Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Welcome to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Program at UToledo!

Interested in applying to graduate school?

Applications to UToledo’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are evaluated holistically by a committee of faculty, but we can offer the following tips to improve your application:

  • Make sure when you ask your recommenders to write a letter for you, that you stress the letter should detail your experiences and preparations for research and teaching in addition to discussing academic prowess and any accolades or extra-curricular activities.  
  • The department does not currently require GRE for admission, though scores, if included, will be evaluated as part of your application. 
  • Your statement of purpose should detail the reasons why you want to pursue a graduate degree, a reasonable summary of any teaching or research experience you possess (the more detail you can give here the better), what research you want to pursue at UToledo (and which faculty members you would like to consider as an advisor) and finally, what you hope that pursuing a degree at The University of Toledo will allow you to do in your future career. 
  • Please note that we accept students with B.S. – level degrees into both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs. If your interest is to get a Ph.D., we highly encourage students to apply directly for the Ph.D. degree.  
  • For working professionals who are currently employed, we have both non-thesis M.S. and the Professional Science Master’s programs – these are not research-based degrees and have different requirements.

Our Ph.D. program, one of the largest in Ohio, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. The achievements of our students are recognized nationally and internationally. We offer unique research opportunities and our research programs aim to explore challenging scientific questions in various fields of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

We provide you with a comprehensive selection of research programs, including Analytical, Biological and Biochemical, Inorganic, Materials, Organic, Physical, Photo and Cellular Chemistry. Our department is equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation and our faculty members are highly recognized nationally and internationally for their quality of research. Check out faculty profiles on their individual pages and by searching Google Scholar for more information.

Every year our outstanding graduate students publish numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts in highly respected journals.

The success of our students is our top priority!

Key discoveries in our department include:

  • May 2023: Graduate students Sandhya, Govind Sharma Shyam Sunder, Abiral Poudel and Manjula Kandage, in the labs of Dr. Michal Marszewski and Dr. Jon Kirchhoff, in collaboration with College of Engineering personnel Timnit Asfaha and Joseph Lawrence, were part of a team that synthesized new materials for the extraction and determination of rare earth elements (REEs), thorium and uranium.
  • Sept 2022: Graduate students Radhika Thanvi, Sunayana Kapil and Babatunde Obadawo in Dr. Steve Sucheck’s lab are part of a team that has reported on the synthesis of novel cyclitols and aminocyclitols and studied their potential as inhibitors of Strepomyces coelicolor.
  • Aug 2022: Prem Gurung, Prakash Thapa and Ishani Hettiarachchi in Dr. Jianglong Zhu’s lab have disclosed the use of cationic gold complexes to convert bench stable glycosyl carbamates into glycosides, an important methodology for the synthesis of new carbohydrate-based drugs.
  • Aug 2022: Graduate student Kendra Shrestha has led a team along with Indunil Alahakoon and undergraduate Michael Hilyard from the lab of Dr. Michael Young to develop a supramolecular/organo co-catalyzed Diels–Alder reaction, demonstrating a new paradigm for dual catalysis that will be beneficial for drug discovery.
  • July 2022: Graduate student Nipunika Godage from the lab of Dr. Emanuela Gionfriddo has published a new method for using solid-phase microextraction (and GC/MS) for the study of foreign agents in blood plasma, increasing the reproducibility of routine blood analysis.
  • May 2022: Graduate student Veronica Livingstone has led a team from Dr. Cora Lind-Kovacs lab that has developed new thiophene polymer/vanadium oxide composites which pave the way for advanced organo-electronics.
  • Feb 2022: Graduate students Jeewani Ariyarathna, Nur-E Alom, Navdeep Kaur and Fan Wu (as well as undergraduate Leo Roberts) from the Dr. Wei Li lab have reported a unique Lewis acid-catalyzed reaction to synthesize morpholines from aminoalcohols through halonium intermediates, enabling access to a wide array of drug-like molecules.
  • Jan 2022: UToledo graduate student Victoria Drago and advisor Dr. Timothy Mueser join a massive interdisciplinary effort to image the active site of tryptophane synthase through NMR crystallography, providing high resolution of protonation states in a highly important active site.
  • Jan 2022: UToledo graduate students David Baliu-Rodriguez and Sanduni Premathilaka are part of a team lead by Dr. Dragan Isailovic that has identified new microcystins, a toxic byproduct from algal blooms, from Lake Erie. This work will enable better preliminary detection of algal blooms.

Questions? Contact the Graduate and Recruitment committee:

In her own words, hear from graduate student Heidi Fresenius about her time and experiences in the UToledo Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Program:

Last Updated: 7/6/23