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statement of purpose for phd in chemistry

PHD Chemistry, Chinese Applicant

statement of purpose for phd in chemistry

I have found my niche in Academia and I hope to earn the PHD Degree in Chemistry at XXXX so as to devote myself to a professional lifetime of research and teaching in my field. I seek to contribute to my profession and society generally speaking in three ways: cultivating an interest in chemistry on the part of new generations of students, serving the community, and giving my all to research so as to unlock the promise of tomorrow and realize more and more of the great potential of chemistry to make our lives more healthy and comfortable.

I earned my Professional Science Master’s Degree (PSM) in May of 2017 from XXXX University, majoring in Applied and Industrial Chemistry. This experience has left me hungry for further advancement through studies at the doctoral level. I could not be more passionate about scientific research and eager to study towards the PHD in order to attain the optimal foundation for a professional lifetime dedicated primarily towards research. I look forward to cooperating with some of the smartest scientists on the planet, dedicated to resolving practical challenges collectively, joining forces in vigorous, coordinated research. Nothing excites me more than the challenge of analyzing which direction in research has high value and which does not (questions that have already been solved by peers, or issues that are proven to be unsolvable). For me, the establishing of a solid network of relationships with academic circles and participating in international academic conferences is of fundamental importance.

I earned my bachelor’s degree from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2012 specialized in Pharmaceutical Engineering. Throughout the course of my studies in China, I realized that Chemistry was the field to which I have been called; thus, when I came to America for college at IUP, I chose Chemistry as my major and then immediately set to work learning everything that I could about advanced inorganic, organic, analytical, and physical chemistry. My intense efforts were recognized by my winning an academic achievement award for an outstanding GPA.

My research interest include but are not limited to computational chemistry, environmental chemistry, and physical chemistry. I most enjoy simulating electronic structures and molecular processes. For example, I adopted Density Functional Theory (DFT), with the B3LYP functionals at the 6-31G(d) level in Gaussian to explore the optimization structures of MCl 2 (Py) 2 , where the M stands for Ni(II) and Cu(II). I enjoy interdisciplinary exploration in chemistry, linear algebra, quantum chemistry, electrodynamics, and so forth. I have some knowledge of C+, SAS, Gaussian, and Spartan programs, and I am good at mathematics – as demonstrated by the fact that I scored 169 of 170 in the GRE quantitative test.

Another reason why I am especially mesmerized by theoretical chemistry is that, in 2013, the Nobel Prize was given to a research group focused on “Computer Modelling of Chemical Reactions”, a branch of computational chemistry, which leads me to firmly believe that the molecular dynamics of biological macromolecules will continue to be a very hot topic for the foreseeable future. I hope to have a chance at some point to do research in this or a related, supporting area.

I worked especially hard at tracing certain elements in acid mine drainage (AMD) by using the U.S. Geological Survey Coal Quality (COALQUAL) Database to understand halide discharges from AMD to drinking water sources, because I find this branch of environmental chemistry to be especially fascinating. I am also interested in exploring atmospheric chemistry, although I have no relevant research experience in this area. I am especially highly motivated to pursue research in this area in the future, however, because China has an enormous problem with haze resulting from air pollution, with many people these days wearing masks whenever the venture outside. Thus, I look forward to learning all that I can about the chemistry of smog - resulting from emissions from chemical factories, automotive exhaustion, natural gas combustion and utilization, etc.  I seek a full immersion experience in the study of air pollution mechanisms, especially the influence of pollutants on ozone concentrations.

I recently gave a presentation concerning about Chinese culture, custom, and food to other Master’s students who are majoring in counseling to give them a brief description of China and to encourage them to choose China to visit as they prepare for careers as international counselors. After that seminar, the Counseling Department mailed me a thank-you letter with the signatures and thank-you notes of everybody that attended. I was deeply moved by it and this reinforced my passion for academic life and community and illustrates the way in which I seek a full engagement in the future with that community.

I am also in the process of gaining teaching experience since I work part-time as a Chemistry Instructor job at Penn State Schuylkill and also hold a professional tutor job at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). I enjoy the time getting along with students and rejoice in their achievement and growth.

For the reasons outlined above, I am confident that I can excel in your rigorous program at Penn. I keenly look forward to receiving a world-class education in Chemistry at XXXX and I thank you for considering my application.

Personal Statement of Purpose Help for Admission to Graduate School in Chemistry, Master’s & Doctoral Degree Programs, MS, MSc, PHD

All progress is ultimately built upon a chemical foundation and entails in some way the eradication of human suffering. If biology is the queen of the life sciences, then chemistry is her foundation, her essence. Chemistry is the ‘stuff’ of which life is composed; and it is here that rejuvenation of life will take place at its most basic level. Because of the great power of chemistry to make positive contributions to the quality of human life, it is an honor for us to help you to make your statement for admission to graduate studies in chemistry as powerful and creative as possible. After you fill out our Online Interview Form , we will get started within 24 hours drafting a highly impressive, model first paragraph on your behalf. Please also send your resume or CV to our email as well as your rough draft if you have one.  By far the most important part of your statement will refer to your long term plans. In fact, we want to present your information in such as way as it appears obvious that your background has resulted in your own unique professional destiny in chemistry.

I see Chemistry as the of foundation of our future as a civilized, global society, the extent to which we will be able to learn to live and work in sustainable ways. As someone with extensive experience in the field of professional ethics, I will make your story particularly eloquent, taking full advantage of the nobility of your professional dreams.


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Statements of Excellence in Chemistry

statement of purpose for phd in chemistry

Sample 1st Paragraph for the PHD Degree in Chemistry, Chinese Woman, Fluent in Spanish

statement of purpose for phd in chemistry

The Humanitarian Side of Chemistry

Chemistry may seem like a narrow subject to an outsider, but having a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry actually lends itself very well to creating a future career in the humanitarian field.

If you’re diving in to the humanitarian arena directly after your first degree, the easiest method of finding work is to become a volunteer or intern. You may have already carried out some work of this kind as part of a study abroad program or completed some other practical field work of this kind. Or you may already have some experience working as a chemist, but desire to take things in a different direction and help others in need through your work. Either way, you now have a lot of different options. Let’s look at a few of these now.

Working to Improve Water Quality

Water quality is a huge problem in developing countries, and widely affects the health of poorer populations all over the planet. According to World Water Day 2010 statistics, 2.5 billion people live without improved sanitation. More than 70% of these people live in Asia. Since then, the figures don’t seem to have improved very much, with almost 1.4 million people in Latin American and the Caribbean area still without water access, according to water.org, where it is also stated that there are over 2.4 million people in a similar situation in Africa and more than 3.1 million people in Southeast, East Asia and Oceania. How can this be? There are more people with a mobile/cell phone than have access to a toilet.

So as you might imagine, your chemistry knowledge and skills could well be in demand in this area. Focusing on a Masters in Hydrology and Water Management could help you become one of the top experts in this field in the world and turn your love of chemistry into a long, effective career right in the middle of the developing world where people can benefit from it the most.

The University of Idaho (uidaho.edu) offers a Water Resources & Professional Science Masters (PSM), where you’d study environmental water quality, drinking water and human health, communications theory in natural resource management, plus many other useful modules.

Other Environmental Areas of Focus

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville runs an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences – Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, a two-year program that prepares students for work in governmental agencies, consulting firms and educational institutions, as well as the nonprofit section – so your options won’t be limited.

Once you’re in the door and working for one of these organizations, your responsibilities might include laboratory research and analysis, solid and hazardous waste management, groundwater pollution control, water management or restoration environment engineering.

The U.S. Department of Labor tells us that the employment rates for environmental scientists and specialists are projected to rise by 15% through 2022 (faster than average), meaning there are plenty of opportunities to be had. However, happily consider that the US might not be the area with the highest demand for graduates of Masters Programs in this particular field.

