research suites at the university. The research core facilities are intended to 1) give researchers access to high-dollar instrumentation that is beyond the scope of support of individual labs, 2) provide the necessary infrastructure to perform cutting-edge research projects at UM, and 3) enable researchers to develop their biomaterials from initial physicochemical characterization all the way through to preclinical efficacy testing. The two core suites (i.e., Biomaterials Characterization and Biomolecular Analysis) are   outfitted with major instrumentation .   Faculty and students have free access to the facilities of the   Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research   which includes several supercomputing platforms.

We’re Here to Help!

If you have any questions about the Ph.D. in Chemistry, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Direct program.

The Diversifying Interdisciplinary Research Expertise through Community Building and Training (DIRECT) Program is a National Institutes of Health funded program offering financial, technical, operational, and professional resources for Ph.D. students interested in careers in the biomedical field. DIRECT trainees receive annual stipends, fully paid tuition, health insurance, conference travel support, and childcare cost reimbursement. The program emphasizes cohort building, mentoring, networking, and skill development.

Apply for DIRECT

  • Learn more about DIRECT

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We have a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help make college more affordable for you and your family.

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phd in chemistry online

Chemistry (Online), M.S.

Department Is Consistently in Top 5% of Master's Degree-Granting Institutions in the Country

Classes Are Completely Online — No On-Campus Requirement

Our alumni work in:

Work with scientists developing new drugs and treatments for disease.

Test for pollutants in water, the atmosphere and in food.

Develop new chemicals for construction, aerospace industry and cosmetics.

Work in drug companies, the cosmetic industry and the food industry.

Teach science in high schools, community colleges and universities.

program completion feature

Demonstrate knowledge of concepts in chemistry (organic, general, physical, and biochemistry)

Apply knowledge in chemistry to real-world problems

Engage in rigorous scientific inquiry and communicate ideas in writing

Advance Your Career Goals

Our program deepens your knowledge of chemistry with extensive coursework, while also providing tracks in business, education, or clinical research to advance career goals.

Obtaining a graduate degree in chemistry while working full-time can seem like an insurmountable challenge.

UNCW's fully online program is designed for someone with an undergraduate science degree who is working full-time.


Our program requires only online coursework, and there is no on-campus requirement to complete the program.

Pursuing an online master’s degree has distinct advantages over the traditional path for working students. This includes:

  • You have more time flexibility. You will be able to remain employed full-time while earning a graduate degree. Since there is no designated class time, you can go over the course material at any time of the day.
  • You can set your own pace based on your experience and background. If you are familiar with a certain topic, you can quickly move through that section of the course. Conversely, you can spend more time on a topic if it is unfamiliar or difficult.
  • You can take the course anywhere with internet access: at work, home or while traveling. If you relocate, you can still finish the degree from the new location.

phd in chemistry online

Sample Courses in Chemistry

Table lists sample courses for this program
CHM 516 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 credits)
CHM 521 Advanced Physical Chemistry (3 credits)
CHM 536 Advanced Analytical Chemistry (3 credits)
CHM 546 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (3 credits)
CHM 568 Advanced Biochemistry (3 credits)
CHM 597 Comprehensive Literature Review (3 credits) - REQUIRED

How Do I Apply to the Chemistry (Online), M.S. Program?

Applicants seeking admission to the online graduate program in chemistry are required to submit the following:

  • An official application for graduate admission
  • Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Three professional references

A major factor in admissions decisions is how a person did as an undergraduate. We look for a GPA of at least 3.0 and a strong chemistry background.

Work experience and recommendations are also considered.

Although an undergraduate degree in chemistry is desirable, some of our traditional graduate students have undergraduate degrees in other disciplines (often biology) but have taken several chemistry courses as undergraduates.

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Information: m.s. chemistry - online.

  • Complete applications are reviewed for admission by the program as they are received.
  • All application and supporting documents must be received by the published deadline.


Location/Delivery Method

  • Distance Education - Fully Online - asynchronous (instructional materials made available on the Internet and available 24 hours a day every day-not time-dependent slots).


  • Chemical - Non-thesis (distance education)

Deadlines (11:59 p.m. EST)

  • November 15, 2023
  • July 1, 2024


  • One official transcript is required from each U.S. post-secondary institution attended. Refer to the Getting Started page for international transcript instructions.

Test Scores

  • GRE General Test
  • WAIVED - Test scores are waived for this program during 2024 due to the pandemic. No additional action required. Test scores will be waived during application processing.


  • 3 recommendations by individuals in professionally relevant fields

Additional Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree: A bachelor’s degree with a concentration in chemistry from a regionally accredited college or university in this country, or its equivalent in a foreign institution, is required for admission, along with a “B” average or better in chemistry courses. 

Learn more about the Department

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Outsmarting Implicit Bias

Designed for individuals and teams, this Harvard Online course taught by preeminent Harvard Professor Mahzarin Banaji teaches the science of implicit bias and strategies to counter the impact of bias in the workplace.

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Approach new digital and data strategies with an eye toward people, mindsets, and systems.

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Keep up on moral, ethical, and legal arguments and continue your education beyond the classroom.

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Learners who have enrolled in at least one qualifying Harvard Online program hosted on the HBS Online platform are eligible to receive a 30% discount on this course, regardless of completion or certificate status in the first purchased program. Past-Participant Discounts are automatically applied to the Program Fee upon time of payment.  Learn more here .

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On Data Privacy and Technology

"The course was informative on both current and future data privacy and technological innovation trends—the need for data privacy without inhibiting innovation. The team and instructors prompt critical thinking while broadening the understanding of data privacy beyond the frontiers. At the end of the course, I concluded that there was a need for a mass cultural shift towards ethical use of technology."

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  • School of Arts, Sciences, Business, and Education
  • Chemistry, M.S.

Chemistry, M.S. (Online)

Work toward your graduate degree in chemistry.

Enhance your skills in the chemical sciences and prepare for professional advancement with USJ’s online graduate program in chemistry.

Designed for working professionals, the graduate program in Chemistry offers flexible track options and online courses. A Master of Science degree in Chemistry enables graduate students to increase the depth and scope of their knowledge by working and studying alongside practicing chemists from both academia and industry.

