Graduate Program Frequently Asked Questions

  • General Questions:
  • Chemical Education Doctoral Degree:
  • Master’s Degree:
What application materials do I need to submit to apply for the program(s)?
Graduate Application Materials
What are the application deadlines for these programs?
Fall Admission
o January 15th - Priority consideration for support
o March 1st - Offers of support sent out to priority candidates
o April 1st - Deadline for notification of support for prioroty candidates
Spring Admission - Admission for the Spring semester is uncommon; applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students who request Spring semester admission must have completed application materials on file by September 1st.
Does UNC offer a Ph.D. in Chemistry?
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers an M.S. in Chemistry, and an M.S. and PhD in Chemical Education.  
Do I need to take the GRE?
The GRE is REQUIRED for admission to either M.S. Program or for admission to the Ph.D. program. Your GRE scores need to be less than 5 years old.
What are the minimum GPA, GRE, and TOEFL/TSE scores required for admission?
GPA and GRE,TOEFL and TSE
Does the Department offer student assistantships/stipends?
Yes, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry selectively grants Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Graduate Assistantships to qualified applicants. Assistantships provide a 100% tuition waiver and a monthly stipend. Neither the Department nor the University covers student fees and health insurance. If you are interested in being considered for an assistantship, please be sure to note your interest on the student profile form in your application packet.
Do graduate students have to pay tuition?
Students employed by the University as Graduate Teaching Assistants are given a 100% tuition waiver; however, student fees and health insurance costs are not covered. If you wish to be considered for an assistantship, please be sure to note your interest on the student profile form in your application packet.
What is the cost of living in Greeley?
According to Sperling’s Best Places, the cost of living in Greeley is within 1% of the National average. For comparison, Denver is 10% higher than the National average and Boulder is 39% higher.  Living in Greeley is very affordable with plenty of housing opportunities that fit almost any budget.
Does UNC offer graduate student housing?
Yes, the University has two options for Graduate student housing. Please see their website here for more information.
For whom is the Ph.D. in Chemical Education degree geared?
The Ph.D. in Chemical Education is designed to train individuals interested in teaching Chemistry at higher-education institutions. Students take pedagogy courses in educational psychology, science education, and chemical education. Students in the program will also be trained to conduct chemical education-based research. Research training includes a variety of courses in statistics and research methods.
Do I need to have a Master’s degree in Chemistry before entering the program?
- Students may enter the program with or without a Master’s degree in Chemistry.
- Those that enter with a Master’s degree in Chemistry can immediately begin taking chemical education courses and pursuing research requirements.
- Those that enter without a Master’s degree in Chemistry can complete their Master’s degree en route to obtaining their doctoral degree. Students can take both chemistry and chemical education courses simultaneously, but must complete their chemistry Master’s research prior to beginning their education-based research.
For what type of job opportunities will a Ph.D. in Chemical Education prepare me?
A Ph.D. in Chemical Education prepares students to obtain a variety of careers. Students can go on to teach chemistry at a range of institutions including small liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and both state and private research universities. Graduates are also qualified to conduct education-based research. Students can obtain non-teaching positions such as lab coordinators, curriculum developers, or education specialists within a variety of settings. Outside of academia, students could pursue careers with textbook publishers or educational media developers.
What type of employment do UNC students attain after graduation?
Gradute Students
What types of research questions would be addressed in a Ph.D. in Chemical Education dissertation?
A research question within Chemical Education usually addresses some component about the teaching and/or learning of chemistry. For example, a research question may be focused around investigating the effectiveness of various instructional methods. To answer questions like this, a project would need to investigate the effect of many variables. In a chemistry experiment we might need to control for variables like temperature, pressure, or concentration. In an education experiment we might need to control for variables like, students’ learning style, the quality of test items and visual representations, or the prior knowledge of the population. These types of research questions typically come out of an individual’s experiences in either learning chemistry or in teaching others.
How will the program at UNC prepare me to answer education-based research questions?
