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Department Head: Timothy Jamison


The Department of Chemistry offers the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science degrees, both of which aim to help graduate students become independent scientists, capable of identifying areas of significance, and developing approaches to solving the major problems in chemistry. These accomplishments prepare students for positions of leadership world-wide, not only in the above, more traditional arenas, but also in other developing fields as well. MIT Chemistry graduates are sought by recruiters from the chemical, petroleum, materials science and pharmaceuticals industries, by academic departments of chemistry, biology, physics and materials science, and by government laboratories and agencies. 

The subjects offered for doctoral degrees aim to develop a sound knowledge of fundamentals and a familiarity with current progress in the most active and important areas of chemistry. In addition to studying formal subjects, each student undertakes a research problem that forms the core of graduate work. Original research, performed under the direction of a thesis advisor, plays a major role in the PhD program. The thesis research helps the student to develop research skills, critical judgment, originality, and independence. It is through participation in such research that the graduate student makes the transition from the role of student to that of professional colleague. Students join research groups and choose thesis topics during the first semester of residence, after discussion with faculty members. Most students begin research at the beginning of their second semester at MIT. A PhD in Chemistry requires completion of a program of advanced study, two semesters of teaching experience, completion of cumulative written examinations and a general oral examination, and completion and oral defense of a thesis on original research. This program normally has a duration of four to five years. 

Department of Chemistry-Graduate Program

Department of Chemistry-Graduate Admissions

MIT Course Bulletin-Chemistry Graduate Program