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Doctor of Philosophy Program Requirements

The main requirement for the degree is the execution of an original investigation that is presented in a thesis. A candidate for the degree selects one of the following as a major field: Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic or Biological Chemistry, Experimental or Theoretical or Polymers and Materials Chemistry. Combinations within these fields, or with other fields, are permitted as an Interdisciplinary program.

With the exception of Theoretical Physical Chemistry, each field requires a minimum of two to four half-course equivalents from approved graduate courses offered in the School of Graduate Studies, depending on the student's academic background. The selection of courses will be determined in consultation with the supervisor and confirmed by the Graduate Studies Committee field representative. Formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete his or her degree requirements within the sub-discipline. To apply for a core course exemption (if applicable) or to take a graduate course offered at another Ontairo university, see the Courses section.

Students who completed their Master's program from another department or university may request a course reduction for up to two half-courses to reduce their course requirements. These courses must be equivalent to courses offered by our Department.

Students must enrol in the appropriate research course every term, starting in the second term of program registration. Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. The grade reflects the degree of progress and quality of performance with regard to the stage of the program of the student. Students who fail a research course will be contacted immediately to meet with their supervisory committee members to discuss issues affecting their research. This indicates performance at a level that warrants dismissal. Two failed grades in sequence will initiate dismissal procedures.

Each field requires a presentation of at least two to three seminars and participation in the appropriate seminar program. Students who fail to meet the seminar requirement do not fulfill the degree requirements for the doctoral program and will be denied graduation by the School of Graduate Studies. View upcoming seminars.

Finally, each field requires the successful completion of an oral comprehensive examination in the area of the major field.

Program Length

  • Four years for students with a MSc degree
  • Five years for direct-entry to the PhD program with a BSc degree, or including first year in the MSc program for PhD-transfers

Collaborative Programs

The following collaborative programs are available to doctoral students:

Specific requirements for the major fields are presented here.

Analytical Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic and Biological Chemistry
Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics
Polymers and Materials Chemistry
Interdisciplinary

Analytical Chemistry

Courses

Four half-courses to include the following:

  • One half-course each in (a) Spectroscopy, (b) Separation Science or Electrochemistry, and (c) Advanced Instrumentation or Data Analysis. View a provisional schedule for courses in each of these areas.
  • One other half-course to support the research program. Students may take the graduate course from other chemistry fields or cognate departments.
  • Formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete course requirements within the sub-discipline.
  • To apply for a core-course exemption (if applicable) or to take a graduate course offered at another Ontario university, see the Courses section.

Seminars

  • Presentation of two seminars (usually in the second and fourth years of study) and participation in the Analytical Chemistry seminar program (CHM1190Y).
  • NEW 09/10: Accumulation of 30 Analytical Seminar Plus (ASP) points.

Research

  • Enrolment in the Analytical Chemistry Research course every term, starting in the second term of program registration.
  • Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. View the Policy on Assignment of Research Grades.

Comprehensive Field Examination

  • Successful completion of an oral examination in the area of Analytical Chemistry, usually upon completion of course work.

Environmental Chemistry

Courses

At least four half-courses to include the following:

  • CHM1401H
  • At least one other half-course in Environmental Chemistry (EES/ENV1105H, CHM1404H, CHM/IES1410H, CHM1415H, CHM1420H, CHM1430H, CHM1425H, CHM1550H)
  • At least one CHM course to be chosen in consultation with the supervisor/supervisory committee and confirmed by the field representative.
  • One other half-course that may be an approved course offered in a cognate department.
  • A formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete his or her course requirements within the sub-discipline.
  • To apply for a core-course exemption (if applicable) or to take a graduate course offered at another Ontario university, see the Courses section.

Seminars

  • Presentation of two seminars (usually in the second and fourth years of study) and participation in the Environmental Chemistry seminar and colloquia program (CHM1590Y).

Research

  • Enrolment in the Environmental Research course (CHM2533H) every term, starting in the second term of program registration.
  • Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. View the Policy on Assignment of Research Grades.
  • A written research proposal, defended orally, on a topic other than the primary research topic delivered prior to the end of the second year of graduate study.

Comprehensive Field Examination

  • Successful completion of an oral examination in the area of Environmental Chemistry, usually completed following course work and before the end of the second year of study.

Inorganic Chemistry

Courses

  • Four half-courses to include one of the core half-courses (CHM1261H, CHM1270H, or CHM1266H).
  • Students may take graduate courses from other chemistry fields or cognate departments.
  • Formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete his or her course requirements within the sub-discipline.
  • To apply for a core-course exemption (if applicable) or to take a graduate course offered at another Ontario university, see the Courses section.

Seminars

  • Presentation of one seminar each year starting in their second year (to a total of three) in the Inorganic Chemistry seminar program, including one on an original research proposal.

Research

  • Enrolment in the Inorganic Research course every term, starting in the second term of program registration.
  • Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. View the Policy on Assignment of Research Grades.

Comprehensive Field Examination

  • Successful completion of an oral examination in the area of Inorganic Chemistry, usually taken 6 months after the completion of course work.

Organic and Biological Chemistry

Courses

  • Four half-courses to include at least two Organic/Biological Chemistry half-courses selected from CHM1040H to CHM1068H (inclusive): CHM1040H, CHM1045H, CHM1051H, CHM1054H, CHM1055H, CHM1056H, CHM1057H, CHM1060H, CHM1061H, CHM1068H.
  • Students may take graduate courses from other chemistry fields or cognate departments.
  • Upon admission to the program all students are expected to be at the level of the fourth-year undergraduate courses offered in physical organic, synthetic organic, and biological chemistry, and if necessary the cross-listed Arts & Science courses may be taken.
  • Formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete his or her course requirements within the sub-discipline.
  • To apply for a core-course exemption (if applicable) or to take a graduate course offered at another Ontario university, see the Courses section.

Seminars

  • Presentation of two seminars (usually in the second and fourth years of study) as a component of participation in the Organic/Biological Chemistry seminar program (CHM1090Y).
  • Ph.D students who have obtained a Master's Degree from another university have the option to do their seminars in the first and third years of their program.
  • A Confidential Evaluation Form is available for students who wish to receive feedback on their seminar presentation.

Cumulative Examinations

  • Students must pass seven cumulative examinations.
  • The cumulative examinations are generally written on the first Friday of the month, October through May, inclusive. Further notification will be forwarded by the Graduate Office.

Research

  • Enrolment in the Organic Research course every term, starting in the second term of program registration.
  • Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. View the Policy on Assignment of Research Grades.

Comprehensive Field Examination

  • Successful completion of an oral examination in the area of Organic and Biological Chemistry, usually upon completion of course work and the cumulative examinations.

Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Courses

  • Experimental Stream: Four half-courses consisting of a combination of two core and two other courses.
  • Theory Stream: Six half-courses to include two core half-courses. The specific courses are selected by the student and supervisor.
  • Core courses are CHM1478H, CHM1479H, CHM1480H, CHM1481H and CHM1488H.
  • Students may take graduate courses from other chemistry fields or cognate departments.
  • Formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete his or her course requirements within the sub-discipline.
  • To apply for a core-course exemption (if applicable) or wish to take a graduate course offered at another Ontario university, see the Courses section.

Seminars

  • Presentation of two seminars (usually in the second and fourth years of study) and participation in the Physical Chemistry seminar program (CHM1490Y).

Research

  • Enrolment in the Physical Research course every term, starting in the second term of program registration.
  • Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. View the Policy on Assignment of Research Grades.

Comprehensive Field Examination

  • Successful completion of an oral examination in the area of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, usually undertaken following the completion of course work.

Polymers and Materials Chemistry

Courses

  • Four half-courses to include at least one of the three core half-courses (CHM1206H, CHM1301H, CHM1302H).
  • Students may take graduate courses from other chemistry fields or cognate departments.
  • Formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete his or her course requirements within the sub-discipline.
  • To apply for a core-course exemption (if applicable) or to take a graduate course offered at another Ontario university, see the Courses section.

Seminars

  • Presentation of at least three seminars (a literature talk in the first year and presentations on original research in the second and fourth years of study) and participation in the Polymers and Materials Chemistry seminar program (CHM1390Y).

Research

  • Enrolment in Polymers and Materials Research course (CHM2303H) every term, starting in the second term of program registration.
  • Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. View the Policy on Assignment of Research Grades.

Comprehensive Field Examination

  • Successful completion of an oral examination in the area of Polymers and Materials Chemistry, usually completed following the course work.

Interdisciplinary

  • Admission to this field requires a research topic of a truly interdisciplinary nature, such as but not limited to bioanalytical, biophysics, bioinorganic, nanoscience or nanotechnology.
  • A written request for admission must be submitted to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies along with a letter of support from your research supervisor.
  • The written request must justify the need to transfer and list the courses that will be taken to complete the doctoral program. It should also explain how the requirements in the current field of research are restricting the progress of your research.

Courses

  • Four half-courses to include at least one core half-course from an existing field of Chemistry.
  • Students may take graduate courses from other chemistry fields or cognate departments. Students may also take a course outside the University through the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student program.
  • Formal permission from the Associate Chair is required if a student needs to take a course other than the core course to complete his or her course requirements within the sub-discipline.

Seminars

  • Presentation of at least two seminars (usually in the second and fourth years of study) and participation in the seminar program of an existing field of Chemistry.
  • Students will need to choose the appropriate seminar and research courses and must remain in the same seminar and research courses for the rest of the program.

Research

  • Enrolment in the research course of an existing field of Chemistry every term, starting in the second term of program registration.
  • Students receive a grade from the supervisor for work undertaken in the laboratory towards completion of the thesis. View the Policy on Assignment of Research Grades.

Comprehensive Field Examination

  • Successful completion of an oral examination in the fields of Chemistry deemed appropriate, usually completed following the course work.
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