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Chemistry (Ph.D.)

  • Location IconBrookings Main Campus

The world around you is full of promises waiting to be fulfilled.

Some have been small, like molecules in natural plants that can target human cancer cells. Others are industrial, like environmentally benign solvents to make manufacturing processes green. Whatever the promise, the world needs creative thinkers to imagine and implement solutions.

The department’s chemistry research programs fall into the thematic focus areas of environmental chemistry, green chemistry, chemical sensor development, organic synthesis, materials chemistry, natural products chemistry and chemical education, all supported by the traditional subdisciplines of chemistry – analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, as well as teaching and learning of chemistry. Currently active research projects in the department focus on advanced chemical analysis, drug discovery, development of photoactive materials including polymers, green chemistry, chemistry of climate change, photophysical chemistry, computational chemistry and impact of visualization and simulation on chemistry learning.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate or master's degree in chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biology, environmental science or related fields.
  • Have coursework and training in analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.
  • Want to be in the lab designing and conducting research or to understand how best to teach and learn chemistry.
  • Have an inquisitive mind.
  • Have a strong interest in the environment.

Career Opportunities

  • Technical staff/chemists (analytical, quality control and regulatory compliance, research and development) in the chemical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical or oil industries
  • Scientists in governmental and non-profit organizations focused on the environment
  • Consultant in a research and development, architecture, engineering or environmental firm
  • College faculty or teacher at the high-school level