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Chemistry / Biochemistry PhD

As a PhD student, you will gain broad knowledge in the field of biochemistry, as well as expert guidance in biotechnology and environmental chemistry. Classes are typically small, affording superb opportunities for interaction with the faculty and access to state-of-the art equipment and computational resources. Our program provides individualized attention and unique research opportunities. 

This full-time program takes approximately five years to complete. You will be eligible for graduate assistantships for research and/or teaching activities.

A minimum of 55 course credits is required beyond the BS, including at least 24 credits of formal courses, at least 27 credits of doctoral dissertation research, and 4 credits of Graduate Seminar.

Doctoral students must also successfully pass written qualifying examinations, and the original research proposal-doctoral candidacy examination. The final part of the program is devoted principally to research leading to the doctoral dissertation. Doctoral students are required to successfully defend the dissertation research proposal, pass the dissertation defense, and complete a written dissertation.

Requirements for students with a Master's Degree

If you enter the program with an earned master's degree in chemistry or biochemistry you may be eligible to receive Advanced Standing in the doctoral program. You will complete a minimum of 8 credits from formal courses. The total number of formal course credits required will be determined during individual advisement with the Graduate Program Director and must be approved by the Graduate Program Committee. All other program requirements, including the qualifying examinations, remain unchanged. 

Cranberry Lab research

Areas of Research

  • bioanalytical chemistry
  • bio-organic chemistry
  • protein biochemistry
  • bioactive natural products
  • medicinal chemistry
  • computer modeling of biological molecules
  • analytical chemistry
  • marine chemistry
  • natural products and phytochemistry
  • energy and materials
  • organometallic chemistry
  • x-ray crystallography/structural analysis

A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.

International (F-1) students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To learn about the eligibility criteria and detailed steps to apply, please review the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) OPT page and USCIS resources. F-1 students must consult with the ISSC to apply for STEM OPT.

UMassD technology resources

  • Bruker AVANCE III 400 MHz NMR spectrometer
  • Bruker D8 Quest x-ray diffractometer
  • Waters XevoQ-TOF UPLC-MS system
  • Thermofisher FOCUS/ITQ-700 GC-MS
  • a wide range of chemical instrumentation
  • access to UMass Dartmouth Confocal Microscope facility
  • access to UMass Dartmouth Scientific Computing Cluster

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300-600 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required.
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. The Duolingo test is not accepted for the following programs: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies & Theory, Marine Science and Technology (MS, PSM, PhD), Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Portuguese Studies, Professional Writing and Communication, Psychology (ABA, Clinical, Research), Public Policy, and Teaching (MAT).

Program-specific requirements

Candidates must submit the required application materials, university requirements and program-specific requirements, for consideration.

  • Official GRE score: unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted)..
  • 2 letters of recommendation. Applicants will be required to provide the recommenders name and email address so we can contact the recommender for the letter of recommendation.

Program deadlines