Discipline Coordinator

Kathleen Kilway, (816) 235-2289, kilwayk@umkc.edu

Chemistry faculty who are members of the doctoral faculty.

Chemistry is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: The discipline-specific requirements listed here are in addition to the requirements listed in Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission and Minimum Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements.

Discipline-specific Admission Requirements

Chemistry as a primary discipline

Normally, only applications to full-time academic status will be considered. To qualify for full admission (Note: full admission is unrelated to full-time academic status), applicants are expected to have the equivalent of an American Chemical Society-approved bachelor's degree in chemistry, which includes coursework in general chemistry, analytical chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and one year of physical chemistry requiring calculus and physics as prerequisites. (For example, see UMKC's B.S. program in the Chemistry section in this catalog.) Applicants will be admitted as provisional students with a limited number of undergraduate deficiencies. They will be notified, at the time admission is offered, of any requirements to be met for reclassification as fully admitted. Undergraduate courses included in these requirements must be completed with grades of "C" or higher.

Applications are only accepted through the online system, and include:

  1. Official, confidentially transmitted transcripts.
  2. Statement of purpose.
  3. Two confidentially transmitted letters of recommendation (academic and/or professional).
  4. Official Graduate Record Exam (General Test) score, less than six (6) years old.
  5. English language proficiency requirement.

An official Graduate Record Exam score (general test) is required as part of the application to the program. The GRE score will be evaluated as part of the entire application.

Suggested Compatible Co-disciplines

Curriculum and instruction, engineering, geosciences, mathematics, pharmaceutical sciences, physics, and pharmacology.

Chemistry as a Co-discipline

Applicants are expected to have undergraduate coursework in general chemistry and organic chemistry. Applicants accepted as provisional students will be notified, at the time admission is offered, of any requirements to be met for reclassification as fully admitted. Undergraduate courses included in these requirements must be completed with grades of "C" or higher.

Core Program Requirements

Chemistry as a Primary Discipline

Coursework Requirements

Students are to see the principal graduate advisor, or their research advisor, for advising and signature prior to registering each semester.

Students must successfully complete a minimum of one course from Group A; one course from Group B; one additional course from Group A or B; one elective course (three credit hours) from any course numbered 5500 or above, except for those excluded below; and one credit hour of chemistry seminar (CHEM 5611). A grade of C+ (2.3) or less in more than two chemistry courses applicable to the Ph.D. program will result in termination from Ph.D. candidacy.

Group A
CHEM 5531Classical Thermodynamics3
CHEM 5532Chemical Kinetics3
CHEM 5533Quantum Chemistry3
CHEM 5534Molecular Spectroscopy3
CHEM 5535Statistical Thermodynamics3
CHEM 5541RAdvanced Analytical Chemistry3
Group B
CHEM 5521RMechanisms Of Organic Reactions3
CHEM 5522Synthetic Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 5551RAdvanced Inorganic Chemistry I3
CHEM 5571RIntroduction To Polymer Chemistry3

Excluded as electives:

CHEM 5511Laboratory Safety And Health I1
CHEM 5520RSurvey Of Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 5530Systematic Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 5590Directed Studies1-3
CHEM 5598Research Methodology Conference3
CHEM 5599Research And Thesis1-9
CHEM 5611Chemistry Seminar1
CHEM 5699Research And Dissertation1-16
CHEM 5899Required Graduate Enrollment1

In addition, students must successfully complete nine credit hours of 400-level or above coursework in their co-discipline(s). (A minimum of three of these credit hours must be at the 5500+ level.) Students may be required to take additional courses as outlined by their plan of study.

Any of the above chemistry courses will be credited toward the Ph.D. coursework requirement if taken as part of any previous graduate program at UMKC and a grade of B- (2.7) or better is received. Also, students who have received a grade of B- (2.7) or better in graduate chemistry coursework taken as part of a degree program at another institution may have up to six credit hours of equivalent required coursework waived upon approval of a majority of the supervisory committee. A written request for this waiver is to be submitted and approved before submission of the student's plan of study.

Courses/Experiences Providing Instruction in Research Methodology

Expertise in research methodology will be acquired under the mentorship of the research advisor and supervisory committee. The student's progress will be assessed annually by his/her supervisory committee and the results will be forwarded to the School of Graduate Studies.

Number of Credit Hours Required beyond Bachelor's Degree

A minimum of 13 credit hours of chemistry courses (including chemistry seminar) and 24 credit hours of dissertation research, plus a minimum of nine credit hours of co-discipline courses are required. However, up to six credit hours of chemistry may be waived, as described above under Coursework Requirements.

Chemistry as a Co-discipline

Coursework Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of three courses (nine credit hours) at the 400-level or above from classes offered by the Department of Chemistry or in conjunction with other units as approved in the student's plan of study. At least three of these credit hours must be at the 5500+ level and taken from courses offered by the Department of Chemistry. The systematic courses CHEM 5520R and CHEM 5530 may be used to satisfy the "400-level or above" requirement, but not the "5500+ level" requirement. CHEM 5590, CHEM 5599 and CHEM 5699 may not be used to satisfy these requirements. Students who receive a grade of C+ (2.3) or less in two or more courses used to satisfy these requirements will be disqualified from using Chemistry as their co-discipline.

Any of the above chemistry courses will be credited toward the Ph.D. coursework requirement if taken as part of any previous graduate program at UMKC and if a grade of B- (2.7) or better is received. Transfer credit from another institution cannot be applied to Chemistry's co-discipline requirement.

Special Requirements

Chemistry as a Primary Discipline

Placement Examinations

Incoming students take placement examinations in analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Placement examinations are typically administered the week preceding the first week of classes of the fall and spring semesters. Students scoring below the 50th percentile in the organic and/or physical chemistry exams are required to enroll in CHEM 5520R and/or CHEM 5530, respectively. Enrollment in other graduate organic or physical chemistry courses is not permitted until CHEM 5520R and/or CHEM 5530, respectively, is(are) successfully completed. Two grades of C+ (2.3) or lower, or one grade of less than C- (1.7) in CHEM 5520R / CHEM 5530 will result in termination from the degree program. These courses may not be counted toward the coursework requirements above. Students must complete all additional coursework required as a result of the placement exam scores by the end of their first three regular semesters.

Research Advisor

Full-time students are to select a research advisor from the doctoral faculty of the Department of Chemistry and a supervisory committee by the end of their first regular (e.g. fall or spring) semester on campus.

Seminar

Students are required to attend and participate in all regularly scheduled and special Chemistry Department seminars and colloquia. Students are required to present a one-hour chemistry seminar (CHEM 5611) during their second year following full admission to the Ph.D. program, based on their dissertation research project. This seminar will include a thorough review of the literature pertinent to their project and a description of the objectives, the proposed methodology and the significance of this research. An abstract is to be posted and distributed one week prior to the presentation date.

Time Constraints and Financial Support

Students must complete all requirements for their degree within seven years from the date of full admission to the Ph.D. program. Under compelling circumstances and on the written recommendation of a majority of the supervisory committee, a single extension for up to one year may be requested for approval by the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Full-time (as defined in the current UMKC catalog) Ph.D. students may receive financial support (in the form of fellowships or teaching assistantships) from the Department of Chemistry for a maximum of five years. Students from countries not having English as their first language, and who are to be supported as graduate teaching assistants, are to take the SPEAK test before the end of the first week of their first semester on campus. They are to enroll in English 100E their first semester on campus if necessary.

Dissertation

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of dissertation research (CHEM 5699). All supervisory committee members are to receive a final draft of the dissertation for approval of form and content at least two weeks before submission to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies for certification. Candidates should submit preliminary drafts well in advance of this deadline. After the dissertation is certified for acceptance, the student must present an oral defense of his/her research in the form of a dissertation seminar. The supervisory committee will make a final determination of the acceptability of the dissertation immediately following this presentation. Only minor changes may be made to the dissertation at this point.

Expectations for Interdisciplinary Work

Chemistry as a Primary Discipline

Students develop and pursue a plan of study that includes coursework from the primary discipline and co-discipline(s). The interdisciplinary nature of the student's program is emphasized in the comprehensive examination, which includes material from all disciplines in the plan of study.

Chemistry as a Co-discipline

The Department of Chemistry will cooperate with the student's primary discipline in assessing the interdisciplinary nature of the student's progress.

Comprehensive Examination Guidelines

Chemistry as Primary Discipline

A written comprehensive examination will be prepared and administered by the examination committee (consisting of the student's supervisory committee and others selected by the dean of the School of Graduate Studies) before completion of the student's third year following full admission to the Ph.D. program. This examination will be based on the student's coursework and on general knowledge in all areas of his/her specialization. All efforts will be made to emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of the student's program in this examination. If the student fails the written portion of the comprehensive examination, he/she may petition the examination committee to allow for a single opportunity to retake it. This second examination must be completed no earlier than 12 weeks and no later than six months from the date of completion of the first examination.

After successful completion of the written portion of the comprehensive examination, an independent research proposal will be prepared describing a research project not related to the student's current research. The topic is to be approved by the examination committee. An abstract is to be posted and distributed, and a written copy of this proposal (in standard NSF or NIH format) given to all members of the examination committee at least one week prior to presentation in a proposal seminar. This seminar must be presented to all members of the examination committee within seven weeks of the completion date of the written portion of the comprehensive examination. The research proposal and proposal seminar are part of the comprehensive examination.

Chemistry as a Co-discipline

The comprehensive examination will be determined by the student's primary discipline in cooperation with the co-discipline(s).