Graduate Division

Chemistry Ph.D.

Section 1

Overview

The UCI Department of Chemistry offers a traditional Chemistry foundation blended with research experience in emerging fields.  Areas of specialization include:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Chemical Biology
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Nuclear Materials Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry

Students primarily enroll into the Ph.D. program and are awarded a M.S. degree when they have completed the necessary requirements. The Ph.D. is granted in recognition of breadth and depth of knowledge of the facts and theories of modern chemistry and an ability to carry out independent chemical research. Chemistry Ph.D. students are competitive for top-level academic and industrial research positions, as well as many other career pathways.

Chemical and Materials Physics (ChaMP) is an interdisciplinary program between condensed matter physics and physical chemistry, which is designed to eliminate the barrier between these two disciplines. The goal of the concentration in is to provide students with a broad interdisciplinary education in the applied physical sciences that emphasizes modern laboratory and computational skills.

What Sets Us Apart?

The UCI Department of Chemistry is ranked 15th nationwide by Academic Analytics, which is based on the overall quality of the research program and faculty productivity. Our rich department history includes Nobel Laureate F. Sherwood Rowland, and amongst our current faculty are three National Academy of Science members, six Beckman Young Investigator awardees, thirteen Sloan Foundation Fellows, eight Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars, and twelve NSF CAREER awardees.

UCI Chemistry Faculty members receive about $8M in new extramural research funding each year, with total funding on the order of $20M at any given time. The UCI Department of Chemistry is also home to one of nine NSF Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) programs: Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL). Steady resources have enabled the Chemistry Department to maintain and expand state-of-the-art instrumentation user facilities, including a laser spectroscopy facility, a mass spectroscopy facility, an X-ray crystallography facility, an NMR facility, a molecular modeling facility, and a nuclear reactor, all of which are staffed by Ph.D. specialists. These facilities are accessible to graduate researchers, some on a 24/7 open access basis.  

Home to more than 250 chemistry graduate students, the UCI Department of Chemistry offers a rich and dynamic research environment with an abundance of opportunity for collaboration. Students enjoy the benefits that a large, vibrant research community brings, while still receiving plenty of specialized and individual attention.  Faculty mentors and area advisors meet with students regularly to discuss research, plan coursework, and make sure students are making progress towards their degrees. In the past five years, over thirty chemistry graduate students at UCI have been awarded the prestigious NSF GRFP, another indicator of the quality of student research and individual faculty mentoring.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

5 years

Capstone Type

Dissertation

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the admissions criteria set forth by Graduate Division, applicants to the Ph.D. program in Chemistry will be expected to submit the following:

  • Statement of Purpose – Describe your research interests, including research you have completed and or any papers you have published. Include your career objectives and goals for graduate study.
  • Personal History Statement – Describe your personal background, including any experiences or challenges relevant to your academic journey. Include how you addressed these challenges in order to achieve your educational goals.
  • Letters of Recommendation – A minimum of three letters are required
  • Transcripts – Upload unofficial transcripts for all institutions attended since high school
  • GRE General Test – Required
  • GRE Chemistry Subject Test or GRE Subject Test in an appropriate interdisciplinary area, such as Physics or Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology – Recommended

If you have any questions concerning the application process or admissions in general, you may email chemgrad@chem.uci.edu or call our toll-free number (800-829-8UCI).

Deadlines: Applications will be reviewed starting after the recommended deadline and admissions will be made on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply by the recommended deadline for the best chance of admission.

Unofficial Transcripts: Uploaded transcripts should be the most recent and include the following: your name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits, cumulative GPA, and grading legend. Please upload both sides of all transcripts. UCI reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process, and rescind any offer of admission if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found. Official transcripts will be required if you are offered admission and decide to accept. Do not send official transcripts prior to this, unless requested.

International Students/Permanent Residents: Because Chemistry Ph.D. students are funded as teaching assistants during their first year, all international students, permanent residents, and non-native speakers of English must provide valid TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the following criteria:

  • TOEFL iBT
    • An overall score of 80 or higher is required for admission.
    • A speaking section score of 26 or higher is required for TA eligbility.

