Graduate students are advised by their faculty mentors. For general questions about graduate studies, students may contact the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Chemistry:

Scott K. Shaw portrait

Scott K. Shaw

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies

Transfer credits

Graduate students need 72 semester hours to obtain a PhD. If you have taken graduate classes at another institution, you may be able to transfer credits to the UI and count these credits towards the 72 semester hours.

It is up to the Graduate College to approve these credits, not Chemistry's Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The Graduate College usually makes this determination when you are accepted to study at the UI. If you have questions about the Graduate College acceptance of credits approval process, please contact Lindsay Elliott, graduate coordinator, at 319-335-0200, or

You must complete 11 semester hours of graduate courses (i.e., 4 classes) by the end of your fourth semester (see advanced course requirement). A maximum of 6 semester hours (i.e. 2 courses) of transfer credit can be applied towards the 11 semester hours However, these transfer credits must be approved by the DGS. To get approval:

  1. Make sure the Graduate College accepted your transfer credits.
  2. Talk with your advisor about what classes, if any, you should ask about. (Don’t start this process until you have been assigned a permanent advisor, by the end of your first semester.)
  3. Write a memo describing what transferred class you would like to have count towards your Advanced Course Requirement. Include a copy of the syllabus (or other detailed description of what the course covered) and the transcript showing the grade you earned for this class.
  4. The DGS will consider your request (this may take 1-2 weeks) and respond in writing.