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The graduate program in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology (CCB) provides broad research and educational training opportunities across the chemical sciences and includes a traditional Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program as well as a new one-year Master of Science (M.S.) program. Our department offers in-depth programs of study across all of the major chemical disciplines (Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, Physical, and Theoretical) as well as recent high-interest areas such as Nanotechnology/Materials, Polymer Chemistry, and Chemical Biology.
As one of the nation's most distinguished Chemistry departments, CCB has been home to four Nobel Prize winners, was the founding institution for the Journal of Physical Chemistry (J. Phys. Chem.), and has been consistently ranked as a Top 10 Chemistry graduate program by U.S. News & World Report. Students in our graduate programs have access to several cutting-edge research facilities located on the Cornell campus, including (but not limited to) the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing (CAC), Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility (CNF), Institute for Biotechnology | Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) | Center for Advanced Technology (CAT), Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science (KIC), Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC), and National Biomedical Center for AdvanCed Electron Spin Resonance Technology (ACERT).
Our students also play key roles in several multidisciplinary research teams led by CCB faculty, such as the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) and Energy Materials Center at Cornell (emc2). With the opportunity to explore the scenic Finger Lakes region surrounding Cornell, our students enjoy a truly unique experience that comes from attending a world-class Ivy league research institution set in the culturally rich but intimate Ithaca community.
Cornell is unique among our peer institutions because of its field structure, which provides students with the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the interdisciplinary research efforts across the university. At Cornell, all applications to the CCB graduate program are actually made to the Field of Chemistry & Chemical Biology. As such, all students that are accepted into this Field are eligible to join research groups led by any Field member, which includes all CCB faculty as well as a number of faculty members from other departments, such as Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Human Ecology, Materials Science & Engineering, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular Biology & Genetics, and Nutritional Sciences. Cornell is also unique as the only Ivy League institution that is comprised of both private (endowed) and public (statutory) colleges. Our department resides in the College of Arts & Sciences, which is one of the private (endowed) colleges located on the main campus in Ithaca, NY.
Graduate students enrolled in the Field of CCB select a major research concentration in one of the following subfields: Analytical, Bioinorganic, Bioorganic, Biophysical, Chemical Biology, Inorganic, Materials, Organic, Organometallic, Physical, Polymer, or Theoretical. Students each choose a special committee consisting of their research advisor and two additional Cornell faculty members to oversee their graduate studies.
How to Apply
Students wishing to pursue the Ph.D. or M.S. degrees in Chemistry & Chemical Biology should apply directly to the Field of Chemistry & Chemical Biology through the Graduate School at Cornell University. The Cornell University Graduate School website provides all the information about general requirements, financial aid, and specific prerequisites for international students. Further details regarding the CCB graduate program can be found here as well as the application form (which includes a course record form).
Ph.D. Program: Review of applications to the Ph.D. program will begin on the first Monday in December each year for admission beginning in the following August. Although applications received after this date will be reviewed, late applicants may be at a disadvantage.
M.S. Program: Review of applications to the M.S. program will begin on February 1 and continue until June 15, for admission beginning in August.
N.B.: There are no spring admissions to either one of the CCB graduate programs.
Any additional documentation that you think would enhance your application, such as publications or awards, should be sent directly to:
Graduate Studies Office
Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Ithaca, NY 14853-1301
International students who receive an offer of admission to the Ph.D. program must pass the International Teaching Assistant Language Assessment (ILA), an interview administered through the Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). If the ILA shows that an applicant requires more formal training in English, a course in English as a Second Language (ESL) must be completed during the first semester of matriculation. Additional resources for international students can also be found through the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) at CTE.
All international Ph.D. students must also participate in the three-week Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP) hosted by the department and demonstrate proficiency in both speaking and understanding English. Any student with English language skills that are deemed insufficient to carry out Teaching Assistant duties (i.e., teaching recitation and/or laboratory courses to Cornell University students) may lose financial support and be terminated from the Ph.D. graduate program.
Director of Graduate Studies
Prof. H. Floyd Davis