Department of Chemistry

Graduate Program - Prospective Student Information

Application to the PhD program in Chemistry

  • The Department application form is available for viewing, downloading, or printing as a PDF file.
  • In addition to the Chemistry Department application, the Graduate School requires all student applicants to fill out the On-line Application for Admission.
  • Students must submit scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and optionally, the GRE Subject Test in Chemistry. The minimum required GRE scores on the general test are: Verbal-150, Quantitative-148, Analytical-2.5 
  • Graduates of institutions in which the primary language is not English must provide results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The required minimum scores are: TOEFL IBT-100, IELTS-7.5 
  • A student must submit an official transcript from each college or university that that he/she has attended.
  • A student must arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the Department, preferably from individuals who can comment on the student's potential for success in graduate work and as a teaching assistant. Alternatively, the letters of recommendation can be submitted by the recommender through the on-line application system (access is given by the student applicant).
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. For full consideration, applications should be received by February 1. Applications will not be considered after March 1. Students must also apply to and be accepted by the MU Graduate School.
  • If an offer of assistantship is made to an applicant, that offer must be accepted by April 15.


Financial Aid

Most first-year students are supported on graduate teaching assistantships (TA), which are normally guaranteed upon admission to the graduate program (and demonstration of proficiency in written and spoken English). The current TA stipend is $21,500/year (less for those non-native english speakers who do not pass the university english exam with a 3 or higher - see below). Furthermore, students are automatically considered for Department and College scholarships and many applicants receive substantially higher offers.

Typically, as a graduate teaching assistant, you will have primary teaching responsibility for a group of undergraduate students in general, organic or analytical chemistry. This responsibility includes supervising laboratory instruction, leading recitation and discussion groups, grading and attending meetings.

Beyond the first year, students may be supported on research assistantships. Research assistantships generally are made available by specific professors, who have funding through grants and contracts to support students working on their research projects. These assistantships are generally awarded to second-year or more advanced students, and frees the student from teaching responsibilities and allows full effort to be devoted to research activities.


Several fellowships are available to incoming graduate students. 

English Proficiency Requirement

The State of Missouri has a law that makes graduate students from non-English speaking countries (i.e., those in which primary and secondary education is not taught in English) ineligible to serve as a teaching assistant until they have demonstrated English speaking proficiency. At the University of Missouri, this means students from outside the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and a few others cannot serve as a Teaching Assistant until they have passed the English Speak test given through the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP). A score of 2 on the English Speak test makes one eligible to teach only lab courses (i.e., no recitation section). A score of 3 or higher on the English Speak test makes one eligible to teach lab and recitation sections.

The English Proficiency Requirement essentially states that all graduate students must score a 3 or higher on the English Speak test through ITAP no later than the end of their second year in our graduate program to remain eligible for Chemistry Department Teaching Assistantship support. The details are given below.

All new students from non-English speaking countries that are admitted into our graduate program will be made stipend offers at a reduced rate for one year assuming satisfactory progress toward the PhD degree. The stipend offers require the new students to help with the Undergraduate Teaching Program (50% FTE). To be considered for Chemistry Department support in their second year, the student must pass the English Speak test through ITAP at a level 2 or higher. To be considered for Chemistry Department Teaching support beyond the second year (3rd year and further on), the student must pass the English Speak test through ITAP at a level of 3 or higher. If the student passes at a level 3 or higher, he/she is eligible to teach recitation and lab. As soon as a student passes at a level 3, he/she will receive the full TA stipend.

Additional English Proficiency classes are offered through the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP). If a student receives a score of less than 3 on the English Speak Test, the ITAP staff will recommend classes to help improve the student’s English proficiency. For more information on the ITAP program, see the ITAP web site.

Note: The above requirements for TA eligibility do not affect Research Assistantships (RA), since RA positions are with a particular faculty adviser. However, if a student is on a Research Assistantship in his/her 2nd or 3rd year and then requests Chemistry Department TA support for later years, the above eligibility requirements are in effect. If the student is not at a level 3 or higher on the English Speak test in his/her 3rd year, then he/she is not eligible for TA support.