The Ph.D. in Chemical Education program at UNC provides preparation through coursework and research experience. Students in the program take courses centered on pedagogy as well as education-based research methods. Students utilize their coursework knowledge while developing and implementing a research project in collaboration with a faculty member. The projects allow students to hone the research tools acquired throughout their courses.
How will the program at UNC prepare me to be a more effective educator?
Students in the Ph.D. in Chemical Education program take a core set of pedagogy courses in addition to the courses that focus on education-based research. These courses provide students with perspectives about how students learn and how instructional practices affect this learning. Students gain experience in teaching while serving as a teaching assistant in a variety of laboratory courses. In addition to the experience gained as a teaching assistant, each Ph.D. student does a two-semester teaching practicum. In the practicum, students choose a course of interest to them. They observe the course for one semester. During the second semester, they co-teach the course with the faculty member. Students gain experience in developing teaching materials, presenting these materials to the students, and in evaluating the students. The student and faculty member hold regular meetings to disseminate feedback.
What are the entrance and program requirements for the Ph.D. in Chemical Education?
-Students applying to the Ph.D. program must have general GRE scores that are no more than 5 years old.
- Details about the Univerity GPA and GRE,TOEFL and TSE scores.
- Students must have completed requirements of an ACS-certified baccalaureate degree in Chemistry or must remove any deficiencies. If not previously taken, physical chemistry (CHEM 551, CHEM 552, CHEM 453, CHEM 454) and biochemistry (CHEM 581) may be taken to partially meet this requirement.
- The program’s course requirements can be found in the University catalog posted here.
What current education-based research topics are being investigated at UNC?
Faculty members in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have a broad array of ongoing research projects and interests within Chemical Education research. You can read about our projects and find details about our current publications on our faculty pages.
How do the two emphasis areas (research and education) differ?
- The research emphasis extends and builds upon the chemistry knowledge and skills acquired at the undergraduate level. Students gain competence in chemistry research through close collaboration with faculty in their research labs.
- The education emphasis extends and builds upon the chemistry knowledge and skills acquired at the undergraduate level. Students gain competence in science education and effective teaching though coursework and in performing education-based research in collaboration with faculty.
What are the entrance and program requirements for the Master’s programs?
- All Students applying to either M.S. program must submit general GRE scores that are no more than 5 years old.
- For admission to the M.S. in Chemistry (research emphasis), students must have completed requirements of an ACS-certified baccalaureate degree in chemistry or must remove any deficiencies. If not previously taken, physical chemistry (CHEM 551, CHEM 552, CHEM 453, CHEM 454) and biochemistry (CHEM 581) may be taken to partially meet this requirement.
-For admission to the M.S. in Chemistry (research emphasis), students must have completed coursework equivalent to that of either an ACS-certified baccalaureate degree in chemistry, or an ACS-certified degree in chemical education.  If not previously taken, courses to meet any specific deficiencies can be taken after conditional admission is granted.
-The program’s course requirements can be found in the University catalogue
What types of Chemistry research are being done at UNC?
Faculty members in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have a broad array of ongoing research projects and interests within chemistry and biochemistry. You can read about our projects and find details about our current publications on our faculty pages.
For what types of job opportunities will a M.S. in Chemistry (Research Emphasis) degree prepare me?
An M.S. in Chemistry with a research emphasis prepares students to obtain a variety of careers in chemistry laboratory settings. Students can go on to work in government, law enforcement, industrial, or academic laboratories. This M.S. degree can also be used as the stepping stone to pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry or Chemical Education.
For what types of job opportunities will a M.S. in Chemistry (Education Emphasis) degree prepare me?
An M.S. in with an education emphasis prepares students to obtain a variety of careers teaching Chemistry. Students can go on to become chemistry instructors at a range of institutions including small liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and both state and private research universities. Students can obtain non-teaching positions such as lab coordinators, curriculum developers, or education specialists within a variety of settings. This degree does not provide licensure for students interested in teaching at the grade school level.
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