Chemistry: Chemistry PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master’s degree; 2) transfer from the University of Toronto master’s program; or 3) direct entry following completion of an appropriate BSc degree.

PhD students select one of the following fields:

  • Analytical Chemistry

  • Environmental Chemistry

  • Inorganic Chemistry

  • Organic and Biological Chemistry

  • Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

  • Polymers and Materials Chemistry

  • Interdisciplinary, which allows combinations with the other fields, or with other disciplines

Each field requires a minimum of 2.0 to 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from approved graduate courses, depending on the field of study and the student's academic background. The number of courses required will be determined in consultation with the supervisor. Students who have completed the master's program may be considered for a course reduction of up to 1.0 FCE in the PhD program. Specific requirements for each field follow.

 

Field: Analytical Chemistry

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Chemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Appropriate master's degree from a recognized university with a minimum average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+.

  • An exceptional student with an appropriate BSc degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

  • Transfer to the PhD program may be considered during Year 1 of the master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from approved graduate courses:

    • 0.5 FCE in analytical chemistry in each of the areas of spectroscopy, separation science/electrochemistry, and advanced instrumentation/data analysis.

    • An additional 0.5 FCE to support the research program.

    • The number of courses required will be determined in consultation with the supervisor. Students who have completed the master's program may be considered for a course reduction of up to 1.0 FCE in the PhD program.

  • Presentation of two seminars. Participation in the Analytical Chemistry Seminar (CHM 1190Y). Students must complete 30 Analytical Seminar Plus (ASP) points.

  • Successful completion of an oral comprehensive field examination in Analytical Chemistry.

  • The main requirement for the PhD program is the execution of an original investigation that is presented in a thesis.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry

 

Field: Environmental​ Chemistry

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Chemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Appropriate master's degree from a recognized university with a minimum average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+.

  • An exceptional student with an appropriate BSc degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

  • Transfer to the PhD program may be considered during Year 1 of the master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from approved graduate courses:

    • CHM 1401H Transport and Fate of Chemical Species in the Environment (0.5 FCE).

    • At least one other course in Environmental Chemistry.

    • At least one CHM course to be chosen in consultation with the supervisor/supervisory committee and confirmed by the field representative.

    • The fourth course may be an approved course offered in a cognate department.

  • Presentation of two seminars (normally in Years 2 and 4). Participation in the Environmental Chemistry Seminar and colloquia program (CHM 1590Y).

  • A written research proposal, defended orally, on a topic other than the primary research topic delivered prior to the end of​ Year 2.

  • Successful completion of an oral comprehensive field examination in Environmental Chemistry, normally completed following coursework and before the end of Year 2.

  • The main requirement for the PhD program is the execution of an original investigation that is presented in a thesis

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry

 

Field: Inorganic Chemistry

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Chemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Appropriate master's degree from a recognized university with a minimum average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+.

  • An exceptional student with an appropriate BSc degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

  • Transfer to the PhD program may be considered during Year 1 of the master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from approved graduate courses:

    • One core half course (0.5 FCE): either CHM 1261H or CHM 1270H that are offered in alternating years or CHM 1266H. 
  • Participation in the Inorganic Chemistry Seminar (CHM 1290Y): the presentation of one seminar each year in Years 2, 3, and 4, including one on an original research proposal.

  • Successful completion of an oral comprehensive field examination in Inorganic Chemistry.

  • The main requirement for the PhD program is the execution of an original investigation that is presented in a thesis

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry 

 

Field: Organic and Biological Chemistry

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Chemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Appropriate master's degree from a recognized university with a minimum average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+.

  • An exceptional student with an appropriate BSc degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

  • Transfer to the PhD program may be considered during Year 1 of the master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from approved graduate courses:

    • At least two Organic Chemistry graduate half courses selected from CHM 1040H to CHM 1068H (inclusive).

    • Students may be required to take courses offered in physical organic, synthetic organic, and biological chemistry. The courses will be selected in consultation with the supervisor and confirmed by the Gradu​ate Studies Committee field representative.

  • Students must pass six cumulative exams in order for students to qualify to give the oral comprehensive field exam and advance to PhD candidacy. They are generally written on the first Friday of the month from October through May (inclusive).

  • Participation in the Organic Chemistry Seminar (CHM 1090Y): present two seminars, normally in Year 2 and 4. 

  • Upon completion of coursework and cumulative exams, students will take an oral comprehensive field exam in Organic and Biological Chemistry.

  • The main requirement for the PhD program is the execution of an original investigation that is presented in a thesis

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry 

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry 

 

Field: Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Chemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Appropriate master's degree from a recognized university with a minimum average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+.

  • An exceptional student with an appropriate BSc degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

  • Transfer to the PhD program may be considered during Year 1 of the master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Students may select an Experimental Physical Chemistry path requiring:
    • 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) consisting of a combination of two core half courses and two other half courses. The principle is that breadth of background preparation should be the major objective in course selection.

  • Or students may select a Theoretical Physical Chemistry path requiring:
    • 3.0 FCEs, including two core half courses. Specifics are to be determined by the research director and the student.

  • Presentation of two seminars, normally in Years 2 and 4. Participation in the Physical Chemistry Seminar (CHM 1490Y).

  • Successful completion of an oral comprehensive field examination in Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics.

  • The main requirement for the PhD program is the execution of an original investigation that is presented in a thesis

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry

 

Field: Polymers and Materials Chemistry

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Chemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Appropriate master's degree from a recognized university with a minimum average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+.

  • An exceptional student with an appropriate BSc degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

  • Transfer to the PhD program may be considered during Year 1 of the master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from approved graduate courses:

    • At least one of the three core courses (CHM 1206H, CHM 1301H, CH​M 1302H).

    • A list of other courses considered appropriate to the Polymers and Materials Chemistry research area is available from the department.

  • Presentation of at least three seminars (a literature talk in Year 1 and presentations on the original research in Years 2 and 4). Participation in the Polymers and Materials Chemistry Seminar (CHM 1390Y).

  • Upon the completion of coursework, successful performance in an oral comprehensive field examination in Polymers and Materials Chemistry.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry 

 

Field: Interdisciplinary

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Chemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Appropriate master's degree from a recognized university with a minimum average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+.

  • An exceptional student with an appropriate BSc degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

  • Transfer to the PhD program may be considered during Year 1 of the master's program.

  • Acceptance into this field requires a research topic of a truly interdisciplinary nature; a written request must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator. 

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including one core half course from the above fields.

  • Presentation of at least two seminars (normally in Years 2 and 4). Participation in the seminar program of an existing field of Chemistry.

  • Upon completion of coursework, successful completion of an oral comprehensive field examination in the fields of Chemistry deemed appropriate.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry