The chemistry graduate program and the research interests of our faculty cover all the major areas of modern chemistry — organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, biochemistry, computational, materials and theoretical. All faculty members direct active research groups, and there is an unusually high degree of interaction and cooperation between researchers in the different areas of chemistry. It is one of the aims of the department that our students are encouraged to develop broad perspectives in chemistry, rather than to become narrow specialists.

Graduate students begin research in their first year and receive considerable individual attention — the objective being to produce graduates of the highest quality. Several of our graduates have made careers as industrial leaders, university professors and administrators, government policy leaders and leading government scientists.

Original research is the most important part of graduate study at Georgetown. The moderate size of the research groups allows for a close mentoring relationship between faculty and students. Research projects frequently involve cooperative efforts with the best national and international universities and research centers. The proximity of the nation’s largest and best national laboratories (National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Naval Research Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration) affords our graduate students opportunities not possible elsewhere.

The department also maintains well-funded and well-equipped laboratories, and there are especially strong facilities in nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray structure determination.

Almost all chemistry students in good standing (a B average or better) are supported through teaching and research assistantships, research fellowships and/or scholarships during their entire graduate study.

Degrees Offered


Application Deadlines

Spring 2021

October 31, 2020 (final deadline)

Fall 2021

December 15, 2020  (priority deadline)
January 15, 2021  (final deadline)

Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Applicants should consult the Chemistry department website for specific instructions and guidelines for the Statement of Purpose and letters of recommendation.

Application Materials required:

  • Application Form
  • Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply (new window) page for additional details and FAQs.
  • Official Recommendations (3)
  • TOEFL/IELTS  (please see below)
  • Supplemental Data


All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (please note that applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at the institution is English). All other applicants must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. Applications will not be considered without TOEFL/IELTS scores.

TOEFL: A minimum score of 100 (iBT test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  Georgetown University’s score reporting code is: 5244. TOEFL information:

IELTS: A minimum score of 7.5 from the International English Language Testing System. IELTS Information:

Degree Requirements

  • During their first semester, graduate students will take three courses; during the next three semesters students complete four additional courses chosen in consultation with their mentor.
  • Seminar participation and research will complete the 32-credit requirement (26 credits if entering with a M.S. degree).
  • All graduate students are expected to attend and participate in at least one seminar per week from among the several seminar programs in the department.
  • Regular participation in undergraduate and/or graduate instruction.
  • In the second and third years of graduate studies, students take two comprehensive examinations – the first consisting of a paper about the student’s ongoing research project and an oral defense, and the second entailing a written proposal on an original research topic and an oral defense.
  • The writing, public presentation, and oral defense of a doctoral dissertation are also required.