PhD Program


Chemistry PhD Program

The University of Pennsylvania is an internationally renowned research institution that attracts the best students from the United States and around the globe. The Graduate Program is designed for students who wish to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry while undertaking cutting edge research. The program provides students with the necessary theoretical background and hands-on training to become independent and highly successful scientists.  Graduate students achieve mastery of advanced chemistry topics through courses in different subdisciplines. Broad exposure to current research also occurs via four weekly departmental seminar programs and many interdisciplinary, university-wide lecture series.

Currently, faculty, students, and postdoctoral associates in Chemistry work in the fields of bioinorganic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, chemical biology, biophysical chemistry, bioinformatics, materials science, laser chemistry, health related chemistry, structural and dynamical studies of biological systems, X-ray scattering/diffraction, NMR spectroscopy, applications of computing and computer graphics, as well as investigations of chemical communication and hormone-receptor interactions. Many research groups combine different techniques to explore frontier areas, such as nanomaterials applied to biology, photoactive biomolecules, and single-molecule imaging. Novel synthetic procedures are under constant development for targets ranging from super-emissive nanoparticles to highly specialized drug molecules and giant dendrimers, which are being explored, for example, as drug-delivery systems. The Research Facilities in the Department of Chemistry provide a strong technology base to enable the highest level of innovation.

Graduate students are a driving, integral force at Penn Chemistry.