Admissions FAQ

The Department of Chemistry eagerly accepts applications from students seeking a Ph.D. degree. While a research-based M.S. degree is offered, students applying to the Ph.D. program have the highest priority for admission, and it is not necessary to obtain an M.S. degree prior to earning a Ph.D. degree. We also offer a coursework M.S. degree for researchers in academia or industry who wish to continue their education.

If your question is not listed here, please use our contact form.

Departmental, Unofficial Minimums:
Our  admissions committee uses some unofficial lower score limits when evaluating applications.  These are not set in stone, and therefore, a score lower than one of these limits does not automatically disqualify an application if other parts of the application are strong. Other important parts of the application include recommendation letters or publications, research/teaching experience, or examples of problem-solving abilities.
The unofficial lower limits are:
  • GPA: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE V: 146 (old GRE scoring: 400)
  • GRE Q: 144 (old GRE scoring: 500)
  • GRE A: 3.5 
  • TOEFL* (each section): 20 or IELTS* (each section): 6.5
*If you are unsure whether TOEFL/IELTS scores are required for your application, please contact the Graduate School.
These minimums listed above are used by department's Admission Committee.  However, the Graduate School at UK also has required minimums including an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and a 3.00 for any graduate work.  Please visit their admissions page for more information. (back to top)
To Apply:

The application processes are managed entirely by the UK Graduate School with a system called ApplyYourself. Visit our Apply Online webpage for more information. 

Master’s Degree:
While a research M.S. degree is offered, students applying to the M.S. program have the lowest admission priority.  We also offer a coursework M.S. degree for researchers in academia or industry who wish to continue their education.  Please use the contact form - selecting the appropriate option - to request information regarding the coursework M.S. program. (back to top)
Degree Outside of Chemistry:
We require a minimum of bachelor's or master’s or equivalent degree in chemistry or a related field.  Your transcript needs to show that you have successfully taken all or a broad sampling of courses that would be required by, for example, a bachelor’s degree.  We have admitted students who have degrees in other areas but still took the related courses (e.g. general chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, biological chemistry).  We do not require that each applicant has taken all these courses.  However, the more of these courses an applicant has taken, the greater his or her chances for admission.  Whether we admit an applicant with a degree in some other field is decided on a case-by-case basis by our admissions committee. (back to top)
Waiving Graduate School Application Fee:
In some cases, we can waive the application fee for domestic or international students through an Application Fee Waiver Fellowship. To apply for the fellowship, follow the instructions at our Apply Online web page.
Financial Aid:
Teaching and/or Research Assistantships are provided to every new student accepted to the PhD program.  As long as you remain in good academic standing, tuition and benefits will be covered by your assistantship.  More information can be found here. (back to top)

Fall Applicants: Primary consideration will be given to applications received by January 15th. While applications may be considered after that time, most admissions decisions are made by the end of March.

Spring Applicants: We no longer accept Spring applications; however, we are able to defer an application for Spring admission on a case-by-case basis.
Visiting the Department:
The department typically holds a recruiting event in mid-February or early March for admitted graduate students.  This is a great opportunity to visit our department as well as meet with our faculty members and graduate students.  Funds are also available for a few candidates to visit the department outside the recruiting event.  The department can reimburse applicants for travel and meal expenses, provided they arrange the visit through our office. To set up a visit, we ask that you review the research of faculty members with whom you are interested in meeting. Feel free to contact any of our faculty members directly if you have questions about his or her research or interests. Afterwards, use the contact form (selecting the Application Question option) to submit a request for a visit.  Please include names of several professors you'd like to meet and the dates on which you are available to visit the department.  Please note that, due to costs, this option is limited to domestic applicants.   (back to top)


These are the typical conversions the Admissions Committee uses:
  • A=4.0: 90% or above
  • B=3.0: 80-89%
  • C=2.0: 70-79%
  • D=1.0: 60-69%
  • E=0.0: lower than 60%


To Apply:

The application processes are managed entirely by the UK Graduate School with a system called ApplyYourself. Click here to find details regarding the online application.

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