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Departments & Programs

Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Graduate Programs (M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees)

Admission Requirements

The prospective student should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, show promise of ability to engage in advanced work, and have adequate preparation, at least 35 credit hours of chemistry, broadly representative of the fields of the discipline, in a chemistry curriculum. The GRE subject exam in chemistry is strongly recommended.

Incoming students with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) will automatically be recommended for admission as regular graduate students. Those with a GPA below 3.0 will be admitted as temporary graduate students with the provision that a 3.0 average must be achieved in the first three graduate courses (or 9 credit hours) if they are to be admitted as regular graduate students.

Application for Admission

Inquiries concerning the application process can be made directly to the Department by writing to Graduate Admissions; Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, IUPUI, 402 N. Blackford Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3272; phone (317) 274-6876; www.chem.iupui.edu. Applications for full-time study should be completed by March for the following Fall semester to ensure complete consideration for fellowships and other financial support (see “Graduate Program Financial Aid” in this section). Applications for part-time graduate admission may be submitted at any time.

Temporary graduate students who wish to enroll in courses, though not necessarily in a degree program, should contact the IUPUI Graduate Office, University Library, UL 1170, 755 W. Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202; phone (317) 274-1577. Students should be aware that no more than 12 credit hours earned as a nondegree student may be counted toward a degree program.

Transfer Credit

The Department will accept by transfer a maximum of 6 hours of graduate credit, in excess of undergraduate degree requirements, from approved institutions.

Graduate Program Financial Aid

All full-time thesis graduate students receive support stipends through teaching assistantships, research assistantships, departmental fellowships, university fellowships, or through the Industrial Co-op Program. Full-time students receive fee remissions; students with assistantships and fellowships are also eligible for health insurance. Consult the graduate advisor for current funding levels.

Master of Science Program

The M.S. program in chemistry, which awards a Purdue University degree, requires 30 credit hours of study beyond the baccalaureate level. It is designed for students seeking careers as professional chemists. Graduates of the program often choose industrial positions, but others enter Ph.D. programs in chemistry or related areas. Graduates have been placed in positions throughout the United States and abroad.

General Degree Options and Requirements

Specific area requirements (core courses) apply for course work. Courses from three of the following areas must be taken: analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical. Typically, students take three courses in their primary area and two courses outside of it to meet these requirements.

The M.S. degree can be earned through any of three different options: the thesis option, the Industrial Co-op Program, and the nonthesis option.

Thesis Option  This traditional full-time program requires 20 hours of course work and 10 hours of thesis research. The research activity culminates in the completion and defense of a thesis. This option is available to full- or part-time students.

Industrial Co-op Program  This full-time program has the same requirements as the thesis option, but it includes industrial work experience in the Indianapolis area. The program is described in detail in the following section, “Master of Science Industrial Co-op Program.”

Nonthesis Option  The nonthesis option requires 30 hours of course work alone. Because actual research experience is essential in an advanced chemistry program, this option is recommended for part-time students only. Students in this option are usually employed full time and are already engaged in research activity as part of their employment. However, nonthesis students may still enroll in a limited amount of research study that applies to the degree requirements (usually through CHEM 59900).

Master of Science 
Industrial Co-op Program

Although most chemists seek careers in industry upon completion of their educational goals, few have had industrial experience or the opportunity to develop an appreciation for the types of problems presented in the industrial setting. The Industrial Co-op Program in Indianapolis is designed to provide industrial experience and to offer an alternative approach to career preparation. Most graduates leave with a strong, research-based M.S. degree plus meaningful work-study experience commensurate with graduate-level training. Students may also enter the Ph.D. program and participate in the co-op program for the first two years of their residency.

The M.S. Industrial Co-op Program requires 24 months of full-time study. The first semester consists of intensive course work, interviews with personnel from several local industrial laboratories, and familiarization with faculty research interests. In the second and subsequent semesters, the student continues course work and engages in parallel work experience and academic experience, consisting of 20 hours per week at an industrial lab and 20 hours per week in an academic lab. This work experience is commensurate with the student’s background and interests and is an important part of the overall training program. The faculty thesis advisor and the industrial supervisor serve together to monitor each student’s progress in the program.

Most students who enter the co-op program have sound academic backgrounds and some research experience, and they desire industrial experience and an opportunity to pursue graduate studies in chemistry.

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. program is a full-time, thesis-based research program. This program provides a substantially larger research component than that of the M.S. degree and requires original and significant research contributions by the student. As a result, the Ph.D. student is qualified for employment where the ability to design, develop, and complete a research program is expected.

The program is part of the Purdue University system-wide doctoral program in chemistry, and, as such, identical requirements apply to all campuses participating in the program.

To establish candidacy, students must pass five written ‘cumulative’ examination questions within their first four semesters and an oral examination before the end of their fifth semester of graduate study. The oral examination will include a discussion of the student’s research and defense of an original research proposal that is different from the student’s thesis research.

Course requirements include a core of three courses in the student’s major division plus three additional courses outside the major division. A number of additional courses may be recommended that cover material appropriate to the written part of the preliminary examination.

Joint M.D.-Ph.D. Program

The Department participates in the joint M.D.-Ph.D. program with the Indiana University School of Medicine. In this program, students concurrently earn an Indiana University M.D. degree and Purdue University Ph.D. degree in chemistry. Students take courses in both chemistry and medicine, with several courses simultaneously satisfying both degree requirements.

Eligible students must be admitted separately to the School of Medicine and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Once admission to each is approved, students, together with advisors from medicine and chemistry, plan a tentative course outline for a concurrent program. Graduate and teaching assistantships or fellowships are arranged primarily through the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Medical Biophysics Ph.D. Program

In cooperation with departments in the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Purdue University School of Science, this interdisciplinary program leads to an Indiana University Ph.D. degree in biophysics. The program is designed to give talented graduate students the skills required of the next generation of biologically oriented scientists. The program combines a core of courses in molecular and cellular biophysics with flexible electives and a seminar program. The training is oriented primarily toward faculty-directed research with focus points at the boundaries of the traditional disciplines of physics, chemistry, and biology. Prospective students should contact the director of graduate programs in the chemistry department for further information.

Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. and Master’s Program

Biomedical engineering is a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field combining engineering, chemistry, biology, and medicine. The curriculum involves mathematics, engineering, and classical and medical sciences. The doctoral program is a joint effort between the Biomedical Engineering Programs at IUPUI and Purdue University, West Lafayette. In this case, students apply to the West Lafayette campus and can take courses and do research at IUPUI. Students for the master’s program apply to the Biomedical Engineering Program at IUPUI.