Chemistry Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in the Chemistry PhD Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More information about our PhD program is found on the graduate degrees page.

Our application deadline for full consideration for the Fall 2022 semester is December 1, 2021. However, we strongly encourage earlier submission of applications to maximize opportunities for fellowships. We do not accept applications for Spring semester admission; our admission cycle is on an annual basis. 

Minimum Admission Requirements for the Chemistry PhD Program

  • Undergraduate Degree
  • At least 25 semester hours in chemistry (properly distributed)
  • GPA: 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is the minimum admission requirement for the Graduate College (however, Chemistry typically does not make offers to students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.5, unless they have a high graduate GPA or extensive research experience to compensate for a lower undergraduate GPA) 
  • A completed online application
  • Academic Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of reference
  • Official Transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work (one transcript for each institution attended). Electronic transcripts must contain the name of the university/college, university/college seal, and/or signature of a registrar/dean. One or a combination of these features must be present, for the document to be considered a transcript. "Self-service, student versions of transcripts" and/or grade lists that students are able to obtain without submitting a request to their university/college will not be accepted
  • Graduate Records Examination
    •  GRE scores (general or subject) are not required. Please do not submit them. 
  • English Language Proficiency test scores: official test scores are required. The Department of Chemistry requires graduate students to serve as a Teaching Assistant (TA). As a result, English Proficiency requirements are more stringent than general admission into the Graduate College. All international students should follow the link above about English Proficiency requirements, to make sure you will qualify to TA.   
    • Minimum TOEFL: 103 overall, 24 on speaking subsection
    • Minimum IELTS: 7 overall, 8 on speaking subsection, no less than 6 on any subsection
  • Your academic record and recommendations must be a strong indicator of your capability to pursue advanced study and research in chemistry.

    Areas Of Study

    Chemistry Laboratory Within the Department of Chemistry areas of study include analytical, chemical biology, inorganic, materials, organic, and physical chemistry. Applications for those interested in pursuing a Master's degree are not encouraged except for the Master's Program in the Teaching of Chemistry and the Joint Degree Program in Chemistry.

    Master's Program in the Teaching of Chemistry
    Applicants interested in the Master's Program in the Teaching of Chemistry are expected to have a valid teaching certificate in addition to the usual undergraduate background in chemistry. Those who do not have a valid teaching certificate should plan to spend an additional year in the program for student teaching and to take other courses required for the certificate.

    Joint Degree Program - JD/MS in Chemistry
    Not accepting applications at this time. View a complete description of the Joint Degree Program.

    Transfer Students

    A student who is currently enrolled in a graduate program at another institution must complete the degree that the student is currently pursuing before being considered for admission to our program. Only under exceptional circumstances will a student be admitted without a degree from their current institution. In all cases, we require a statement from the applicant detailing the situation, along with a letter from the applicant's research advisor or department head. Any such student will be expected to begin our program as a first-year student, take all of our normal coursework, and join a research lab via our normal group-joining process.

    Graduate Application Fee

    The application fee is $70 for US citizens and permanent residents and $90 for all other applicants. The application fee must be paid by credit card at the time the online application is submitted. Application fees are non-refundable. In some instances, students involved in certain domestic programs may be eligible for a fee waiver, as described in more detail at the Graduate College website.

    Graduate Application Process

    Please contact us if you have any questions about the application process.

    • To apply online, please fill out the Graduate College Application. (Degree Codes needed to fill out the application form can be found below.)
    • If you cannot apply online, please email us.
    • International applicants must upload a copy of their passport. Additionally, Proof of Funding documentation will be required for students requesting a F-1 or J-1 visa. 

    Program Codes and Field of Specialization Listings

    Program Codes

    10KS0335PHD — Chemistry-PHD
    10KS0294MS — Teaching of Chemistry-MS
    10KS8101NONE — Joint Degree Program- Chemistry MS/Law JD

    Fields of Specialization for the Chemistry PhD Program (10KS0335PHD)
    (Please list up to 3 areas on your applications under "Specialization")

    Chemical Biology

    Fellowship and Award Opportunities

    A large number of fellowships are awarded to graduate students in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois. These range from Departmental fellowships sponsored by chemical companies and private donations to national fellowships from various federal and private foundations. Details about specific opportunities can be found at the following website


    For more information about the graduate program in chemistry, please view our Graduate Admissions Program Flyer.

    If you have specific questions about our program or our application process, please email our office at


    Chemistry Graduate Admissions

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    109 Noyes Laboratory, MC-712, Box 57-1
    505 South Mathews Avenue 
    Urbana, IL 61801
    Phone: (217) 244-6245
    Fax: (217) 244-7091