Chemistry, PhD (Green Track)
The Green Chemistry Track in the Chemistry PhD Program is the first such program in the world. Students obtaining a degree from this program will be prepared for conventional chemistry jobs in industry, government, and academia. In addition to traditional training in the chemical sciences, required and elective courses in the Biology Department and School for the Environment provide graduates with the tools and experience to assess human impact on health and the environment.
Green chemistry involves an ecologically sustainable view of chemical research, development, and manufacture. Toxicological understanding and environmental fate are necessary components to understanding the entire "molecular life cycle" of any commercial endeavor.
Typically, universities and academic departments lack the appropriate personnel and facilities to pursue a program of this kind. The unique complement of Chemistry, the School for the Environment, and Biology Department faculty has allowed the University of Massachusetts Boston to create such a program.
GENERAL TIMELINE TO COMPLETION
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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.
The doctoral program is dissertation-based. All PhD students in the Green Chemistry Track conduct original research relevant to green chemistry.
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 UMass Boston department, faculty from another institution, or a qualified member in industry.
CHEM 631 – Chemical Toxicology
CHEM 601 – Thermodynamics and Kinetics
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.
BIOL 614 – Advanced Cell Chemistry
PHYSIC 601 – Electronic Instrumentation II: Digital
EEOS 611 – Applied Statistics
CHEM 691 – Seminar I (fall)
CHEM 899 – Dissertation Research
All students must acquire at least one semester of teaching or work experience in chemistry, subject to approval by the graduate program director.
Teaching and research evaluations are completed by the department on a regular basis, to provide students with feedback on their responsibilities and degree progress. Evaluations of teaching quality are completed by instructional supervisors and departmental staff. Students and research advisors should meet regularly to set goals for research and to assess progress toward these goals. Progress on these is reported in the periodic research evaluations.
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.
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.
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.
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, Green Chemistry Track.
Additional Graduate Program Information
Explore the Chemistry Department and graduate study at UMass Boston.