Ph.D. Requirements

View the Graduate School’s general guidelines for completing your degree. The Chemistry Department’s requirements for the Ph.D. are listed below. A timeline for the Ph.D. requirements is here.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

First Year

TA Training

First week before the beginning of fall and spring semesters.


Rotations & Group Joining

Three research group rotations, completed by early November.


Coursework

Required coursework varies by path (see here: Required Coursework). All coursework is to be completed by the fall semester of the second year.


Minor Agreement Form

After you join a research group, discuss the course selections for the spring semester and following fall.  Complete the Minor Agreement Form with your PI and returned the signed document to the Graduate Program Office (room 2108).


Enrollment Credit Requirements

Classes start Tuesday, Jan 21 for spring 2020.  Please make sure that you have enrolled in courses. Deadline to sign up is Jan 24.  See the Registrar for deadlines related to course enrollment.

Dissertators (total 3 credits)

  • 2 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Non-dissertators (total 15 credits)

  • Lecture Courses to satisfy the core and minor requirements or of general interest
  • 1-12 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Transfer Credits

A graduate student can receive departmental conferment for up to 12 credits from another institution toward the UW-Madison Ph.D. requirements. These courses will not appear on the UW-Madison transcript nor count toward the graduate career GPA. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

To confer credits, you will need to fill out the Chemistry Course Waiver Form and:

  1. Identify a graduate course at UW-Madison that is similar to the course taken at another institution.
  2. Identify a faculty member who has taught the UW-Madison course.
  3. Email the faculty member asking for credit for the similar course. Include the following:
    • UW-Madison course number and number of credits
    • Course name, instructor, number of credits, grade, a short description, and syllabus of the course taken at the other institution
  4. Ask the UW-Madison faculty to email Arrietta Clauss with permission granted and the number of credits.

Second Year

Choose a mentoring committee by November 1

Use the mentoring committee selection form here. Rank 5 faculty, not including their PI, to be on the mentoring committee. Discuss your selection with your PI, considering faculty inside the department, affiliated with the department, and outside of the department. It is not necessary to contact the faculty that you select to be on your committee before you submit the form. There is a a comment box on the form.


Thesis Background Examination (TBE)

The examination will consist of a written report and an oral defense.  The details about the exam are here: TBE Requirements, and the evaluation form is here: TBE Evaluation Form. The student brings the evaluation form to the oral exam. Examples of the written portion:


Enrollment Credit Requirements

Classes start Tuesday, Jan 21 for spring 2020.  Please make sure that you have enrolled in courses. Deadline to sign up is Jan 24.  See the Registrar for deadlines related to course enrollment.

Dissertators (total 3 credits)

  • 2 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Non-dissertators (total 15 credits)

  • Lecture Courses to satisfy the core and minor requirements or of general interest
  • 1-12 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Third Year

Original Research Proposal Examination (RP)

The examination will consist of a written proposal and an oral defense. The details about the exam are here: RP Requirements. Examples written portion:


Pass Program requirements through the Third Year

Successful completion of the RP, along with the other program requirements (TBE, coursework) will complete the requirement for admission to candidacy, i.e., dissertator status.


Request warrant for Research Proposal

At least 3 weeks before oral defense, request warrant for Research Proposal here. The student brings the warrant and the RP Evaluation Form to the oral exam. If the oral defense is done virtually, some suggestions are here.


Enrollment Credit Requirements

Classes start Tuesday, Jan 21 for spring 2020.  Please make sure that you have enrolled in courses. Deadline to sign up is Jan 24.  See the Registrar for deadlines related to course enrollment.

Dissertators (total 3 credits)

  • 2 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Non-dissertators (total 15 credits)

  • Lecture Courses to satisfy the core and minor requirements or of general interest
  • 1-12 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Fourth Year

Fourth-Year Mentor Committee Meeting

This meeting is designed to provide a summary of progress and to establish a timeline for completion of work required the Ph.D. degree. The Fourth-Year Mentoring Committee Form should be completed by the student and the research advisor and be provided to the mentoring committee members before the meeting. The 4th year meeting includes a brief (~10 minute) presentation of the student’s research to the mentoring committee (open to others, if desired), followed by a closed discussion of results and future plans between the student and committee members. The 4th committee meetings should be completed by May 31.


Enrollment Credit Requirements

Classes start Tuesday, Jan 21 for spring 2020.  Please make sure that you have enrolled in courses. Deadline to sign up is Jan 24.  See the Registrar for deadlines related to course enrollment.

Dissertators (total 3 credits)

  • 2 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Non-dissertators (total 15 credits)

  • Lecture Courses to satisfy the core and minor requirements or of general interest
  • 1-12 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Fifth Year & Beyond

Preparing Doctoral Dissertation


Graduation


Dissertation Oral Defense

The examination will consist of a written dissertation and an oral defense.

  • At least 3 weeks before oral defense, request the Ph.D. final degree warrant here
  • At least 2 weeks before the oral defense, create a flyer for the defense and email it to the Graduate Program Office. The template for the defense poster is here.
  • At least 1 week, preferably 2 weeks, before the final oral defense, email your dissertation to your Ph.D. committee.
  • If the oral defense is done virtually, some suggestions are here.

Enrollment Credit Requirements

Classes start Tuesday, Jan 21 for spring 2020.  Please make sure that you have enrolled in courses. Deadline to sign up is Jan 24.  See the Registrar for deadlines related to course enrollment.

Dissertators (total 3 credits)

  • 2 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Non-dissertators (total 15 credits)

  • Lecture Courses to satisfy the core and minor requirements or of general interest
  • 1-12 credits research (analytical – Chem 993; chembio – Chem 998; chem educ res – sign up for Chem 990 for Stowe and Chem 994 for Pazicni; inorganic – Chem 994; materials – Chem 996; organic – Chem 990; physical – Chem 992; all use the section of your PI)
  • 1 credit group meeting (Chem 964, section of your PI)
  • 0 credits seminar (analytical – Chem 920; chembio – any; chem educ res – any; inorganic – Chem 900; materials – Chem 920; organic – Chem 940; physical – Chem 960)

Submitting Your Dissertation

  • Fill out the checkout form and return it to the Graduate Program Office (room 2108) before your last day.
  • If you are completing your Ph.D. before the end of the semester, please complete the Grade Change Form.

Year-End Meeting – If you are not graduating until your 6th year

Students who have not set a date for their dissertation defense by the end of their fifth year will meet with their mentoring committee members. This meeting is designed to provide a summary of progress and to establish a timeline for completion of work required the Ph.D. degree. The Fifth-Year Mentoring Committee Form should be completed by the student and the research advisor and be provided to the mentoring committee members before the meeting. The meeting includes a brief (~10 minute) presentation of the student’s research to the mentoring committee (open to others, if desired), followed by a closed discussion of results and future plans between the student and committee members. The 5th committee meetings should be completed by May 31.


Degree Completion Letter

You can either receive a degree completion letter from the Department of Chemistry or from the University.

From the Department of Chemistry

To receive a completion letter from the Department, please email Arrietta Clauss and provide the date of your defense and the date that you submitted your thesis to the Graduate School.  The letter will be signed by Matt Sanders.

From the University

To receive a completion letter from the University, please submit the Degree Completion Form available from the Registrar in the Graduate Students section .  It will first go to the Graduate School for verification.  Once all information is verified, the Office of the Registrar will provide your PDF letter. This process usually takes 7-10 days.

If you are in more immediate need of a completion letter, you are able to walk to the graduate school to have them process the information right away before getting approved by the registrar. This process can be done within 2-3 hours.