The Ph.D. is earned through independent research in collaboration with one or more faculty members. A relatively 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 Ph.D. prepares students for positions in industrial laboratories, research institutes, and governmental agencies, or for teaching, research, and administration in colleges and universities. The median time to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. is about five years. Students are required to complete a minimum amount of coursework and pass written and oral examinations in their area of specialization. There are no pre-entrance or qualifying exams.
Students may earn a Master's degree by doing research and writing a thesis or by completing additional coursework in lieu of research and a thesis. Master's students typically provide their own funding or are supported as Teaching Assistants.