The complete requirements for the Ph.D. program are detailed in the Student Handbook and differ slightly between subdisciplines. Here we provide a brief overview of the program. All students are required to pass one course each in inorganic, organic and quantum chemistry and to pass the First Level Examination which covers these three areas. Students may be exempted from any of these courses if they pass a special exemption examination which is given during the first week of classes each semester. A course in laboratory research techniques and at least two other lecture courses are also required.
The Second Level Examination tests a student's mastery of recent developments in his/her subdiscipline and encourages independent study of the chemical literature. Elective courses and special topics courses are offered periodically in response to student demand.
The central requirement for the Ph.D. degree is completion of a major research project. This research is done in collaboration with a Research Mentor at one of the senior college campuses. Students are expected to select a Research Mentor and to begin research by the conclusion of their second semester in the program. Each semester student progress in course work and examinations is evaluated by the Executive Committee of the program. Students meet each semester with the Executive Officer at the Graduate Center for advisement and registration until they have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation. Progress in research is evaluated at annual meetings of the student's Dissertation Committee.
Each student is required to acquire experience in college teaching by serving as a teaching assistant in the undergraduate classroom and laboratory. Teaching positions are assigned by the Chair of the department at the campus at which the student is carrying out dissertation research or, for entering students, usually at the campus of their choice.