About the Graduate Program

The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the University of New Mexico offers the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry.  Our students work on cutting-edge research projects in nationally and internationally recognized research laboratories. 

The Department has three primary research thrusts each comprised of several faculty mentors, namely,

  • Biological Chemistry/Chemical Biology/Medicinal Chemistry (Liang, Melancon, Dunaway-Mariano, Keller, Kirk, Wang, Guo)
  • Catalysis and Synthesis (Kemp, Giri, Wang, Kirk, Guo) 
  • Physical Chemistry/Energy/Materials (Qin, Grey, Kirk, Guo, Habteyes)

The inter-disciplinary nature of these thrusts provides students with a well-rounded background and many of our graduates obtain top positions upon graduation.  Please see ‘Faculty Research’ for specific information regarding individual interests.

Our close proximity to both Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories as well as the Air Force Research Laboratory at nearby Kirtland AFB offers yet another unique experience to students through collaborative projects with UNM faculty.  Several of our faculty are also closely associated with these organizations or have official joint appointments.   Inter-disciplinary graduate research programs (e.g., Nano-science and Microsystems, NSMS, Center for Biomedical Engineering, CBME, and the Center for High technology Materials, CHTM) are available to students and many C&CB faculty are associated with these programs. Our faculty obtain research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy and other government and private sources of research support. 

We are also in the process of significant remodeling and renovations to Clark Hall and the Riebsomer wing housing many research labs.  Furthermore, we have added five new faculty members in the last three years to help build our research thrusts and additional hires in these areas will take place in the coming years. 

Degrees Offered

The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Masters of Science (M.S. Plan I and II) degrees. The primary emphasis of the graduate program is on the Ph.D. track. Financial aid is given to those students intending to pursue the Ph.D. option. A full description of the separate degree requirements is provided in a following section.

Application Process

***ALL DOCUMENTATION MUST BE UPLOADED AND FINALIZED WITH NO CHANGES BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION OR IT WILL BE CONSIDERED INCOMPLETE AND WILL NOT BE REVIEWED.  THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT ACCEPT PAPER RECOMMENDATIONS, TRANSCRIPTS OR ANY APPLICATION MATERIALS.  PLEASE SEND ANY OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS, ETC. TO THE GLOBAL EDUCATION OFFICE AT: 2120 MESA VISTA HALL; MSC06 3850, 1, UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO; ALBUQUERQUE, NM  87131-0001

To apply to the Chemistry Department Program please click here.

if you have questions regarding your application please contact Karen, the Advisement Coordinator at kamc@unm.edu.

  • Chemistry & Chemical Biology accepts applications for FALL semester only.

Our Priority Deadline is January 1st of each year to start the program in the fall (August) semester of the same year. The Graduate Selection Committee will review only completed applications received by this date. Applications received or completed after January 1 may be reviewed, if space is available.

Documents you must submit online to UNM:   THE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY PAPER APPLICATION MATERIALS.  ALL INFORMATION MUST BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY.

  • University Application Form (above)
  • TOEFL Scores for International Applicants (must be requested and sent directly to UNM)

    If English is not your first language or if English is not the official language spoken in your country, you must take either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  The minimum score on the IELTS is 6.5; and for the TOEFL it is at least 550 on the paper based test, 213 on the computerized test, or 79-80 on the internet-based test.  Results must be sent directly to the University of New Mexico. The TOEFL code for UNM is 4845.

  • Offficial transcript (from all schools attended)

    These are transcripts issued by the degree-granting institution and must have original stamps, seals, and signatures of the issuing institution's designated officials or the Ministry of Education for the country. They do not have to be sealed in an envelope.
  • Three Letters of recommendation
  • Letter of Intent (Please indicate which area you are interested in)
    • Biological Chemistry /Chemical Biology/Medicinal Chemistry
    • Catalysis and Synthesis
    • Physical Chemistry/Energy/Materials

Please list your area of research interest, and one or two faculty members with whom you are interested in working.  It is very important that you indicate the area you are interested in studying.  If you don’t indicate an area, your file may not be considered.

  • OPTIONAL additional materials
    • Writing sample, abstract or copy of any research either published or reported at professional meetings
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV)             

Curriculum

The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department faculty presents a basic core of graduate level courses (Chem 500 and above) each year. Some of the courses listed below are given every year and some on a rotating basis. In addition, Topics courses are provided every year that incorporate the latest advances in the discipline into the formal classroom training experience. Finally, due to the interdisciplinary nature of the research programs in Chemistry, students are encouraged to take selected courses offered through Engineering, Physics, Geology and Biochemistry.

 

Other Information

Financial Aid

Ph.D. graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology receive aid from the department in the form of teaching assistantships. This usually involves participation in the undergraduate program. Generally, a student will be responsible for three laboratory sessions of 3 hours each. In addition to a stipend, all graduate teaching assistants are granted a full waiver of tuition for the academic year. Applicants to our graduate program with an excellent record are eligible to receive the Daub Award ($1000).

After the first year, students may receive aid in the form of research assistantships. These are provided from the resources generated by the student's research advisor. Alternatively, a student may continue to be assigned to a teaching appointment. In general, levels of financial aid are similar for teaching and research assistantships. Details on the levels of financial aid and on other forms of aid will be provided in supplementary information from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Summer support is available in the form of research or teaching assistantships for students making satisfactory progress towards an advanced degree.

Housing

The University of New Mexico is located in a residential area several miles east of downtown Albuquerque. Housing is available both in the community and on campus in University dormitories. In addition, the University provides a limited number of married-student apartments. One-, two- and three-bedroom units are available. Most chemistry graduate students live off campus in apartments. Information regarding off campus housing can be obtained directly from the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department. For more information on University housing, write to:

University Residence Halls:
The University of New Mexico
Housing Reservations and Collections Office
La Posada Hall 201
Albuquerque, NM 87131
505.277.2606

Student Family Housing:
The University of New Mexico
Student Family Housing Office
961 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505.277.4265