Thank you for your interest in applying to our graduate program. The priority deadline for submitting the online application is December 1.

Applicants can apply to the chemistry PhD program with a bachelor’s degree. The department does not offer a terminal master’s degree in chemistry.

The entire application can be completed online. There is no need to send or forward hard copies of any required document.

Below is information on the following:

For further information on applying to our graduate program, please contact the graduate studies coordinator.

Virtual Open House

Our virtual open houses for prospective students applying for fall 2024 entry are now complete. We encourage students to contact our graduate studies coordinator with questions about our program.

For students applying in fall 2025 entry, we will be holding virtual information sessions in October 2024; specific details and registration links will be posted closer to that date.

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Application Deadline

Applicants seeking priority review are encouraged to have all materials submitted by December 1. Applications received after the deadline will still be accepted and processed but will be given consideration according to the availability of positions in the program. Applications are accepted for the fall entry term only.

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Financial Aid

Full tuition scholarships are awarded to all chemistry graduate students, and they receive a living stipend ($33,475 for the 2024-2025 academic year). Graduate student funding is guaranteed for the duration of the graduate career, provided the student is meeting the standards of PhD work in the department.

Each graduate student will serve as a teaching assistant (TA). Students are responsible for a total of six units of teaching during their PhD, where a unit represents three hours of contact time, one office hour per week, TA meetings, and grading. This typically entails three semesters of TA responsibilities, within the student’s first two years in the PhD program.

In addition, the department provides entering students with a professional development and travel allowance to present their research at a scientific meeting.

The University also has several merit fellowships for which students become eligible at various times throughout their studies. Students may be eligible to receive one or more of the fellowships, depending on academic and research performance. These fellowships will typically provide an additional bonus to the student’s annual stipend.

The criteria for the fellowships differ:

  • Fellowship selection early in graduate school is based on excellence in courses and exams.
  • Fellowship selection later in graduate school is based on research accomplishments.

Currently available fellowships are:

  • Sherman-Clarke Fellowships: Eligible in first and second years, based on coursework and TA performance.
  • Ewart Fellowships: Eligible in third year, based on coursework, teaching, initial research, and performance on qualifying examination.
  • Weissberger, DeRight, and Lattimore Fellowships: Eligible in fourth and fifth years, based on research accomplishment.
  • Moses Passer Fellowship: Awarded annually to a deserving doctoral student on the basis of his/her academic scholarship.
  • Hooker and Messersmith Fellowships: Eligible after completing qualifying examination; University fellowships based on overall accomplishments.
  • Sproull, Provost and University Fellowships: University fellowships based on special promise in graduate work.

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Standardized Tests

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NOT required to apply to the graduate program in chemistry at the University of Rochester.


International applicants whose first language is English do not need to submit English Proficiency test scores. More information about waiving the English proficiency test requirement is available on the GEPA website.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. If your native language is not English and you completed your secondary or higher education in a non-native English-speaking country, you must take the Duolingo English Test, TOEFL, or IELTS to demonstrate English language proficiency. The University TOEFL code is 7267.

Students choosing to submit TOEFL scores may submit results from the TOEFL iBT or Paper-Delivered Test administered at proctored test locations. Due to COVID-19, we will also accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test.

Test Details


Duolingo English Test


TOEFL iBT or Paper-Delivered Test


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Statement of Purpose

The required Statement of Purpose explains why you are applying to the University of Rochester for graduate study. Your statement of purpose should address the following micro-prompts. You are encouraged to separate each component with a clear subheading. An optional template is provided for your convenience.

Scientific Goals

Describe your motivation to pursue a PhD in chemistry, including your future research interests and career goals. Elaborate on specific personal experiences and/or values that have shaped your goals and interests. Identify at least three potential research supervisors (faculty) at the University of Rochester and describe how their research aligns with your goals. (Up to 500 words)

Research Preparation

Describe your prior research experience(s) where applicable. Briefly state the aim(s) of your project(s). Elaborate on why the project was interesting, what you learned from that experience, and how it helped inform your decision to pursue graduate studies and/or prepare you for graduate research. If you are an author on one or more publications, describe your specific contributions to the publication(s). (Up to 750 words)

Non-Technical Skills

Describe situations in which you have demonstrated leadership, resilience, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, self-advocacy, advocacy for others, mentorship, and/or other non-technical skills. You may include examples related to your academics and research or you may choose to highlight other activities. Either way, the most effective statements will include specific details and demonstrate a sustained pattern of engagement. (Up to 500 words)

Extenuating Considerations

[Optional] Describe any barriers or obstacles you faced that may have negatively impacted your access to and/or your performance in your academics or research. Describe what steps you have taken to manage these challenges to pursue your chemistry training. (Up to 500 words)

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Diversity Statement

Your diversity statement should be no more than 500 words and discuss your background, lived experiences, or viewpoint(s) that speak on how you can contribute to your intended field of study, your community, or the University of Rochester and its motto "Meliora" (which means "ever-better").

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For the application process, please upload all transcripts through the application portal. Unofficial transcripts are accepted during the application process. If you are admitted and decide to attend the University of Rochester, you will be required to submit official transcripts to verify your degree(s).

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Letters of Recommendation

While completing the online application, you will be asked to provide the names and contact information for the three people that you are asking to recommend you for graduate school. These individuals will receive an email directly from the application system with a link and instructions on how to upload their letter of recommendation. The most effective letters will come from individuals who know you well from professional or academic settings and can provide detailed examples highlighting your strengths and skills relevant to pursuing a PhD in chemistry. Letter writers are encouraged to focus on information and context beyond that provided in an academic transcript or curriculum vitae (CV).

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Equal Opportunity Policy

The University of Rochester provides equal opportunity in admissions and student aid regardless of sex, age, race, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin. Furthermore, the University complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws.

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