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Chemistry Graduate Programs

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Both degree programs emphasize original research and are designed to educate professional chemists for teaching and research. In addition, the moderate size of our program (about 55 students), allows students to establish close personal relationships with each other and with faculty members.

The objectives of the graduate curriculum are to broaden and deepen the student’s general knowledge and understanding of chemistry, capacity to conduct meaningful research, and ability to recognize and provide solutions to significant scientific problems. To meet these objectives, the department offers a wide range of fields of specialization, courses, seminars, and research problems. The research interests of our faculty span all of the major subdisciplines of chemistry and biochemistry, and the department features extensive instrumentation, all of which is used directly by our students.

While students must meet the requirements of the Graduate School and the department, they may individually tailor their choice of fields, courses, and research problems to meet their personal interests and professional goals.

Cutting Edge Research and Facilities

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. program normally requires four to five years of post-baccalaureate work and generally includes course work, seminars, written and oral exams, and original research. Typically, most course work is finished in the first two years, with cumulative exams in the second and third years. The Ph.D. oral exam that follows is based on an original research proposal developed by the student. Successful students at this point are advanced to candidacy of the Ph.D. degree. Research is a continuing activity throughout all stages. The program is completed by passing a final oral examination and submitting a dissertation on the original research.

At least six graded graduate courses are required. A minimum of 60 semester hours beyond the M.S. degree must be completed. Well-prepared students can skip the M.S. and proceed directly toward the Ph.D. degree. A minimum of 24 credit hours may be given for dissertation research (CHM 850). A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required.

Student using a pipet in a Chemistry lab

Master of Science Options

Hughes Hall

Thesis Option

The M.S. program normally requires two years to complete. Students must pass a preliminary oral exam, write a thesis based on original research he or she has conducted, and present an oral defense of the thesis.

At least five graded graduate courses are required. A minimum of 30 semester hours must be completed. At least 2 semester hours must be earned in courses numbered 600 or above and a minimum of 6 hours in CHM 700 (research).

Student using a microscop in a Chemistry lab

Non-Thesis Option

During the first year, students choose a topic for advanced study. A report based on this topic must be written and defended at the end of the program. The non-thesis M.S. program is expected to take 2 years to complete.

At least 8 graduate courses are required. A minimum of 30 semester hours must be completed, with 10 hours in courses numbered 600 or above.

Please note that students in this program are not typically eligible for support through assistantships and tuition waivers.

Student Interviews

In these videos, some of our current graduate students talk about their experience studying at Miami.

Vipul Batra

Erin Unruh

Charles Xie

Graduate Assistantships

Virtually all graduate students accepted into the chemistry and biochemistry graduate program receive an assistantship, along with a waiver of tuition and out-of-state fees. Duties of students during the academic year may include assisting faculty in teaching laboratory courses or carrying out their research program, depending on the nature of the assistantship. In addition, all students in good academic standing are eligible for summer assistantships, which are research appointments and involve no other duties.

Scholarships & Awards

  • R. Thomas Davidson Graduate Awards – summer supplements to outstanding graduate students in their last year in the department
  • William Hale Charch Graduate Fellowships – awards to graduate students based on accomplishment or potential
  • E.O. and B.V. Weidner Chemistry Scholarship – award to graduate student with an interest in analytical chemistry
  • Outstanding TA Award – award to outstanding teaching assistant
  • Dissertation Scholar – scholarship awarded to outstanding Ph.D. candidate in the last year in the department


A bachelor's degree in chemistry or biochemistry from an accredited college or university. Typical coursework includes:

  • Two semesters of General chemistry plus lab.
  • Two semesters of Organic chemistry plus lab.
  • Two semesters of Physical chemistry plus lab.
  • Two of the three following: Inorganic, Biochemistry, and Analytical.
  • While a student need not have taken a curriculum accredited by the American Chemical Society, the training in chemistry, physics, and mathematics should be similar to an accredited curriculum.

Students with a bachelor's degree in a related discipline (e.g., pharmacy, chemical engineering) will be considered so long as they have completed comparable coursework. Students with backgrounds in biology-oriented backgrounds who would like to work with our faculty but do not meet these course requirements are encouraged to consider Miami's Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology (CMSB) program. Many of our biochemistry-oriented faculty supervise students in this program.

The General Graduate Record Exam is optional.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can the application fee be waived?

The Chemistry/Biochemistry Department does not have the authority to waive the application fee. Please email graduate admission at to inquire about an application fee waiver. There are certain criteria that must be met to be awarded an application fee waiver.

