The department offers a master of science and a doctor of philosophy in chemistry. Specializations within the program are analytical, inorganic, materials, organic, and physical chemistry as well as chemical biology. Breadth coursework may be taken in other departments including physics, mathematics, computer sciences, biochemistry, chemical engineering, and in fields other than the student's specialization within the Department of Chemistry.
Excellent facilities are available for research in a wide variety of specialized fields including synthetic and structural chemistry; natural product and bio-organic chemistry; molecular dynamics and photochemistry; biophysical, bioanalytical, and bioinorganic chemistry; spectroscopy (including magnetic resonance and microwave), theoretical and experimental chemical physics, chemical dynamics, quantum and statistical mechanics; macromolecular and polymer chemistry, materials science, surface and solid-state chemistry; x-ray crystallography, lasers, and light scattering; and chemical education. Programs are assisted by department computing and instrument centers and by other facilities on campus including those of the Division of Information Technology (DoIT).
Information on the research fields of faculty members is available on the chemistry website and in a brochure available from the department.
The department offers opportunities for graduate students to obtain teaching experience. Financial assistance is available to most graduate students in the form of teaching or research assistantships, fellowships, or traineeships.
Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress
To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.
Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement
Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement
Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement
Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 12 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate
Up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate career are allowed to count toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement; if those 7 credits are numbered 700 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate career, they are allowed to count toward the minimum graduate coursework requirement. All credits so counted must be over and above the minimum credits that were required by the original undergraduate degree. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the residence and degree credit requirements; if those 15 credits of coursework taken as a UW–Madison Special student are numbered 700 or above, they are allowed to count toward the minimum graduate coursework requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
Credits per Term Allowed
Program-Specific Courses Required
Contact the program for information on any additional required courses.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement
Other Grade Requirements
The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.
Advisor / Committee
Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.
An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.
A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.
Assessment and Examinations
Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.
Contact the program for information on any language requirements.
Prospective graduate students are expected to have satisfactorily completed the equivalent in class and lab of the fundamental courses in chemistry offered at UW–Madison, one year of physics, and mathematics through calculus. Students who have not completed all the prerequisites may be admitted in exceptional cases, but any deficiencies must be made up in the first year of graduate study.
A grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work is the minimum required for admission to graduate studies. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is also required. The subject test is recommended for fellowship applicants, and required for international applicants. Students for whom English is not the native language are required to present scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Before teaching assistant appointments can be finalized, students for whom English is a second language must participate in the SPEAK Test, the institutional version of the Test of Spoken English (TSE).
Knowledge and Skills
- Articulates, critiques, and elaborates the theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry in an area of chemistry.
- Identifies sources and assembles evidence pertaining to questions or challenges in an area of chemistry.
- Demonstrates understanding of chemical science in a historical, social, or global context.
- Demonstrates the ability to select and utilize appropriate methodologies and practices to solve chemical problems.
- Evaluates and synthesizes information pertaining to questions and challenges in an area of chemistry.
- Communicates clearly in both written and oral formats.
- Recognizes and applies principles of ethical and professional conduct.
Faculty: Professors McMahon (chair), Andrew, Berry, Blackwell, Brunold, Burke, Burstyn, Cavagnero, Choi, Coon, Crim, Cui, Ediger, Fredrickson, Garand, Ge, Gellman, Gilbert, Goldsmith, Gopalan, Hamers, Hermans, Hsung, Jackson, Jin, Kiessling, Kuech, Landis, Li, Lynn, Mecozzi, Middlecamp, Moore, Nathanson, Pedersen, Raines, Record, Schmidt, Schomaker, Schwartz, Shakhashiri, Sibert, Skinner, Smith, Stahl, Strieter, Tang, Weisshaar, Woods, Wright, Yethiraj, Yoon, Yu, Zanni