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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 18, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Chemistry

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The Department of Chemistry provides programs of graduate study leading to the MS and the PhD in chemistry in the fields of analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, material, organic, physical chemistry, and chemical physics. Interdisciplinary research is also currently conducted in the areas of surface science, combinatorial chemistry, natural products synthesis, nanotechnology, biosensors, laser spectroscopy, organometallic chemistry, and theoretical chemistry.


Analytical Chemistry
Biological Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry

Contact Information

Department Chair: Kay M. Brummond
Main Office: 234 Chevron Science Center
Fax: 412-624-8611

Facilities-Department Shared Instrumentation

The Department of Chemistry is housed in a modern chemistry complex that includes Eberly Hall, Chevron Annex, Ashe Lecture Halls and the 15-story Chevron Science Center. The Chemistry Instrumentation Center is an in-house research instrumentation laboratory that includes NMR, mass spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography facilities. In addition to instrumentation within individual research groups, the department supports a vast array of modern research instruments, including three 300 MHz NMRs, one 500 MHz NMR, one 600 MHz NMR, two high-resolution and two low-resolution mass spectrometers, a light-scattering instrument, a circular dichroism spectrophotometer, a spectropolarimeter, X-ray systems-single crystal, powder, and fluorescence, a scanning electron microscope, an atomic force microscope, a vibrating sample magnetometer, several FT-IR and UV-VIS spectrophotometers, and workstation computer clusters. The Chemistry Library, a unit of the University Library System is a 6,000-square-foot facility that provides access to more than 30,000 monographs, 15,000 bound periodicals and more than 250 maintained journal subscriptions. Additional shared research resources include in-house machine shop, electronics shop, and glassblowing laboratory; helium recovery system and the Dietrich School Scientific Stockroom.


A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, or closely related discipline, including courses in mathematics through integral calculus, is preferred. In addition, the student must meet the general Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requirements for admission to graduate study.

Entering students take appraisal exams in each of four areas of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic and physical. In discussion with a member of the department’s Graduate Student Advisement Committee, scores on the appraisal exams are considered, as each student selects and registers for appropriate coursework. Satisfactory performance in four core courses is required for students to pass the preliminary examination. Midway through the first year in residence, students are assigned to research groups. The remainder of the student’s graduate program is developed in consultation with their research advisor. All advanced degree programs require original research and course work. Additional requirements include a comprehensive examination, thesis/dissertation and defense, seminar, and, for the PhD candidate, a research proposal. To earn a PhD, this process typically takes four to five years.

All applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Submission of advanced chemistry GRE test scores is recommended. International applicants must also submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score for the Department of Chemistry is 100 with a minimum of 22 in each category. The minimum IELTS score for the Department of Chemistry is a 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each section.

Financial Assistance

All full-time doctoral students in good academic standing receive complete financial support in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships or competitive departmental or university fellowships. This support is available throughout a student’s graduate career, including summer sessions. High quality UPMC health care coverage is provided with all assistantships and fellowships.






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