Graduate Handbook

Our Graduate Handbook contains information and policies on our doctorate and master's degree programs. Also on this page is answers to some specific questions that you might have and links to additional resources.

What's in the Graduate Handbook? 

Statement of general purpose and policies
University of Minnesota online resources and policies

  • proficiency exams
  • three-member committee
  • faculty research adviser
  • terms of service
  • teaching assistant training
  • teaching assistantships
  • research assistantships
  • summer support
  • registration and tuition
  • tuition and fee statements
  • graduate assistant health care plan
  • employee benefits
  • teaching assistant leave of absence policy
  • keys and Ucard access
  • email accounts
  • outside employment
  • Graduate School forms
  • academic performance

Doctorate program in chemistry

  • course and seminar requirements
  • transfer credit course allowances
  • graduate degree plan form
  • written preliminary examination and committee
  • oral preliminary examination and committee
  • thesis credits
  • selection of doctorate final oral examination committee
  • third-year symposium
  • thesis preparation
  • graduation procedures and forms
  • final oral defense
  • changes in committees
  • rules for written preliminary exam in chemistry
  • rules for oral preliminary exam in chemistry
  • preparation for preliminary oral exam and master degree final defense
  • policy on collaborative research contributions for inclusion in Master's Plan A and doctorate dissertations in chemistry

Chemical Physics Graduate Program
Master's Degree program in chemistry

  • academic performance
  • Plan A final oral examination
  • Plan B course
  • Plan B projects
  • Plan B final examination

Other information

  • limitations for completing degree requirements
  • committees
  • authorship questions
  • grievances
  • teaching assistants leave of absence

Department of Chemistry forms

How do I select a research adviser?

You may choose a research adviser any time during your first semester. You are required to speak individually with faculty members and collect four signatures on the graduate research adviser selection form, found in the handbook, before you can join a research group. You must choose an adviser no later than November 15.

How will my progress be reviewed?

If you are a first-year student, each semester the Graduate Committee will review your progress. By the end of the first year, you must meet all of the following requirements to remain in good standing in the doctorate program, including a GPA of 3.0 or better, completion of at least 18 credits of coursework with a grade of B- or better, and passing grades on all four proficiency exams. Other than in exceptional circumstances, a decision to reassign a student from the doctorate to master's degree program is not made until the end of the first year. Following the first year, an academic review is done annually at the end of spring semester.

What forms do I need to complete and when?

You must submit the Graduate Degree Plan Form and the Preliminary Oral Examination and Master-Plan B Defense Committee Form in September of your second year. Fill out forms for both the doctorate and the Master–Plan B degrees, which will be attempted concurrently with the doctorate preliminary exams. The forms list all of the coursework that apply to the plans.

You must submit the Oral Preliminary Examination and M.S. Plan B Defense Committee form, found in the Graduate Handbook, along with the Graduate Degree Plan Form. The Oral Preliminary Exam Committee members are the same as the three members of the Written Preliminary Exam Committee, plus an additional committee member from outside the chemistry department. Consult your advisers to select the non-departmental committee member.

When is the oral preliminary exam?

You complete the preliminary oral exam in the spring semester of your second year. You must pass the oral preliminary examination. Possible outcomes are pass, fail with option to retake the examination (one time only), or fail. The Graduate School requires 10 weeks before a retake may be scheduled. If you do not take the oral preliminary examination by the beginning of summer term of year second year, you will no longer be in good standing in the doctorate program. You will be reclassified into the master's degree program.

What are the procedures for graduation?

As you get closer to graduation, visit Graduate Student Services & Progress on One Stop Student Service - Twin Cities for information on completing your degree and our Graduation & Beyond web page.