Michael Longmire (Student, Chemistry/Biology) working in laboratory, 2013.Full-time students are required to register for 9 semester hours of graduate course work. This includes regular graduate courses approved by your research mentor and program director, seminar (CH 791), and non-thesis research (CH 798) or thesis research (CH 799). Students on departmental assistantships should enroll for no more than 9 hours per semester unless authorized by the Graduate Program Director and the Departmental Chair.

Detailed information about the Graduate Program can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook and in the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Core Courses

All students are required to pass the Foundations Courses [CH 600/700: Foundations I (Analytical and Physical); CH 601/701: Foundations II (Organic and Inorganic)]. At least four additional chemistry core courses (12 semester hours) are selected by the student and the student’s graduate committee (download the Graduate Student Handbook for suggested course curricula schedules for different tracks). Courses can be substituted with the approval of the student’s graduate research committee. Students must receive a grade of B or better in all core courses.

Additional Course Work

You will select additional graded graduate courses, in consultation with your research mentor and your graduate research committee, to complete a minimum of 24 semester hours. There is no semester hour requirement for additional course work, but you must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours of graduate coursework with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Communication/English Skills requirement

All students are required to complete GRD 715: Preparing TAs to Be Effective Teachers during your first semester. Students with English as a second language enroll for 3 semester hours. All others enroll in this course for 2 semester hours. This course is required but is not counted toward the 24 semester hour minimum.

Before registering for Academic English courses, nonnative English speakers must complete the oral and written language assessments. For more information about English proficiency, contact the Graduate Program director.

Teaching Requirement

A minimum of one semester teaching experience is required of all graduate students. This requirement is designed to enhance your professional development as well as contribute to the graduate and research missions of the Department of Chemistry and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Teaching is also required during any semester that financial support is not provided by grant funds or an external fellowship. Effort is made to make the assignment relevant to your research interests.

Seminar Requirement

Graduate students are to attend and participate in the Department of Chemistry Seminar Program each semester (CH 791). Graduate students pursing a PhD present a departmental literature seminar (CH 792) during the second year of enrollment.


You will carry out original research under the direction of your research mentor and the advice of your graduate research committee. This research serves as the basis of your PhD dissertation. The student will enroll in CH 798 (non-thesis research) prior to admission to candidacy or CH 799 (dissertation research) after admission to candidacy for no more than 9 semester hours. You will need a minimum of one academic year after admission to candidacy to complete research, write the dissertation, and present and defend the dissertation.

Your research progress toward a degree is reviewed by the graduate research committee on a yearly basis. Your research mentor will periodically provide an evaluation of your scientific development as well as progress toward completion of the dissertation work.