Mining, Chemical Weapons & Health

Can’t stand water? Fair enough. What about mining? Or working for an organization like the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, winner of the Nobel Prize. In 2009, there was an NGO coalition meeting that attracted members from 29 NGOs from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, East and West Europe and North America, like the Organization for Defending the Sardasht Victims of Chemical Weapons, Society for Chemical Weapons Victims Support and Amman Center for Peace and Development, all of which use volunteers in their good work.

Prefer to get involved in health or biochemistry? A degree or diploma in laboratory technology, and Doctors Without Borders may need you as a laboratory technician to identify the different types of diseases they come across, train local technicians, and many other humanitarian tasks when you’re on assignment.

Inspiring Individuals &Chemists Without Borders

In 2004, a retired chemist in California came up with the idea of creating a group called “Chemists Without Borders”, and he later co-founded this group with Steve Chambreau, a chemist from the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in Cali. They wanted to highlight and celebrate working to find solutions to humanitarian challenges. Chemists Without Borders now primarily focusses on the quality and arsenic levels of Bangladeshi water sources.

However, there are a myriad of ways chemists can aid in environmental remediation after natural or man-made disasters. One example is using biochar, or horticultural charcoal, to remove harmful pollution and improve soil quality. Ted Wysocki is a materials and process chemical engineer who works at South Meadows Farm and Research Center in Massachusetts in the US. He states that pyrolysing agricultural waste to make biochar can be used to absorb and break down pollutants, and it’s almost as effective as activated carbon in this regard. Farmers can produce and use biochar to absorb radioactive nucleotides and therefore prevent plants from exposure to them.

Industrial pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls, dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans can be captured and concentrated. But that’s not all: when they reach high levels, colonies of microbes can be added to the biochar and break down the toxins. Why not get involved with the UK Biochar Research Centre, based at the University of Edinburgh, where they are looking at how biochar functions in the soil environment. Or you could get in touch with the team studying biochar at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, USA.

Another inspiring chemist that is working for humanitarian causes is Sarah Green, a chemistry professor at Michigan Technological University in the US is currently serving as a Jefferson Fellow with the US State Department and the Agency for International Development. She stated in an article in Chemistry World (rsc.org/chemistryworld) that more chemists are needed to work with government and non-governmental aid organizations, and that people with a chemistry background and an international viewpoint are extremely valuable.

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statement of purpose for phd in chemistry

I want to help you get accepted to Graduate School in Chemistry

As someone with a PHD in Religion and Ethics and a historian of the Developing World, I believe that we can all now agrees that the ideal future requires 100% sustainable sources of energy and product feedstocks in adequate amounts to support a high standard of living for all. Which new pathways and technologies based on chemistry, we will emerge to transform our situation for the better. We seek to hold the chemical industry accountable, at the same time that we understand and share their perspectives about energy, oil, natural gas, and coal. These have served as the major raw material feedstocks and energy sources for driving reactions and separations. The industry is now shaping its transformation to sustainable energy and is developing new materials and solutions for energy supply and conversion. I enjoy being involved in considerations of mass and energy balances, capital investment and resource requirements of key alternative energy and feedstock technologies. It is a special pleasure to be of assistance to those applicant who clearly have much to give to our struggle to make realistic progress toward sustainable chemistry in both the short and long term. I am confident that this is where we must place our greatest investment.

statement of purpose for phd in chemistry

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One of the ways chemists like you can really have an impact on an area, is by combining your specialized knowledge with the knowledge local’s have on that specific region. The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Pan Africa Chemistry Network is working with local scientists to solve local problems, like access to safe drinking water and treatments of diseases to achieve solutions using the region knowledge of those that life in the region. They have carried out joint projects like Project Splash, which began in 2008 in partnership with Unilever, and the Analytical Centre of Excellence hub in Nigeria with Procter & Gamble, as well as other projects across Africa, to great effect by combining knowledge from a far with expertise on the ground.

Areas You Could Focus On

What are some of the other pressing needs chemists can help with? Developing inexpensive and easy to use test kits for mercury, lead, fine particulate carbon and other pollutants that can be found in the air, water and soil; solutions for the eutrophication of freshwater and coastal ecosystems due to chemical fertilizers, which constitutes an environmental threat that could have a powerful humanitarian impact in the future; and alternatively to the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining; better ways to extract useful materials from waste streams; better batteries to electrify developing countries with renewable power, plus many others.

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SOP for Ph.D. in Chemistry

  • What is SOP
  • SOP Writing Tips
  • Statement of Purpose for Masters
  • SOP for MBA
  • Statement of Purpose for Phd

Updated on 27 March, 2024

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. content editor.

Shivangi Mishra

A Ph.D. in Chemistry is a research degree ideal for those who wish to carry out independent research in an area of Chemistry.

This article will cover crucial information students must write in their SOP for Ph.D. in Chemistry, including the format, tips, and a sample for easier understanding.

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Table of Contents

Tips for writing effective sop for ph.d. chemistry, first paragraph: introduction and academic goals, second paragraph: reason for choosing the program, third paragraph: what makes you qualified, fourth paragraph: conclusion, final words.

A Statement of Purpose for a Ph.D. is written to a university’s admission panel to highlight a student’s purpose for applying to a specific course. It is an integral part of the application as it gives the student a chance to introduce themself convincingly. It should also highlight the candidate’s research aptitude, efficiency, and time management skills.

Key pointers for writing an effective SOP for Ph.D. Chemistry:

  • Do thorough research about the university and program.
  • Mention your genuine interest in studying the subject and customize the SOP for a specific university.
  • Follow the structure.
  • Ensure that the SOP is concise.
  • Proofread the SOP several times to check for errors.

How to Draft an SOP for  Ph.D. in Chemistry? Format to Follow

Following this format will make writing the SOP for applying for a Ph.D. in Chemistry simple.

Students must introduce themselves and mention how they realized they wanted to be professional researchers.

They must also mention what goals they want to achieve by doing this course.

The student must prove why “University XYZ” is the ideal place to achieve their goals. Flow from “these are my goals” to “University XYZ is the perfect place to pursue it because …”

The student must explain how they are ready to become a professional researcher. They should mention research skills they developed from other research projects. Also, they can mention unique accomplishments like co-authored papers or awards from academic organizations.

End the SOP by briefly mentioning points from the introduction and paragraphs two and three. Also, mention the career aspirations after completing the Ph.D.

Sample Statement of Purpose Sample for Ph.D. in Chemistry

I have always been fascinated with Chemistry. After attending high school in India, my love for the subject grew, and I pursued my Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in this field. Throughout my education, I took up every opportunity to conduct research, and this helped me realize I was passionate about it and wanted a future as a professional researcher. At “University XYZ,” I will have the opportunity to research on <research topics>. I am keen on hearing more about Dr. ABC’s research on <research topic>. My sincere interest in this topic will allow me to learn from his work. Having done research during the last few years, I believe I have the skills and tools to succeed as a graduate student at “University XYZ.” Currently, I lead the research subdivision at X Labs, and we are conducting a study on < research topic>. Additionally, I obtained a 4.0 GPA for research during my Master’s degree. Today, I am looking forward to beginning a new journey at “University XYZ” and facing new intellectual challenges. I am sure I will discover new passions and curiosities as I prepare for a career in academia.

In conclusion, writing a unique Statement of Purpose is essential to get into a good university for a Ph.D. Though the key pointers are listed above, the student must also refer to the university’s requirements. They generally vary from place to place, which makes it essential to recheck the guidelines.

Which Countries are Considered the Best to Pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry?

Some of the best countries to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry include The UK, Germany, Australia, and Ireland.

What are the career options for a Ph.D. in Chemistry?

