Graduate Program How to Apply

CBC Ph.D. Graduates at Ceremony

Apply to the Chemistry & Biochemistry Graduate Programs

Application to our Ph.D. programs is accepted after September 1st each year!  Fall Semester Admission: Application materials must be submitted before January 5 (for all applicants). Apply online using the UA Graduate Admissions App.

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If you are an international student and would like to have your application prescreened, please click on the following "No-Cost Prescreening" button and submit the requested information. Completing this form will help you determine if your application is likely to be competitive or meets the minimum qualifications. 

No-Cost Prescreening

1. Three letters of recommendation. One of the letters must come from your research advisor. These letters should be submitted by your referees using the online system.

2. Transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended or are currently attending. Transcripts should be uploaded in your online application.

3. A brief Statement of Purpose, describing your past research experiences, goals, teaching experience and why you want to attend The University of Arizona.

4. TOEFL or IELTS scores.  Please self-report your total internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score and upload a copy of your score report. English proficiency is one of the conditions for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. A minimum aggregate TOEFL score of 80, with a score of at least 24 on the speaking portion, is required for admission. An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) minimum composite score of 7, with no subject area below a 6.

An official transcript from a U.S. college or university is one that has been issued by the institution in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution. Copies of transcripts should be submitted through your online application for evaluation purposes.

The transcript must contain the official school seal or stamp and the signature of the Registrar. Transfer credits indicated on another school's transcript are not acceptable in lieu of submitting the original institutional record for that coursework.

For international applicants attending colleges or universities abroad, we require a comprehensive record of all study completed or in progress. The record can be in the form of officially certified transcripts or yearly marksheets, including copies of all degree certificates conferred. All foreign-language documents must be accompanied by the certified English translation.

Transcripts must be uploaded to your online application. If you wish to send official copies, you may send them to:

Graduate Admissions
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Arizona
1306 East University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85721-0041

A limited number of students are accepted to pursue Master’s degrees in Chemistry. Typically, no financial support is provided for the pursuit of these degrees. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator if you plan to apply for these programs.

Master of Science: The MS degree is a research degree requiring a written thesis. All students must pass a final oral examination.

Master of Arts: Students who plan to teach chemistry in secondary schools will find this program adapted to their needs. The M.A. degree is a non-thesis degree that is awarded for advanced study in chemistry beyond the bachelor's degree.


Financial and Application Questions

Yes, the graduate college requires an application fee to activate the application.

The Graduate Admissions Committee reviews completed applications starting in the late fall and continues through the end of March. If your application is reviewed favorably, and you are currently in the US, you will be contacted by a member of the committee who will invite you to visit Tucson - at our expense - to see what our graduate program and The University of Arizona has to offer. We firmly believe that a sound decision to attend graduate school cannot be made without visiting the UA campus! A member of the Graduate Admissions Committee will serve as your contacs throughout this process. Please do not hesitate to contact them or any member of our Department, if you have any questions.


Submit your application to the graduate program through the UA Graduate College.


Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Program Committee.


Once the Graduare Program Committee has evaluated applications, the Department will extend an invitation to visit the University of Arizona (due to COVID-19, the structure of this visit is currently uncertain).  You will meet faculty, students and staff, view our state-of-the-art facilities, gain first-hand insight into our state-of-the-art research programs, and explore beautiful southern Arizona.


If you are accepted into the graduate program, a formal letter of admission, including details of financial support, will be sent to you. You have until April 15 of the current year to accept this offer of admission. This appointment also includes a waiver of out-of-state tuition (approximately $17,000 per semester). Health insurance is provided by the Graduate College.


New graduate students arrive at The University of Arizona for orientation and the start of graduate studies.

The length of study varies depending on a variety of factors, but about 5.5 years represents a typical length of study for a Ph.D. degree.

Students in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Ph.D. program are supported for the duration of their studies at UA through research or teaching assistantships, as well as full graduate tuition remission and Health Insurance.  All Ph.D. students in good standing are provided financial support in the form of a teaching or research assistantship. In 2023, the stipend for these assistantships was $29,000.

In addition, a number of our students have received highly-competitive fellowships, including prestigious National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowships, which support them for the duration of their studies in the program. Moreover, students who are engaged in interdisciplinary research through one of the externally funded research programs may qualify for training grant support.

Ph.D. students in good standing receive a full tuition waiver, valued at over $32,000 per year. Graduate students are required to pay miscellaneous fees amounting to approximately $600 per semester.

Graduate education and training for a Ph.D. degree require complete dedication and commitment. You will not have time for an unrelated outside job.

We value excellence in all areas of scholarly activity and offer a large number of fellowships and awards. Click here for a list.


Research Questions

Collaboration among research groups is a hallmark of the graduate studies at the UA. This is exemplified by our extremely strong interdisciplinary research areas in the Chemistry of the Life Sciences, the Chemistry of Materials, and the Chemistry of the Gas Phase and Interstellar Space.

In addition, there are several interdisciplinary graduate training tracks within the Department that pool faculty from such diverse areas as Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. A significant portion of your research experience is gained by your interaction with both your own group members as well as researchers in groups, both within and outside the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

A feature of both the biochemistry and chemistry Ph.D. programs is that students undertake three laboratory rotations in the Fall semester prior to choosing a dissertation advisor. These rotations allow the student to gain experience in laboratory research, as well as giving them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the research of faculty in the Department. Toward the end of the Fall semester students are asked to identify a dissertation advisor, from among the faculty that they rotated with, who will guide their research.

Yes. The traditional divisions are loosely defined at UA with the majority of our faculty performing multidisciplinary research at the boundaries of many research areas. If your interests have changed since the time of application to our graduate program and a different area of research has captured your imagination, choosing a research advisor outside of your previously indicated interest poses no problem.

CBC has six scientific facilities and three design units in the Research Support Services group.  The RSS units provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and are staffed with experts in their respective fields.  Each unit is available for independent use by trained customers providing additional support for your research journey.  Optional frequent specialized workshops and classes are taught by the RSS staff to augment graduate program coursework.  Additionally the University has a broad network of more Core Facilities located across campus.  

Teaching Questions

Most students teach 2-4 semesters. Generally, once you pass your preliminary oral exam (during your fourth semester) you are transferred to RA (research assistantship) status by your research director. In some cases you may be awarded an RA earlier. Depending on your career goals and the availability of research funding, it is also possible that you will teach longer than the timeframe indicate above.

Teaching is not strictly required for graduation with a Ph.D. degree, but for most students it is a highly rewarding experience that allows them to learn to disseminate scientific information. Generally, your first-year teaching assistantship will entail teaching in general chemistry or biochemistry courses. If you teach beyond your first year, you will most likely teach upper-level undergraduate courses more relevant to your area of research. Teaching demands approximately 6-8 hours of classroom time, plus grading and office hours, totaling no more than 20 hours per week.

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Contact the Graduate Coordinator:

Phone: 1-520-621-4348
Fax: 1-520-621-8407