Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Doctoral Program

Goals and Objectives

The Ph.D. program in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Toledo is a medium sized program (currently 20 graduate faculty and ca. 65 graduate students) with research strengths in the areas of synthetic chemistry, bioanalytical chemistry and materials chemistry. The program features small to medium sized research groups (3 to 6 graduate students per group) with strong interactions between research directors and students in an environment that stresses grant-supported research carried out with modern instrumentation. The Department is well equipped with major NMR, MS and EPR instrumentation, and IR and Raman spectrometers, as well as with smaller spectroscopic, chromatographic, preparative, and analytical equipment and computers necessary for research in chemistry and biochemistry. In addition, Toledo is the home of the Ohio Crystallography Consortium with an internationally recognized program of small molecule and macromolecular crystallographic research based on three single crystal diffractometers and one powder machine.

Current research areas in materials chemistry include synthesis of thin films and porous materials and their structural characterization, ultramicroelectrodes for analytical applications, thermal analysis, chemistry in ionic liquids, and crystal engineering.

Research areas in biological chemistry and biochemistry include mechanistic enzymology, protein chemistry, DNA replication, polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism, bioenergetics and biomolecular modeling.

Research in X-ray crystallography spans the materials and biological fields with studies of energetic materials, metal complexes, hormones, enzymes, enzyme-substrate complexes and replication proteins.

The Department's objectives in its research program are to strengthen established research foci in materials and biological chemistry by addition of new faculty, continued acquisition of state-of-the-art research equipment, growth of the Department's annual external grant budget, and an increase in faculty and graduate student publication rates.

Admission requirements for the program are a bachelor's degree in chemistry or biochemistry from an accredited college or university with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4 point scale. Students with GPA's between 2.7 and 3.0 may be provisionally admitted if there are strong indicators of likely success in a graduate program. Included among these indicators are strong grades in upper-level chemistry or biochemistry courses, and experience in academic or industrial research. Applicants are not required to have taken a curriculum accredited by the American Chemical Society, but their training in chemistry, physics, and mathematics should be equivalent to that in an accredited curriculum.

The Ph.D. program of the Department serves the needs of Ohio in a number of ways. Many graduates are employed in the chemical, pharmaceutical and consumer products industries of the state, and other graduates are employed as faculty members at colleges and universities within the state, approximately 15-20% of graduates remaining in the state to pursue careers. The research carried out in the Department has a direct impact on Ohio's economy. For example, research on thin films is being translated into new products in the glass industry and in the nascent solar energy industry. Hormone and replication protein structural studies are directed toward understanding breast cancer. The Instrumentation Center provides advanced analytical services to Ohio industries.

The Department prepares Ph.D. recipients for careers in the industrial, academic, or government sectors. About 70% of our Ph.D. graduates are engaged inindustrial careers, and about 20% are in academic careers as tenured or tenure-track faculty members at colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world. The remaining 10% are in a variety of positions including government service, postdoctoral positions, as self-employed consultants, and other positions. Historically about 30% of our graduates have had a postdoctoral position as their initial placement after completing their degree. The Department recognizes that these positions are necessary for some career choices and desirable in many cases for the broadened training that results.

The Department's objectives are to place our graduates who desire industrial careers into positions with the leading chemical and pharmaceutical companies in the country, to continue to place our graduates into academic careers in strong four-year colleges, and to expand the number of our graduates who find academic careers at M.S. and Ph.D. granting universities. For those students who choose an initial temporary postdoctoral placement, our objective is to place these students in competitive laboratories at the leading academic or industrial research centers of both this and other countries of the world.

The Ph.D. program of The Department of Chemistry, along with all other departmental degree programs, is reviewed regularly as part of the University's process of Program Review.


The doctoral program in chemistry is designed to ensure that the student has the basic foundation of knowledge and is equipped with the tools necessary to do independent research. The emphasis on research recognizes the power of original research to arouse the scientific curiosity of the student, to develop and stimulate creativity, and to encourage further discovery through independent study.

The doctoral program is divided into three stages for the typical student. The first stage includes correcting deficiencies as well as establishing through a set of prescribed courses the foundation for further training. During this stage, a research director is chosen. During the second stage, the student pursues research toward the dissertation, undertakes comprehensive examinations, and prepares the required original research proposals. After meeting the comprehensive examination requirements the student is admitted to candidacy in the third stage of the program; this stage is devoted to research and completion of the doctoral dissertation.

Departmental degree requirements are listed in the following section. Further details about examinations and admission to candidacy may be obtained from the department.


Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree are required to meet the requirements of the University, the Graduate School, and the College of Arts and Sciences as stated in the section of this Bulletin entitled "Degree Requirements."

In addition, the following departmental requirements must be met:

  • Each student must specify an area of chemistry in consultation with his/her research director. Once a major area of chemistry is chosen, the student, in conjunction with the graduate advisor, the research director and the students' advisory committee, will prepare a plan of study listing the courses and other requirements for the degree. Upon approval, the plan of study includes the list of course requirements for the degree. Students are required to take six or more 8000-level courses as part of the plan of study
  • Registration for Chemistry Colloquium is typically required each term.
  • Registration for Research Seminar is typically required each term the student is enrolled in Graduate Research.
  • Each student must satisfactorily complete two semesters in supervised half-time teaching.
  • After admission to candidacy, each student is required to spend, consecutively, a minimum of two semesters and a summer term (i.e., one year) in full-time study at The University of Toledo.
  • All dissertation research must be carried out in laboratories of The University of Toledo.
Last Updated: 6/9/16