The key component of a graduate degree in chemistry is research. That is why URI’s program is designed to enable incoming graduate students to excel in the research laboratory early in their graduate careers. Course work is kept to a minimum, to allow time for mentored and independent research. This is true for students pursing either PhD or MS (thesis or non-thesis) degrees.
During their first year in residence all graduate students are required to take 10 credits of interdisciplinary courses: Chemical Safety (CHM 500), Chemical Reactions and Mechanisms (CHM 505), Chemical Analysis (CHM 506), and Chemical Structure and Material Property (CHM 507). The URI Department of Chemistry does not require incoming students to take placement exams. Instead, this interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to provide the foundation for all graduate students to engage in modern research.
After their first semester, graduate students will have chosen their advisor and will begin research. They only need to take two additional courses. Research areas are often interdisciplinary, for example the department has strong research programs in projects in materials science, sensor development, lithium ion batteries, and explosives research.
During the course of graduate study at URI, students should have multiple opportunities to present their work at regional and national meetings and to publish their data in scientific journals. It takes long hours and hard work to generate data and write manuscripts, but there still is time to enjoy the graduate school lifestyle. For example, our graduate students often play intramural sports, barbeque at the beach, and take weekend trips to New York City. A few students have even found the time to earn an MBA by taking evening classes.