Apr 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry, PhD

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Program Description

The PhD degree in chemistry is a research-intensive degree with projects focused on analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Research areas also include bio-organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials chemistry, chemical physics and other areas.

PhD degree candidates must qualify to pursue the degree by completing a flexible curriculum of coursework designed to demonstrate broad chemical awareness, a distribution requirement and a focus area requirement.

Summary of Degree Requirements

The PhD in Chemistry is not awarded solely on the basis of coursework completed, residence, completion of preliminary or comprehensive examinations, or other routine requirements. The final basis for granting this degree is the student’s grasp of the subject matter, competence in planning and conducting research, and the ability to express themselves adequately and professionally both orally and in writing. Ultimately, only the student’s advisory committee can certify that the student has earned this degree.

PhD students must complete a total of at least 60 hours of graduate credit, including at least 18 hours of PhD research. Students must also complete graduate lecture coursework on Broad Chemical Awareness, Focus Area, and Distribution Requirement. Additionally, within the first year of enrollment, the student must complete at least 18 graduate credits counting towards the PhD degree. Any exception to this requirement must be approved by the Graduate Program Committee. These credits include seminars but do not include graduate research and they do not include 6000-level classes for which the companion 4000-level course is required for the undergraduate major: e.g. CH 6110. All required coursework must be completed by the end of the third year of full-time graduate study (although alternative and/or additional courses may be taken after the third year). PhD students must take an 8000- or 9000-level course in at least three different subject areas, as described in the Program’s Handbook. Graduate courses taken in other departments may count towards the distribution requirement. In such cases, students must receive approval from the corresponding advisor and the Chemistry Department Graduate Program Committee before enrolling. Students take additional coursework as appropriate for their individual research programs. A minimum of four such focus area courses carrying graduate credit must be taken, only one of which may also be counted for the distribution requirement. (Note that CH 6110 does not carry graduate credit, as its 4000-level counterpart is required for the undergraduate major.) These courses can be in any area and should be chosen by the student and his or her research advisor based on the student’s research program.

PhD students receiving grades of C or below in six or more credits worth of graduate coursework at Clemson University (for example, grades of C in two three-credit lecture courses) become ineligible to continue in the PhD program. This includes any coursework taken in the MS program prior to transferring into the PhD program. Such students are permitted to transfer to the MS program, if they meet the academic requirements of that degree program. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 grade point average in graduate coursework are placed on academic probation by the Graduate School and are ineligible for graduation until their GPA is above 3.0. When on academic probation, students have nine additional semester hours of graduate credit in which to remediate their GPA, or they become subject to dismissal from the university.

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