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.

Contact Information

Alison Redden Wessels

Barbara Tessmer