PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Frequently Asked Questions – PhD Program

What are the areas of specialization for this PhD program? 

Our program offers a great deal of flexibility in specific area of specialization for our students, and specific research projects are chosen based on student interest, available funding, and likelihood to lead to high impact publications. Most of the research projects currently being pursued by our PhD students fit within the broad categories of Medicinal Biochemistry, Natural Products and Integrative Medicine Research, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Bioanalytical Chemistry, Chemical Education Research and Computational Chemistry. More details about possible research areas can be found on individual faculty web pages.

How do I apply?

Applications are submitted directly to the UNCG graduate school. If you have general questions about your application, please contact our Graduate Director, Dr. Liam Duffy ( For specific questions about individual research groups, please feel free to contact any of our faculty members directly.

Can I visit the department?

We welcome visits from prospective students throughout the year, and will be glad to show you around our facility and introduce you to our students and faculty. If you are interested in arranging a visit, please contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Liam Duffy ( You may also wish to communicate directly with faculty members whose research interests you. Each year we also arrange an expenses-paid visit for the top applicants to our PhD program. Applicants who are selected for this visit will be directly contacted by the director of graduate studies in early February, after all applications have been reviewed.

How do I select a research advisor?

Students are accepted into the graduate program without assignment to a particular mentor, and select a research advisor within their first semester. Pairings between student and research advisor are made based on mutually agreed upon shared research interest and availability of space in the advisor’s laboratory. To learn about research opportunities in our department, students attend presentations by all prospective research advisors, and meet individually with advisors whose research is of particular interest.

What are the coursework requirements for completion of the degree program?

Our program requires a series of courses designed to supplement the mentored laboratory research aspects of the Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program. The majority of this coursework (with the exception of seminars, dissertation, and laboratory research credit) can be completed within the first 3-4 semesters of the program (1.5 – 2 years). Please see the following link for details on required coursework.

What are my career options with a PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry?

A PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry provides tools for range of careers in academia, industry and government, spanning from scientific research and development in areas related to health, energy and technology to education, environmental consulting, quality control and manufacturing support. Graduates from our program are employed in both the academic and private sectors, as teachers, researchers and facility managers. The stories here illustrate some examples of the diverse career paths that have been pursued by our graduates.