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Graduate Study in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and associated laboratories are housed in the Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center and new Biotechnology wing. Several chemistry faculty are located in the Center for Advanced Materials Processing, a 190,000-square foot building opened in 1991. These two facilities house the extensive and up-to-date instrumentation required for state-of-the-art research.

Center For Advanced Materials Processing
Impressed with the caliber of materials processing research at Clarkson, the New York State Science and Technology Foundation designated CAMP as a Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in June 1987. CATs are Foundation-sponsored centers of world-class technological excellence within New York State's top research institutions. They serve as focal points for the formation of partnerships among universities, private industry, and government. The foundation, whose major goal is to foster interaction between the academic and industrial communities of New York State, provides up to $1 million per year for CAMP/CAT operating funds.

Advanced materials researchers work with solids such as metals, glasses, plastics, and ceramics. They utilize chemical processes to create new materials, and physical processes to shape, mix, and fasten materials together. Materials processing plays an essential role in modern manufacturing, where it influences, for example, the fabrication of integrated circuit chips, the combining of carbon fibers and plastics for aircraft construction, and the production of fine particles for ceramics.

CAMP provides graduate students with a unique opportunity for involvement in faculty research projects in advanced materials processing.

Degree Requirements

Typical M.S. Degree Program
Students entering with a B.S. degree in chemistry are required to take a minimum of six graduate-level chemistry courses (18 credit hours), a graduate seminar course (two credit hours), up to 10 research credit hours, altogether 30 credit hours. Up to 10 credit hours can be earned by transfer from other schools or departments. To graduate with an M.S. degree, an average of B or better must be earned in the course work (exclusive of courses receiving Q grades). This program can be accomplished in 18 months, but typically takes two years.

Typical Ph.D. Degree Program
The program requires completion of a minimum of 90 credit hours with a two-year minimum residence at Clarkson. A master's degree can be accepted and counted for up to 30 credit hours. Of the required credit hours a minimum 15 credit hours must be in the field selected by the student as major, and nine in another area of chemistry selected as a minor field. At least six credit hours of seminar work are required and nine courses must be taken in residence at Clarkson with an average of B or better. Before the end of his or her second year in residence at Clarkson, a Ph.D. student must pass a comprehensive examination in his or her major field. The Ph.D. candidate is also required to submit a thesis based on his or her research and defend it in an oral defense. The total Ph.D. program is usually accomplished in four to five years.

Graduate Placement Exams
Upon arrival on campus prior to the beginning of their first semester each student will take placement examinations in physical, inorganic, organic and analytical chemistry to evaluate the strength of the undergraduate background in each of the basic areas of chemistry. Students electing the biochemistry emphasis must take placement examinations in organic chemistry and cell biology.

Financial Assistance
Qualifying Graduate Students may receive financial assistance in the form of either research (RA) or teaching (TA) assistantships. Research assistantships are awarded in connection with externally sponsored research projects, and recipients are expected to work full time on a thesis project under the direction of the faculty member supervising the investigation.

Teaching assistants supervise undergraduate laboratories. TA and RA assistantships provide a stipend with a full tuition waiver. School of Science students applying for the Doctoral or Masters program are eligible for partial tuition scholarships. All applicants are considered for financial assistance, which is competitively awarded on the basis of merit.

Application Procedure
All applicants are required to submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is mandatory for those whose native language is not English.

We encourage submission of application forms and letters of recommendation as early as possible. The application deadline is May 15 for fall enrollment and October 15 for spring enrollment.

Application for admission and general inquiries should be submitted to:
School of Arts & Sciences
Graduate Studies
Clarkson University
PO Box 5802
Potsdam, NY 13699-5802
Phone: 315-268-3802
Fax: 315-268-3989

Equal Opportunity Policy

Clarkson prohibits discrimination in all aspects of its operation. Clarkson offers admission to students without regard to handicap, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, creed and religion. All students admitted to Clarkson have equal access to the University's financial assistance, facilities, activities, and various programs.