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Program Facts


Chemistry, M.S. (Online) Gap Year Option

Chemistry, m.s. (online) gap year option  , complete your m.s. in chemistry in one year.

Motivated students who are accepted into this full-time, accelerated program can complete their program in 3 semesters. Perfect for students looking for a gap year option before graduate or professional school.  

Program Facts:


Program Outcomes

The student will:  

  • Recognize the interconnections between different areas of Chemistry  
  • Relate advanced areas of Chemistry to each other.  
  • Recognize periodic trends and use them to predict and explain structure and reactivity.  
  • Interpret the relationship between the physical properties of reactants and products to their reactivity.  
  • Analyze chemical reactions in Organic, Inorganic, and Biochemistry.  
  • Apply advanced chemical principles to one or more of the following: Forensic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, or Cancer Biochemistry  
  • Formulate chemical mechanisms for organic reactions.  
  • Evaluate the research literature in Chemistry and Biochemistry.  
  • Use advanced chemical concepts to solve novel problems.  

USJ’s online, accelerated graduate Chemistry program is designed for students planning to attend graduate, medical, or professional school who need a one-year, full-time program. A prescribed set of courses with choice of electives allows students to complete the program in three semesters.  

Contact: Sarah Kathryn Zingales, Ph.D. Director, Graduate Programs, Department of Chemistry Associate Professor, Chemistry Phone: 860.231.5727 Email: [email protected]  

Courses and Student Workload

Workload Considerations

The online Master of Science in Chemistry degree program at the University of Saint Joseph caters to working professionals. Because of this, the expected course load each semester is one to two courses. If you wish to enroll in more than one or two courses in a given semester, please contact the Graduate Program Director, Dr. Sarah Zingales at [email protected] to discuss workload considerations.


The student will:

  • Recognize the interconnections between different areas of Chemistry
  • Relate advanced areas of Chemistry to each other.
  • Recognize periodic trends and use them to predict and explain structure and reactivity.
  • Interpret the relationship between the physical properties of reactants and products to their reactivity.
  • Analyze chemical reactions in Organic, Inorganic, and Biochemistry.
  • Apply advanced chemical principles to one or more of the following: Forensic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, or Cancer Biochemistry
  • Formulate chemical mechanisms for organic reactions.
  • Evaluate the research literature in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
  • Use advanced chemical concepts to solve novel problems.

Career Opportunities:

  • Analytical Chemists  – Analyze substances, such as food and drugs, to identify the present components and determine the way in which they react with one another
  • Chemistry Teacher or Instructor  – Teach chemistry concepts and facilitate lab activities for students at high schools or community colleges
  • Forensic Scientists  – Search for and analyze forensic materials at crime scenes, later presenting the work as evidence for use in investigations and legal cases
  • Pharmacologists  – A lab-based position that requires individuals to develop and test drugs, analyzing their interactions with biological systems in order to provide safe and effective medications to the public
  • Toxicologists  – A lab-based position that involves the study of drug effects on biological systems, as well as the development of methodologies to determine both the harmful effects of substances and the correct dosages to avoid those effects

USJ’s online graduate Chemistry program is designed for working professionals. Students can earn this degree while meeting the responsibilities of their everyday lives. Flexible course options taught by expert and experienced faculty members ensure that students develop an in-depth knowledge of chemistry that effectively prepares them to pursue their ideal career.

A master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Saint Joseph will provide you with the educational foundation necessary to further your education in doctoral and professional programs or excel in the career or of your choice. Whether you’re interested in researching chemical properties and structures, developing new technologies, studying chemical compounds in pharmaceutical drugs, or improving existing manufacturing processes, there are unique opportunities for you in a variety of fields and industries.

Thank you! What a great service (Career Development Center) USJ provides! I am currently employed in my industry (chemistry). – Benjamin Pizio M’20, USJ Online Chemistry, M.S. student

Contact: Sarah Kathryn Zingales, Ph.D. Director, Graduate Programs, Department of Chemistry Associate Professor, Chemistry Phone: 860.231.5727 Email: [email protected]

Take the Next Step

Come and tour our beautiful campus, learn more about our programs and discover firsthand what makes our University so unique!

Seeing yourself at USJ starts with seeing our vibrant campus in 360°.

Are you ready for a challenging, transformative college experience?

BIU World Network

Doctor - Chemistry

Distance degree programs for adults & professionals., bircham international university - adult degree programs online., doctor ph.d. degree - life & earth sciences, chemistry via distance learning.

In this Doctor Ph.D. Degree, the concepts and principles of chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and inorganic chemistry are clearly and logically presented.

Academic Supervisor : Enrique Parra Crego More information about this academic supervisor at Bircham University Human Network. More info...

The Doctor Ph.D. Degree online via distance learning offers students the highest level of specialization a discipline can offer. More info...

* 45 to 72 academic credits above a Master's program. * Average Duration: 24 months. * Program Structure: 70% textbooks + 30% Thesis. * Admission is open for adults over 27 years of age. * Master's degree or international equivalent (5 years of study) is required for admission.

Fees include all: Program of study, textbooks, study guide, evaluation and assessment, diploma, and transcript. Cost per BIU earned postgraduate credit: 130 Euros (170 US$) Cost per transferred credit from previous education and/or professional experience if required: 20 Euros (25 US$)

45 ... 72 Academic credits Tuition Fee :Min. 5.850 Euros (7.650 US$) ... Max. 9.360 Euros (12.240 US$).

"No matter what technology supports the education process, learning occurs only as a result of the active processing by our biological brain." William Martin, BIUCEO.

Payment plans are available upon request up to 36 monthly installments. More info...

Faculty of Life & Earth Sciences via distance learning

Faculty of Life & Earth Sciences

  • Doctor Ph.D. Degree

45 ... 72 Academic credits required for this distance learning degree program.


+ 36 Academic credits - Chemistry Online + Other additional subjects + 18 Academic credits - Research methodology and final project or thesis.

+ 36 Academic credits: Chemistry Online

BIU Earned Credits Credits earned through the completion of academic work at Bircham International University (Reports, Projects and Thesis).