  • IELTS
    • An overall score of 7 or higher, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module, is required for admission.
    • A speaking module score of 8 or higher is required for TA eligiblity.

The TOEFL or IELTS can only be waived if an applicant meets one of the following criteria:

  1. U.S. citizenship
  2. Completed a four-year high school degree in the U.S.
  3. Citizenship in a country where English is either the primary or dominant language, as approved by UCI Graduate Council. See list of approved countries here.

Applicants who do not meet these testing thresholds, or do not meet one of the three criteria above, are typically not admitted. However, if you do not meet this English requirement, and you are a highly qualified student who would fill a need in our research team, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Chemistry faculty whose research interests you and apply to the program.

 

What are the admission requirements for Chemical and Materials Physics (ChaMP)?

Admission to the Ph.D. program in Chemistry, with a concentration in Chemical and Materials Physics, requires the successful completion of a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Physics, or Materials Science and Engineering with a GPA of 3.1 or better. Additional criteria include the applicant's undergraduate course record, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores in either chemistry or physics.

While we intend to draw students from a broad base nationally and internationally, the concentration is also well suited for students returning after experience in industry. In the latter case, work experience in physical sciences may be used as basis for partial fulfillment of admission requirements.

Communication skills in English are required for admission. The verbal section of the GRE is a criterion for establishing this competence. International students and permanent residents (see above) are additionally required to submit scores of Test of Spoken English (TSE).

How do I apply to the ChaMP program?

Students in ChaMP are admitted to either the Chemistry or Physics Department. For Chemistry, select “Chemical and Material Physics – Chemistry” under “Academic Program” in the online application.

Financial Support

All admitted students are offered full financial support. This includes a yearly stipend of $30,000 as well as tuition, fees, and health insurance.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.86 $ 17,726.60
 
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.86 $ 32,828.60

 

Posted 12 July 2019 at http://reg.uci.edu/fees/2019-2020/graduate.html.

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Ioan Andricioaei, Ph.D. Boston University, Professor of Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy (chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Ara Apkarian, Ph.D. Northwestern University, Professor of Chemistry (physical chemistry and chemical physics)


Shane Ardo, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (inorganic and organometallic, physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Donald R. Blake, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, UCI Distinguished Professor of Chemistry (analytical, atmospheric, environmental)


Suzanne A. Blum, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Chemistry (inorganic and organometallic, organic and synthetic, physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Andrew Borovik, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Professor of Chemistry (inorganic and organometallic, organic and synthetic)


Kieron Burke, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Professor of Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy (physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience, theoretical and computational)


Ann Marie Carlton, Ph.D. Rutgers University, Associate Professor of Chemistry (atmospheric and environmental, physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


A. Richard Chamberlin, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Department Chair and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Chemistry (chemical biology, organic and synthetic)


Robert Corn, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Chemistry; Biomedical Engineering (analytical, chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Vy M. Dong, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Professor of Chemistry (organic and synthetic)


William J. Evans, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor of Chemistry (inorganic and organometallic)


Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts, Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, Director of AirUCI and UCI Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Chemistry (chemistry, analytical, atmospheric and environmental, physical chemistry and chemical physics)


Filipp Furche, Ph.D. University of Karlsruhe, Professor of Chemistry (physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Nien-Hui Ge, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of Chemistry (analytical, chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Alon A. Gorodetsky, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Chemistry (organic photovoltaics, electrical biosensors, nanotechnology, DNA, materials chemistry)


Michael T. Green, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Chemistry (chemical, biology, inorganic and organometallic, physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Zhibin Guan, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Professor of Chemistry; Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (chemical biology, organic and synthetic, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


John C. Hemminger, Ph.D. Harvard University, Professor of Chemistry (analytical, atmospheric and environmental, physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Alan F. Heyduk, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department Vice Chair and Professor of Chemistry (chemical biology, inorganic and organometallic)


Wilson Ho, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Donald Bren Professor and Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Chemistry (physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Allon I. Hochbaum, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Chemistry (nanoscale materials and hybrid bio-inorganic devices for applications in clean energy)


