REQUIREMENTS FOR THE Ph.D. DEGREE
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

I. REQUIRED COURSES

1. For the Ph.D. degree, at least 24 credits of graduate level courses (not counting research credits) must be completed. In the first semester, entering full-time students must register for the seminar course, 26:160:601 or 602.

2. Continuous registration must be maintained (except for summers) until a degree is awarded. If no course or research is taken during a fall or spring semester, the student should register for "Matriculation Continued," a non-credit course for which a reduced fee is charged. Failure to maintain continuous registration requires readmission and payment of a reinstatement fee for each term missed.

II. TOTAL CREDITS FOR THE DEGREE

1. A minimum of 60 credits (including those applied to an M.S.) are required for the Ph.D. degree. A minimum of 24 credits of graduate level coursework with a grade of B or better must be accumulated, and at least 24 credits must be in research.

2. Students are required to maintain a B average. If the average drops below B, the Graduate Dean's office sends a notice of unsatisfactory progress to the student, who must then meet with the Graduate Program Director to discuss the problem and outline conditions to be met in order to remain in the Program. If these conditions are not met, the student will be dropped from the Program.

3. Credits for coursework with a grade lower than B cannot be used for the PhD degree.

4. No more than six credits of 400-level undergraduate courses may be used for any degree.

III. TRANSFER OF CREDITS

1. Transfer of course credits from outside Rutgers-Newark is allowed up to a maximum of 30 for the Ph.D. degree. However, in no case may such transferred credits constitute more than half of the course credits used toward any degree.

2. Only chemistry-related graduate courses taken as a graduate student with grades of B or better may be transferred.

3. At the beginning of the first semester, the department administers entrance examinations in the areas of organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry. Credits can only be transferred for courses in these categories if the student has achieved a passing grade in the corresponding entrance examination.

4. Research credits, pass-fail credits and other non-graded credits may not be transferred.

5. Transfer may be made only after a student completes 12 hours of course-work at Rutgers-Newark with grades of B or better. These 12 hours may include chemistry courses taken at Rutgers-Newark on a non-matriculated basis, through the Non-Degree Program. Any such credits should be transferred at this point.

IV. NON-COURSE REQUIREMENTS

1. Cumulative examinations:

a. One Saturday morning of each month, October through May, three or four questions will be presented. Cumulative exams will be categorized into five chemistry disciplines: Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, and Biochemistry . The exams are currently scheduled for the second Saturday of every month, 9-12 AM, and designed so a student can complete two questions in the allotted 3-hour session. However students may attempt to answer any number of questions, and each will be assigned a grade of 2, 1, or 0. The student will be notified of his or her grade and all grades will be recorded in the student's file. There is no penalty for failing questions, but a student who fails an exam question is encouraged to consult the professor who wrote it.

b. For the Ph.D. degree the student must accumulate ten exam points. A minimum of five points has to be in the discipline related to the student's research. This requirement has to be completed in the student's first five semesters (not counting summer sessions) after matriculation into the Graduate Program.

c. Students not fulfilling the cumulative-exam requirement within the five semesters specified above will be evaluated by the faculty, and a recommendation based on the student's overall performance will be made. If the recommendation is to drop the student from the Program, the student will be notified in writing.

2. Candidacy Exam:

a. Students in the Ph.D. Program must show satisfactory performance on an oral examination conducted before the end of the fifth semester and after completion of the cumulative exam requirement. For part-time Ph.D. students, the oral examination must be scheduled before the end of the fifth semester into their Ph.D. research project.

The student is to pass a research-based candidacy exam that entails:

  1. One week prior to the oral exam, the student must submit a 10 page (max) report that consists of a general introduction to their research project, their progress, and future directions. The report will be submitted to a three-member committee that is comprised of: a faculty member selected by the student (this faculty member must agree to the selection), a faculty member selected by the supervisor, and a faculty member selected by the department chair. Supervisors cannot be members of their student's committee, but are encouraged to attend the examination.
  2. During the oral candidacy exam, the student is required to deliver a ca. 30 min presentation on their research project to the committee. This will be followed by a question period that will examine the students' fundamental understanding of their project and chemistry at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  3. At the conclusion of the exam, the examination committee will issue a grade of "pass," "fail," or "repeat."

b. If the grade is "repeat," a re-examination will be scheduled that has to take place within one month of the original examination. If a student is re-examined after an initial grade of "repeat," the committee must then issue a grade of pass or fail; a grade of "repeat" is not permitted on the second attempt. The examination committee for the repeat examination shall be composed of all members of the initial examining committee.

V. CANDIDACY AND COMPLETION OF THE DEGREE

1. As soon as a student has accumulated at least 24 course-credits and fulfilled the other requirements listed above under I, II and IV, he or she should file for degree candidacy. This is done with a candidacy form obtained from the secretary.

2. Candidates for the Ph.D. must present the results of their research to their dissertation committee in a pre-defense meeting, to be conducted about six months before anticipated completion of the research. The committee then defines what remains to be done to produce an acceptable, completed research project.

3. Ph.D. candidates present their final research results in a departmental seminar, usually as part of the Ph.D. defense.

4. A candidate finally produces a finished written dissertation and defends it before an examining committee of at least three members of the Chemistry Graduate Faculty, plus one person who is not a member of the Chemistry Graduate Faculty.

VI. APPEALS

Appeals may be made in writing and/or in person to the Graduate Program Director who will establish an ad hoc review committee consisting of three professors. The committee will make a determination within one month's time and communicate its decision to the student and to the Director in writing. A student who is dissatisfied with the decision may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.