Image of the Tempietto in Kogan Plaza during cherry blossom season


Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Housed in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, GW’s graduate chemistry program fosters active learning through a research-based curriculum. Beginning with advanced coursework and training in the discipline as a whole and one or more selected subdisciplines, our award-winning graduate students engage in cutting-edge research alongside expert faculty. Research areas include proteomics, synthetic medicinal chemistry and drug design, combustion, battery chemistry and renewable energy sources, laser and molecular spectroscopies, nano- and biomaterials, modeling and novel inorganic framework structures.

The Ph.D. program is designed to develop students who are able to plan and carry out original research in analytical, inorganic, materials and organic or physical chemistry. Studies begin with core courses in focus areas, with students quickly moving on to join research groups that match their interests. Opportunities abound for research presentations, publications and award achievement. Collaborations with colleagues in medicine, engineering and nearby federal research laboratories—including the National Institutes of Health, Naval Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology—provide rich research experiences.

The M.S. program offers thesis and non-thesis tracks to prepare individuals for distinctive career or professional paths. All students take core courses and comprehensive examinations in the fields of analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – Ph.D.: January 5; M.S.: April 1 (February 1 for fellowship consideration)

Spring – October 15 (October 1 for international students who require a student visa)

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test required; GRE subject test recommended (institutional code 5246). GRE general test waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.

Prerequisite requirements:

A bachelors degree in chemistry or a related field.

Recommendations required:

M.S. - One (1) recommendation

Ph.D. - Three (3) recommendations

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Please note: The minimum English language test scores required by this program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the Internet-based test.
  • PTE Academic: 68

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday