Academics

Chemistry, PhD (Chemistry Education Research Track)

Degree Requirements

GENERAL TIMELINE TO COMPLETION

Select requirement for more details.

YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 YEAR 4 YEAR 5
Four courses Two courses Continue research Continue research Finish research
Choose advisor Continue research Complete WQEs Complete OQE Write dissertation
Literature seminar Begin WQEs File AGSR File AGSR Defend dissertation
Dissertation Committee File AGSR      
Begin research        
File AGSR        

Note:
i. Teaching or work experience should be completed early in the program.
ii. Coursework consists of core courses, elective courses, seminars, and dissertation credit.
iii. Students may choose electives from external departments including Biology, EducationPhysics, and the School for the Environment. Other extra-departmental courses are subject to the Graduate Program Director's approval.
iv. Students file the Annual Graduate Student Report (AGSR) yearly, except for the semester the degree is awarded.
v. Students qualify for the Chemistry Education Research Track after they have completed both requirements for Admission to Candidacy, four Written Qualifying Examinations (WQEs) and the Oral Qualifying Examination (OQE).

SELECT RESEARCH ADVISOR

Students are required to choose a research advisor within their first semester of enrollment in the Chemistry Graduate Program. In order to make an informed choice, students are required to speak with at least three chemistry faculty members currently conducting research within the department.

RESEARCH

The doctoral program is dissertation-based. All PhD students in the Chemistry Education Research Track conduct original research relevant to chemistry education research.

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SELECT DISSERTATION COMMITTEE

PhD students must choose three faculty members from the Chemistry Department (including their research advisor as the chair of the committee) by the end of their first year. PhD students may wait until further in their research development to choose the fourth, external committee member to serve on their committee. The external committee member may be faculty member from another University of Massachusetts Boston department, faculty from another institution, or a qualified member in industry.

The responsibilities of a dissertation committee member consist of participating in the literature seminar, oral qualifying exam, and in the oral defense of the dissertation.

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COURSEWORK (Complete 60 credits.)

CORE COURSE IN CHEMISTRY PHD FOR ALL TRACKS (Choose one.)

CHEM 631 – Chemical Toxicology
CHEM 671 – Green Chemistry

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CORE COURSES IN CHEMISTRY EDUCATION RESEARCH TRACK (Three courses.)

CHEM 641 – Chemistry and Biochemistry Education Research

At least two courses selected from the following three options:
* Quantitative Methods: EEOS 611 (Applied Statistics) or BIOL 607 (Computational Data Analysis for Biology)
Qualitative Methods: HIGHED 752 (Research Methods in HIgher Education: Qualitative Analysis) or PSYCLN 775 (Qualitative Methods in Clinical Psychology)
Cognition: PSYDBS 762 (Knowledge Acquisition) or PSYDBS 620 (Cognitive Neuroscience)

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ELECTIVE COURSES (Choose two from list.)

CHEM 601 – Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHEM 602 – Quantum Mechanics
CHEM 611 – Organometallic Catalysis
CHEM 612 – Physical Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 621 – Synthetic Organic Chemistry
CHEM 622 – Physical Organic Chemistry
CHEM 631 – Chemical Toxicology
CHEM 651 – Spectroscopic Identification of Organic Compounds
CHEM 654 – Biological Chemistry
CHEM 658 – Medicinal Chemistry
CHEM 661 – Analytical Instrumentation
CHEM 671 – Introduction to Green Chemistry
CHEM 680 – Physical Biochemistry
CHEM 681 – Medical Biochemistry
CHEM 687 – Topics in Chemistry
CHEM 688 – Topics in Physical Chemistry
CHEM 689 – Topics in Organic Chemistry
CHEM 690 – Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 696 – Independent Study
CHEM 697 – Special Topics in Chemistry

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EXTRA-DEPARTMENTAL ELECTIVES

Students may choose electives from external departments if they are relevant to their course of study and research. Students choose courses with the permission of the advisor and Graduate Program Director.

Biology Department

BIOL 614 – Advanced Cell Chemistry
BIOL 678 – Protein Chemistry and Enzymology
BIOL 679 – Protein Chemistry and Enzymology Lecture
BIOL 685 – Biomedical Tracers

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Education Departments

EDCG 606 – Sociocultural Foundations of Education
HIGHED 612 – Impact of College on Students
HIGHED 620 – Teaching, Learning and Curriculum in Urban Contexts
HIGHED 636 – Sociological Perspectives on Higher Education
EDCG 663 – Assessment in Teaching
EDCG 665 – Secondary Science Teaching Methods

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Physics Department

PHYSIC 601 – Electronic Instrumentation II: Digital
PHYSIC 612 – Electromagnetic Theory
PHYSIC 632 – Advanced Laser Optics (with lab)
PHYSIC 609 – Physics of Medical Imaging
PHYSIC 615 – Solid State Physics
PHYSIC 621 – Physics of Semiconductor Materials

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School for the Environment

ENVSCI 611 – Applied Statistics
ENVSCI 635 – Environmental Toxicology
ENVSCI 640 – The Chemistry of Natural Waters
ENVSCI 710 – Environmental Biogeochemistry
ENVSCI 715 – Isotope Geochemistry

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SEMINAR COURSES (Enroll in seminar every semester.)

CHEM 691 – Seminar I (fall)
CHEM 692 – Seminar II (spring)

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DISSERTATION RESEARCH (Complete 20 credits.)

CHEM 899 – Dissertation Research

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TEACHING OR WORK EXPERIENCE

All students must acquire at least one semester of teaching or work experience in chemistry, subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director.

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ANNUAL GRADUATE STUDENT REPORT

The Annual Graduate Student Report (AGSR) is the departmental assessment of a student’s degree progress. Students file the AGSR yearly.

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LITERATURE SEMINAR

All students are required to prepare a presentation based on review of the scientific literature related to a selected topic of current chemical interest. The literature seminar must be completed within the first two semesters of matriculation.

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ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY

WRITTEN QUALIFYING EXAMINATIONS

All doctoral students must complete four Written Qualifying Examinations (WQEs), two in their respective doctoral track and two examinations from any other doctoral track. The Chemistry Department administers WQEs in all doctoral tracks in January and June.

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ORAL QUALIFYING EXAMINATION

The Oral Qualifying Examination (OQE) consists of a written research proposal and oral defense.

The written proposal will be 7-15 pages long, based on a literature review of the field. The subject of the written proposal can be an extension of the student’s dissertation research but must be agreed upon by the student, advisor, and Dissertation Committee.

Students prepare a 45 minute oral proposal seminar based on their written proposal to a general audience and Dissertation Committee. A short question and answer session will follow the presentation and then a formal examination administered by the Graduate Committee.

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DISSERTATION & DEFENSE

The doctoral dissertation is based on original scientific work, conducted under the close supervision of a faculty advisor.

A private oral exam between the student and Graduate Committee will be held following the defense in order to establish the student’s understanding of the research. Passing of the defense in conjunction with publishing the thesis through the College of Graduate Studies will result in the awarding of the PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemistry Education Research Track.

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