Graduate Studies in Chemistry

  • Damien Thévenin develops a system to deliver anti-cancer drugs
  • a better solar cell chip
The Department of Chemistry at Lehigh University provides a unique and exciting program of study for graduate students. Our program is designed to provide students with a broad background in chemistry while simultaneously offering opportunities to do cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research. Faculty research areas include the traditional areas of chemistry:
Analytical Chemistry                                      Inorganic Chemistry
Biochemistry                                                  Organic Chemistry
Computational Chemistry                              Physical Chemistry
Specializations include: Surface Chemistry, Nanoparticles, Biophysical Chemistry, Materials, Inorganic Clusters, and Reaction Mechanisms

Degree Offerings

The Department of Chemistry offers graduate studies leading to the Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Science degrees in Chemistry.
Doctor of Philosophy
The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry requires a total of 72 credits.  There are few specific course requirements for the degree program; however, approved programs generally have:
1.      A minimum of 24 hours of course work
2.      A minimum of six credits of research
3.      Two credits of Chemistry Seminar
4.      Dissertation
The program consists of approximately one-third of formal course work and two-thirds of independent study and research.  Completion of a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry degree program normally requires a minimum of four years full-time work after entrance with a Bachelor's degree.
Masters of Science
The Masters of Science degree in Chemistry requires a total of 30 credits and may be obtained by one of three options:
1.      A minimum of 27 course credits and a 3 credit literature review paper
2.      A minimum of 24 course credits and 6 credits of experimental research
3.      A minimum of 30 course credits. Each option requires a minimum of 18 credits at the 400 level (15 of which must be in chemistry) and one credit of Chemistry Seminar
There are no other specifically required courses for the Masters of Science degree, allowing each student to design a curriculum that fits their needs and interests.

Research Projects

Current research projects of interest include:
Analytical Chemistry
Electrochemical reduction and oxidation mechanisms of organic compounds and inorganic materials; development of novel immunoassays; NMR studies of organic solids and polymers.
Membrane protein interactions; structural characterization of membrane proteins; production of membrane proteins; biophysical characterization of membrane proteins; medicinal assay development; medical diagnostics; cryogenics; microfluids; biomaterials; multidrug resistance; selective drug delivery; anti-cancer therapy; antibiotic drug discovery; cell-surface remodeling; immunotherapy; activity based probes; fluorescence assay development.
Computational Chemistry
Characterization of electronic properties and structures of molecules, molecular complexes, and extended systems from ab initio methods; development of quantum-classical methods for non-adiabatic dynamics; real-time simulations of non-radiative relaxation and electron-hole recombination in semiconducting nanocrystals; charge and energy transfer rates and mechanisms in metal-organic hybrid polymers.
Inorganic Chemistry
Synthesis, characterization, and reactivity of transition metal complexes and nanoparticles; coordination chemistry and molecular self-assembly at metal surfaces; electrochemistry at metal and metal-oxide electrodes; synthesis and characterization of mesoporous solids from transition metal and main-group element precursors; applications of mesoporous solids for carbon sequestration; formation of multilayered thin films of inorganic and organic-inorganic hybrid materials; and application of lanthanide catalysis in organic synthesis.
Materials and Polymer Chemistry
Inorganic and organometallic chemistry in the synthesis of thin-film materials; synthesis at and dynamics of polymer interfaces; acoustic, optical, permeability, dielectric and mechanical behavior of thin films; laser light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering studies on polymer solutions; polyelectrolytes and ion-containing solutions; nanofabrications in polymer systems; organic-inorganic hybrid solid state materials; synthesis and characterization of novel mesoporous materials.
Organic Chemistry
Organometallic reaction mechanisms; organofluorine chemistry; electrochemical studies of electron transfer reactions; synthetic methods development; chemistry of monolayers and organized molecule assemblages; drug carriers; synthetic ion conductors; Langmuir-Blodgett films; protein folding and renaturation; molecular recognition; calorimetry; synthesis of medicinal agents, correlation of molecular structure with pharmacological behavior; chemical models for biochemical reactions.
Physical Chemistry
Chemistry at surfaces and interfaces of catalysts, alloys, electrodes, thin films, and biosensors using an array of surface sensitive methods: spectroscopic ellipsometry, scanning probe microscopy, angle resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electrochemistry; intermolecular interactions in soft matter; single-molecule force spectroscopy; chemically sensitive imaging at nanoscale; development of optics-based tools for chemical analysis; femtosecond ultrafast spectroscopy; investigation of charge transfer in energy materials.

Graduate Course Offerings in Chemistry

Graduate Student Handbook


Graduate Administrator:

Dr. Rebecca Miller
Office: Seeley G. Mudd, Room 491
Phone: (610) 758-3676

Graduate Coordinator:

Ms. Jennifer Cummings
Office: Seeley G. Mudd, Room 483
Phone: (610) 758-3471