1 BIU Earned Credit = 1 USA Semester Credit (15 hours of learning) = 2 ECTS Credits (30 hours of study). Courses list (each subject accounts for 3 academic credits): You may study any subject as an independent online continuing education course. More info...

Postgraduate level continuing education course. Previous knowledge in this field of study is required.

601CHM - Chemistry 602CHM - Biochemistry 603CHM - Properties of Materials 604CHM - Oil & Gas Properties 605CHM - Thermodynamics 606CHM - Chemical Process Systems 607CHM - Chemical Process Dynamics & Control 608CHM - Polymer Science 609CHM - Inorganic Chemistry 610CHM - Pollution Chemistry 611CHM - Food Chemistry 612CHM - Analytical Chemistry More info...

Bibliography: Chemistry via distance learning The corresponding textbooks are included in the fees. Once the fee has been paid, the books may take between two to five weeks to reach your address. Bircham International University offices may inform you at any time of the status of your books. If the book is in English, the required report must be written in English unless you have requested to write it in other language and have gained Bircham International University authorization. More info... Click here to access the recommended bibliography.

+ Additional courses may be selected from other modules in the Faculty of Life & Earth Sciences from Bircham International University if required. This selection must be approved by the Distance Learning University Education Board. For example: Biochemistry .

Research work resources and network - Doctor - Chemistry:

AACC - American Association for Clinical Chemistry ABQ - Associação Brasileira de Química ACS - American Chemical Society APLA - Asociación Petroquímica y Química Latinoamericana ATC - Association Toxicologie Chimie ECTN - European Chemistry Thematic Network Association EUCHEMS - European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences FACS - Federation of Asian Chemical Societies FACSS - Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies FASCHEM - Federation of African Societies of Chemistry FC - Fédération de la Chimie FFC - Fédération Française pour les Sciences de la Chimie FLAQ - Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones Químicas IACT - International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics IAEAC - International Association of Environmental Analytical Chemistry ICCA - International Council of Chemical Associations IFCC - International Federation of Clinical Chemistry IOCD - International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development ISCE - International Society of Chemical Ecology ISPC - International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry IUPAC - International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry RELAQ - Red Latinoamericana de Quimica RITSQ - Red Iberoamericana de Toxicología y Seguridad Química RSC - Royal Society of Chemistry RSEQ - Real Sociedad Española de Química SBQ - Sociedade Brasileira de Química SCF - Société Chimique de France SETAC - Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry SIFYQA - Sociedad Iberoamericana de Física y Química Ambientales SPQ - Sociedade Portuguesa de Química More info...

Joining the proper association is the best way to become an updated professional. Bircham International University graduates may join many professional associations. Membership requirements for each association may vary depending on the degree program, specialization and graduate resume en each occasion. BIU can not guarantee membership in all instances. BIU does not intermediate in these procedures. Bircham International University provides a list of available memberships and professional references from each faculty where some BIU graduates may belong. Contact directly the ones you select. More info...

+ 18 Academic credits (Research methodology and final project or thesis. More info... ).

Admission requirements: Doctor - Chemistry

Bircham International University distance learning degree admission requirements differ depending upon the Faculty and the major of study. There is no discrimination with respect to race, color, sex, beliefs and/or religion. A minimum of 30% of the total number of credits required by any adult degree program syllabus has to be transferred from previous education and/or validated from professional experience in order to gain admission. A maximum of 20% of the total number of credits required by the distance learning degree program can be transferred from professional and life experience. More info...

Click to Download... Application for Admission

Learning outcomes: Doctor - Chemistry

The following learning outcomes are compatible with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) for lifelong learning and continuing education. The EQF directives facilitate acceptance of this course credits by many higher education institution. These learning outcomes are achieved after completion of this course with a passing grade. Better grades will demonstrate higher analysis, evaluation and critical thinking skills. More info...

EQF LEVEL 6. Advanced knowledge and critical understanding. Outcome resulting from course content assessment and its applicability to problem solving. The student's ability to combine the different parts of the text and to form a new coherent and harmonic final report will determine the critical understanding of the subject and an advanced knowledge of Chemistry. The student written report style, content, and structure play an important role in the assessment and applicability of the knowledge about Chemistry to different Life & Earth Sciences decision making scenarios and problem-solving. More info...

EQF LEVEL 7. Advanced knowledge and critical thinking. Outcome resulting from written critical thinking and its applicability to problem solving. The student will contrast and evaluate the learned material with his/her own knowledge and experience to express an opinion about Chemistry, to consider the practical application of the key concepts, and to argue the conclusions along the written report. Personal judgments and opinion should be based on sound criteria and must be clearly discussed. More info...

BIU adapts each Distance Learning Higher Education degree program to the needs of each student. More info...

Chemistry Online

Recognition - Distance degree programs - More info... Accreditation - Distance Learning University - More info... Degree Legalization - Graduate Services - More info... Acceptance of these Distance Learning Higher Education academic credits is always the prerogative of the receiving institution or employer. Recognition criteria differ depending on each educational institution, or company policy, or country legal framework.

The 10 Best Online Chemistry Certifications of 2023

Written by Higher Education Team

Updated: April 27, 2023

Find your online chemistry program in minutes!

Most schools have rolling admissions and financial help so you can start your degree in a few weeks!

Advanced knowledge of chemistry can open up a variety of unique and rewarding career opportunities. However, as chemistry is known to be a difficult subject, online chemistry courses can be a great way for students and professionals to refine their knowledge in the subject and supplement their studies. To help you find the best courses available, we researched and reviewed the 10 best chemistry online courses.

  • edX — Basic Analytical Chemistry by The University of Tokyo — Top Pick
  • edX —  Introduction to Solid State Chemistry by MIT — Best Full-Length University Course
  • Coursera — Chemistry by The University of Kentucky — Best for High School Students
  • Coursera —  Introduction to Physical Chemistry by The University of Manchester — Best for Physical Chemistry Students
  • Udemy — Basic Principles of Chemistry — Best for Exam Preparation
  • Udemy — General Chemistry Condensed — Best Subject Overview
  • Udemy —  Chemistry 101 – Part 1 Principles of Chemistry — Best Intro Course
  • FutureLearn — Teaching Primary Sciences: Chemistry — Best for Teachers
  • FutureLearn —  Exploring Everyday Chemistry — Best for Hobbyists
  • FutureLearn —  Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth — Best for University Preparation

Our Ranking Criteria

There are countless chemistry courses available online, many of which cover different subtopics within the field and cater to individuals of varying experience levels. To find the best courses for the widest range of students, we reviewed nearly 40 classes based on a selection of basic and advanced criteria, then narrowed our list down to the top 10 online chemistry courses.

