Second Year

Organic Division CUME Exams

Organic students are required to achieve a total of 5 points on their first-year oral exam in order to proceed directly to the Ph.D. program.  Students who earn a score below 5 will be asked to take cumulative (CUME) examinations to make up deficient points. Information regarding these exams is communicated to students by division representatives.

M.S. Completion

Graduate student in lab.

Students may be required to complete an M.S. degree prior to continuing on to the Ph.D. program. Generally students will fulfill this requirement during the second year of the program.  The M.S. degree requires successful completion of a research program and defense of a thesis. During the semester in which a student plans to complete this degree, he or she must apply to graduate through the Graduate School and complete all requirements. Further information regarding the graduation process can be found on the Graduation Procedures page.

Candidacy Exam

The Candidacy Examination is a comprehensive test administered by a committee of faculty and is based on the fundamentals of the broad area of chemistry in which the student is specializing.  The student’s progress in research will be evaluated by the exam committee.  Satisfactory performance in this examination or series of examinations admits the student to candidacy for the doctoral degree at the end of the term in which the exam is passed.  The exam should be completed during the second year in the program.  Only students requiring further evaluation via completion of an M.S. degree should initiate their Candidacy Examination in a timeframe such that it may be completed by the end of spring semester of their third year.  Divisional requirements and timelines for the Candidacy Examination are listed in the Summary of Procedures and Requirements [pdf] and Graduate School requirements are listed in the Graduate School Handbook, but students should note that the process takes many weeks to complete and should plan accordingly.

  • Procedures for Selection of Candidacy Examination Committee and Initiation of Candidacy
  • Submit proposal to committee members for review.
  • Once the document has been revised and is ready for approval, a PDF should be provided to the Graduate Studies Office and signatures will be collected from each committee member electronically via DocuSign.
  • Once the document has been approved, students can schedule the oral portion of the exam and submit the “Application for Candidacy” via GRADFORMS
    • This application must be approved by the advisor and Vice Chair of Graduate Studies a minimum of two weeks before the date of the oral exam. 
    • Once your application has been approved by these two individuals it will appear as Pending* (with asterisk) which is acceptable for the Graduate School deadline.
  • Students who are unable to meet the Candidacy Exam deadlines outlined above must petition for continued financial support.

Seminar Presentations

Analytical Division Student Seminar

  • Analytical students are expected to present seminars to the analytical division during their second and final years in the program.  The second year seminar will generally be 30 minutes long on a topic determined by the student and his/her advisor, and will be evaluated by both faculty and students in attendance.

Biochemistry Literature Presentation

  • Students in the Biochemistry division must give one literature presentation and one research in-progress presentation to the division by the end of the third year. Typically, students will give a literature presentation in their second year in the student series.

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