This program is an intriguing and exciting area of study that covers the clarification of the properties and behavior of nanostructures, the characterization of the interior workings of individual cells, the preparation of the first quantum spin liquid, research in experimental physical chemistry, and much more. Our award-winning faculty, which includes Nobel Prize and Welch Award laureates, will help you explore the theoretical and practical aspects of material sciences, engineering, and chemical engineering. The education you receive will enable you to successfully pursue a career in either academia or industry.

Students in the program have collaborated with leading scientific institutions, like the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, and with fellow students in various labs across the Harvard campus.

Examples of student projects include developing materials to create sustainable heating and cooling options to reduce greenhouse gases and the development of novel molecules that the world has never seen.

Graduates of the program have secured faculty positions at prestigious institutions like MIT, Stanford University, and Princeton University. Others have launched careers with well-known companies like Dow Chemical, Chevron, and Merck. 

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants interested in Chemical Physics apply through the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. In the online application, select “Chemistry and Chemical Biology” as your program choice and select "Chemical Physics" in the Area of Study menu.

Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Statement of Purpose

For applicants to chemical physics, the statement of purpose should include two sections. Please clearly delineate the two sections within the same document using the headers "statement of purpose" and "research accomplishments.”

  • Statement of Purpose: Statement of your scientific and professional interests and objectives, not to exceed 300 words.
  • Research Accomplishments: Statement of your research accomplishments and/or current projects, not to exceed 500 words. In the event that undergraduate research opportunities have not been available to you, please discuss other science projects, reading projects, etc., that you have undertaken.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Chemical Physics