Generally, students who pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry work at top corporations and government agencies in positions like Environmental Chemist, Consultant, and Toxicologist.

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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Academic Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement

The Academic Statement of Purpose and the Personal Statement are intended to be your opportunity to tell us more about yourself. 

The Academic Statement of Purpose should include information about your academic interests, research interests, research experience, relevant work experience, publications, reasons for pursuing graduate studies, and professional goals. What are your plans for graduate studies and a professional career? You could also tell us if there are any specific faculty members whose research interests you and why.  

The Personal Statement  should include information about other important areas of your life, outside of academics. Are you involved in any extracurricular activities, like sports, student organizations, mentoring, etc? Additionally, are there any other clubs, groups or organizations in which you are an active member?

We do not ask that you answer any program specific questions. Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office if you have any further questions.

Chemistry Graduate Admissions

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 109 Noyes Laboratory, MC-712, Box 57-1 505 South Mathews Avenue  Urbana, IL 61801 Phone: (217) 244-6245 Fax: (217) 244-7091 Email: [email protected]

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GW University Bulletin. Provisonal Edition. 2023-2024.  Opens new window

Doctor of Philosophy in the Field of Chemistry (STEM)

Housed in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, GW’s 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, and bioanalytical methods development, synthetic medicinal chemistry and drug design, combustion, battery chemistry and renewable energy sources, laser and molecular spectroscopies, nano- and biomaterials, modeling, coordination chemistry and novel inorganic framework structures.

The PhD program is designed to develop students who are able to plan and carry out original research in analytical, biochemical, 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.

This is a STEM designated program.

Visit the program website for additional information.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate Studies The George Washington University 801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107 Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College  of Arts and Sciences  Frequently Asked Questions  page.

[email protected] 202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under  Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs .

The requirements for the  Doctor of Philosophy Program

Pre-matriculation requirements

All entering students in graduate chemistry programs are required to take the American Chemical Society Graduate Level Placement Examinations, given by the Department of Chemistry, prior to matriculation. The four placement examinations (in the disciplines of analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry) are designed to cover the subject matter in the disciplines generally taught in undergraduate programs preparatory for graduate work in chemistry, and the results are used by the department to advise the individual student in planning a program of courses appropriate to the student’s background. All graduate students are required to participate in the seminar and colloquium programs. Upon consultation with course instructors, specific course prerequisites may be waived.

PhD program of study

Students develop a program of study in consultation with their doctoral committee, subject to the approval of the department’s Graduate Affairs Committee. The program of study must include coursework in a minimum of five graduate-level courses; at least three of these courses must be core courses as defined in the department’s Guide for Graduate Students and at least three must be offered by the Department of Chemistry. These course requirements cannot be fulfilled by achievement on placement exams. At least two graduate-level courses must be taken outside the student's subdiscipline and in at least two other subdisciplines/discipline. Equivalent courses offered by another university may be substituted at the discretion of the Graduate Affairs Committee.

General examination

Students must successfully complete the program's general examination, which consists of three parts: a 30-minute seminar, cumulative examinations, and a candidacy examination. To pass the general examination, students must present a 30-minute seminar covering topics from the literature and preliminary research results, prior to the start of their fifth semester in the program. They must also successfully complete their cumulative examinations and candidacy examination no later than the end of their sixth semester in the program.

Students also must present a 60-minute seminar on their research prior to the dissertation defense.

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Chemistry and Chemical Biology

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Chemistry and Chemical Biology is one of the programs in the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences, which facilitates collaboration and cross-disciplinary research. Visit HILS for additional application instructions .

This program builds strong interpersonal connections between faculty and students, and effective bridges between disciplines, allowing you to thrive at the frontiers of research in the chemical and life sciences. You will gain rich training in the unique tools of chemical inquiry and a commitment to scientific investigation at the molecular level.

Our award-winning faculty, which includes Nobel Prize and Welch Award laureates, will help you explore key aspects of life and study the problems of intrinsic interest and importance at the frontiers of chemical science. You will have access to the latest instrumentation and will have the opportunity to interact with top institutions like the Broad Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Examples of student research include developing new ways of gene editing and creating a better imaging system to study organisms at the microscopic level.

Graduates of the program have secured faculty positions at prestigious institutions like Harvard University, MIT, and Stanford University. Others have careers with companies like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and AstraZeneca.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies .

Areas of Study

Chemical Biology | Chemical Physics* | Inorganic | Organic | Physical | Theory

*Candidates will be admitted to the Committee on Chemical Physics

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology .

Academic Background

The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology offers a PhD in chemistry and a PhD in chemical physics. Applicants should have a record of classroom and laboratory training in biological, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry as well as a strong grounding in chemistry and be thoughtful enough about the discipline of chemistry to communicate their desire to pursue doctoral research.

Statement of Purpose

For applicants to chemistry and chemical biology, the statement of purpose should include two sections. Please clearly delineate the two sections within the same document using the headers "statement of purpose" and "research accomplishments.”

  • Statement of Purpose : Statement of your scientific and professional interests and objectives, not to exceed 300 words.
  • Research Accomplishments : Statement of your research accomplishments and/or current projects, not to exceed 500 words. In the event that undergraduate research opportunities have not been available to you, please discuss other science projects, reading projects, etc., that you have undertaken.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Optional GRE Subject: Optional 

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Chemistry and Chemical Biology

See list of Chemistry and Chemical Biology faculty


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How to Write a Statement of Purpose for PhD Admission


The dreaded doctoral statement of purpose — every PhD program asks for it, but why is it so difficult to write? Writing a strong statement of purpose is essential to getting into your top PhD programs. A PhD statement of purpose gives admissions committees an introduction to your research interests and why their specific program is of interest to you.

Like a cover letter for a job application, a great statement of purpose allows you to highlight your strengths, interests and experience. If you need statement of purpose advice, keep reading for guidance on how to write a successful statement of purpose that will make your PhD application stand out.

Statement of purpose vs. personal statement

Though the two may sound similar, they’re not necessarily interchangeable. A personal statement gives insight into who you are, while a statement of purpose is meant to showcase what you want to do. Rarely will you be asked to write a personal statement for a PhD program.

As you go through the PhD application process, you will likely see schools requesting either a statement of purpose or a research statement. In most cases, they're both looking for the same thing. Admissions committees want to know about your academic background, your research goals and what you hope to accomplish as a candidate in a PhD program.

Your research goals should align with faculty research

Being admitted to a PhD program is a great feeling, but if you enroll in a program that doesn’t match your research interests or help support your career goals, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment later down the road.

Applying for admission to a program is all about fit. Faculty reviewers are looking for students who best represent the department’s mission and will help them obtain their research objectives.

By the time you apply, you should have a solid understanding of what the department’s primary research and content areas are, as well as which faculty members you’d like to work with more closely. This might mean finding information about what their labs do and reading published articles related to their work.

Be sure to include how your interests and past experiences align with the work that they do and how you would be an active contributor to those endeavors. This approach shows that you took the time to look into their program, so the committee will be more willing to invest theirs in reviewing your application.

Don’t be afraid to address your weaknesses

Many people assume they should avoid listing their shortcomings in their essays. The whole point of applying to a program is to impress the reviewers, right? But constructively addressing your weaknesses can be a great way to demonstrate how this program can help you achieve your academic goals.

Look at the catalog and read through the courses that are part of the program. If there is a particular class that fascinates you, talk about how it could help you obtain a new skill or a better understanding of a concept that you’ve struggled with before.

This demonstrates that you are actively seeking programs to help you better your education. It also exhibits that you’re mindful of what areas of your knowledge need some improvement, which shows maturity and the ability to self-assess.

Keep it succinct

If your program of interest does not specify a page word or word limit, it’s best to assume that your statement should not exceed two pages total. It should be enough to give them a glimpse of who you are and what you have to offer but not share your life story.

