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Graduate and Prospective Graduate Students

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The Graduate Program

Our graduate program in Chemistry and Biochemistry was one of the first advanced-degree programs established at the University of Delaware, awarding its first PhDs in 1948. Over the last 70+ years, our program has conferred nearly 1000 doctoral degrees to students that have gone on to positions in industry, academia and government laboratories. Hallmarks of our program include a strong concentration in the broadly defined subjects of chemistry and biochemistry, cutting-edge research facilities, and excellent faculty mentorship that emphasizes the development and maturation of each individual student.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers programs leading to the PhD, MS, and MA degrees. Financial support is available for PhD students in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. Such support provides a highly competitive stipend that is guaranteed for at least five years, allowing our students to comfortably focus on their research and education as they develop into independent scholars and proficient scientists. The thesis for the PhD or MS degree may be completed in a number of traditional areas of concentration, with emphasis placed on a mix of interdisciplinary coursework and research experiences. In addition to stressing a multidisciplinary approach within Chemistry and Biochemistry, students are encouraged to explore coursework and research partnerships offered through other departments when they fit logically into the student's proposed dissertation area. 


The Delaware Commitment

The comfortable size of our graduate program facilitates excellent student-faculty interactions, while the state-of-the-art resources and infrastructure within our department provide world-class of research opportunities. Research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry involves nearly 200 full-time PhD students and many MS candidates that work across approximately thirty vibrant research groups. Students work closely with faculty to push the boundaries of science and education.

Our departmental faculty are broadly recognized as global leaders in their respective fields and for excellence in student mentorship. Research within the department is focused on addressing many of our society's most pressing issues and places major emphasis on collaborative and interdisciplinary inquiry. These efforts are bolstered by department-led Centers for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), an NIH Chemical and Biology Interface (CBI) training program, and partnerships with many multidisciplinary research centers on our campus including the UD Energy Institute, The Center for Catalytic Science and Technology, and the Delaware Environmental Institute, among others. Our department's proximity to UD's College of Engineering enables cross-cutting connections that further distinguish our department as a progressive hub for multidisciplinary science on campus.

Students and faculty within the department also benefit through interactions with industrial colleagues in the mid-Atlantic region, which is a hub for pharmaceutical science, chemical synthesis, biotechnology, and many other chemistry related industries. An extensive program of visiting speakers and scholars brings distinguished scientists from across the globe to the department each year. Our department maintains close contact with alumni and additional colleagues in academia, government and industry, to provide students with an understanding of the many opportunities they can consider upon completing their advanced degrees. Many students take advantage of these connections to engage in research internships and co-ops with a mix of industrial and national lab partners as they complete their dissertations. These experiences provide students with a finer understanding of how the skills they build while at UD translate into the workplace, as they prepare for the next stages of their careers.

World-Class Research Facilities

In addition to the wide variety of modern equipment available in individual departmental research laboratories, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosts four major state-of-the-art facilities that are managed by PhD-level staff scientists. Graduate students are trained to use instruments in each of these facilities in completing dissertation work. The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Complex houses six state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers with operating frequencies ranging from 400 MHz to 850 MHz, as well as one FT-ESR spectrometer. The departmental mass spectrometry laboratory provides access to instruments that provide capabilities in electrospray ionization (ESI), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI), chemical ionization (CI), liquid-injection field desorption ionization (LIFDI), and electron ionization (EI) mass spectrometry. Numerous state-of-the art low-resolution and high-resolution GC/MS, LC/MS, and MALDI instruments are also available. The X-ray laboratory includes two CCD X-ray diffractometers for small molecule crystallography, and a research facility to perform macromolecular crystallography is also housed in the department. Our department also serves as home to the university-wide Surface Analysis Facility (SAF), which provides analytical capabilities in scanning probe microscopy (SPM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). All students and faculty in the department also benefit from the wide range of research facilities located across UD's campus that complement and expand the capabilities provided by those detailed above. Finally, the department also maintains electronics, machine, and glass-blowing shops, as well as a chemistry reference library and IT and administrative services. Each of these facilities is operated by full-time departmental staff members.

General Information Regarding the Graduate Application Process

Our Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers MA, MS and PhD degree options. Students that apply to our program primarily pursue PhD studies in either chemistry or biochemistry. This program is intended for full-time students desiring an advanced degree in chemical or biochemical research. Admission to the PhD program usually includes full financial assistance in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. Such support provides a highly competitive stipend that is guaranteed for at least five years, allowing students to comfortably focus on their research and education as they develop into independent scholars and proficient scientists. Note that it is not necessary to complete an MA or MS degree prior to enrolling in our PhD program.

The MA (coursework-based) and M.S. (coursework- and research-based) programs in Chemistry or Biochemistry are suited for graduate students wanting to gain a deeper understanding of chemical principles at an advanced level. Full-time or part-time applicants may apply for admission.

Admission to the MA or MS program in Chemistry or Biochemistry does not include financial assistance from the Department.  Both full-time and part-time applicants should ensure they have adequate resources to cover tuition and living expenses for a period of at least 2 years.

General requirements:

  • Resume    

  • Personal Statement  

  • Transcripts  

  • Letter of Recommendation 

  • Graduate Application Supplemental Document—Research Interest Area 

   • TOEFL or IELTS for International Applicants 

   • Application Fee Paid

If you have questions about these programs or if you would like to apply for other programs (for example, part-time study toward a Ph.D. degree), please contact the Director of Graduate Studies:

Professor Joel Rosenthal Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Delaware Newark, DE 19716 Telephone: 302-831-0716 Email:


Lori Nesnow Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Delaware Newark, DE 19716 Telephone: 302-831-2462

If you have questions during the application process many of your questions can be answered either on the Graduate and Professional Education website or on the Department FAQ page.

Application Fee

A $75 application fee is required upon submission of applications. Application fee waivers may be available in certain circumstances. Information on application fee waivers can be found at

Evaluation Procedure

Once a prospective student's application materials have been received, our departmental admission committee will review your file. Evaluation of applications for admission in the fall semester will begin the preceding December and continue through March or until all positions are filled. When decisions on individual applications are reached, you will be notified through email. In the interim period, you may check on the status of your application through UD's online application system.

If you have problems with the online application system, related to its functionality, contact the office of Graduate and Professional Education

All other questions may be directed to:

Lori Nesnow Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Delaware Newark, DE 19716 Telephone: 302-831-2462 Email:

Statistics for UD's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

·       PhD Students Receive Highly Competitive Stipends & Full Tuition Waiver

·       First PhD Degrees Awarded in 1948, with Nearly 100 Doctorates Awarded to Date

·       Nearly 200 Full-time Ph.D. Graduate Students Enrolled

·       Nearly 350 Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Majors Enrolled

·       Over $10 million in External Research Support

·       210,000 square foot of Space in UD's Chemistry Complex

·       Multiple Departmental Core Facilities Featuring State-of-the-Art Equipment


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