Doctor of Philosophy
Main Campus - Melbourne

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

A candidate for the doctoral program will typically have a bachelor's or master's degree in chemistry with outstanding performance. Students enrolled in the master's program can apply to change their status to work directly toward the doctorate after completing nine credit hours of graduate coursework at Florida Tech with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section of the university catalog.

Degree Requirements

The doctoral degree is primarily a research degree and is conferred in part in recognition of research accomplishments. Each student must complete an approved program of coursework, pass the cumulative written examinations, pass the comprehensive oral examination, write an acceptable research proposal and file a petition for admission to candidacy, complete a significant original research study, prepare and defend a dissertation concerning the research, and present a seminar on the dissertation research. The dissertation research is expected to be of publishable quality, according to the standards of peer-reviewed national or international journals.

Each new doctoral student is required to pass six cumulative examinations. At least four must be in the chosen area of concentration and up to two can be in an additional area. Students must begin these examinations in their second semester in residence. Four examinations are offered each semester. A maximum of 11 attempts is allowed.

A doctoral student must have a program of study approved by the department head by the end of the first semester in residence. This program is based on the student's goals and background.

The proposal presents the research plan to be followed in the dissertation work. It is developed under close supervision of the advisor. Areas of specialization are included under research activities. The proposal is presented to and approved by the student's committee and department head.

After the research project is completed and approved by the advisor, the dissertation is submitted to the advisory committee for critical evaluation. The student then orally defends the dissertation.

General degree requirements are presented in the Academic Overview section of the university catalog.


In developing a program of study for the doctoral degree, considerable latitude is allowed to accommodate research interests. The following guidelines apply to students entering with a bachelor's degree

Coursework and Dissertation Summary
Approved Chemistry Courses (minimum) 24
Additional Coursework 9
Chemistry Research 0–18
Dissertation (maximum) 30

For students entering with a master’s degree, coursework completed for the master’s degree can fulfill a significant proportion of the 33 credit hours of required doctoral coursework. The student should be prepared to complete some additional coursework.