Basic Ranking Criteria

To begin narrowing down our selection, we reviewed courses based on a few basic criteria, including time to complete, required prerequisites, schedule flexibility, and whether the course provides a certificate of completion or not. These factors impact who is able to take the course and post-completion success rates.

Time to complete. Shorter courses allow participants to advance their education more quickly and reap the benefits offered by the course. Most of the courses on this list can be completed in a matter of hours, days, or weeks.

Prerequisites required. Beginners benefit from programs that do not have any requirements, while more advanced students are better off taking a course designed for experienced students and professionals. Our list includes a mixture of courses to accommodate as many people as possible.

Flexible schedule. Many people interested in taking online chemistry courses are high school and university students or working professionals, making it important to find a course that offers flexibility. The majority of the courses on this list can be taken at your own pace.

Certificate of completion. A certificate of completion can help verify your knowledge and experience to potential employers. All of the courses on this list offer a certificate of completion, and many of them come from accredited universities.

Advanced Ranking Criteria

While the basic criteria listed above are important for all online courses, we also based our list on a selection of advanced criteria that ensure these courses prepare individuals for their future educational and professional endeavors.

  • The course features experienced instructors, including practicing chemists and university professors.
  • The course includes practical coursework and experiments to teach students important concepts.
  • The course provides an overview of basic chemistry concepts before moving on to more advanced topics.
  • The course offers flexible deadlines for coursework to accommodate students and working professionals with busy schedules.
  • The course offers unlimited access to course materials, assignments, and resources.
  • The course is offered through a reputable university.
  • The course is fully remote to provide students with maximum flexibility.

10 Best Online Chemistry Courses

Edx basic analytical chemistry by the university of tokyo.

Basic Analytical Chemistry by The University of Tokyo on edX

Intelligent Award: Top Pick

The University of Tokyo’s Basic Analytical Chemistry course on edX is our top pick for the best overall online chemistry course. The course is suitable for anyone interested in pursuing a degree in chemistry, and as analytical chemistry is a prominent subject in all fields of experimental sciences, it is a great option for any science student. The course is taught by expert instructors from the University of Tokyo, and for an additional $49, includes a verified certificate of completion. Unlike many of the other courses on our list, this course emphasizes teaching laboratory skills that students will need to obtain high-quality data from their studies.

  • Price: Free ($49 for certificate)
  • Time to complete: 6 weeks
  • Prerequisites required: Basic knowledge in organic, inorganic chemistry, and physics at a high school level
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? Due to its comprehensive, beginner-friendly curriculum, this course is ideal for any student interested in chemistry and those pursuing a degree in a related field of science.

Teaches laboratory skills Certificate of completion costs extra
Qualified instructors
Suitable for anyone interested in chemistry

edX Introduction to Solid State Chemistry by MIT

Introduction to Solid State Chemistry by MIT on edX

Intelligent Award: Best Full-Length University Course

MIT’s Introduction to Solid State Chemistry is designed for university students, high school students, and teachers. The online course includes the same curriculum and learning materials as the on-campus course, which has been taught for over 40 years and is one of MIT’s largest classes. As the only full-length university course on our list, this option is ideal for students and academics planning to pursue a degree and career in chemistry. With high school calculus as a prerequisite, this course is not suitable for beginners. By the end of the course, students will gain an understanding of chemical principles, crystal structure, material properties, and electronic structure. For an additional $99, course graduates can obtain an instructor-signed certificate with MIT’s logo.

  • Price: Free ($99 for certificate)
  • Time to complete: 15 weeks
  • Prerequisites required: High school calculus
  • Flexible schedule: No

Who should take this course? MIT’s online chemistry course is best suited for university students, academics, and individuals that want a fully online university experience.

Contains the same curriculum as the on-campus course Not suitable for beginners
Provided by a prestigious university Certificate of completion costs $99

Coursera Chemistry by The University of Kentucky

Chemistry by The University of Kentucky on Coursera

Intelligent Award: Best for High School Students

Chemistry by The University of Kentucky, available on Coursera, is perfect for high school students and students preparing for their transition to university as it is designed to cover subjects included in advanced high school chemistry courses. The course covers areas such as atomic structure, periodic trends, compounds, reactions and stoichiometry, bonding, and thermochemistry. Students learn mostly through doing practice problems, and to accommodate students with busy schedules, the course has flexible deadlines that can be reset to fit your schedule. The course is free, fully remote, can be taken on a self-paced basis, and takes approximately 22 hours to complete. After completing the course, students will have the foundational knowledge they need to move onto the University of Kentucky’s Advanced Chemistry course.

  • Price: Free
  • Time to complete: 22 hours
  • Prerequisites required: None

Who should take this course? This course is best suited for high school students in advanced chemistry courses and students interested in pursuing a college degree in chemistry.

Flexible deadlines Does not teach laboratory skills
Suitable for beginners
Fully remote

Coursera Introduction to Physical Chemistry by The University of Manchester

Introduction to Physical Chemistry by The University of Manchester on Coursera

Intelligent Award: Best for Physical Chemistry Students

Rather than taking a general approach to teaching chemistry, The University of Manchester’s Coursera class focuses on the specific subject of physical chemistry to aid first-year undergraduate students in their studies. The course covers thermodynamics, kinetics, and quantum mechanics through online lectures and virtual labs. The course is free, fully online, and includes a certificate of completion for an additional $49. The course does not carry university credit, but students can check with their institution as some accept course certificates for credits. By the end of the course, students will be prepared for their first-year physical chemistry exams.

  • Time to complete: 19 hours

Who should take this course? First-year undergraduate physical chemistry students will benefit most from the topics covered in this course.

