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Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Programs

Our Graduate Programs

An advanced degree (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.) in chemistry) can be crucially important to career advancement for a chemistry professional. Many jobs in highly technical fields and even managerial ranks may require advanced or terminal degrees. Graduate programs in chemistry provide a curriculum in advanced chemistry topics. Perhaps more importantly, graduate students get an opportunity to apply fundamental chemistry knowledge in practice, usually in the form of research under faculty guidance. Most chemistry graduate programs require a research-based dissertation for Ph.D. and a thesis for M.S.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers graduate degrees in the following subject areas:

To obtain a chemistry or biochemistry Ph.D. at South Dakota State University, students need to complete a set of courses, usually at the early part of their graduate tenure. They then must meet certain conditions to advance to candidacy, which allows them to undertake research leading to a dissertation. The final step is a successful defense of the dissertation. For M.S., a thesis is required in addition to the course work.

Course Work

A doctoral student needs to earn 90 credits (60 with prior earned M.S. degree). Of that, a minimum of 24 credits are in course work, with the remaining credits in dissertation research.

An M.S. student must earn 30 credits, including 23 credits in course work and 7 credits in thesis research.


Qualification, a demonstration of necessary knowledge in chemistry, is required to become a Ph.D. candidate. A set of comprehensive exams including written and oral exams is used by the faulty to assess the preparation of a student for doctoral dissertation. Upon passing the comprehensive exams, the student is qualified for and advances to the candidacy for Ph.D.


Doctoral candidates and M.S. students undertake research under the direction of faculty leading to dissertation and thesis and publication in scientific literature. In Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, active research areas include chemical education, analytical/environmental chemistry, organic and materials chemistry and physical chemistry. We have modern and well-equipped research labs and research-grade instrumentation.

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