Chemistry and Chemical Biology is one of the programs in the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences, which facilitates collaboration and cross-disciplinary research. Visit HILS for additional application instructions.
Science in the 21st century is rich with opportunity and challenge. Our pillars for success in this complex world are all tied to interactions—between people and between disciplines. By building both strong interpersonal connections between our students and faculty, and effective bridges between disciplines, entering graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology can thrive at the frontiers of research in the chemical and life sciences.
The department offers a program leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy in chemistry, with research and training opportunities in many subdisciplines of chemistry. An interdepartmental PhD program in chemical physics is also available. Thesis research becomes a significant focus following an initial period of coursework, teaching, and sampling of research opportunities through our laboratory rotation system. Students’ own interests and those of their faculty supervisor(s) guide the direction of the doctoral studies. The department’s interactive and supportive social structure is a key element for promoting a high quality-of-life while achieving a high level of success.
Research is a primary focus of our graduate programs, with graduate students choosing faculty advisors and beginning active research during their first year. Our faculty share with graduate students a rich training in the unique tools of chemical inquiry and a commitment to scientific investigation at the molecular level. For their doctoral research, we encourage students to explore problems of intrinsic interest and importance at the frontiers of chemical science. We offer many opportunities for interdisciplinary studies. Interaction with other departments and groups is common, both within Harvard University and at other research centers in the Boston area.
The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology offers a PhD in chemistry and a PhD in chemical physics. We admit students with a record of classroom and laboratory training in biological, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. We expect students to possess a strong enough grounding in chemistry to perform well on the required chemistry GRE subject exam (other subjects like physics or biochemistry can be substituted, if appropriate), and to be thoughtful enough about the discipline of chemistry to communicate their desire to pursue doctoral research in our department.
The department announces admissions decisions in February and invites accepted students to an official visit during March.