The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology offers rigorous programs of graduate study leading to either a Ph.D. degree or an M.S. (with or without research thesis) degree. The Ph.D. curriculum balances directed research with coursework to prepare our graduates for careers in industry and academia whereas the M.S. program is designed to serve the needs of industrial chemists seeking to broaden and enrich their knowledge-base. Regardless of degree program or area of specialization, graduate students begin with lecture courses that lay the foundation for intellectual development in their chosen area. Students then shift their focus to research projects under the direction of their research advisors, culminating with a thesis or dissertation.

Financial support is guaranteed for all Ph.D. candidates in good academic standing and may come from a variety of sources including:

  • Research assistantships
  • Teaching assistantships
  • A variety of fellowships

Students desiring more information about how to prepare for, and succeed in, graduate school may wish to consult the online resources provided by the American Chemical Society.

Graduate Research

All Ph.D. students and many M.S. students conduct original research under the direction of a faculty advisor as a major component of their studies. Research efforts in the department span a broad range of topics of current relevance across the various subdisciplines of chemistry and chemical biology. Our faculty are extremely successful at securing funding from government agencies (e.g. NSF, NIH, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Defense); since 2010 the department has consistently ranked in the top 10 chemistry departments nationwide in terms of total research expenditures. We are excited to expand our research efforts in our new chemistry building, which opened in 2018.

Much of the department's research is deeply interdisciplinary, which means that our students enjoy opportunities for intellectual growth and research partnerships extending well beyond the traditional subdisciplines of chemistry.  Our faculty have joint appointments and supervise graduate students and postdocs in many research centers and institutes around the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus, such as:

The broad scope of these centers and institutes, as well as the department's own resources, provide a vast array of state-of-the-art instrumentation to support our research efforts.

Research Instrumentation

  • High-field NMR spectrometers (600, 700, 800 MHz) capable of multinuclear 2D and 3D experiments
  • Low-field NMR spectrometers (300, 400, 500 MHz) 
  • Several X-ray diffraction instruments, including single-crystal diffractometers, 2D Histar X-ray imaging system, and multiple powder diffractometers
  • Ultrahigh vacuum surface analysis apparatus with Auger, photoelectron and electron energy loss spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, low energy electron diffraction and He atom scattering
  • Scanning probe microscopy instruments, including scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopes
  • Infrared, UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy instrumentation including temperature programmable optical rotatary dispersion–circular dichroism spectrapolarimeters, temperature-controlled fluorescence spectrophotometer, low-temperature FTIR spectrometers, nanosecond flash-photolysis, and high-resolution UV-visible and Raman spectrometers
  • Other experimental instrumentation including a SQUID magnetometer, inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometer, HPLC-mass spectrometer with electrospray ionizer, automated DNA and peptide synthesizers
  • Computational chemistry cluster with ~1400 parallel cores, and local support for accessing massively parallel supercomputers at national centers