Interested students may pursue a PhD in Analytical Chemistry or a PhD in Chemistry with a physical/analytical track. These degree programs are typically research-heavy and culminate in a thesis/dissertation. Find out more about some of the common requirements for these degree programs.
Information for Doctoral Degree Programs in Analytical Chemistry
Doctoral programs in analytical chemistry are generally comprised of coursework with lectures and laboratories, seminars, research and training. Although students may choose electives and coursework that are specific to their career goals and research interests, below we examine some of the common course topics for these programs.
Courses in analytical instrumentation typically provide students with an overview of the different kinds of instrumentation used in chemistry. Students learn how to choose the correct instrumental methods for a particular kind of analysis, as well as how to properly use analytical instruments. These courses often have a lab component to allow students hands-on experience with instruments and methods.
Students in electrochemistry courses study the theories of charge transfer, ionics and more that are then applied to electroanalytical techniques. Students manage analytical data as they use electrochemical instrumentation, microelectrochemistry and electrode analysis. Other specific topics in this course may include chemical equilibrium, voltammetry, coulometry, potentiometry and more.
Some courses in spectrochemistry may be broken into specific courses on mass spectrometry and chromatography or provide a broader overview of the subject. Students in these courses study and gain hands-on experience with mass spectrometric methods and chromatography and also learn how to set up and maintain mass spectrometers. Other topics that may be covered in broader courses may include X-rays, electrical discharge, counter current distribution and more.
Courses in environmental chemistry may also have titles in green chemistry, but all focus on exploring the chemistry involved in analyzing and combating environmental issues, including pollution. Students may examine different environmental issues, such as water pollution or global warming, and possible chemical solutions to reduce environmental impact and help society. These courses may include a lab component in which students can collect and analyze samples.
Courses in physical chemistry may take a general overview of the subject or be broken into courses that focus on physical organic or physical inorganic chemistry. Students usually study the modern theories of the field in these lecture-based courses. Specific topics may include, but are not limited to, chemical thermodynamics, intermolecular forces, quantum chemistry, kinetics, photochemistry, reactivity and molecular orbital theory.
Common Entrance Requirements
Most doctoral programs in analytical chemistry require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree and usually a master's degree or be in the process of finishing a master's degree. Some programs may have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 or greater and usually suggest that potential students make contact with faculty members who match their research interests. Programs may also expect applicants to have a specific number of hours in chemistry coursework. Applicants typically need to include their official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and/or a resume/CV with their application.
Students wishing to study analytical chemistry can pursue a PhD in the field. These degree programs usually require a thesis or dissertation and give students plenty of research and laboratory experience in chemistry.