Flexible deadlines Certificate costs an additional $49
Includes virtual labs

Udemy Basic Principles of Chemistry

Basic Principles of Chemistry by Udemy

Intelligent Award: Best for Exam Preparation

Dr. Mohammad Abualrub’s chemistry course on Udemy is designed to help high school and university students in general chemistry classes prepare for future exams by teaching them basic principles of chemistry. After paying for the course, which is frequently on sale, students have lifetime access to seven hours of on-demand video, seven articles, and seven downloadable study resources. There are no prerequisites, making it suitable for beginners, students, and hobbyists with an interest in chemistry. Throughout the course, students will be quizzed on the curriculum to enhance their understanding of important topics, and upon completion you will receive a certificate to verify your competency.

  • Price: $139.99
  • Time to complete: 7 hours

Who should take this course?

Excellent course for exam preparation Does not cover advanced topics
Quizzes help reinforce important lessons
Lifetime access to course materials

Udemy General Chemistry Condensed

General Chemistry Condensed by Udemy

Intelligent Award: Best Subject Overview

For students that need a quick refresher on fundamental principles of chemistry, General Chemistry Condensed on Udemy is a great option. The course takes all of the major topics in a general chemistry course and condenses them into easily digestible animated videos, which is an appealing deviation from the standard lectures used in other online courses. Students have lifetime access to 10 hours of on-demand video, and the course’s instructor, Michael Peterson, carries a PhD in bio-organic chemistry. While the course does not cover advanced university-level topics, the curriculum does effectively prepare students for major exams like the MCAT, DAT, or AP chemistry exam.

  • Price: $54.99
  • Time to complete: 10 hours
  • Prerequisites required: Basic understanding of high school math

Who should take this course? This online chemistry course is best suited for high school and university students looking for a way to refine their understanding of core chemistry fundamentals and prepare for important exams.

Condensed animated lectures Does not include labs
Lifetime access to course materials

Udemy Chemistry 101 – Part 1 Principles of Chemistry

Chemistry 101 - Part 1 Principles of Chemistry by Udemy

Intelligent Award: Best Intro Course

Instead of focusing on exam preparation or helping students transition to university, this online chemistry course offers an accessible introduction for anybody who wants to study chemistry, whether it’s just for fun or to advance their education. The course content is based on the International GCSE specification and teaches participants basic topics such as states of matter and chemical formulas. At $19.99, the course is affordable and includes lifetime access to two hours of video content and downloadable study resources.All students will receive a certificate of completion after completing the course and passing a final quiz.

  • Price: $19.99
  • Time to complete: 2 hours

Who should take this course? Those looking for an introductory course for educational or career purposes will benefit the most from this course’s curriculum. Students and professionals with a basic understanding of chemistry will benefit more from some of the more advanced courses on our list.

Only takes two hours to complete Does not cover advanced topics
Suitable for beginners
Lifetime access to course materials

FutureLearn Teaching Primary Sciences: Chemistry

Teaching Primary Sciences - Chemistry by FutureLearn

Intelligent Award: Best for Teachers

While most of the courses on our list are designed for students looking to supplement their education, FutureLearn’s Teaching Primary Sciences: Chemistry focuses on helping teachers develop their chemistry knowledge to improve their ability to effectively teach their students. The National STEM Learning Centre developed this course to support the teaching of STEM subjects. The course is accredited by the CPD Certification Service and participants will receive a certificate of achievement upon completion. In addition to gaining important subject knowledge, teachers will learn how to develop and apply useful activities and teaching strategies. Participants are given lifetime access to the course, including its videos, articles, and quizzes.

  • Time to complete: 3 weeks
  • Prerequisites required: Course is designed for teachers and teacher trainees

Who should take this course? Teachers and teacher trainees who want to improve their knowledge of chemistry and learn effective teaching techniques should take this course.

Lifetime access to course materials Not suitable for students
Covers effective teaching strategies

FutureLearn Exploring Everyday Chemistry

Exploring Everyday Chemistry by FutureLearn

Intelligent Award: Best for Hobbyists

Covering a range of chemistry-based topics relating to our everyday lives, FutureLearn’s Everyday Chemistry course is ideal for hobbyists with an interest in how chemistry impacts our lives. You’ll learn the chemistry behind perfume, sports products, medicine, and brewing from experts at the University of York. The course is available for free, but to receive a certificate of completion, you will have to pay for the $79 version of the course. Students will learn through at-home experiments such as extracting fragrances from plants and testing the activity of spices against microbes, making it a great choice for individuals that prefer hands-on learning.

  • Price: Free; Upgrade: $79; Unlimited: $279.99
  • Time to complete: 4 weeks

Who should take this course? This course is designed for students and hobbyists with a general interest in chemistry, as well as students preparing to transition to university.

Course includes at-home experiments Certificate costs extra
Discuss practical applications of chemistry

FutureLearn Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth

Atmospheric Chemistry Planets and Life Beyond Earth by FutureLearn

Intelligent Award: Best for University Preparation

Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth is part of the University of Leed’s Going to University Collection — a collection of online courses designed to prepare high school students for university by introducing them to first-year undergraduate subjects. Students will learn about planetary atmospheres across the solar system, explore the possibility of life on other planets, and discover how atmospheric chemistry is communicated in the media. The course offers three tiers: Free, Upgrade ($49), and Unlimited ($279.99). To receive a certificate of completion, you’ll have to pay for the Upgrade tier, However, the free tier still offers access to all course materials.

  • Price: Free; Upgrade: $49; Unlimited: $279.99
  • Time to complete: 2 weeks

Who should take this course? Students getting ready to pursue a degree in chemistry will benefit most from the preparatory nature of this course.

Prepares students for transition to university Limited start dates
Self-paced schedule Certificate costs an additional $79

Online Course Comparison Chart

— Top Pick Free ($49 for certificate) X No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best Full-Length University Course Free ($99 for certificate) X No prerequisites required

X Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best for High School Students Free ✓ No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best for Physical Chemistry Students Free ($49 for certificate) ✓ No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best for Exam Preparation $139.99 ✓ No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best Subject Overview $54.99 X No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best Intro Course $19.99 ✓ No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best for Teachers $64 X No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best for Hobbyists Free

Upgrade: $79

Unlimited: $279.99 for one year

✓ No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

— Best for University Preparation Free

Upgrade: $49

Unlimited: $279.99 for one year

✓ No prerequisites required

✓ Flexible Schedule

✓ Certificate of completion

Tips for Succeeding in a Coding Bootcamp

1. consider the cost.