The aim is to communicate how and why this particular program will help you meet your academic and career goals. Limited space means you must prioritize what you include in your statement.

Create an outline before you start writing to ensure you are including points that are relevant to your application and the program to which you are applying. Your statement is also an example of how well you can write. By framing your essay before you write it, you can avoid stream-of-consciousness writing that can often come across as undefined and incoherent.

Proofread! And read it over and over

When you think you have a finished product, read your essay out loud. This makes it easier to catch typos, poor grammar, and oddly worded sentences. If you have a friend who is also applying to grad school, help each other out by editing each other’s essays.

Having someone else read your statement and ask questions can help you clarify your points and make it more compelling. Your statement is your one chance to present yourself professionally in your own words. The occasional mistake is excusable, but messy writing will make them think you lack attention to detail.

Before you hit submit on that application, be sure that you have attached the correct document for the right institution. It can be very embarrassing if your statement mentions the wrong faculty member’s name or refers to another school’s library! It could also cause the reviewers to think you are not as serious about their program.

You’ve spent a good amount of time perfecting your application, so take your time to review everything before you submit it so you can rest easy knowing you’ve presented your best.


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Department of Chemistry

  • Graduate Program

Thank you for your interest in applying to our graduate program. The priority deadline for submitting the online application is December 1 .

Applicants can apply to the chemistry PhD program with a bachelor’s degree. The department does not offer a terminal master’s degree in chemistry.

The entire application can be completed online. There is no need to send or forward hard copies of any required document.

Below is information on the following:

  • Virtual open house
  • Application fee
  • Application deadline
  • Financial aid
  • Standardized tests
  • Statement of purpose
  • Diversity statement


  • Letters of recommendation
  • Equal opportunity policy

For further information on applying to our graduate program, please contact the graduate studies coordinator .

Virtual Open House

Our virtual open houses for prospective students applying for fall 2024 entry are now complete. We encourage students to contact our   graduate studies coordinator   with questions about our program.

For students applying in fall 2025 entry, we will be holding virtual information sessions in October 2024; specific details and registration links will be posted closer to that date.

Application Fee

There is no application fee. Note that this differs from other departments at the University of Rochester, so you may disregard references to application fees within the online application system.

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Application Deadline

Applicants seeking priority review are encouraged to have all materials submitted by December 1 . Applications received after the deadline will still be accepted and processed but will be given consideration according to the availability of positions in the program. Applications are accepted for the fall entry term only.

Financial Aid

Full tuition scholarships are awarded to all chemistry graduate students, and they receive a living stipend ($ 33,475 for the 2024-2025 academic year). Graduate student funding is guaranteed for the duration of the graduate career, provided the student is meeting the standards of PhD work in the department.

Each graduate student will serve as a teaching assistant (TA). Students are responsible for a total of six units of teaching during their PhD, where a unit represents three hours of contact time, one office hour per week, TA meetings, and grading. This typically entails three semesters of TA responsibilities, within the student’s first two years in the PhD program.

In addition, the department provides entering students with a professional development and travel allowance to present their research at a scientific meeting.

The University also has several merit fellowships for which students become eligible at various times throughout their studies. Students may be eligible to receive one or more of the fellowships, depending on academic and research performance. These fellowships will typically provide an additional bonus to the student’s annual stipend.

The criteria for the fellowships differ:

  • Fellowship selection early in graduate school is based on excellence in courses and exams.
  • Fellowship selection later in graduate school is based on research accomplishments.

Currently available fellowships are:

  • Sherman-Clarke Fellowships : Eligible in first and second years, based on coursework and TA performance.
  • Ewart Fellowships : Eligible in third year, based on coursework, teaching, initial research, and performance on qualifying examination.
  • Weissberger, DeRight, and Lattimore Fellowships : Eligible in fourth and fifth years, based on research accomplishment.
  • Moses Passer Fellowship : Awarded annually to a deserving doctoral student on the basis of his/her academic scholarship.
  • Hooker and Messersmith Fellowships : Eligible after completing qualifying examination; University fellowships based on overall accomplishments.
  • Sproull, Provost and University Fellowships : University fellowships based on special promise in graduate work.

Standardized Tests

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NOT required to apply to the graduate program in chemistry at the University of Rochester.


International applicants whose first language is English do not need to submit English Proficiency test scores. More information about waiving the English proficiency test requirement is available on the GEPA website .

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. If your native language is not English and you completed your secondary or higher education in a non-native English-speaking country, you must take the Duolingo English Test, TOEFL, or IELTS to demonstrate English language proficiency. The University TOEFL code is 7267.

Students choosing to submit TOEFL scores may submit results from the TOEFL iBT or Paper-Delivered Test administered at proctored test locations. Due to COVID-19, we will also accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test.

Statement of Purpose

The required Statement of Purpose explains why you are applying to the University of Rochester for graduate study. Your statement of purpose should address the following micro-prompts. You are encouraged to separate each component with a clear subheading. An optional template is provided for your convenience.

Scientific Goals

Describe your motivation to pursue a PhD in chemistry, including your future research interests and career goals. Elaborate on specific personal experiences and/or values that have shaped your goals and interests. Identify at least three potential research supervisors (faculty) at the University of Rochester and describe how their research aligns with your goals. (Up to 500 words)

Research Preparation

Describe your prior research experience(s) where applicable. Briefly state the aim(s) of your project(s). Elaborate on why the project was interesting, what you learned from that experience, and how it helped inform your decision to pursue graduate studies and/or prepare you for graduate research. If you are an author on one or more publications, describe your specific contributions to the publication(s). (Up to 750 words)

Non-Technical Skills

Describe situations in which you have demonstrated leadership, resilience, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, self-advocacy, advocacy for others, mentorship, and/or other non-technical skills. You may include examples related to your academics and research or you may choose to highlight other activities. Either way, the most effective statements will include specific details and demonstrate a sustained pattern of engagement. (Up to 500 words)

Extenuating Considerations

[Optional] Describe any barriers or obstacles you faced that may have negatively impacted your access to and/or your performance in your academics or research. Describe what steps you have taken to manage these challenges to pursue your chemistry training. (Up to 500 words)

Diversity Statement

Your diversity statement should be no more than 500 words and discuss your background, lived experiences, or viewpoint(s) that speak on how you can contribute to your intended field of study, your community, or the University of Rochester and its motto "Meliora" (which means "ever-better").

For the application process, please upload all transcripts through the application portal. Unofficial transcripts are accepted during the application process. If you are admitted and decide to attend the University of Rochester, you will be required to submit official transcripts to verify your degree(s).

Letters of Recommendation

While completing the online application, you will be asked to provide the names and contact information for the three people that you are asking to recommend you for graduate school. These individuals will receive an email directly from the application system with a link and instructions on how to upload their letter of recommendation. The most effective letters will come from individuals who know you well from professional or academic settings and can provide detailed examples highlighting your strengths and skills relevant to pursuing a PhD in chemistry. Letter writers are encouraged to focus on information and context beyond that provided in an academic transcript or curriculum vitae (CV).

Equal Opportunity Policy

The University of Rochester provides equal opportunity in admissions and student aid regardless of sex, age, race, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin. Furthermore, the University complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws.

Ph.D. in Chemistry

General info.

  • Faculty working with students: 30
  • Students: 130
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application Terms: Fall
  • Application Deadline: December 4

Kevin Welsher Director of Graduate Studies Department of Chemistry Duke University Box 90347 Durham, NC 27708-0347

Phone: (919) 660-1503

Email: [email protected]

Website:  http://www.chem.duke.edu

Program Description

The following areas of specialization are available: analytical, biological, inorganic, physical, theoretical, and organic. A wide range of interdisciplinary research programs (e.g., toxicology, biological chemistry, cell and molecular biology) involve chemistry students with those in medical sciences, engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, and occasionally with local industry. The French Family Science Center, totaling over 275,000 square feet, is a shared research facility with groups from Biology, Physics, Mathematics and the Medical Center occupying space, with additional research space in the adjacent Levine Science Research Center. This well-equipped chemical laboratory provides conditions conducive to research in many areas of current interest. Major shared instruments, including those for nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry, are housed in the departmental instrumentation facility and a wide array of more specialized instrumentation is available in the various research laboratories.

