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Graduate Chemistry Coursework Requirements

Candidates for a graduate degree from the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department at Ohio University must demonstrate the ability to plan, execute, evaluate, and communicate original chemical research. Candidates are expected to develop specialized research skills in order to carry out this work effectively.

Demonstration of Breadth of Knowledge Competency

Competency is demonstrated by passing at a level of B or better 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. Courses will be offered each fall at the 5000-level in each area. Students enrolled in the Ohio-Leipzig Double Master's program can petition the Department Graduate Committee (referred as "Graduate Committee" thereafter) to have equivalent courses taken at Leipzig count towards this requirement.

Competency must be met during the first year of graduate studies. Students failing to meet the competency requirement during their first year will typically lose their financial support (stipend and tuition waiver), and may be dismissed from the program, at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.

Students must take two classes at the 5000 or 7000-level each semester until they have passed all required classes (for additional coursework requirements, see section IDepth of Knowledge). The Graduate Chair may grant an exception to this requirement if (1) students only have one class left to pass, or (2) the required classes are not being offered.

Students who do not pass any chemistry classes (i.e. who do not obtain a grade of B or higher per class) in their first semester may be dismissed from the program at the end of the first semester, at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.

All graduate students new to the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department will be required to take entrance examinations in all five areas of chemistry. The exams will be taken from the current American Chemical Society exam sequence, unless a division decides to generate and grade its own exam. The Graduate Chair will use exam scores to guide the students towards the most appropriate courses in their first semester.

Depth of Knowledge, Major Course Requirement

In addition to the courses/exams taken to demonstrate breadth of knowledge competency, each student will be required to take eight (8) credit hours within his or her major area of research for depth of knowledge.

  • For students pursuring an M.S. degree, the courses in the major area can be at the 5000 level.
  • For students pursuing a Ph.D., the courses in the major area must be at the 7000 level.

A grade of B or better must be obtained in each course attempted; courses with lower grades will not count toward the major course requirement.

Students may petition the Graduate Committee to count one 7000-level course outside of the department in place of one of the courses within their major area of research.

Research advisers can ask their graduate students to take more classes, at their discretion.

It is the prerogative of the Graduate Committee to deem some classes ineligible for the fulfillment of breadth of knowledge competency or depth of knowledge major course requirements. The list of ineligible classes will be updated on a yearly basis and will be shared with all graduate students at the beginning of each fall semester.

Seminar & Colloquium Series

All graduate students are required to attend the weekly departmental colloquium series.

Students are required to enroll in and attend the graduate seminar course each semester.

Coursework Expectations

The student will select all coursework beyond the first semester in consultation with his or her adviser and, on occasion, the Graduate Committee.

Students are not permitted to audit courses unless they pay the associated tuition fees out of pocket or the audit has been approved by both the adviser and the Graduate Chair. The use of the tuition scholarship provided by the department to cover the costs of any non-approved audit course is not allowed. Students must be formally registered in any class they are attending.

Elective Courses Outside Chemistry and Biochemistry

Any student who wants to enroll in a course offered outside the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department must have prior written approval for the course from the research adviser/director.

  • The approval form must be obtained from the graduate secretary and must be completed by the student, signed by the adviser, and turned in to the Graduate Chair before any course(s) can be taken from outside the department.
  • For first-year students who have not selected a research adviser, the Graduate Chair serves as the adviser.

Failure to follow this process may result in an immediate cancellation of any tuition scholarship and stipend.