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Planning for Graduate Study in Chemistry & Chemistry Research at UA YOUR NAME Department of Chemistry The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning for Graduate Study in Chemistry & Chemistry Research at UA YOUR NAME Department of Chemistry The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 35487."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning for Graduate Study in Chemistry & Chemistry Research at UA YOUR NAME Department of Chemistry The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

2 Why Graduate School?  Graduate training is needed to become proficient enough to be a strong participant in chemical research and the development of new knowledge.  With a PhD, you’ll be able to rise to top technical or administrative positions in industrial, academic, or government labs.  An advanced degree will result in a higher overall career earning potential.

3 Graduate School Can Be Fun!  It’s hard work, but you’ll be performing challenging research in an area that interests you.  You’ll be developing lifelong friendships and professional relationships.

4 Chemistry Starting Salaries  From the American Chemical Society (ACS) for 2007 graduates.  Median salaries for starting chemists.  Typically, only 2-3 years after obtaining a PhD you will recover any salary “lost” while attending graduate school as a ~$21,000 per year GTA/GRA. After that, you’re ahead by $30,000 or more per year over a BS/BA chemist.  For 2007 graduates, the median starting salary for a new PhD chemist was $75,000. For 2004, this value was $65,000. Starting salaries are increasing! Time after graduation BS/BAMSPhD <12 months$36,700$48,000$75,000 12-36 months$38,600$47,000*$70,000* *Occasionally, starting salaries have increased so that new hires earn more than chemists employed for 1-3 years.

5 Preparation for Graduate School  Undergraduate Curriculum  ACS-Certified B.S. Degree (preferred, not required).  Take a full range of courses over all subdivisions of chemistry, including biochemistry.  Take as many upper level math, biology, and physics courses as time permits.  Acquire good skills in problem solving, teamwork, and communications.  Undergraduate Research  Seize the opportunity for research at your own institution.  Become a participant in a summer research program at an academic institution or an industrial intern or co-op.  Acquire Additional Skills  Computer skills, work processing, spreadsheets, databases, programming.  Acquaint yourself with chemistry journals and the scientific literature.

6 Admission to Graduate School  For regular admission, usually need GPA ≥ 3.0.  For regular admission, usually need Graduate Record Exam (GRE) ≥ 1000 (Q + V). (Note: 2011 new scale: 130-170 rather than 200-800)  Most schools don’t require the Chemistry Subject GRE exam.  Letters of Recommendation (2 or 3) – ask faculty who you have interacted with.  Foreign Students – TOEFL ≥ 550 (paper exam, pBT) of >79 (internet exam, iBT). Also accept IELTS (≥ 6.5); Pearson Test (≥ 59).  Note: In Chemistry, you don’t need a Masters degree (MS) in order to obtain a doctorate degree (PhD).

7 Where to Apply?  Gain info for your selection process from:  Undergraduate professors or advisors  ACS student affiliate meetings  Seminar speakers  Speakers at scientific conferences  Publications in chemistry journals  ACS Directory of Graduate Research  Brochures and wall hangers from various programs  Websites  Visits to departments were you are considering graduate study

8 Where to Apply, continued  The most important questions to consider are:  (1) Where to go to school?  (2) Who to work for?  Choose a school with multiple research options that interest you.  If you want to work with a specific individual, contact them before applying. E-mail faculty whose research interest you.  Contact the Director of Graduate Recruiting or other faculty with questions.  Academic pedigree can still be important.  Visit a school before you accept their offer of admission.

9 Financial Support  Positions  Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA)  Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA)  Fellowships or Scholarships  UA Chemistry Current Support  Stipend (2010-2011 AY): $21,900 for 12 months  Full tuition waiver; no fees except for ~$60/semester  Free health insurance for the student ($1,500/yr value)  If a student remains in good academic standing, they are guaranteed support in the PhD program for up to 5 years.  You will be paid to go to graduate school, but don’t let money be a primary deciding factor. Make your decision based on how the overall program and its research opportunities meet your needs.

10 Financial Support, conti.  Put your offers on an equal footing. Compare:  Stipend: Is it for 12 months or 9/10 months with summers being different?  Tuition: Is it a waiver or are you given tuition money as taxable income? Must you pay it back? Are there hidden fees?  Health Insurance: Is it free to you?  Cost of Living: May negate differences in monetary offers.  Add-Ons/Sweeteners: Have in writing whether these are only for initial year or for all years.  Length of Financial Support: Is continuous support offered for the period of time in which you can reasonably be expected to complete your degree (e.g., 5 years for a PhD)? This is very important.

