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Chemistry, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences

As a doctoral student in chemistry or biochemistry, you will work with award-winning faculty on cutting-edge research through our dedicated facilities.

Our chemistry faculty are solving real-world problems and will help you prepare for a successful career in leading industries and national labs or to start your own research program at a college or university. We offer attractive research opportunities and specialties in a centralized location in South Carolina.

Program Highlights

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    World-class Laboratories

    Advance your research in our facilities for nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, electron microscopy and more.

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    Acclaimed Faculty

    Enjoy mentorship from our supportive, award-winning faculty.

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    Engaged Students

    Join a network of dedicated students, and collaborate with them on special projects.

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    Focus on Research

    Our Ph.D. program gets you into the laboratory for hands-on research and collaborative projects.

What You’ll Study

Excel in one or more areas: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic or organic chemistry and physical chemistry. We also offer environmental and materials chemistry. With our research emphasis, you’ll have the chance to present at conferences and learn from USC faculty as well as other schools. Your doctoral dissertation work is guided by our award-winning faculty.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Laboratory Research

    Conducting experiments and analyzing data to gain new knowledge and insights in a scientific field

    Analytical Reasoning

    Breaking down complex problems or situations to identify patterns, connections and solutions


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

  • Communication

    Exchanging information and ideas through speaking, writing or other means of expression

    Problem Solving

    Identifying, analyzing and resolving problems or challenges using creative and effective strategies

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Professor
  • Industrial Chemist
  • National Laboratory Scientist

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Assistant Professor
  • Chemist
  • Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Clinical Pharmacist

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $80,788

Workplace Settings

  • Academia
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemistry Industry
  • National Lab
  • Technology

Employers of Alumni

  • Nephron Pharmaceuticals
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • University of South Carolina
  • Duke Energy Corporation

My program gave me confidence, research training, education and rigor, as well as the professional skills to become one of the top researchers in my field.

Toby Nelson
Portrait of Toby Nelson