Graduate students working for a doctoral degree must complete at least 90 semester hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00. This will include formal course work, independent study, research, and the dissertation, as specified on the student’s program of courses.
A minimum of eight courses (24 semester hours, excluding CHEM 615, CHEM 690, CHEM 698, CHEM 699, and CHEM 799) must be taken for graduate credit. At least 15 semester hours are to be in chemistry except for students in the interdisciplinary nanoscience specialization, for whom at least 12 semester hours must be in chemistry. At least one of these courses must be CHEM 644, CHEM 645, or CHEM 646, or an equivalent physical chemistry graduate course. A minimum of three courses must be outside the primary area of study. Further requirements for the nanoscience specialization are given in the “Interdisciplinary Academic Centers and Courses” section of the catalog under “Institute of Nanoscience, Engineering, and Technology (INSET).”
Only graduate courses from accredited institutions in which the student has earned a grade of B or better may be accepted towards an advanced degree, subject to approval of the department and the Graduate School.
CHEM 615, Chemistry Seminar, must be taken each semester unless a written waiver is given by the director of graduate studies.
There is no general language/research skill requirement. However, a student’s research adviser may require that such skills appropriate for the student’s research be obtained, and course work to achieve this may also be included in the student’s program of courses.
The student must complete the degree requirements with a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or above in all NIU graduate course work included on the doctoral program of courses.
CHEM 799, Doctoral Research and Dissertation, should be taken as soon as possible after passing the qualifying examination, with enrollment to continue each semester until graduate work terminates.
Background examinations are required at the time of entering the program (described above in the requirements for the master’s degree).
A qualifying examination must be satisfactorily completed in the primary area. This examination will test comprehensive knowledge of the area at the graduate level. Faculty in each area will establish the graduate course(s) that will contribute towards the material upon which the examination is based. The qualifying examination must be taken no later than the fourth semester of enrollment as a graduate student. Students must have a GPA of at least 3.20 in previous graduate work to attempt the examination. A prospective doctoral candidate who has received an M.S. degree in chemistry from NIU must take the examination at the first offering following the awarding of the M.S. degree. Qualifying examinations will be given three times a year, in September, January, and May. A student who fails to pass this examination must retake it at the next offering. Failure on the second attempt will terminate further work toward the doctorate but not the master’s degree.
Within one year of passing the qualifying examination in the primary field, the student must complete a research oral examination on his or her field of research encompassing the background literature in the area, the current state of the student’s research, and the proposed direction of the research. The examination committee will be formed from faculty representing the primary area and a secondary area and will constitute the student’s examining committee for all future examinations, with the addition of an extradepartmental representative for the final dissertation oral defense. The student’s research adviser will chair the research oral committee. This examination will serve as the admission to candidacy examination. A student who fails to pass this examination must retake it no earlier than four nor later than six months after the first attempt. Failure on the second attempt will terminate further work toward the doctorate.
Each doctoral candidate will give an oral presentation of her or his research once a year. The student’s examining committee will evaluate the presentation and inform the student of its opinion in writing.
Appeals against dismissal for failure to satisfy above examination requirements shall be directed to the Graduate Program Committee, whose recommendation shall be passed on to the faculty. The decision of the latter shall be final.