11 Regional Chemistry GTA Stipends, 2010 *12 month net stipends = amount paid to the student minus tuition and fees that the student pays out of pocket InstitutionNet StipendNo-Cost Health Insurance Emory U.$22,000Partial Florida St. U.$19,000Partial Louisiana St. U.$19,500Partial Mississippi St. U.$22,000Partial North Carolina St. U.$21,000Yes U. of Alabama$21,900Yes U. of Florida$19,950Yes U. of North Carolina$22,250Yes U. of Georgia$22,000Partial U. of South Carolina$21,300Partial U. of Tennessee$18,900Yes Vanderbilt U.$23,000Yes

12 How and When to Apply?  How?  Electronic applications are usually preferred over paper forms. For online application and info, check out the website of the department or university.  Many departments waive application fees for domestic students. It doesn’t hurt to ask the department’s Director of Graduate Recruiting before sending money.  When?  For complete consideration for all positions, including fellowships, it’s best to submit applications for Fall before the end of the prior calendar year.  Although most entering graduate students begin in the Fall semester, a few students may be admitted at the beginning of Spring semester.  It is never too late to apply.

13 Parts of the UA Application  Application Form – Online submission preferred  Statement of Purpose (SOP) -  Discuss experience, career goals, research interests.  Toot your own horn. This is your opportunity to tell the department anything that you want them to know about you.  GRE – Official scores sent by ETS are needed.  TOEFL – Needed by applicants when English is not their native language and they don’t have a degree from a US institution.  Transcripts – Official transcripts sent by your undergraduate institution.  Letters of Reference - Normally 3 are required. Ask faculty who know you well to write them.

14 Overview of UA Chemistry  25 Research Active Faculty  ~85 Graduate Students  Research in all major areas of chemistry, plus interdisciplinary Centers and programs  Graduate Stipend: $21,900/year with waiver of tuition and free health insurance for the student 

15 UA Graduate Chemistry Programs  PhD Program  MS Program  Plan I – Thesis Option  Plan II – Non-Thesis Option (Course work only)  Divisions and Research Programs  Analytical Chemistry  Biochemistry  Inorganic Chemistry  Organic Chemistry  Physical Chemistry  Interdisciplinary Programs  Center for Materials for Information Technology (MINT)  Center for Green Manufacturing (CGM)  Center for Advanced Vehicle Technology (CAVT)  Coalition for Biomolecular Products (CBP)  Center for Molecular-Scale Electronic and Spintronics (CMSES)

16 PhD Program Degree Requirements  Usually completed in ~5 years  Courses (72 credit hours total)  Placement exams (ACS exams) upon entering program assist in matching courses to a student’s background  6 lecture courses - 18 credit hours  4 in major area and 2 outside major area  Research Techniques – 6 credit hours  Advanced Research Techniques – 8 credit hours  Graduate Seminars – 16 credit hours  Dissertation Research – 24 credit hours

17 PhD Program Degree Requirements  Research  Selection of Research Advisor  Seminars for entering students with all Chemistry faculty  Detailed interviews with faculty of interest  Selection made by student late in their 1 st semester of study or early in their 2 nd semester  Dissertation Committee  5 members selected by 3 rd semester  Meet for IRR, ORP, Dissertation Defense  Start your research project under your advisor’s supervision – This is the fun part!

18 PhD Program Degree Requirements  Additional Requirements  Initial Research Review (IRR)  Present to dissertation committee by the end of the first month of your 4th semester  Cumulative Exams  2-3 hour exams offered 10 times a year in each of the 5 subdisciplines of chemistry  Must pass 4 exams by the end of the 2 nd year of study (20 attempts maximum)  Usually taken in major area, but can take outside of area  Original Research Proposal (ORP)  Present an defend (in writing and orally) an original idea outside of your own research area  Must be completed by 5 th semester of study

19 PhD Program Degree Requirements  Seminars  Literature – during 2 nd year  Research – during last semester  Dissertation  Write and defend orally - on your own research  Must result in at least one refereed publication

20 MS Plan I (Research) Requirements  Usually completed in 2-2.5 years  Admission preference is usually given to PhD applicants, except under special circumstances  Requirements similar to PhD Program except:  30 credit hours with 4 lecture courses (3 in major area)  Only thesis committee meetings are IRR and thesis defense in last semester  No cumulative exams, ORP, or literature seminar  Research seminar to department in last semester  Thesis written and defended orally to thesis committee

21 National Research Council Survey  178 Departments were ranked in a survey using 2000-2006 data  Subjective Ranking based on faculty surveys: 71 st (60 th percentile)  Dimensional Ranking based on yearly department data:  Overall Research Activity: 53 rd (71 st %)  Publications/faculty: 3.64, ranked 33 rd  Citations/paper: 2.34, ranked 75 th  Funded Faculty: 80%, ranked 88 th

22  Student Support and Outcomes  Overall Student Support and Outcomes: 42 nd (76 th %)  1 st year students supported: 100%  6 year PhD completion: 48.6%, ranked 48 th  Median time to degree: 5.8 yr, ranked 151 st National Research Council Survey

23  Diversity  Overall Diversity: 103 rd (42%)  Minority faculty: 5%, ranked 55 th  Minority students: 19.5%, ranked 28 th  Female students: 32.1%, ranked 149 th (2009-10, 45%)  International students: 50% (2009- 10, 36%) National Research Council Survey