Online chemistry courses are affordable, making them accessible for most people. Most of the courses on our list are either free or under $100. However, if you still aren’t able to afford the upfront cost of some of these courses, many platforms, like Coursera, offer financing options to help students enroll in the courses they need to advance their education or careers.

2. Get your tech squared away

For online chemistry courses, all you’ll need to get started is a desktop or laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. It’s important to ensure you also have access to a stable internet connection to prevent interruptions while attending online lectures or participating in virtual labs.

3. Use the right study resources

Supplementing your online coursework with independent study is a great way to reinforce your learning and ensure you gain a thorough understanding of the subject. Many courses, like those provided by Udemy, include free downloadable study resources for students to use as necessary.

There are also plenty of free chemistry study resources online, including Khan Academy’s chemistry library , Michigan State University’s virtual organic chemistry textbook , and Ohio State University’s general chemistry resources .

Career Outlook for Chemistry

Online chemistry courses alone won’t prepare you for a career in chemistry, but they can significantly help students pursuing chemistry degrees prepare for the exams they need to obtain their degrees. Graduates with chemistry degrees often pursue careers as chemists, chemical engineers, chemical technicians, clinical chemists, and countless other careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median pay for chemists and materials scientists as $80,680 per year. Below are some additional jobs related to chemistry:

Medical technologist

Medical technologists, also known as clinical laboratory scientists, perform tests on biological specimens to help diagnose, treat, or prevent disease. For instance, these individuals test blood for its sugar levels or urine for how much protein is present to identify or eliminate diabetes or kidney disorders in a patient. After tests are complete, medical providers use the resulting information to treat their patients better. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual salary of $74,793 for medical technologists.

Forensic scientist

Forensic scientists examine crime scene evidence and report their findings to law enforcement to aid in the justice process. These scientists must be analytical, detail-oriented, and comfortable testifying in court. Although forensic scientists tend to work in labs, they may visit crime scenes to verify physical evidence collection and preservation methods. Careers in forensic science are growing 11% faster than average and pay a median annual salary of $70,576 according to

Chemical engineer

Chemical engineers support research and development in many fields with their scientific knowledge and testing methods. Chemical engineers design processes for product development, corporate operations, and academic research in manufacturing, health care, alternative energy, and biotechnology. Like most engineers, large employers hire chemical engineers with the ultimate goal of maximizing productivity and product quality while minimizing costs. With chemical engineering careers projected to grow at a rate of 14% per year, one can expect many prospective employers to offer a median salary of $105,550 according to the BLS.

Pharmacists fill prescriptions written by doctors and other health care providers and counsel patients on safe and effective medication use. They also provide guidance to doctors and other medical professionals on prescription choices, dosing, interactions, and potential adverse effects in the context of specific health issues. These highly educated individuals also supervise the rest of the pharmacy’s employees, conduct regular quality assurance tests, and meet all governmental record-keeping regulations. Pharmacists in the United States earn a median annual salary of $128,570 according to the BLS.


Meteorologists, also known as atmospheric scientists, study the effects of weather and climate on mankind and other living things and investigate the connections between weather and other environmental processes. They may work late or on weekends during severe weather situations but otherwise spend their days in a weather station, office, or lab. Although most people associate meteorologists with weather forecasting and reporting on news stations, these scientists also contribute to fields like atmospheric research, information services, forensic services, and education. The median annual salary for a meteorologist in the United States is $94,570 according to the BLS.

Educational requirements for careers in chemistry

Although a master’s or doctorate degree is typically required for chemistry-related careers like forensic science, metrology, and pharmaceutical employment, a chemical engineer or medical technologist can get by with just a bachelor’s degree. Internships benefit everyone, but they can be especially advantageous for those lacking advanced schooling in their chosen sector. This is because internships provide excellent opportunities to gain valuable work experience and a competitive edge in the job market.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chemistry Courses

Are there free online chemistry courses.

Yes, there are  free online chemistry courses, including several of the ones mentioned on our list. While many of these courses require students to pay for a certificate of completion, you can enroll and access course materials, lectures, and study resources for free.

How long is the average coding bootcamp?

Online chemistry courses can vary significantly in length. The majority of the courses on this list can be completed in a matter of hours. Certain courses, like MIT’s Introduction to Solid State Chemistry , take several weeks to complete as they offer more comprehensive curriculums.

What is the best online chemistry course?

The best online chemistry course depends on your educational discipline and career interests. While the University of Tokyo’s course on analytical chemistry is our top overall pick, it is important to find a course that is specific to your interests and learning preferences.

Interested in a degree instead?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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  • Best Online Psychology Master's Degrees

Best Online Psychology Master’s Degrees Of 2024

Mikeie Reiland, MFA

Updated: Jan 23, 2024, 1:08pm

The human mind has long been a subject of fascination and controversy, and psychology—the study of the mind—proves valuable across industries, fields and positions. Whether you work in public relations, user experience or human resources, a background in psychology can give you an edge in your career.

A master’s in psychology involves wide-ranging study that can lead to careers in diverse fields. You’ll gain advanced research and analysis skills and a strong understanding of human behavior. Plus, a master’s in psychology can qualify you to work as an industrial-organizational psychologist or a school psychologist .

If you want to dive deeper into the field while maintaining a flexible schedule, you can pursue your degree online. Keep reading to learn about the 10 best online psychology master’s degrees.

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Education

Forbes Advisor’s education editors are committed to producing unbiased rankings and informative articles covering online colleges, tech bootcamps and career paths. Our ranking methodologies use data from the National Center for Education Statistics , education providers, and reputable educational and professional organizations. An advisory board of educators and other subject matter experts reviews and verifies our content to bring you trustworthy, up-to-date information. Advertisers do not influence our rankings or editorial content.

