Graduate Program

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers three graduate degrees: the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), a thesis Master of Science (M.S.), and a coursework M.S. The Ph.D. and thesis M.S. programs are designed to help students develop into independent scholars while pursuing the excitement of scientific research in a personal, supportive environment. Both the Ph.D. and the research M.S. programs prepare students for careers in academia, industry, government laboratories, and other settings requiring an advanced education in chemistry and related disciplines. The coursework M.S. does not require research and is suited to future teachers and others wishing to update or broaden their chemical expertise. Approximately 100 graduate students are currently enrolled in the graduate program.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry invites well-known researchers from outside UC Santa Cruz to share and discuss their current research. Visiting speakers from other universities and government or industrial research labs expose students to advances at the frontiers of chemical research, offering the opportunity for personal contact with leading scientists. All Ph.D. and thesis M.S students are required to enroll in the CHEM 291, Research Seminar, until they have advanced to candidacy.

Teaching assistantships provide both financial support and the opportunity to put into practice the required pedagogical training offered in CHEM 296 (presentation techniques, discussion strategies, laboratory teaching skills, laboratory safety procedures, and time management). Doctoral students may also be supported as graduate-student researchers.