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Department Information

Chemistry plays a key role in solving economic, environmental and societal problems, which are intimately connected with the basic question how to guarantee the sustainability of our planet. By providing key tools, skills and knowledge, chemical research helps answer many of the important questions facing our society, including the origin of life, mortality, communication, energy, environmental sustainability, and national security. Indeed, an often defining characteristic of research in the chemical sciences is that problems are solved by making something, importantly, from the most basic of raw materials — atoms and molecules.

The Department of Chemistry here at SMU has a long history of excellence in research and teaching. Whether aspiring to a career in industry, medicine, or academia, the comprehensive curriculum provides students with the necessary knowledge and experience to excel in their future careers. The faculty maintain active research programs, attend numerous national and international meetings in their fields, and publish in major journals. The Ph.D. program, established in 2004, builds on the faculty expertise and emphasizes three major areas:

  1. Organic, Medicinal, and Bioorganic Chemistry
  2. Materials and Polymer Chemistry
  3. Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Our programs both have the goal of maximizing each student's knowledge in the chosen field of study and preparing him or her for research and a future career in academia and/or private industry.

Degrees Offered

Explore our Chemistry M.S. Program

Explore our Chemistry Ph.D. Program

Explore our Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Ph.D. Program

Southern Methodist University Facilities

These programs both have the goal of maximizing each student's knowledge in the chosen field of study and preparing him or her for research and a future career in academia and/or private industry.

EXPERIMENTAL FACILITIES

Experimental Facilities

In 2004, the chemistry research labs were relocated to fully remodeled facilities in Fondren Science at the north end of the SMU campus. These labs provide safe, modern, and flexible working space for all students and faculty as well as student office space separate from the laboratories. The department maintains a modern arsenal of research and teaching instrumentation that plays a vital role in research. Graduate students will obtain hands-on experience in any instrument needed for their research programs.

COMPUTATIONAL FACILITIES

Computational Facilities

SMU's new High Performance Computing Center (HPC) is one of the largest among all private universities, providing excellent computational facilities for the graduate students of the TCC program.  

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in Chemistry
  • GRE exam, with the Chemistry Subject Area suggested
  • 80+ score on TOEFL iBT or 6.5+ on IELTS if English is not the primary language
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, or Computer Science
  • GRE exam
  • 80+ score on TOEFL iBT or 6.5+ on IELTS if English is not the primary language
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Deadlines for Admission

Program Specific Priority Deadlines for Fall Admission

  • Chemistry Ph.D. Program — January 15th
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Ph.D. Program — January 31st
  • Final Deadline for Fall Admissions — May 1st


Departmental Assistantships

All applications to be considered for department assistantships must be completed by the applicable priority deadline.

Note: Applications received after applicable priority deadline will be considered for any remaining funds and openings.

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A Guide to Computational and Theoretical Chemistry Group (CATCO) at Southern Methodist University

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Degree Requirements

  • First year core courses
  • Two semesters of teaching undergraduate chemistry labs to enhance communication skills
  • Cumulative exams
  • Written and oral research progress report and dissertation plan
  • Research proposalSuccessful completion of a research program under the supervision of the faculty
  • Presentation at a professional meeting
  • Dissertation and oral defense of research
  • Eight core courses, two electives, and research (66 units in total), comprising a four-year degree plan
  • Two semesters of teaching undergraduate labs to enhance communication skills
  • Research Synopsis (written and oral)
  • Successful completion of a significant body of research under the supervision of the faculty (minimum of five peer-refereed articles are recommended)
  • Presentation at a professional meeting and attendance at the CATCO workshops
  • Dissertation and oral defense of research after four years
  • 30 term hours of graduate work approved by the department, including a research project
  • Preparation, presentation, and defense of a thesis
  • Completion of all general requirement of the graduate faculty

Alumni Spotlight

Vytor-desk-Life-in-a-research-oriented-chemistry-phd-program

Vytor Oliviera, is the very first graduate of SMU's Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Ph.D. program. His research studied the strength and nature of non-covalent interactions such as halogen, chalcogen, and pnicogen bonds using advanced quantum mechanics methods.

He will begin postdoctoral work in Brazil and plans to become a university professor. 

Read more about Vytor's research at SMU here. 

Questions?

Do not hesitate to contact your program of interest with any questions you might have!

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