Guide for First-Year Students

First year graduate students have many new responsibilities. Balancing your responsibilities as a student enrolled in classes, researcher, and TA can be overwhelming. To assist you, here is a summary of our expectations and typical activities for students starting out in our graduate program.

Before classes start:

  • Orientation and Proficiency Exams (see more below)
  • Register for Classes (after Proficiency Exams - you will meet with an advisor to guide you through registration)
    • Graduate Chemistry Orientation
    • Ethics in Chemical Sciences
    • Two to three additional classes (determined by placement exams)
  • Receive TA Assignment (if applicable)

First Semester:

  • Select a research advisor: Each faculty member will make a short presentation on their research in the Graduate Chemistry Orientation class. You are required to schedule meetings to meet with and discuss research opportunities with at least five faculty members. We encourage that you also attend group meetings and speak to students in the groups that you are most interested in joining.
  • Complete your courses
  • Participate in research group desk rotations
  • Perform your teaching responsibilities
  • Attend departmental colloquia and division seminars

Second Semester:

  • By the beginning of your second semester, you will have secured a research group assignment and begun your research.
  • Register and complete at least two additional courses
  • Fulfill your TA responsibilities (if applicable)
  • Attend departmental colloquia and division seminars

Summer Semester:

  • Research!
  • Assemble your Graduate Academic Committee

Proficiency Exams:

First year students are given three opportunities to take the proficiency examinations. The first opportunity is during orientation. The second proficiency round of proficiency exams will be administered on January 6 and January 8, 2020. The third round of proficiency exams will be held on May 18 and May 20, 2020.