Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Your application needs to contain the following:

  • A personal statement indicating prior research experience, and proposed field of interest.
  • Copies of college transcripts; unofficial transcripts are acceptable at application.
  • Copies of general GRE score; unofficial scores are acceptable at application.
  • For international students, scanned copies of the TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • Three names and emails for letters of recommendation.  Please notify your letter writers in advance of your application that the letters will be due January 1st.
  • Payment of the application fee (waived for CUNY degree holders and US Veterans)

When do I submit my online application?

The deadline in January 1st

When will I hear if I am accepted?

The Admissions Committee will make offers starting in February.  Notice of declines and waitlists will be sent in late-March.

Do I have to take the GRE Exam?

No, the GRE is not required.

What are the GRE/TOEFL/IELTS test scores required for admission?

The PhD Program in Chemistry does not have strict limits on the standardized exam scores that we require for admission.  Rather than focusing on one exam score, the Admissions Committee reviews each applications in its entirety and makes their decision based on all the information. Based on past results, competitive applications typically have a quantitative GRE above 65%ile (and a TOEFL above 90, for international students).  However, students with lower test scores but with solid research experience and good grades are routinely admitted to the program. 

Can I apply for a Master's Degree?

The CUNY Graduate Center does not have a Master's degree program in Chemistry.  However, several CUNY campuses offer Master's degree programs.  You could contact the campuses to learn more about their Master's degree programs.

When should I arrive in New York? 

Orientation is held two weeks before classes start so it is best to arrive in mid-August.

How and when do I choose a research mentor and start my research?

Graduate students learn about the various research opportunities available by attending research seminars in the Fall of the first year.  First year students are required to perform two research lab rotations in the first semester to better familiarize themselves with the faculty and their research.  Mentor selection is done in December, and all students are expected to start their research by the spring of their first year.

Do I have to take CUMEs?

Students in the Organic Subdiscipline are required to pass cumulative exams that evaluate their proficiency in fundamental organic chemistry concepts and ability to interpret the literature.

Do I have to teach? 

First year students take courses at the Graduate Center and do not teach.  Once you join a research laboratory at a campus, you may be required to teach.  Teaching loads are typically one laboratory, one recitation and the required grading.  Teaching assignments are handled by the individual campuses.

Can I change Subdisciplines? 

Yes, but in some cases it results in you taking an additional course.

Can I transfer in credits from my Master's Degree?  

Yes.  After you have passed your First Level Examination, you can apply to transfer up to 30 credits.  These are blanket credits and do not satisfy the course requirements for your subdiscipline.