Chemistry graduate students are required to complete 22 credits* of graded course work by the end of the fall term of their second year in the program to fulfill the course requirements for the Ph.D. program. Effective 2023, this requirement has been changed so that incoming first-year students are now required to register for five (5) courses or 20 credits. During the first semester, students register for a minimum of 8 credits of graded courses (2 chemistry graduate courses or the equivalent) but may also take up to 12 credits of graded courses (3 chemistry graduate courses or the equivalent). If you fail to register for the minimum number of credits required by the program your affiliation into a research lab will be delayed. You must get approval from the DGS or your faculty research advisor (after affiliation) for your course selection/registration.
In the second semester, you will take another 6 to 10 credits of coursework, as the requirement is that you complete a minimum of 4 full-credit science courses by the end of the first year. The department strongly encourages you to complete as many of your course requirements in the first year as possible. In the Fall semester of the second year, you should complete any remaining courses as necessary to achieve the total of 22 credits (20 credits for Fall 2023 incoming first-years). This is equivalent to five and a half chemistry graduate courses or the equivalent (five graduate courses for Fall 2023 incoming first-years). Courses offered outside of chemistry by other departments may be substituted for chemistry courses with the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies. Since many such courses carry a different number of credits than the chemistry courses (e.g. 3 credits vs. 4 credits for a full course), the way these courses count toward the required 22 credits (20 for Fall 2023 incoming first-years), and the way they are counted in the evaluation of the course grade point average, will be established in advance in consultation with the DGS.
If you have taken appropriately advanced chemistry or chemistry-related courses before arriving at Duke, you may request a waiver of a portion of the 22 credit requirement (20 for Fall 2023 incoming first-years). The request must be submitted by the end of the first three weeks of the 1st semester of the PhD.