Frequently Asked Questions

We accept applications for both the Spring and Fall semesters at any time. We matriculate approximately fifteen students for the Fall semester and three to five students for the Spring semester.

There is no explicit application deadline, as our department accepts applications to the Ph.D. program year round. However, we encourage applicants interested in matriculating for the Fall semester to submit their applications before 15 January, since this is typically when admissions decisions are finalized. Similarly, applicants interested in matriculating for the Spring semester (if and when Spring admission is available) are encouraged to submit their applications by 15 October.

Instruction for applying may be found in the Department’s website and in the Graduate School’s website. Questions about the application process should be directed to the Department’s Graduate Admissions Officer.

All applicants who are not native English speakers are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction. All other non-native speakers must achieve a minimum score on either the TOEFL or the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS results will not be accepted if they were not achieved within the last two years. The English Language Proficiency requirement will not be waived under any circumstances. To be competitive, candidates taking the TOEFL should have a minimum score of 600 (paper-based test), 250 (computer-based test), or 100 (Internet-based test). To be competitive, candidates taking the IELTS should have a minimum score of 7.5.

Nearly all students admitted to the Ph.D. program are awarded teaching assistantships. All prospective students—both domestic and international—are eligible for teaching assistantships. As an assistantship recipient, you will gain significant experience in teaching by leading undergraduate laboratory or recitation sections. This is an invaluable opportunity for those seeking to pursue an academic career after graduation, as do a third of our graduates. Most of our students serve as teaching assistants for approximately two years, and then are supported financially as research assistants by their PIs. Graduate students who remain in good standing are eligible for financial assistance during their entire course of graduate study. Awards include teaching and research assistantships, research fellowships, and scholarships. The award includes a highly competitive stipend ($42,456 for the twelve-month 2024-2025 academic year), complete full-time tuition coverage (valued at $51,000 for the 2024-2025 academic year), and comprehensive individual medical insurance. Details of other departmental and university awards are listed here and may also be found on the Graduate School’s website.

Acceptance letters for the Spring semester are completely processed in October and November and for the Fall semester by the end of April. However, offers may still be extended beyond these deadlines depending on the number of openings we have in a particular year.

The Department invites applicants, who are both in the United States and accepted to our program for the Fall semester, to visit at the expense of the Department in either March or April. If you choose to visit before that time, you will assume the expense, and the Department’s Graduate Admissions Officer will arrange your visit.

All students in our graduate program are admitted as students pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry. The expectation is that each student who enters our program will complete a Ph.D. We understand there are circumstances which may require a student to terminate his/her studies prematurely, so under special circumstances the department may grant an M.S. (with or without thesis) if the requisite requirements have been met.

While we offer no explicit forensic chemistry program, we offer a strong Analytical Chemistry program which serves as an excellent and solid foundation for those interested in a career in forensic science. As is the case with our Ph.D. candidates, a student interested in forensic chemistry will be well-exposed to a rigorous and cross-disciplinary training in chemistry. Many of our Ph.D. candidates and recipients applied to our program interested in forensic science and studied successfully in our Analytical Chemistry laboratories.

For the well prepared student, obtaining the Ph.D. in Chemistry at Georgetown University typically requires five years of study. Of course some students may finish earlier or later, depending on the pace of their research.