  • 6,290 accredited, nonprofit colleges and universities analyzed nationwide
  • 52 reputable tech bootcamp providers evaluated for our rankings
  • All content is fact-checked and updated on an annual basis
  • Rankings undergo five rounds of fact-checking
  • Only 7.12% of all colleges, universities and bootcamp providers we consider are awarded

Our Methodology

We ranked 39 accredited, nonprofit colleges offering online psychology master’s degrees in the U.S. using 16 data points in the categories of credibility, affordability, student outcomes, student experience and application process. We pulled data for these categories from reliable resources such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System ; private, third-party data sources; and individual school and program websites. Data is accurate as of June 2023.

We scored schools based on the following metrics:

Student Outcomes:

  • Overall graduation rate
  • Median earnings 10 years after graduation


  • In-state graduate student tuition
  • In-state graduate student fees
  • Alternative tuition plans offered
  • Median federal student loan debt
  • Percentage of students in federal student loan deferment

Student Experience:

  • Student-to-faculty ratio
  • Socioeconomic diversity
  • Availability of online coursework
  • Total number of graduate assistants
  • More than 50% of graduate students enrolled in at least some distance education


  • Fully accredited
  • Programmatic accreditation status
  • Nonprofit status

Application Process:

  • Acceptance rate

We chose the 10 best schools to display based on those receiving a curved final score of 84% or higher.

Find our full list of methodologies here .

  • Best Master’s In ABA Online Degrees
  • Best Online Master’s In Counseling Psychology
  • Best Online Psychology Degrees

Best Master’s in Psychology Online Programs

Why should you consider an online psychology master’s program, accreditation for online master’s in psychology programs, how to find the right online master’s in psychology for you, frequently asked questions (faqs) about the best online psychology master’s degrees, university of southern california, arizona state university digital immersion, ferrum college, william woods university, indiana wesleyan university-national & global, national louis university, palo alto university, lynn university, liberty university, southern new hampshire university.

University of Southern California

Graduate Tuition


Percentage of Grad Students Enrolled in Distance Education

Overall Graduation Rate

Based out of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California offers an online Master of Science in applied psychology that full-time students can complete in 16 months by taking two courses per term. The program’s 34-credit curriculum covers topics in consumer psychology, organizational psychology and research methods, and all students complete 240 hours of experiential field learning through a required internship.

Students can choose to complete the internship requirement through an optional summer experience in Dublin, Ireland.

  • Our Flexibility Rating: Learn around your 9-to-5
  • School Type: Private
  • Application Fee: $90
  • Degree Credit Requirements: 34 credits
  • Program Enrollment Options: Full-time
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Consumer psychology, organizational psychology
  • Concentrations Available: N/A
  • In-Person Requirements: Yes, for internship

Arizona State University Digital Immersion


Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona State University is among the largest universities in the nation by enrollment. ASU features an online master’s in psychology that requires 36 credits. The curriculum includes courses in applied social psychology, professional issues and research methods and concludes with a capstone course in which students analyze current psychological literature and recommend policy.

ASU delivers most online coursework asynchronously, and the program does not include in-person requirements.

  • Our Flexibility Rating: Learn on your schedule
  • School Type: Public
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Degree Credit Requirements: 36 credits
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Applied social psychology, professional issues in psychology
  • In-Person Requirements: No

Ferrum College


Based in Ferrum, Virginia, Ferrum College enrolls fewer than 1,000 students and maintains an affiliation with the United Methodist Church. The college’s fully online Master of Science in psychology prepares graduates for Ph.D. programs in the field and takes one year of full-time study to complete.

The program’s 33-credit curriculum includes required courses in ethics, research methods and applied statistics. All students must also complete a thesis that involves significant original research. Ferrum College’s MS in psychology does not lead to licensure.

  • Application Fee: $50
  • Degree Credit Requirements: 33 credits
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Ethics and professional issues; research methods in social sciences; applied statistics in the social sciences

William Woods University


Based in Fulton, Missouri, William Woods University offers an online master’s in psychology program that requires 33 credits. The curriculum includes coursework in psychological testing and assessment, advanced statistics, research design and advanced cognition. All students complete an original thesis before they graduate.

This program is designed for both working professionals looking to expand their career options and students who want to eventually pursue doctoral programs in psychology.

  • Application Fee: Free
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Psychological testing and assessment; advanced statistics

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global


Based in Marion, Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan University has expanded its distance learning presence in recent years. The university offers an online master’s in psychology program with two concentration options: industrial and organizational psychology, and life coaching and positive psychology. Both tracks require 30 credits and include core courses in lifespan development, personality development and research methods.

All students also complete a capstone project. IWU delivers all online coursework asynchronously for maximum flexibility.

  • Degree Credit Requirements: 30 credits
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Lifespan development, theories of personality development, research methods in psychology
  • Concentrations Available: Industrial and organizational psychology; life coaching and positive psychology

National Louis University


Headquartered in downtown Chicago, National Louis University features an online Master of Arts in psychology that students can complete in 18 months. The 36-credit curriculum includes four concentration options: general psychology, community psychology, psychological assessment and teaching of psychology. No matter their concentration, students in the program complete core foundational coursework in areas like abnormal and social psychology.

Online courses at NLU may include both synchronous and asynchronous elements.

Palo Alto University


Located in the Bay Area in Palo Alto, California, Palo Alto University focuses primarily on counseling and psychology programs. The university’s online Master of Science in psychology includes limited in-person requirements. Students who pursue the Ph.D. prep concentration must complete a one-week, on-campus residency focused on clinical interviewing. Learners can take a generalist track or pursue a concentration in forensic psychology or technology and mental health.

The program uses Zoom to deliver synchronous coursework during the evenings.

  • Application Fee: $80
  • Degree Credit Requirements: 37.5 to 47 credits
  • Program Enrollment Options: Part-time
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Research methods and statistics; child and adolescent development
  • Concentrations Available: Ph.D. prep; technology and mental health; forensic psychology
  • In-Person Requirements: Yes, for Ph.D. prep concentration

Lynn University


Located in Boca Raton, Florida, Lynn University offers an online Master of Science in psychology with either a generalist concentration or an industrial/organizational psychology concentration. In both cases, the curriculum requires 37 credits, and core courses include personality psychology, advanced social psychology, and scientific writing and analysis. All students complete a thesis with original research as a capstone requirement.

