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Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions


If you do not get an answer to your question here, contact Lori Nesnow.

After I apply, will I receive a confirmation that my supplemental material has been received?

You may check your status page and view which items have been received and which items the Graduate Office is still waiting to receive.

Is the GRE required?

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry does not use GREs in our evaluation process.  Applicants do not need to take the GRE exam or report GRE scores to be considered for PhD, MS or MA admission.

Does the Department of Chemistry have a restriction on the minimum number of Chemistry modules taken during undergraduate years for PhD application?

We do have students with biology, physics, and engineering backgrounds but we want to be sure that the student has the academic background to succeed in our coursework. If the prospective student does not have undergraduate classes in chemistry, the chance of their being admitted is smaller. If there is any other evidence of this proficiency, we will take it in to consideration.

Fee Waiver

How many copies of my transcripts are required?

Initial application reviews can take place using uploaded versions of unofficial transcripts. An official transcript will be ultimately needed prior to enrolling. 

For additional instructions go to the Graduate College website. Click on Transcripts.

How many students will be admitted each fall? How many from my country?

The number of students varies each year. This is dependent on funding and students who have graduated. All applicants are reviewed with equal merit, regardless of the country of origin.

I need financial assistance.

All full time Ph.D. students who are cleared to TA receive a generous stipend and tuition waiver.

I only want to attend Part Time.

No financial support is available and most of the part-time graduate students are supported by their employers. Attending only evening classes would not be possible in our department. However, if you can attend the seminar series that start at 4 pm (Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, depending on the division), there are some possibilities for taking graduate-level classes in the evening to fulfill all the requirements over a longer period of time than that for full-time students.

I want to transfer in from another program.

If you are interested in transferring to our program, please start the application process via the internet at The admission process is highly competitive and transfer students are considered with the same standards as first-time admission applicants.  Prospective transfer students will need to include a detailed explanation for their decision to transfer.  We will follow up with the previous institution to verify enrollment.

Do I need to get a masters degree before I apply to the Ph.D program?

You do not need to have a masters degree before applying to the Ph.D. program.  You can apply for the Fall semester after you receive your undergraduate degree.

I would like to apply for spring semester. Will you be accepting applications for spring?

We do have an occasional spring admission but it is only done in exceptional cases as all the coursework is designed to start in the fall semester. Spring admissions may be considered for applicants that have had previous research experience in our department.  Students interested in exploring Spring admission should contact

How many letters of recommendation are required?

Three letters of recommendation are required. It is preferred that the letters of recommendation come from individuals who have directly interacted with the applicant in various roles - instructor of record, faculty mentor, research advisor, or job supervisor.  

Any applicant with prior scientific research/employment experience must arrange for a letter of recommendation from the research advisor or supervisor.

My Recommender will not complete the online form. What should I do?

The University of Delaware’s graduate programs have moved toward exclusive use of electronic recommendation submissions. Exceptions can only be authorized by a direct communication from the Department. We cannot accept any third-party recommendation service or any individual letters already in the applicant’s possession.

For exceptions, recommenders should contact Lori Nesnow at

What is the application deadline date for fall?

 Our priority deadline for evaluation of applications is January 15th.  Applications will continue to be reviewed through March 19th.

What is the application fee?

75 U.S. Dollars

What is the minimum TOEFL score to be considered for admission? 

The University of Delaware requires a minimum score of 550 (paper) or 79 (IBT) to be considered for admission to graduate studies. Applicants meeting this minimum criteria will be considered by the department, but preference will be given to applicants with scores of 600 (paper) or 100 (IBT), or higher. TOEFL scores alone do not guarantee admission, applications are considered in their entirety.

Can the TOEFL be waived?

A waiver of the TOEFL exam is only allowed when:

  • A degree has been earned in a country where English is the primary language.
  • A degree has already been earned in the United States.

Does the Department accept the IELTS in place of the TOEFL?

  • The minimum TOEFL ibt is 79 and this is equal to an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.5 overall with no individual Speaking sub-score below 6.
  • Other questions about TOEFL / IELTS equivalencies can be answered here (
  • The same policies for the TOEFL above are relevant for IELTS.
  • IELTS scores can be sent electronically or by hard copy to the University of Delaware Office of Graduate Admissions (please do not mail to the department):

    Electronic Address: 108 Computing Center, S Chapel Street, 19716

When will I know if I am admitted?

The Director of Graduate Studies will first contact you via email informing you that the committee has recommended you for admission. Official offers will be electronically sent from the Office of Graduate Studies.

  • International student offers will be electronically sent from the Office of International Students and Scholars.

What are the required supplemental application documents?

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry requires that all applicants for the Ph.D. program provide a supplemental document, that will help the selection committee identify their area(s) of research interest.

There is no required format/length, but it is generally expected that your statement will specifically describe how your interests overlap with the work of at least two or three research faculty.

Where do I mail my supplemental application documents?

Supplemental documents should not be mailed. The application process is completely automated.  All unofficial documents will be used for review purposes.

I didn’t get my questions answered here. Who do I ask?

If you are a prospective Ph.D. student, contact Lori Nesnow (, or by telephone @ 302-831-2462. You can also set up a campus visit.

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Graduate Frequently Asked Questions
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 102 Brown Laboratory
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1247
  • Undergraduate Program Inquiries 302-831-2465