The doctoral program in chemistry features research programs that span the “traditional” sub-disciplines of chemistry, including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry. However, many, if not most of the research programs are interdisciplinary, either overlapping the traditional boundaries of chemistry or the boundaries between chemistry and the other sciences, for example biological, materials, and environmental sciences. Many chemistry faculty and students participate in university-wide interdisciplinary training programs and centers, including those in biological chemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, molecular biophysics, biologically inspired materials, and cellular and biosurface engineering. Research in all fields is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Competitive stipends are provided through research and teaching assistantships, and fellowships are available for outstanding candidates.

  • Chemistry: PhD Admissions and Enrollment Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Time to Degree Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Completion Rate Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Career Outcomes Statistics

Application Information

Application Terms Available:  Fall

Application Deadline:  December 4

Graduate School Application Requirements See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (see departmental guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE General: Optional
  • GRE Subject - Chemistry: Optional
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines: This is one of the most important components of your application and is the key to helping the admissions committee determine if Duke Chemistry is a good fit for your Ph.D. studies. Your statement should be well-organized and concise. It should provide clear evidence of your maturity, persistence, resilience, and motivation for pursuing a chemistry Ph.D. It should also provide evidence of how you will contribute to a diverse and inclusive community of scholars. Most of all, it should clearly articulate your research interests and explain how they overlap with faculty in the department.

Writing Sample None required

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance

List of Graduate School Programs and Degrees

Med Chem Application Information & FAQs

Application Deadline for entering class of 2022: December 15, 2023 Prospective Student Visits (by invitation only): Late February 2024 (dates to be announced)

We welcome requests for information and applications from students holding undergraduate degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy, biology, or related disciplines. Admission decisions are based on academic record (minimum of 3.0 GPA for last 2 years of study), letters of recommendation, research experience.

We are committed to providing a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment for our students, and welcome all applicants regardless of factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, national origin and veteran status.

English Language Proficiency: TOEFL scores are required of international students whose native language is not English. The minimum score on the TOEFL iBT is 92 with a 26 on the speaking portion (equivalent to 237 on the CBT or 580 on the PBT). The department of Medicinal Chemistry does not accept IELTS scores for the English proficiency requirement.  Temporarily, we will be accepting scores from the Duolingo English Test  and the TOEFL ITP Plus For China , please refer to the UW Graduate School’s Memo 8 for English Language Proficiency Requirements, as well as Memo 15 on on the subject of TA requirements for those who are not native speakers of English.

Questions about Tests: Check the FAQs at the UW Graduate School website , under the Tests heading for more information about tests and test scores. We as a department no longer require GRE scores.

For more information,   email [email protected] with your questions about the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

Application Checklist

To be submitted to the Graduate School:

  • Designate recommendations (3 letters of recommendation)
  • Provide a Statement of Purpose
  • Optionally, provide an additional Personal Statement (see FAQ below)
  • Submit resume
  • Submit unofficial transcripts online. (See FAQ below for information about official transcripts.)
  • Application fee ($85 with online application)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores (international students)

Deadline for Application Submission

The application deadline is usually in mid-December. The deadline for the entering class of 2021 is December 18, 2020 . Prospective student visits (by invitation) will be in February, 2021 (dates to be announced). For details about the application process, see the graduate school application web page (http://grad.uw.edu/admissions/apply-now/) .

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the Statement of Purpose the same as the Personal Statement? A: The Statement of Purpose is an application requirement . In no more than 1000 words or 2 pages, explain your educational and professional objectives. Write about your academic background, scientific interests, career goals, and what attracts you to the UW Medicinal Chemistry graduate program specifically. Also, please list at least three Med Chem faculty members who you see as potential research mentors.

On the other hand, the Personal Statement is optional . We evaluate all applicants holistically, looking beyond academic records alone for evidence of personal development, resilience, relevant experience, and contributions to outreach, inclusion, and equity in science. In particular, UW Medicinal Chemistry welcomes applicants from communities and backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in science based on factors including – but not limited to – race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, socioeconomic status, age, and veteran status. To that end, we invite you to include an optional Personal Statement (no more than 500 words or 1 page) describing relevant experiences and accomplishments. This statement could describe how your lived experiences have shaped your scientific interests and future goals, how you have overcome barriers, and how you have helped others overcome their own obstacles.

Q: Can I apply for Spring or Winter Quarter? A: No. The Department only accepts applications for Fall Quarter. For exact start dates, see the academic calendar .

Q: Do you offer a masters degree? A: Medicinal Chemistry does not offer a stand-alone masters degree.

Q: Can the application fee to the Graduate School be waived? A: The $85 application fee can be waived in certain circumstances. Need-based waivers are available to applicants who qualify, if their family or individual income for the most recent tax year fall below certain defined limits. Current McNair Scholars and PPIA (Public Policy and International Affairs Program) Fellows are also eligible for waivers, if they have sent documentation to the Graduate School at [email protected] in advance. Note – fee waiver requests must be submitted in the online application after all steps of the application have been completed and at least 7 calendar days prior to the Med Chem application deadline. You can find more information in the Application Fee and Fee Waiver section on this page .

Q: When and where do I submit official transcripts? A: For specific details, see the UW Graduate School’s web page . In general, once you are accepted into the program, you will provide your official transcripts to the Graduate School at the address shown on their web page.

Q: How many applications do you receive and how many students are accepted? A: We receive about 60 applications and accept 3 to 5 students per year.

Q: Do you interview potential students? A: Yes, the Department interviews 10-15 selected applicants in February.

Typical Program of Study

Equal opportunity statement, the university of washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a protected veteran. this policy applies to all programs and facilities, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs, employment, and patient and hospital services. any discriminatory action can be a cause for disciplinary action. discrimination is prohibited by presidential executive order 11246 as amended, washington state gubernatorial executive orders 89-01 and 93-07, titles vi and vii of the civil rights act of 1964, washington state law against discrimination rcw 49.60, title ix of the education amendments of 1972, state of washington gender equity in higher education act of 1989, sections 503 and 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973, americans with disabilities act of 1990, age discrimination in employment act of 1967 as amended, age discrimination act of 1975, vietnam era veterans’ readjustment assistance act of 1972 as amended, other federal and state statutes, regulations, and university policy. equal opportunity and affirmative action compliance efforts at the university of washington are coordinated by the office of equal opportunity and affirmative action, university of washington, 442a gerberding hall, box 351240, seattle, washington, 98195-1240, telephone 206.543.1830 or email [email protected] ..

Northeastern University Graduate Programs

How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

Congrats! You’ve chosen a graduate program , read up on tips for applying to grad school , and even wrote a focused grad school resumé . But if you’re like many students, you’ve left the most daunting part of the application process for last—writing a statement of purpose. The good news is, the task doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming, as long as you break the process down into simple, actionable steps. Below, learn how to write a strong, unique statement of purpose that will impress admissions committees and increase your chances of getting into your dream school.

What is a statement of purpose?

A statement of purpose (SOP), sometimes referred to as a personal statement, is a critical piece of a graduate school application that tells admissions committees who you are, what your academic and professional interests are, and how you’ll add value to the graduate program you’re applying to.

Jared Pierce, associate director of enrollment services at Northeastern University, says a strong statement of purpose can be the deciding factor in a graduate student’s admission.  

