Requirements for Graduate Students | Chemistry and Biochemistry | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

Requirements for Graduate Students

Graduate Student Responsibility

All graduate students will be provided with a current copy of this document. The student is responsible for becoming familiar with the content of this document and for following the specific requirements and regulations outlined. Note that failure to follow all the requirements and time limits outlined in this document is considered unsatisfactory progress toward a graduate degree and may result in delay in graduation, denial of financial assistantship support, and/or termination from the graduate program.

Student Advisement

Placement Examinations

During the week before the beginning of classes, each admitted student is given written examinations (ACS standard or equivalent examination) in the five divisions of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry. Every student is required to take at least three exams. The results of these examinations are used to advise the student regarding any deficiencies to be corrected, and to place the student in appropriate courses as determined by a Graduate Student Advisory Committee. Therefore, we strongly encourage and expect all beginning students to review the appropriate undergraduate material before taking these examinations. Failure to pass the exams will generally require that the student take some remedial coursework (see Appendix I).

Introduction to Research Techniques

All graduate students must register for Chemistry 592, Introduction to Research, during the first fall semester in residence.


At the beginning of the first semester in residence, each admitted student will meet with the Graduate Advisory Committee to plan the semester's course work and register for classes. Each student must select a research director, preferably during the first semester, but no later than the end of the second semester. After selecting a research director, the student must obtain the advice and approval of the research director for course registration. The Graduate Advisor may approve registration in the research director's absence.

Assistantship Support

Continuation of assistantship support is contingent upon the student making satisfactory progress toward a degree. In addition, continuation of teaching assistantship support depends upon satisfactory performance of assigned duties. The graduate school has established time limits for financial support. A student may receive no more than two calendar years of graduate-student support while a master’s level student. A student may receive no more than four calendar years of graduate-student support while a doctoral-level student. Students directly admitted into a doctoral program from their bachelor’s degree can receive up to five calendar years of support. (Limited time extensions may be granted under appropriate circumstances) The maximum number of years of graduate-student support for students seeking any combination of graduate degrees is six (72 months) unless a specific exception based on the student’s programmatic needs is granted by the graduate dean. These time limits apply to assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and other similar awards and appointments administered by the University, regardless of source of funds.

Minimum Registration

All students admitted to the school will register for a minimum of 9 credit hours every semester in residence except during the first semester, summer sessions, and while registered for Chem 601 only. In the first semester, the students must register for a minimum of 6 credit hours, and a minimum of 3 credit hours in every summer session. Registration for less than this requirement is not considered satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Appendix I

List of Approved Remedial Courses

  • Analytical: Chem 434(2)
  • Inorganic: Chem 411(3)
  • Organic: Chem 444(3)
  • Physical: Chem 461(3) or Chem 462(3)
  • Biochemistry: Chem 451A(3)

Appendix II

Divisional Courses Eligible for Degree Requirements


Chem 531(3), Chem 532(3), Chem 533(3), Chem 534(3), Chem 535(3), Chem 536(3), Chem 537(3), Chem 538(3), and Chem 539(3).


Chem 541(3), Chem 542(3), Chem 543(3), and Chem 549(3)


Chem 560(3), 561(3), Chem 562(3), Chem 564(3), Chem 569(3), and Chem 468(3)


Chem 575(3), Chem 579(3), and Chem 479(3)


Chem 451B(3), Chem 456 (3), and Chem 552(3)

Appendix III

Guidelines on Eligible Coursework Outside the Major Division

  • Regular 500-level chemistry courses outside the major division
  • Outside the school courses will not count toward meeting this requirement.
  • Only certain 400-level courses such as Chem 479 (as a course in the Materials division), Chem 468 (as a course in physical division), and Chem 451B, and Chem 456 (as course(s) in Biochemistry division) may be used to meet this requirement. Other 400-level courses will not count toward meeting this requirement.

Appendix IV

Recommended Format for the Original Research Proposal

  1. Specific Aims - limit one page
  2. Significance - limit three pages
  3. Background - limit five pages
  4. Experimental Design and Methods - limit eight pages
  5. Biographical Sketch - limit two pages
  6. Literature Cited - no page limit
  7. Proposal should be double-spaced and font size should be at least 12 points.

Approved by the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences on 12/13/2007.