Skip navigation

Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Chemistry & Biochemistry


Chemistry & Biochemistry

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?
We accept applications online. All applications must be made on-line. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry does not accept applications that have not gone through the Office of Graduate Studies.
What are the required applications materials?
Transcripts from all universities or colleges attended, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. International students are required to submit internet-based TOEFL scores with a minimum of 80 overall and no less than 26 on the English speaking subsection or submit IELTS scores with no less than an 8 on the English speaking subsection.
Can an international student receive a Graduate Teaching Assistantship?
Yes, if the student has completed one of the the following criteria: Has a English speaking score no less than 26 on the TOEFL or a minimum IELTS English speaking score no less than 8.0; or Received a degree which all the courses were taught in English; or individual testing and certification by the English Language Center (ELC) at the University of Denver. The individual testing & certification has a fee, approximately in the amount of $150.
Can a student be accepted for graduate study without a speaking score of 26 on the TOEFL or a speaking score of 8 on the IELTS?
Yes, a person can be admitted as a regular graduate student without the TOEFL/IELTS, but the student cannot be a Graduate Teaching Assistant without the English requirements listed above. An international student who does not seek financial support from DU does not need to take the TOEFL/IELTS. However, a student needs good English language ability to succeed in courses and to work well with other students. The incoming student is required to be evaluated by the ELC at the University of Denver to see if they will need to complete the English Conditional Admission Program before they can start their course work in the Chemistry Department.
Is there a form for recommendations?
No. We ask that recommendations come in the form of a letter. If all letters of recommendation are available to the applicant, the sealed letters can be sent together in a packet to the Graduate Admissions office. Letters sent subsequent to this should be sent to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Are there guidelines for the personal statement?
Your personal statement should explain why you would like to pursue graduate school and what qualities you have that would help you succeed. This is also a good opportunity to discuss anything else you feel should be addressed.
Is there an application fee?
Yes. The application fee is paid online at the time of application. This fee cannot be waived.
When is the application deadline?
Our priority application deadline is January 15. We will, however, accept students after the deadline if all positions have not been filled.
Do you have a minimum GRE and GPA requirement?
No. Our Graduate Admissions Committee prefers to evaluate applications holistically.
Do you require the GRE Chemistry Subject Test?
No. Only the general test is required. However, for someone whose undergraduate course work was several years ago, the subject test would help the faculty decide whether the student is well-prepared for graduate work in chemistry.
I'd like to start school in January. Is this possible?
The graduate core is a sequence of courses that begins in the Autumn quarter. Because course work is sequential, we only accept applications for the Autumn. If a student is very well qualified, and arranges to work with a particular faculty member, in some cases support as a research assistant might be available for a few months prior to the beginning of courses in September.
Is there any kind of financial aid available?
Many first-year students are awarded a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) which provides a stipend, full tuition waiver, and health insurance. Teaching or research assistantship support is guaranteed through the duration of study contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree. Such support may not be available in all areas of chemistry and biochemistry - during the first year of study students will have to ask whether particular faculty members will have financial support for additional students in their research group.
Is financial support available for international students?
Yes, if the student is sufficiently fluent in English and well enough prepared in chemistry to be a graduate teaching assistant. See the entry about TOEFL/IELTS scores. The number of teaching assistantships is limited, and positions are awarded competitively.
Does one need a master's degree to enter the PhD program?
No. Students who achieve passing scores on qualifying exams given at the end of the first year of graduate study can work directly toward a PhD degree without first obtaining an master's degree.
When are applications reviewed?
The department reviews each application when it is complete. All required documents and exam scores, such as the TOELF/IELTS must be completed before the application folder is sent from the Graduate Admissions Office to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for review.
How do I find out more information?
If you have specific questions, please contact one of the faculty members directly.