“Your statement of purpose is where you tell your story about who you are and why you deserve to be a part of the [university’s] community. It gives the admissions committee the chance to get to know you and understand how you’ll add value to the classroom,” he says.

How long should a statement of purpose be?

“A statement of purpose should be between 500 and 1,000 words,” Pierce says, noting that it should typically not exceed a single page. He advises that students use a traditional font at a readable size (11- or 12-pt) and leave enough whitespace in the margins to make the statement easy-to-read. Make sure to double-space the statement if the university has requested it, he adds. 

Interested in learning more about Northeastern’s graduate programs?

Get your questions answered by our enrollment team.


How to Write a Statement of Purpose: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you understand how to format a statement of purpose, you can begin drafting your own. Getting started can feel daunting, but Pierce suggests making the process more manageable by breaking down the writing process into four easy steps.

1. Brainstorm your ideas.

First, he says, try to reframe the task at hand and get excited for the opportunity to write your statement of purpose. He explains:

“Throughout the application process, you’re afforded few opportunities to address the committee directly. Here is your chance to truly speak directly to them. Each student arrives at this process with a unique story, including prior jobs, volunteer experience, or undergraduate studies. Think about what makes you you and start outlining.”

When writing your statement of purpose, he suggests asking yourself these key questions:

  • Why do I want this degree?
  • What are my expectations for this degree?
  • What courses or program features excite me the most?
  • Where do I want this degree to take me, professionally and personally?
  • How will my unique professional and personal experiences add value to the program?

Jot these responses down to get your initial thoughts on paper. This will act as your starting point that you’ll use to create an outline and your first draft.

2. Develop an outline.

Next, you’ll want to take the ideas that you’ve identified during the brainstorming process and plug them into an outline that will guide your writing. 

An effective outline for your statement of purpose might look something like this:

  • An attention-grabbing hook
  • A brief introduction of yourself and your background as it relates to your motivation behind applying to graduate school 
  • Your professional goals as they relate to the program you’re applying to
  • Why you’re interested in the specific school and what you can bring to the table
  • A brief summary of the information presented in the body that emphasizes your qualifications and compatibility with the school

An outline like the one above will give you a roadmap to follow so that your statement of purpose is well-organized and concise. 

3. Write the first draft.

Your statement of purpose should communicate who you are and why you are interested in a particular program, but it also needs to be positioned in a way that differentiates you from other applicants. 

Admissions professionals already have your transcripts, resumé, and test scores; the statement of purpose is your chance to tell your story in your own words.

When you begin drafting content, make sure to:

  • Provide insight into what drives you , whether that’s professional advancement, personal growth, or both.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the school by addressing the unique features of the program that interest you most. For Northeastern, he says, maybe it’s experiential learning; you’re excited to tackle real-world projects in your desired industry. Or perhaps it’s learning from faculty who are experts in your field of study.
  • Be yourself. It helps to keep your audience in mind while writing, but don’t forget to let your personality shine through. It’s important to be authentic when writing your statement to show the admissions committee who you are and why your unique perspective will add value to the program.

4. Edit and refine your work.

Before you submit your statement of purpose:

  • Make sure you’ve followed all directions thoroughly , including requirements about margins, spacing, and font size.
  • Proofread carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Remember that a statement of purpose should be between 500 and 1,000 words. If you’ve written far more than this, read through your statement again and edit for clarity and conciseness. Less is often more; articulate your main points strongly and get rid of any “clutter.”
  • Walk away and come back later with a fresh set of eyes. Sometimes your best ideas come when you’re not sitting and staring at your computer.
  • Ask someone you trust to read your statement before you submit it.

Making a Lasting Impression

Your statement of purpose can leave a lasting impression if done well, Pierce says. It provides you with the opportunity to highlight your unique background and skills so that admissions professionals understand why you’re the ideal candidate for the program that you’re applying to. If nothing else, stay focused on what you uniquely bring to the classroom, the program, and the campus community. If you do that, you’ll excel.

To learn more tricks and tips for submitting an impressive graduate school application, explore our related Grad School Success articles .

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in March 2017. It has since been updated for thoroughness and accuracy.

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  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History, Diversity

SOP evaluation for PhD in Chemistry

By harshyjawale November 24, 2014 in Statement of Purpose, Personal History, Diversity

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Hello friends, I would be grateful to anyone who can evaluate my SOP and leave their valuable suggestions or edits.

Statement of Purpose

Chemical reactions are ubiquitous.  When I typed this document, my muscles did a chemical reaction on sugars to give me the energy I needed. When you read this statement, your eyes were using retinal, an organic compound which converts visible light into nerve impulses. When you understood, the gaps between your brain cells were being bridged by simple organic molecules called ‘neurotransmitter amines’. We do not understand these processes but we carry them out in our mind and body efficiently. No chemist, however brilliant, understands all the minute details of chemistry in the universe. However, for a chemist the wonder and excitement lies in the fact that the universe is one gargantuan lab. It is this that motivates me to learn chemistry in my journey of education with a medium as good as the Duke University.

Mathematics and Chemistry have been my favourite subjects ever since the school days, when I tried every avenue to learn more about them. This led me to participate in many workshops and lectures by preeminent Indian scholars on both of them. Over a period of time, my curiosity regarding several natural phenomena evolved into choosing a career in Chemistry. I suspect that since my father holds a Masters in Organic chemistry, initiation towards the subject and a subsequent development happened by osmosis right from my childhood.

I opted for Chemistry major at V G Vaze College, one of the best chemistry departments in the University of Mumbai. The three wonderful years I spent there had a sweet ending -  I stood first in the final year! Encouraged by this, I chose to apply to the two year Masters in Chemistry program at the reputed Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT/UDCT), Mumbai.  By focusing on the joys of Chemistry and letting curiosity and good mentors be my guiding stars, I graduated in June 2014 and was placed 3 rd in my class. As a means to further my education and achieve my ambition of becoming a world class chemist, I plan to pursue a PhD in Organic chemistry from a reputed institution like yours.

I was fortunate to be in one of the few institutes in India where research work at the master’s level is not only made possible but encouraged. I choose to study Nature’s wonderful catalysts – enzymes – and their role in catalysing organic reactions. Dr. Bhalchandra M. Bhanage was generous in his time by mentoring and overseeing my work in  ‘Studies of polyvinyl alcohol and chitosan based immobilized lipase for synthesis of anisyl propionate, characterization, activity, optimization and application studies’ spread over the one year of 2013 -2014.

Methodology development along with organic synthesis constituted the two parts of my research project. In the project, I learnt to use enzymes to synthesize several industrially important compounds used in flavours and fragrances. I was delighted in developing a new enzyme-polymer blend combination which successfully gave high selectivity and yields of the products. It was gratifying to combine the selectivity of enzymes with the high yields expected of reactions used in the industry. This research experience made me very much hands on in carrying out organic reactions and gave me an in depth knowledge of enzymes. I also learnt to use and interpret data from SEM, FTIR, GC, GC-MS and UV. It made me realise the joys (and the occasional pain) of experimentation. In the future, the research would be useful in exploring different biochemical pathways for several organic reactions and also in promoting the industrial use of enzymes as catalysts. After my graduation, I have continued my research efforts in organic synthesis by exploring different biochemical pathways under the guidance of Dr.  B halchandra M. Bhanage.

One of the most significant achievements during my graduate tenure was when I had the honour of securing 2 nd prize in the national level competition ‘Industry Defined Problem’. In this, I developed a novel, alternative and non-patent infringing method to synthesize an industrially important drug trans-zeaxanthin from an abundant drug trans-leutine. This highly cost effective and eco-friendly method won me several accolades and subsequently, the 2 nd prize.   Developing the methodology demanded creative designing abilities, literature surveys and out-of-the-box thinking all of which I believe, will revamp my research aptitude.

