The Chemistry Department offers a flexible program that allows students to select courses tailored to their individual background and research interests. No specific courses are required for the degree. Each student, with the advice of a graduate advisor or their research supervisor, pursues an individual program of advanced study which is pertinent to his or her long range research interests. In general, candidates for the PhD degree in chemistry are expected to have completed at least 48 units of subjects approved for this purpose by the department with a grade of B- or better.
All students are required to serve as a teaching assistant for two semesters in their first year.
As part of the requirement for a PhD degree, MIT requires a General Examination, with both an oral and written part. Cumulative Exams are the written component of the General Examination for the PhD degree and the Oral Examination for the PhD in Chemistry must be passed by the end of the fourth semester of graduate study. No other general written examinations are required. In particular, no qualifying (or entrance) examinations are given.
A final oral presentation of doctoral research is scheduled after the thesis has been submitted and evaluated by a committee of faculty.