24 UA Analytical Chemists Carolyn J. Cassady Professor ANALYTICAL/BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY: mass spectrometry, ion/molecule reactions, MS/MS of peptides by FT-ICR and TOF, sequencing metallopeptides Shanlin Pan Assistant Professor ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY: electrochemistry, single molecule Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy, nanomaterials and biosensors Shane C. Street Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Recruiting ANALYTICAL/PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY: Nanomaterials, thin film tribology, and surface chemistry

25 UA Analytical Chemists Gregory J. Szulczewski Associate Professor ANALYTICAL/PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY: chemistry of surfaces and interfaces, thin film devices, colloidal particles for sensing applications

26 UA Biochemists Russell Timkovich Professor BIOCHEMISTRY/BIOPHYSICAL/BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY: electron transport proteins, NMR analysis of 3D protein structure, biosynthesis of novel tetrapyrroles Laura S. Busenlehner Assistant Professor BIOCHEMISTRY/BIOINORGANIC CHEMISTRY: metal- related diseases, protein structure-function studies, amide hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry John B. Vincent Professor BIOINORGANIC CHEMISTRY/BIOCHEMISTRY: elucidation of the structure, function, and mode of action of metallobiomolecules, biological chromium chemistry

27 UA Biochemists, conti. Stephen A. Woski Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies ORGANIC/BIOORGANIC CHEMISTRY: non-natural nucleoside synthesis, peptide nucleic acids, interactions of metal complexes with DNA, synthesis of components for molecular electronics Patrick A. Frantom Assistant Professor BIOCHEMISTRY Structure and function of enzymes, Protein dynamics, Mechanisms of catalysis and regulation, Kinetic isotope effects NEW FACULTY

28 UA Inorganic Chemists David E. Nikles Professor INORGANIC/MATERIALS CHEMISTRY: materials for information technology, polymer coatings for magnetic tape, porphyrin synthesis, porphyrin-dendrimers as optical devices Robin D. Rogers Robert Ramsay Professor of Chemistry, University Research Professor, Director of the Center for Green Manufacturing ANALYTICAL/INORGANIC CHEMISTRY: separation science, ionic liquids, x-ray diffraction & crystal engineering, self-assembled porphyrin arrays Joseph S. Thrasher Professor INORGANIC/ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY: novel sulfur-fluorine compounds, industrial fluorine chemistry, computational chemistry

29 UA Inorganic Chemists Thomas Vaid Assistant Professor INORGANIC/MATERIALS CHEMISTRY: inorganic and organic electronic materials, solar energy conversion

30 UA Organic Chemists Anthony J. Arduengo, III Saxon Professor ORGANIC/INORGANIC: the chemistry of new or unusual bonding arrangements, material science, new reagents for synthesis Silas C. Blackstock Professor ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: electron transfer chemistry, high- spin polyradical ions, redox-gradient dendrimers, electron donor-acceptor bonding, crystal engineering Michael P. Jennings Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies SYNTHETIC ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: total synthesis of biologically active natural products, enantioselective methodology development based on novel chiral ligands, asymmetric catalysis

31 UA Organic Chemists, conti. Kevin H. Shaughnessy Associate Professor, Department Chair ORGANIC/ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY: metal- catalyzed organic synthetic methodology, environmentally benign reactions, High-throughput screening of reaction selectivity Timothy S. Snowden Associate Professor SYNTHETIC ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: synthetic methodology, natural product synthesis NEW FACULTY Marco Bonizzoni Assistant Professor SUPRAMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY Pattern-based recognition in molecular sensing, molecular assembly through non-covalent interactions, physical organic chemistry of supramolecular systems

32 UA Physical Chemists Martin G. Bakker Associate Professor PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY: EPR, radical dynamics/reactions in organized media, surfactant aggregation, materials Michael K. Bowman Associate Professor PHYSICAL/BIOPHYSCIAL CHEMISTRY: EPR, structure and function of metalloproteins, defect centers in crystalline and non-crystalline solids David A. Dixon Robert Ramsay Professor of Chemistry PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY: computational and theoretical chemistry, applications to organic, inorganic, bio, environmental, industrial, and materials

33 UA Physical Chemists, conti. Robert M. Metzger Professor PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY: molecular electronics, electrical conductivity in organic crystals, unimolecular organic rectifiers Arunava Gupta MINT Professor MATERIALS and PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY: nanostructured materials for biomedical applications and information technology NEW FACULTY Daniel J. Goebbert Assistant Professor PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY Photoelectron imaging, ion spectroscopy, reactive intermediates

34 Overhead View of the University of Alabama Campus and Shelby Hall during Construction

35 Entrance to Shelby Hall

36 Shelby Hall Rotunda Ceiling

37 Shelby Hall Rotunda Floor

38 Center Courtyard – View of Rotunda

39 Hallway of a Research Wing

40 Research Lab – Kispert Group

41 Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Lab

42 Research Lab – Shaughnessy Group

43 Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer (FT-ICR/MS) – Cassady Group

44 Mass Spectrometry Lab – MALDI/TOF and Double Focusing Sector Spectrometers

45 Typical Graduate Student Office

46 Faculty Office in Shelby Hall

47 UA Department of Chemistry

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