Be a leader in chemistry research and teaching

As a graduate student at Iowa, you'll be part of a research environment where high-quality mentorship and cutting-edge tools pave the way for groundbreaking discoveries. Regardless of where your career takes you, you will develop and grow as a scientist and chemistry educator through the department's commitment to fostering innovation and excellence in research and teaching.

MS in Chemistry

Iowa's MS in Chemistry goes beyond chemical principles and techniques as part of undergraduate academic training. You will design experiments, critically evaluate data, and communicate chemical knowledge.

PhD in Chemistry

Students in Iowa's PhD in Chemistry program have access to state-of-the-art research labs, support facilities, and classrooms. You will design experiments, critically evaluate data, and communicate chemical knowledge. 

Graduate Research in Radiochemistry

Graduate studies in radiochemistry require advanced coursework and the development of an independent research project.

The University of Iowa Department of Chemistry trains the next generation of scholars to lead in chemistry research and teaching. Iowa is a top-ranked research university and the faculty members in our department are recognized as world-class researchers, effective teachers, and engaged citizens.

While faculty members are listed on our website as part of traditional areas of chemistry, including analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical, our research pursuits span a wide range of topics including atmospheric aerosols and nanoparticles, inorganic and organic synthesis, material and polymer science, drug discovery, environmental transport of contaminants, chemical education, and biological and enzymatic processes. 

One of our primary goals is to train students to become independent scientists, so our students actively engage in research with our faculty members their first year of graduate studies. We also offer a wide range of advanced coursework to provide the foundational knowledge that will enhance their efforts in the laboratory.  

Graduate students are supported through research assistantships with individual faculty members, departmental teaching assistantships, and numerous awards and fellowship opportunities. We also have internship opportunities, teacher training sessions, graduate student institutes to guide outreach and engagement, and career development workshops to help decrease time to degree and improve job placement. 

Guidelines for Graduate Study in Chemistry

  • Students who began the program between Fall 2019 and Spring 2022 should refer to the June 2019 version of the Guidelines for Graduate Study in Chemistry.

  • Students who began the program between Fall 2016 and Spring 2019 should refer to the July 2016 version of the Guidelines for Graduate Study in Chemistry.

Frequently asked questions

Feb. 15 for fall semester consideration and Oct. 15 for spring semester consideration.

Please note that we do not typically have openings for graduate students to enroll in the spring. Your spring application will be deferred for fall consideration if no spring openings are available.

Please also note that although our deadline for fall admissions is Feb. 15, we will begin to review applications and extend admissions offers before the end of December. To receive early consideration, you should plan to have your application completed by Dec. 1.

We do offer a master's degree with or without thesis.

If you wish to pursue a Master's Degree with thesis, the members of our admissions committee strongly prefer candidates who intend to pursue a PhD and will prioritize those applications accordingly.

Very few, if any, graduate students are admitted for the spring semester. You can apply for spring semester consideration and change your session of enrollment to the following fall if you do not receive an offer.

The university contributes toward health and dental benefits for graduate assistants and their dependents. Health and dental insurance information can be obtained from the University Benefits Office.

No. The Department of Chemistry does not require the GRE or the GRE subject test for admission.

The University of Iowa Institution Code is 6681.

The application processing fee cannot be waived ($60 for domestic students and $100 for international students). This non-refundable fee is required of all applicants and must accompany your application in order for your request for admission to be considered. The fee is payable by Mastercard, Visa, or Discover.

The university will classify you as a resident for tuition purposes during the semesters you hold a teaching or research assistant appointment of 25% time or greater. However, your classification with the University as a whole will remain unchanged if you are a non-resident; you will only be considered a resident for tuition purposes.

Your teaching assistant appointment will require effort from you that will average 20 hours of work per week.

Your TA appointment is contingent upon good standing in our PhD program (normal progress and a 3.0 grade-point average in graduate work). Renewal of your appointment is contingent upon satisfactory academic and teaching performance.

You can apply to only one program through the University of Iowa Graduate College. However, the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine offers a Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD). MSTP students earn a medical degree while also pursuing a PhD in chemistry or another subject. The application for this program is through the Carver College of Medicine.

Chemistry graduate students also have the option to earn a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching through the University of Iowa College of Education while enrolled in the Chemistry graduate program. This certification is designed to prepare graduate students for careers in post-secondary education. 

No. If you are offered admission to our graduate program, the Department of Chemistry will provide the Office of Admissions with your teaching assistantship stipend which will be sufficient for issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20).

Each graduate student must choose a research advisor during the first semester in residence and students typically begin research before the second semester. The selected area does not need to reflect the area of interest stated on the student's application for admission. Prior to selecting an advisor, the student is encouraged to interview with as many faculty members as possible.  Additional procedures for advisor selection will be announced during the first semester of graduate study.

Connect with us

We greatly enjoy hosting student organizations from across the Midwest here at the University of Iowa campus. Visits to the Department of Chemistry are a great opportunity for interested students to meet our faculty, get to know our current graduate students, tour our facilities, and learn more about our graduate program. If your student group would like to schedule a campus visit, please email us at

We attend the ACS Midwest Regional Meeting every year. Stop by our recruiting table to learn about our graduate program. We also have faculty and students who travel to numerous other conferences throughout the year.

Open house dates for prospective graduate students with offers will be announced for late February and early March. Events will begin Thursday evening with a poster session by our current graduate students, followed by a dinner with our faculty.

Keep up with the Department of Chemistry on Facebook and with our graduate students on Twitter @UIowaChemGrads.


We encourage undergraduate students with a science or engineering background to take a look at the information provided on our website, and welcome on-campus visits from anyone interested in our program.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our graduate admissions coordinator (, or any of our faculty members and we would be happy to answer them.