Can I apply directly into the Ph.D. program if I haven't completed an MS?

Miami handles this a bit differently from many US institutions. All students who do not already hold an MS degree from a domestic insitution start out in our MS program. After the first year, students can "promote" to our PhD program assuming that everything is going well (GPA ≥3.00, good start to research).

When completing the application, please indicate "PhD" if your intent is to obtain a PhD, even if you do not already have an MS.

Your program is missing when I try to apply?

In general, applications to our program open in early September. If you are trying to apply in the summer for admission the following year, you will need to wait until it is available.

Do you offer assistantships?

Yes! The great majority of our graduate students are supported by assistantships, which provide both a stipend and a tuition waiver (see below). This includes international students. To be considered, just check the appropriate box in the application. Of course, there are a limited number of assistantships available, so admission is competitive.

Are MS students eligible for assistantships?

Yes! MS students are considered for assistantships. In fact, almost all of our graduate students are in our MS program when they start out (direct admission to the PhD requires students to already hold an MS from a domestic institution). The stipends are exactly the same for all graduate students.

How much is the stipend for graduate students?

The current stipend for teaching and research assistants in Chemistry for AY 2023–2024 is $27,353, paid monthly over 10 months (August-May).

Do graduate students have to pay tuition?

Graduate Students supported by assistantships receive full tuition waivers, although they are still required to pay some activity fees. More information is available from the One-Stop office. Note that 100% of the Instructional Fee, 100% of the Non-resident surcharge, and 50% of the Basic General Fee are waived.

Do graduate students have to purchase health insurance?

Student health insurance is required at a cost of approximately $2,151/year (2022–23), but it can be waived with proof of existing insurance.

Do I need to contact potential faculty supervisors before I apply?

Students in our program are almost always admitted without faculty supervisors. They join groups after a couple of months in the program, after they have had a chance to meet the faculty and senior students. You do not need to contact faculty in advance of applying, and doing so will not increase your chances of admission. Of course, if you would like to learn more about a faculty member's research you are welcome to reach out to them by e-mail.

If you are strongly interested in working for a specific group in the department, please contact the admissions chair to discuss your situation. It is sometimes possible to arrange for students to be assigned to research groups before they start.


Is the GRE required?

No, we do not require applicants to take the GRE, and our application review process is not biased toward applications without scores. If you have taken the exam, you are welcome to submit copies of your scores.

What is the GRE Institution Code for Miami University?

The institution code for Miami University is 1463.

What are the minimum GPA, GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores for accepted students?

The minimum undergraduate GPA for accepted students is 2.7 (on a 4.0 scale). This is based on an transcript evaluation by our admissions office.

Please see the English Language Proficiency page from the Graduate School. The minimum scores are 80 for TOEFL, 6.5 for IELTS, 54 for PTE, and 110 for Duolingo. You must meet these scores in order for you to be considered for GA support.

What application materials do students need to submit?

As part of the application, you will need to submit:

  • Your personal statement
  • Your CV
  • Your (unofficial) transcripts
  • Your (unoffical) English language proficiency scores, if required
  • The contact information for your recommenders (at least two, three recommended)

How many students will be accepted this year?

Our Fall classes range between 12 and 24 students. The number of students that are accepted depends on the number of available teaching and research assistantships available in a given year.

Are students accepted to start in January?

We have accepted between 0–4 students to start their graduate studies in January. However, most new graduate students start in August. That said, if you apply for the spring and it doesn't work out, we can easily move your application to the fall (with no additional application fee).

When are decisions made about acceptance into the program?

We generally make our first round of offers for fall admission around mid-to-late February. Some offers may be made earlier for applicants who apply well ahead of our deadline. We then typically make a second round of offers in late April if there are still positions available. We continue to make offers at that point until the class is filled.

Decisions for spring admission are usually made in mid-to-late November.

Can I visit the Department?

Domestic students who have submitted all of their application items are certainly welcome to visit the department. We will typically cover travel costs. Please contact to arrange your visit.

What is the deadline for applying to the program?

The deadline for fall admission is January 20. For spring admission it is October 20. All reference letters must be received by February 1 and November 1, respectively.

What is the typical cost of living at Miami University for graduate students?

Our current graduate students spend $500-1500 a month on living expenses, depending on their lifestyles.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

160 Hughes Laboratories
651 E. High St.
Oxford, OH 45056