SMU Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Dallas HallOnly five miles north of downtown Dallas, SMU offers an exciting and culturally diverse environment in which to develop yourself professionally. Great weather, ample employment opportunities for family members, and world-renowned art, music, dance, and sports attractions help make Dallas an ideal location to pursue graduate studies.




The Department of Chemistry at SMU has a long history of excellence in research and teaching. The faculty maintain active research programs, attend numerous national and international meetings in their fields, and publish in major journals.

The Ph.D. program, established in 2004, builds on the faculty expertise and emphasizes three major areas: Organic/Medicinal/Bioorganic Chemistry; Materials/Polymer Chemistry, and Theoretical/Computational Chemistry.

 Starting in the Fall of 2017 the Department of Chemistry will award two Ph.D. degrees, one in   

Experimental Chemistry (as before) focusing on the experimental areas Organic/Medicinal/Bioorganic and Materials/Polymer and one in

Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (TCC) (new) that is offered by the Computational and Theoretical Chemistry group (CATCO) at SMU.


These programs both have the goal of maximizing each student's knowledge in the chosen field of study and to better prepare him/her for research and a future career in academia or private industry.

Experimental facilities: In 2004, the chemistry research labs were relocated to fully remodeled facilities in Fondren Science at the north end of the SMU campus. These labs provide safe, modern, and flexible working space for all students and faculty as well as student office space separated from the laboratories. The department maintains a modern arsenal of research and teaching instrumentation that plays a vital role in research. Graduate students will obtain hands on experience in any instrument needed for their research programs.

 Computational facilities: SMU’s new High Performance Computer (HPC) Center is one of the largest among all private universities providing excellent computational facilities for the graduate students of the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry program

Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Admission Requirements

  • Chemistry Program: Chemistry DA Bachelor's degree in Chemistry
  • GRE exam (with the Chemistry Subject topics suggested for the Chemistry degree)
  • 80+ score (Internet based) on TOEFL or 6.5+ on IELTS if English is not the primary language
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry program: Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, or Computer Science
  • GRE exam
  • 80+ score (Internet based) on TOEFL or 6.5+ on IELTS if English is not the primary language
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Degree Requirements:

Chemistry Ph.D. Degree

  • First year core courses
  • Two semesters of teaching undergraduate chemistry labs to enhance communication skills
  • Cumulative exams
  • Written and oral research progress report and dissertation plan
  • Research proposal
  • Successful completion of a research program under the supervision of the faculty
  • Presentation at a professional meeting
  • Dissertation and oral defense of research

 Chemistry M.S. Degree

  • 30 term hours of graduate work approved by the department including a research project
  • Preparation, presentation and defense of a thesis
  • Completion of all general requirement of the graduate faculty
  • For more information you are invited to visit our web site at http://www.smu.edu/chemistry, contact Graduate Advisor (chem@smu.edu) or telephone the chemistry office at 214-768-2480.

Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Ph.D. Degree (This is a direct, fast-track bachelors-to-Ph.D. program)

  • 8 core courses, 2 electives, and research (66 units in total), 4-year degree plan
  • Two semesters of teaching undergraduate labs to enhance communication skills
  • Research Synapsis (written and oral)
  • Successful completion of a significant body of research under the supervision of the faculty (minimum of 5 peer-refereed articles are recommended)
  • Presentation at a professional meeting and attendance at the CATCO workshops
  • Dissertation and oral defense of research after 4 years 

Department Assistantships

All applications to be considered for department assistantships must be completed by the January 31. Note: Applications received after January 31 will be considered for any remaining funds and openings.

For more information you are invited to contact Mike Lattman e-mail:  mlattman@smu.edu, phone: 214.768.2467  or Elfi Kraka e-mail: ekraka@smu.edu, phone: 241.768.1609 or more information.

Apply now to the SMU Chemistry Graduate Program