General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 30
  • Students: 130
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application Terms: Fall
  • Application Deadline: December 4
Application Info


Kevin Welsher
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Chemistry
Duke University
Box 90347
Durham, NC 27708-0347

Phone: (919) 660-1503



Program Description

The following areas of specialization are available: analytical, biological, inorganic, physical, theoretical, and organic. A wide range of interdisciplinary research programs (e.g., toxicology, biological chemistry, cell and molecular biology) involve chemistry students with those in medical sciences, engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, and occasionally with local industry. The French Family Science Center, totaling over 275,000 square feet, is a shared research facility with groups from Biology, Physics, Mathematics and the Medical Center occupying space, with additional research space in the adjacent Levine Science Research Center. This well-equipped chemical laboratory provides conditions conducive to research in many areas of current interest. Major shared instruments, including those for nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry, are housed in the departmental instrumentation facility and a wide array of more specialized instrumentation is available in the various research laboratories.

The doctoral program in chemistry features research programs that span the “traditional” sub-disciplines of chemistry, including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry. However, many, if not most of the research programs are interdisciplinary, either overlapping the traditional boundaries of chemistry or the boundaries between chemistry and the other sciences, for example biological, materials, and environmental sciences. Many chemistry faculty and students participate in university-wide interdisciplinary training programs and centers, including those in biological chemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, molecular biophysics, biologically inspired materials, and cellular and biosurface engineering. Research in all fields is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Competitive stipends are provided through research and teaching assistantships, and fellowships are available for outstanding candidates.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadline: December 4

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (see departmental guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores:
    • GRE General: Optional
    • GRE Subject - Chemistry: Optional
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines:
This is one of the most important components of your application and is the key to helping the admissions committee determine if Duke Chemistry is a good fit for your Ph.D. studies. Your statement should be well-organized and concise. It should provide clear evidence of your maturity, persistence, resilience, and motivation for pursuing a chemistry Ph.D. It should also provide evidence of how you will contribute to a diverse and inclusive community of scholars. Most of all, it should clearly articulate your research interests and explain how they overlap with faculty in the department.

Writing Sample
None required

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance