The Department of Chemistry offers a PhD in Chemistry, with research specializations available in biological, organic, inorganic, physical, and nuclear chemistry. Doctoral students often work at the interface of two or more subfields of chemistry. They may also work at the interface of different scientific disciplines. Lab assignments are therefore made according to each student's research project. Chemistry students may work in a lab outside the department or alongside students from other departments in a chemistry lab.
The department's research strengths in each subfield of chemistry are as follows:
- Biological: biophysical, bioorganic, bioinorganic, biochemistry
- Organic: synthetic, organometallic, bioorganic, physical organic, asymmetric catalysis
- Inorganic: coordination, organometallic, materials, bioinorganic, main group
- Physical: computational, laser spectroscopy, theoretical, magnetic resonance
- Interdisciplinary: biophysical, physical organic, materials
- Nuclear and radiochemistry: stability of nuclei, radioisotopes for medical studies
Washington University's graduate student stipends are in the top 25% of stipends at similar universities, and St. Louis has a low cost of living. The department has an excellent record of placing its graduates in a wide variety of jobs: academic, industrial, governmental, legal, consulting, writing/editing, and entrepreneurial.