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 (He, Walker, Edwards, Kirk, Guo)
  • Catalysis and Synthesis (Le, Gold, Guo, Rack) 
  • Physical Chemistry/Energy/Materials (Qin, Grey, Kirk, Rack, 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

No Applications Fees Required!!!

Please read the following message carefully in order to complete your two-step online application without paying the application fees.


Step 1. Create an account and fill out the application form by clicking the appropriate link below, follow the instructions, and upload all required documents. Instructions for required documents can be found here: http://grad.unm.edu/graduate-programs/documents/chemistry-and-chemical-biology-ms-phd.pdf


For domestic students, click here:



For international students, click here:



Step 2. After you have completed the application form and the system finds no error, you will be led to the submission page. Stop right here (you will not be able to submit the application without paying the application fee)! Send an Email, containing your first and last names, birth date, application term, and application date, to Karen M. (kamc@unm.edu) stating that you are applying for the PhD program in Chemistry & Chemical Biology and have completed the on-line application form that is ready for submission. We will pay for the application fee for you and will email you to let you know that you can now log back in to submit your application. If you don’t hear back from us in two weeks, please send us a reminder email again.



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.

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.


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. 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