Programs of Study

Environmental Studies Option

This graduate program is designed as an optional course of study to the traditional Ph.D. in Chemistry for students with backgrounds in engineering (civil, environmental and chemical engineering) and other sciences (physics, biology, etc.) as well as chemistry. Candidates will be exposed to advanced course work in chemistry and environmental engineering and will be able to choose an area of specialization that best suits their interests and previous experience.

A combination of faculty from Chemistry, Work Environment and Civil Engineering with a variety of research expertise gives this program unique characteristics and affords the student the opportunity to perform practical interdisciplinary research. It is expected that most students will require at least four years beyond the Bachelor's degree and two years past the Master's degree.

Entrance Requirements

In addition to the requirements for admission listed in the graduate catalog, applicant will have an earned bachelor's degree in one of the following fields: chemistry, chemical or civil engineering, biology, environmental sciences, geology or physics. Students will be expected to have satisfactorily completed undergraduate courses in analytical, organic, and physical chemistry, physics and calculus. However, applicants who have not completed courses in these areas of chemistry may remedy their deficiencies while in the program and, therefore, are encouraged to apply. Admissions will be determined by a committee consisting of faculty from the Chemistry, Work Environment, and Civil Engineering Departments.

Program Outline

A total of 57 credits are required for the Ph.D. program. Of these, at least 36 credits must be in course work exclusive of seminar and the rest is usually in thesis research. Courses shown below are divided into three categories: core course requirements (nine credits), areas of specialization (15 credits), and elective courses (12 credits). Additional elective courses from other departments may be substituted with the approval of the student's Advisory Committee. In addition, full-time students must register for 84.601/84.602 or 18.502 Environmental/Analytical seminar every semester. Each student will be required to give two seminars on current research topics during their graduate career. Students in the Environmental program must select a thesis advisor by the end of the second semester. At this time, an Advisory Committee is appointed and a plan of study is established. The Advisory Committee will consist of the thesis advisor, two members from the Chemistry Department and two members from the Civil Engineering Department. An additional member from another department may also be added if agreed upon by the student and thesis advisor. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative average in order to continue in the program. 

Written Area Examinations (Cumulative Examinations)

Beginning in the second year of study, the student must pass examinations in their major area of specialization. The examinations are administered by the faculty associated with the program and are based on course work either completed or in progress as well as seminars, scientific literature and accepted theory in the field of study. Environmental studies students take six cumulative examinations each of which focuses on a different area of environmental science and analytical chemistry. Students must take the examinations consecutively in a given academic year. The topic, date, time and faculty member in charge of a particular exam in the cumulative examination series will be given to the student prior to the first cumulative exam. Students taking cumulative exams are urged to meet with the individual faculty member preparing an exam for more specific information. If a student misses a cumulative exam a grade of zero will be assigned. There are no makeup cumulative exams. 

Research Proposal

Ph.D. candidates must submit an original research proposal and successfully pass an oral defense of that proposal in their second or third year of study. After consulting with their Advisory Committee, the student selects a suitable subject for investigation, completes a literature survey, outlines the method of approach, and suggests possible results and conclusions. The oral defense of this proposal is conducted by the student's Advisory Committee with other faculty in attendance. The proposal must be defended within three months following completion of the cumulative examinations. 

Required Courses (24 credits):

I. Core Courses (9 credits)

84.514  Advanced Analytical Chemistry           
84.532  Advanced Physical Chemistry 
      or 
84.533  Physical Chemistry for Environmental Studies
84.523  Organic Reaction Mechanism

84.568  Structural Analysis

II. Areas of Specialization (15 credits)

a. Analytical /Environment

14.567   Environmental Chemistry I (Aquatic Chemistry)
14.568   Environmental Chemistry II (Fate and Transport)
84.519   Environmental Chemistry III (Marine Chemistry)
84.526   Chromatography
84.564   Spectrochemical Analysis

b. Water Environment

14.567   Environmental Chemistry I (Aquatic Chemistry)
14.568   Environmental Chemistry II (Fate and Transport)
84.519   Environmental Chemistry III (Marine Chemistry)
14.562   Groundwater Hydrology
14.561   Physical Chemical Treatment Processes

c. Air Environment

18.571   Air Pollution Phenomenology
18.523   Air Resources Management & Control
18.573   Air Pollution Laboratory (Monitoring and analysis)
14.568   Environmental Chemistry II ( Fate and Transport)
92.591   Statistical Modeling and Data Analysis

III. Elective Courses (12 credits)

84.533      Physical Chemistry for Environmental Studies
84.532      Advanced Physical Chemistry
84.523      Organic Reaction Mechanisms
84.568      Structural Analysis
14.567      Environmental Chemistry I (Aquatic Chemistry)
14.568      Environmental Chemistry II (Fate and Transport)
84.519      Environmental Chemistry III (Marine Chemistry)
84.526      Chromatography
84.564      Spectrochemical Analysis
14.562      Groundwater Hydrology
14.561      Physical Chemical Treatment Processes
18.568      Environmental Laboratory
18.571      Air Pollution Phenomenology
18.523      Air Resources Management
18.573      Air Pollution Laboratory (Monitoring and Analysis)
93.415      Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics I
93.416      Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics II
93.430      Atmospheric Diffusion
18.572      Energy and the Environment
92.591      Statistical Modeling and Analysis
14.565      Industrial Waste Water Treatment Processes
18.510      Water Resources Management
18.522      Solid Waste Management (Municipal, Industrial and Hazardous)
18.525      Epidemiology for Environmental Studies
18.527      Environmental Law
19.501      Industrial Hygiene
81.xxx      Wetlands Ecology
84.515      Chemical Literature
98.501      Radiation Safety and Control
98.503      Radiation Biology
98.508      Environmental Toxicology

See the graduate catalog for course descriptions.