Incoming students can apply to begin the program in the spring, summer or fall semesters.

  • Degree Credit Requirements: 37 credits
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Advanced research in psychology, personality psychology
  • Concentrations Available: General psychology, industrial/organizational psychology

Liberty University

Based out of Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University enrolls more than 135,000 students thanks in large part to its online programs. The university’s online master’s in applied psychology takes the typical student 18 months to complete. Students can choose between concentrations in general psychology, developmental psychology, industrial-organizational psychology and public mental health.

No matter their concentration, distance learners must complete 36 credits and take core courses in areas like social psychology and the psychology of learning.

  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Social psychology, psychology of learning
  • Concentrations Available: General psychology, developmental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, public mental health

Southern New Hampshire University


Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University is a private university primarily focused on online programs. The university’s online Master of Science in psychology offers three concentration options: forensic psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, and child and developmental psychology. All students must complete 36 credits and take core courses in areas like social psychology and cognitive processes.

SNHU delivers all online coursework asynchronously, and the program does not include any in-person requirements.

  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Social psychology, cognitive processes
  • Concentrations Available: Forensic psychology; industrial and organizational psychology; child and developmental psychology

A master’s in psychology is a widely applicable degree for all types of students. Here’s why you might pursue an online psychology master’s degree.

Master’s Degrees in Psychology: Fast Facts

  • Nearly 25% of CEOs hold a master’s degree as their highest level of education. ( U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics )
  • According to the American Psychological Association (APA), neuroscience is the most competitive psychological subfield at the master’s level, while counseling psychology accepts the highest percentage of students.
  • Approximately 4 out of 5 graduate psychology students are women. (APA)
  • Forty-three percent of graduate psychology students identify as BIPOC. (APA)
  • The most diverse subfield of psychology among graduate students is developmental psychology. (APA)

Should You Earn Your Degree Online?

Online degrees have become more and more prevalent in recent years. However, they don’t suit all types of learners. To determine if distance learning is right for you, ask yourself a few key questions:

  • What’s your budget? Distance learners generally avoid some costs associated with on-campus learning, including housing and transportation. Moreover, some public universities allow out-of-state distance learners to pay in-state or otherwise discounted tuition rates.
  • What’s your learning style? Online learning requires plenty of discipline, organization, time management and self-motivation. If you rely on a peer group or the routine of a physical classroom for motivation, on-campus learning may provide a better fit.
  • What are your other commitments? Flexibility is one of the main reasons many parents and working professionals opt for online learning. If you’ll have significant obligations outside of school, an asynchronous online program might help you juggle your studies with your other commitments.

There are two important types of college accreditation to understand: institutional and programmatic.

Institutional accreditation is non-negotiable. You should enroll at a school only if it’s institutionally accredited, as this is the only way you can qualify for federal student aid. Plus, Ph.D. programs, employers and credentialing bodies may not recognize degrees that come from unaccredited universities.

The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee the agencies that manage the institutional accreditation process. These agencies evaluate schools for the quality of their finances, academics and faculty. To verify a prospective school’s accreditation status, you can visit its website or check the directory on CHEA’s website.

Programmatic accreditation offers quality assurance and vetting in specific fields. Programmatic accreditation is uncommon among undergraduate and master’s-level psychology programs, though APA accreditation does apply to doctoral, postdoctoral residency and internship programs.

Once you’ve determined that you want an online master’s degree in psychology, it’s time to decide where you should earn it. Here’s how to choose a school.

Consider Your Future Goals

Psychology is a wide-ranging field. To choose the right program and specialization for you, it’s best to determine your career goals before committing to any specific program.

A master’s degree in general psychology can lead to careers in fields as diverse as public relations , education, human resources , user experience and marketing , among others. If you know you want to go into a specific field, such as industrial-organizational psychology , you may want to consider attending a psychology program that offers that specific specialization.

If you don’t want to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, and instead plan to continue your studies in a doctoral program, you should choose a master’s program with a significant research component. A completed thesis can help you take the next step into a Psy.D. program or a Ph.D. in psychology. Some master’s programs also offer Ph.D. prep concentrations, which explicitly prepare you to continue your career in academia.

Understand Your Expenses and Financing Options

Eliminating the one significant outlier (USC at $2,244), per-credit tuition rates for the 10 programs ranked in our guide range from $450 to $799. Over the course of a typical 36-credit master’s degree, these rates translate to approximately $16,000 to $29,000 in total tuition costs.

As a comparison point, according to the National Center for Education Statistics , as of the 2021–22 academic year, the average annual tuition for a graduate program was $12,596 at public universities and $29,931 at private, nonprofit universities.

To get help funding your education, the first step is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The FAFSA is the portal to federal aid opportunities like grants, scholarships and loans, along with aid from other resources. You can also pursue graduate assistantships through your university. Keep in mind that some assistantships may be reserved for on-campus and Ph.D. students.

How long does it take to get an online master’s degree in psychology?

The 10 ranked programs in our guide generally take 12 to 18 months to complete. Keep in mind that completion times can vary depending on your school, program and enrollment status.

What can I do with an online master’s in psychology?

There are many psychology-related careers that you can pursue as a master’s degree holder, including market research analyst, user experience researcher, project manager , public relations specialist and human resources manager .

Is an online master’s in psychology respected?

Yes. As long as you attend an accredited university, a psychology master’s degree earned online carries the same weight as one earned in person.

Can I do a master’s in psychology online?

Yes, you can complete a master’s in psychology online. Many colleges offer fully online and hybrid psychology master’s programs.

Is it better to get an M.S. or an M.A. in psychology?

It depends on your goals. An M.A. in psychology often focuses on the applications of psychology, whereas an M.S. focuses more on research and scholarship.

Mikeie Reiland, MFA

Mikeie Reiland is a writer who has written features for Oxford American, Bitter Southerner, Gravy, and SB Nation, among other publications. He received a James Beard nomination for a feature he wrote in 2023.


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