Besides academics and research, I am actively involved in community service through an international organization called ‘Swadhyaya Pariwar’ (DAY in USA) for the past 7 years. As a part of this organization, I take part in street plays, elocution competitions, and social awareness drives throughout the year. This work has helped a lot in my personal growth as I have come to realise the value of teamwork, communication and having fun in the work I do. It is also humbling to see the diversity of challenges facing humanity and the brave efforts by a few in addressing these. Besides this, I also enjoy sports and travelling.

Having already explored the enzymatic pathway for the synthesis of industrially important foods and  flavour compounds, I plan to broaden my horizons by understanding the therapeutic importance of enzymes. Thus, I am very much interested in joining Duke University in pursuit of a doctoral program (PhD) in Organic chemistry, specifically under the guidance of Prof. Dewey G. McCafferty. His exceptional work on chromatin modifying enzymes, will help me to explore biologically inspired solutions in medicinal chemistry. My interest in medicinal chemistry arises because, I wish to contribute to the betterment of the society and I find the medium of medicinal chemistry to achieve my goals to be the most appropriate. Because, the world is plagued by illness and staying healthy and happy is a key to achieve prosperity. The area also represents fruitful opportunities for future research and a PhD in this area will help me channelize my efforts in the right direction. Hence, in future, I see myself as an independent researcher working with a dedicated research team in some premier institute.

In my assessment, Duke University provides one of the most recognized graduate programs in Organic Chemistry in the USA. A good graduate program is indispensable for realizing a professional ambition of becoming a competent researcher. Therefore, greater availability of inter disciplinary research activities along with an excellent research team at your university will provide me a proper work environment congenial to research field and offer a broad spectrum of the field of Organic chemistry. Furthermore, the access to advanced facilities in your department will enable me to conduct my research using cutting-edge technologies. I see myself integrating at Duke University and I strongly believe that I will be successful in both completing my doctorate and contributing meaningful to the research endeavours at your university.

P.S- One of the paragraph above is in red because I am not sure whether to include that in my SOP or not. Please suggest.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, I am also applying to Chemistry PhD programs.  I have some suggestions for you, and I would be grateful if you (or anyone else reading) would return the favor!

  • I would choose two examples rather than three for your opening, and try to make them a bit shorter.  It comes off as a little preachy whereas you are preaching to the choir, no?
  • In your second paragraph:  Mathematics and Chemistry have been my favourite subjects ever since the school days childhood.  , when I tried every avenue to learn more about them.  I have pursued these topics from a young age, leading me to participate...  
  • No explanation points. Keep it more formal.
  • I would get rid of the paragraph in red.
  • In general, I would try to shorten it. Try to eliminate excessive description and introduction - just get straight to the point, especially at the beginnings of paragraphs.

I know it's late in the game, but if anyone has suggestions for mine, it's below: I believe that studying the chemistry of biological systems will be critical in developing technology to address human health issues as well as future energy demands. I am specifically interested in investigating the chemistry performed by enzymes, using organic chemistry and biochemistry to understand reaction mechanisms as well as structure-function relationships. I am applying for graduate school because I want to dedicate my career to research in this field.

I believe my academic preparation and research background have sufficiently prepared me for graduate school. I have extensive research experience, and I am confident that I have the diligence, intelligence, and motivation to succeed. I want to make this important step in my career in the Chemistry program at University B because I am drawn to the large research community on campus, the collaborative research environment, and customizable curriculum. There are numerous investigators studying mechanisms and structural origins of catalysis whom I am interested in working with. In particular, I am interested in Dr. A's work on B, Dr. C's characterization of D, Dr. E's use of F, and Dr. G's work on H. I would be thrilled to pursue a PhD in Chemistry in such a rich and inspiring research community. Thanks

Crucial BBQ

Crucial BBQ

Hey, I am also applying to Chemistry PhD programs.  I have some suggestions for you, and I would be grateful if you (or anyone else reading) would return the favor!   I know it's late in the game, but if anyone has suggestions for mine, it's below: I believe that studying the chemistry of biological systems will be critical in developing technology to address human health issues as well as future energy demands. I am specifically interested in investigating the chemistry performed by enzymes, using organic chemistry and biochemistry to understand reaction mechanisms as well as structure-function relationships. I am applying for graduate school because I want to dedicate my career to research in this field.     My current research interests have resulted from a combination of both coursework and research experiences. During my senior year at X College, I enrolled in three highly influential courses: Advanced Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Structural Biochemistry, and Metabolic Biochemistry.  The advanced organic chemistry course incited an enthusiasm for organic reaction mechanisms which was reinforced by studies of enzyme mechanisms and structures in my biochemistry courses.  I discovered my passion for structural biochemistry and mechanistic enzymology, and achieved a senior-year GPA of 3.72.    My research background is both extensive and varied, affording me a unique and well-rounded perspective in the lab. I have conducted research in four labs, ranging from Physical Chemistry to Environmental Microbiology, and although I have chosen to pursue graduate work in Biochemistry, my experience in other fields makes me a versatile and interdisciplinary researcher. Under Dr. X, I investigated multiphoton dissociation mechanisms using resonance Raman spectroscopy.  I operated a Nd:YAG laser, optimized optical equipment, and programmed data analysis software. The next summer, I was accepted by NSF's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program to research biomimetic complexes in Dr. Y's lab. This research experience was highly influential for me, not only because it was my first exposure to university-level research, but because it introduced me to the chemistry of biological systems and to the concept of biomimetics. I successfully synthesized analogs of metalloenzyme active sites, honed my organic and inorganic synthesis skills, and analyzed complexes using a suite of techniques including single-crystal XRD, paramagnetic NMR, and ESI-LC-MS. I returned to X College with a newfound appreciation for biological chemistry and a new perspective on research.  That year, I completed a senior research thesis under Dr. Z, investigating the role of dynamics in the function of a metalloregulatory protein. I successfully expressed and purified a mutant protein in which a tryptophan residue was introduced in the metal-binding domain as a spectroscopic tag, enabling me to assay changes in dynamics by monitoring anisotropy of tryptophan emission. I wrote a dissertation on the project and presented my research in a Chemistry department seminar.   After graduating, I taught SAT preparatory classes in order to explore my interest in teaching, which I had cultivated during my three-year appointment as a Chemistry tutor at College. Though I found it fulfilling to help students learn, I missed the intellectual stimulation and challenges of research. I began seriously considering graduate school, and I decided to gain more research experience in order to make an informed decision. I accepted a position as a Research Associate in a Microbiology lab at University A, where I have deepened my understanding of microbiology and enhanced my interest in enzymology.     In Dr. A's lab,  I have conducted research on three projects.  In the first project, I characterized the physiology, phylogenetics, genomics, and pathways of aromatic catabolism of a novel bacterium.  The work expanded the known diversity of perchlorate reduction, a metabolism which is a central focus in the lab. Despite being new to biology, I have learned quickly. Over the past year, I have presented my research at the Conference for the American Society of Microbiology and have submitted two manuscripts for publication, which are currently in review.  In my second project, I purified and characterized a cytochrome c enzyme involved in electron transport in perchlorate reduction. I demonstrated that the enzyme was the physiological electron donor in our model organism through spectroscopic bioassays developed in the lab, and a manuscript for this work is currently in preparation. This project was especially pivotal because it substantiated my academic interest in enzymology with actual lab experience. More recently, I developed a GC-MS method for characterizing crude oil metabolism in bioreactors.  I designed and engineered the bioreactors and have independently developed a method to analyze hydrocarbon degradation in complex biological sample matrices. My research experience in Dr. A lab has prepared me for graduate school in Chemistry in two major ways.  First, I have gained a stronger foundation in biology which has contributed to my specific interest in Bioorganic Chemistry. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I have gained confidence in my research abilities. I present my research at weekly sub-group meetings as well as biannual group meetings alongside graduate students and post-docs. I adapt to the research needs of the lab and learn new techniques quickly. In short, I am confident in my ability to perform graduate level research because I currently conduct research among graduate students. Though I enjoy my research at University A, my research interests and career aspirations both point towards a doctoral degree in Chemistry.  I hope to make a career in academic research science, either as a PI or as a senior researcher.  Graduate school will help me realize this goal, and moreover, it will enable me to pursue my research interest in the organic chemistry of biological systems.   I believe my academic preparation and research background have sufficiently prepared me for graduate school. I have extensive research experience, and I am confident that I have the diligence, intelligence, and motivation to succeed. I want to make this important step in my career in the Chemistry program at University B because I am drawn to the large research community on campus, the collaborative research environment, and customizable curriculum. There are numerous investigators studying mechanisms and structural origins of catalysis whom I am interested in working with. In particular, I am interested in Dr. A's work on B, Dr. C's characterization of D, Dr. E's use of F, and Dr. G's work on H. I would be thrilled to pursue a PhD in Chemistry in such a rich and inspiring research community. Thanks