Kenneth C. Janda, Ph.D. Harvard University, Dean of the School of Physical Sciences and Professor of Chemistry (physical chemistry and chemical physics)


Elizabeth R. Jarvo, Ph.D. Boston College, Department Vice Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry (inorganic and organometallic, organic and synthetic)


Matthew Law, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (inorganic and organometallic, physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Chang C. Liu, Ph.D. Scripps Research Institute, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (genetic engineering, directed evolution, synthetic biology, chemical biology)


Andrej Luptak, Ph.D. Yale University, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Chemistry; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (chemical biology)


Vladimir A. Mandelshtam, Ph.D. Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor of Chemistry (physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Craig C. Martens, Ph.D. Cornell University, Professor of Chemistry (physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience, theoretical and computational)

Rachel Martin, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of Chemistry; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (analytical, chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics)


David L. Mobley, Ph.D. University of California, Davis, Vice Chair and Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Chemistry (chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Shaul Mukamel, Ph.D. Tel Aviv University, UCI Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy (physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience, theoretical and computational)


Craig Murray, Ph.D. University of Edinburgh, Assistant Professor of Chemistry (atmospheric and environmental, physical chemistry and chemical physics)


Mikael Nilsson, Ph.D. Chalmers University of Technology, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Chemistry (actinide chemistry, solvent extraction fundamental chemistry and process development, extraction and detection equipment development, radiolysis and phase composition of organic solvent)


Sergey Nizkorodov, Ph.D. University of Basel, Department Vice Chair and Professor of Chemistry (analytical, atmospheric and environmental, physical chemistry and chemical physics)


James S. Nowick, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department Chair and Professor of Chemistry (chemical biology, organic and synthetic, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Larry E. Overman, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCI Distinguished Professor of Chemistry (chemical biology, inorganic and organometallic, organic and synthetic)


Reginald M. Penner, Ph.D. Texas A&M University, UCI Chancellor's Professor of Chemistry (analytical, physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Eric Potma, Ph.D. University of Groningen, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (analytical, chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics)


Thomas L. Poulos, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, UCI Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Chemistry; Pharmaceutical Sciences; Physiology and Biophysics (chemical biology)


Jennifer A. Prescher, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Pharmaceutical Sciences (chemical biology, organic and synthetic)


Sergey V. Pronin, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Assistant Professor of Chemistry (organic chemistry)


Markus W. Ribbe, Ph.D. University of Bayreuth, UCI Chancellor's Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Chemistry (chemical biology, inorganic and organometallic)


Scott D. Rychnovsky, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor of Chemistry (chemical biology, organic and synthetic)


Eric S. Saltzman, Ph.D. University of Miami, Professor of Earth System Science; Chemistry


A. J. Shaka, Ph.D. Oxford University, Professor of Chemistry (chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics)


Kenneth J. Shea, Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, Professor of Chemistry; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (analytical, chemical biology, organic and synthetic, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Manabu Shiraiwa, Ph.D. Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Assistant Professor of Chemistry (atmospheric and environmental, physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Zuzanna S. Siwy, Ph.D. Silesian University of Technology, Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry (biosensing, nanotechnology, condensed matter physics)
James N. Smith, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Professor of Chemistry (atmospheric chemistry, physical chemistry)


Douglas J. Tobias, Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University, Professor of Chemistry (atmospheric and environmental, chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Shiou-Chuan (Sheryl) Tsai, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Chemistry; Pharmaceutical Sciences


Christopher Vanderwal, Ph.D. Scripps Research Institute, Professor of Chemistry (organic and synthetic)


David Van Vranken, Ph.D. Stanford University, Associate Dean of the School of Physical Sciences and Professor of Chemistry (chemical biology, organic and synthetic)


Gregory A. Weiss, Ph.D. Harvard University, Professor of Chemistry; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (analytical, chemical biology, organic and synthetic, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Jenny Y. Yang, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Assistant Professor of Chemistry (inorganic and organometallic, organic and synthetic, polymer, materials, nanoscience)

Career Outcomes

career outcomes data

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Students & Alumni