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    Dec 03, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Chemistry Major, PhD


The faculty of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, seek to prepare their students to join the international ranks of professional chemists in fundamental areas of chemistry as well as cross-disciplinary sciences in which chemical expertise plays a critical role in the development of new knowledge and technologies. Students planning to major in chemistry for the master’s or doctoral degree will ordinarily have attained a satisfactory record in the traditional areas of chemistry. The department, however, recognizes that modern chemistry transcends traditional disciplinary divisions. Therefore, it encourages students with undergraduate majors in chemical engineering, the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, computer science, or other fields to apply for admission to our program.

Concentrations (Required)

Analytical Chemistry
Chemical Physics (with Department of Physics and Astronomy )
Environmental Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Polymer Chemistry
Theoretical Chemistry

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

Admission to the graduate program is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration an applicant’s undergraduate record (traditionally including courses in general, analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry) and supporting information such as references from previous faculty and research mentors, co-authorship of research presentations or papers, and awards. Recommendation for a student’s initial course of study in graduate school is based on the desired specialization, previous training and experience, and performance on departmental diagnostic exams administered following arrival in the department.

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical chemistry involves the qualitative and quantitative detection of chemical substances using modern instrumentation.

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501 ) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603  
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604  
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and the following sequence

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.

Chemical Physics

The PhD program with a concentration in chemical physics is conducted jointly with the Department of Physics.

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501 ) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603  
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604  
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and one of the following sequences selected in consultation with the major professor:
  • Physics (PHYS), 6 credit hours at the 500-level or above, of which 3 physics credit hours, can be used to satisfy the 18 credit hour requirement listed above

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.

Environmental Chemistry

Environmental chemistry seeks to apply the tools of chemistry to study and protect the natural environment.

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603  
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604  
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and one of the following sequences selected in consultation with the major professor:

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.

Inorganic Chemistry

Inorganic chemistry involves the study of molecules built with atoms other than carbon, and particularly metals.

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501 ) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603 
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604 
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and the following sequence.

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.

Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry involves the synthesis, study and application of carbon-based molecules.

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501 ) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603  
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604  
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and the following sequence

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.

Physical Chemistry

Physical chemistry seeks to understand how chemicals behave at the molecular and atomic level and how reactions occur.  

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501 ) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603  
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604  
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and one of the following sequence

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.

Polymer Chemistry

Polymer chemistry is the study of the synthesis and properties of macromolecules composed of repeating chemical subunits.

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501 ) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603  
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604  
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and the following sequence.

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.

Theoretical Chemistry

Theoretical chemistry studies the structural and dynamic properties of molecules and materials using quantum chemistry and statistical mechanics.

Credit Hours Required

  • 52 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 31 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Research and a dissertation to give at least 24 credit hours of graduate credit in CHEM 600 . Registration must be continuous from the beginning of research
  • Required participation in seminar (CHEM 501 ) at the beginning of the period of graduate study until 6 credit hours of satisfactory credit has been obtained
  • Preparation of a written candidacy proposal (CP) based on current and proposed research and oral defense of the CP to give 2 credit hours in CHEM 603  
  • Preparation and defense of an original research proposal (ORP) to give 1 credit hour in CHEM 604  
  • CHEM 503  (required course, 1 credit hour)
  • 18 additional credit hours in courses at the 500-level or above including at least one course above 604 and one of the following sequences selected in consultation with the major professor:

Additional Course Requirements

Non-Course Requirements

  • A final oral examination is conducted in which the dissertation is defended.
  • Graduation with a PhD in Chemistry requires the publication of a minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal describing research performed during graduate studies.