You can tighten it up a little, but in general this good as it is.  

  • 3 years later...

somayeh mousavi

Do you think it's a good SOP?

Statement of Purpose: PhD (chemistry)

Throughout my life, I have learned that the ultimate happiness is obtained not only by hard work and intelligence, but also by unlimited passion in pursuing my own dreams. It is my ongoing desire for learning, invention, and teaching that lead me to continue my educational career towards a Ph.D. degree.

My interest in the field of Organic Chemistry goes back to the days of my High School where I learned about naming alkanes and cycloalkanes, as well as the different structures of functional groups in our textbooks. I always discussed these contents of the lessons with my chemistry teacher. With her encouragement and in order to satisfy my desire for comprehending the structure of compounds and learning their mechanism, I decided to study Chemistry as my major at university. Therefore, I passed the entrance exam of Iran universities, and chose Chemistry for my undergraduate study in Islamic Azad University Tehran Branch. Adjusting to the academic environment was a challenge at first, so the rather lower grades during the freshman year of my undergraduate studies; but I managed to quickly recover and make up for the lost grades.

I believe that graduate study in chemistry will provide me opportunities and the guidance to deepen my knowledge and gain valuable research experience of chemistry. Therefore, I devoted a great amount of time to study to pass the "National Iranian University Entrance Exam for M.Sc. degree," which guaranteed my acceptance to Alzahra University, one of the most prestigious universities in my country. In the period of study at Alzahra University, I have undertaken various courses like organic synthesis methods, heterocyclic chemistry, organic physical chemistry, and molecular spectroscopy . I had decided to do my thesis under supervision of Dr. Ghodsi Mohammadi Ziarani which is titled “Synthesis of Biologically Active Organic Compounds in the Presence of Nano-catalyst”. I finished my dissertation with the score of 20 out of 20, and also six international journal articles, three of which are derived from my dissertation, and 2 national conference in Iran .

For three years, Regarding my interest and dominance in teaching, I have worked as a chemistry teacher in some private institutions in Tehran which help me to enhance my skills in teaching, managing class and making relation with students. But my insatiable enthusiasm in learning new things and research leads me to decide to get hands on experience and become familiar with chemical industries, so from June 2014, I worked as a R&D specialist in Biosun Pharmed Company, a new established pharmaceutical company in Iran. My trainee program was held at Hybio Company in China, which was also a technology transfer process for two peptides: Eptifibatide & Octreotide. This awesome opportunity enabled me to grasp many crucial details concerning synthesis and purification processes of peptides. In addition, I was also permitted to participate in both synthesis and purification process in R&D department and in GMP unit of the Hybio factory in China. Now, I am synthesis supervisor that has the responsibility related to all those data sheets and documents for SOPs of the synthesis processes of drugs as well as the observer of monitoring of drug synthesis.

Having real work experiences, now I have a balanced view of my interests, which enables me to make a decision between pursuing a career in academia or one in the industry. I find the academic environment more appealing because of the high level of intellectual challenge and creativity with it as well as the opportunity if provides to follow my research interests in the field of organic chemistry.

  I have always desired to follow my advanced academic studies in a renowned school where I can utilize both the knowledge of erudite people and high-tech facilities. Meanwhile, by a thorough search among many graduate schools, I found that different programs of organic chemistry that are offered at Department of Chemistry at University of New Hampshire . I would like to join the Department of Chemistry at University of New Hampshire because of the excellent learning environment, top-notch faculty, educational resources, and strong research centers in the field of my interest.

I consider it an honor to be accepted in organic chemistry program of the University of New Hampshire , and I know this will help me move towards my ultimate goal. I am aware that joining your program will require diligent work, energy and focus to accomplish given tasks, and I can assure you that I am absolutely motivated and totally prepared for it. I am self-motivated, independent, and hard-working. I have tremendous perseverance and a lot of research potential. I think my statement of purpose and CV illustrate my points sufficiently. I hope your university gives me the opportunity to grow as an individual and prove my potential.

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Chemistry Personal Statement Examples

statement of purpose for phd in chemistry

What is a chemistry personal statement?

Writing a personal statement for chemistry is a chance to sell yourself to the admissions tutors and show them why you would make a great candidate.

It’s a place to describe your skills and strengths, as well as your career plans and ambitions for the future.

You are allowed up to 4000 characters to explain why you are applying for a sociology degree, so you need to make sure your statement is as good as possible to stand out from the crowd.

How do I write a good chemistry personal statement?

Great chemistry personal statements always use evidence to support their claims.

You need to convince admissions tutors that you’re a good match for the programme, so if you claim to be committed or inquisitive, then use examples from your life to back it up.

To write a successful chemistry personal statement you need to start early, brainstorm some ideas, and then begin your first draft.

This will then need to be carefully revised and edited before asking family and friends for feedback. Incorporate their comments and suggestions, and see how it is improved before asking them to look at it again.

Read through our chemistry personal statement examples to give you an idea of what makes a good chemistry statement.

Make sure you proofread your statement for grammar and spelling before sending it off, and if you feel you need a little extra help, take a look at our personal statement editing services .

What should I include in my chemistry personal statement?

Many students choose to start their statement by picking a specific aspect of chemistry and explaining why they enjoy it.

Admissions tutors want candidates that are as passionate about the subject as they are.

As well as your motivations for studying chemistry, think about your hobbies and extracurricular activities too. What skills have you learned from these and how will these help you in your chemistry degree?

Talk about any work experience placements you have completed, e.g. shadowing a lab technician or someone in a hospital. What did you take away from this experience? Do you feel you have all the necessary personal traits and qualities that make a good chemistry student?

Your wider reading is also important, so it's worth mentioning anything you've read recently that you found interesting and why. Generally, admissions tutors like students who express their views and opinions, and can back them up with evidence.

For more help and advice on what to write in your chemistry personal statement, please see:

  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Personal Statement Tips From A Teacher
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Personal Statement FAQs
  • Personal Statement Timeline
  • 10 Top Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.

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    Tips for Writing Effective SOP for Ph.D. Chemistry. A Statement of Purpose for a Ph.D. is written to a university's admission panel to highlight a student's purpose for applying to a specific course. It is an integral part of the application as it gives the student a chance to introduce themself convincingly.

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    The statement of purpose is usually the only part of the applicant's file where one can find strong evidence of whether the program will really mesh with the applicant's interests and ambitions. If you devote the statement to a list of the things the great things you have done, then you will merely exasperate the reader.

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    1. Brainstorm your ideas. First, he says, try to reframe the task at hand and get excited for the opportunity to write your statement of purpose. He explains: "Throughout the application process, you're afforded few opportunities to address the committee directly. Here is your chance to truly speak directly to them.

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