Frequently Asked Questions

Does your program require the GRE or TOEFL?

We do require the GRE General Test. International students must also submit either the TOEFL or IELTS exam. We practice whole file review, so although test scores are a useful component of your application, we do not "weed out" applicants based on test scores or have a minimum required score.

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What code do I use for sending test scores to Emory?

Emory's institution code is 5187. There is no department code.

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Is there a minimum required GRE score?

There are no minimum required GRE score for applying to the PhD in chemistry. However, a score above the 50th percentile is typical for our accepted students.

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Is the GRE Chemistry subject test required for admission?

No, we do not require a GRE subject test. If you would like to report your GRE Chemistry subject test score, you may use the "Optional Addition" section of the online application.

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Is there a minimum TOEFL score required for admission?

The minimum score is IBT 80; CBT 213, PBT 550. Admitted students usually have an IBT score of 100 or higher. Students who have spent at least one year studying in an English-speaking country are exempt from submitting TOEFL scores.

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Do you accept any alternatives to the TOEFL?

We accept the IELTS score as an alternative to the TOEFL. Competitive candidates will receive a score of 6 or higher. IELTS does not use institution codes; please have the testing company send your scores directly to: Emory University Department of Chemistry, Attn. Graduate Admissions, Mail Stop: 2040-003-1AA (ECAS: Chemistry), 1515 Dickey Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30322. We cannot accept electronic submissions of IELTS scores at this time. However, you can upload an unofficial score report with your online application.

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Are there circumstances under which the TOEFL requirement may be waived?

International students who have studied for a year or more in an English-speaking country are exempt from submitting the TOEFL score.

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Is there a minimum required GPA for admission?

There is no minimum GPA requirement for the PhD program in chemistry. However, accepted students generally have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

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How do I submit letters of reference?

Letters of reference must come through the online system--you will have the opportunity to input contact information for your letter writers during the online applicatioin process. For assistance with the online system, email help@applyweb.com. If your recommender is unable to use the online system, please contact us for assistance.

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What if I have a low GPA and high test scores (or vice versa)? What if my research experience is in another field? What if...

We know it's easy to get caught up in the "what ifs" when you're working on an application. Please answer all the questions on the application to the best of your ability and include all requested references and transcripts. This will allow our admissions committee to make a holistic review of your application, taking into account your unique set of experiences. We cannot assess your chances of admission via email. Emails and other communications outside the official application will not be added to your candidate profile. The admissions committee decision depends on many factors--including the particular strengths of the candidate pool from year to year--and once you submit an application we will contact you in the (unusual) case that we need more information about your candidacy.

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When will I hear from you?

We aim to make initial decisions by the end of Janaury. However, we may continue to make offers into March. If you have not heard from us, your application is still being considered.

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Do you accept students for spring or summer admission?

No. All chemistry PhD students begin in the fall semester.

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Does Emory offer an M.S. degree in chemistry?

No, we only offer the Ph.D. degree. Qualified Ph.D. applicants may earn their M.S. "on the way" to the Ph.D. and we very occassionally allow students to graduate with the M.S. degree if they decide not to complete the Ph.D. program. However, we do not accept students solely for the M.S. We do offer a joint B.S./M.S. degree to Emory undergraduate chemistry majors ONLY. For more information, visit the FAQs in the undergraduate section of our website.

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Does chemistry offer an MD/PhD?

Many of our chemistry faculty are willing to accept students into their lab from Emory's MD/PhD program. If you are interested in the MD/PhD, you should apply directly to the MD/PhD program. You will have an opportunity to list faculty of interest on your application, including chemistry faculty. If you have questions about connecting with chemistry via the MD/PhD, please feel free to contact us at gradchem@emory.edu.

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Do you accept transfer students?

Students who intend to transfer from another graduate program must submit a reference letter from either their Director of Graduate Studies or P.I. (ideally both) indicating that they are aware of and approve the students intent to transfer.

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How many students apply to the program and how many are admitted?

We receive between 250-400 applications each year. Most years, approximately 25 new graduate students enter the program.

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Is there a limit on the number of international students selected for each cohort?

We accept the most qualified and impressive applicants, regardless of nationality. There is no quota or limit on the number of international students. The number changes based on the pool of applicants. At this time, approximately 40% of our graduate student body are from outside the US.

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Do you provide statistics on how many students graduate from your program, the diversity of the program, and other factors?

The Laney Graduate School provides data on the chemistry PhD program at Emory on their website. The average time to degree in chemistry is about five years.

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What is the cost of the PhD in chemistry at Emory?

All accepted students receive a stipend, full tuition waiver, and 100% health insurance subsidy. The only cost to students are student fees, averaging about $300 per semester. Funding is guaranteed as long as students remain in good standing.

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How do I submit an application?

All applications are submitted via Emory's Laney Graduate School. The application portal is here. You can review a checklist of the application questions and requirements here.

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Can I add materials to my application after submission?

If you need to supplement your application after submission, you may send additional materials to gradchem@emory.edu. Include your name and a description of the materials being submitted in both the email subject line and the name of the attachment. We cannot guarantee review of materials submitted after the application. In addition, we encourage you to only submit additional materials if there has been a substantial change in your profile.

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Do you offer an application fee waiver?

All applications submitted prior to midnight on October 31st of each year will receive an automatic waiver of the $75 application fee. Test scores and letters of recommendation may arrive later. If you cannot apply prior to October 31st and the application fee presents a financial hardship, you can apply for a waiver from the Laney Graduate School on their website. Note that you must fit the U.S Department of Education definition of “low income" and review may take up to ten days. We also offer automatic fee waivers to students who attend certain programs designed to prepare students for graduate study.

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What documents do I need to submit with my application?

We require a CV/resume and a personal statement. You are also required to submit transcripts (unofficial copies issued to the student are acceptable for admissions purposes). The application also gives you the opportunity to submit an optional video response, diversity statement, and/or "Optional Addition" response of 250 characters. We suggest that you prepare these materials before beginning the application process.

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Should I mail hard copies of my application materials?

We do not need any hard copies of your application materials to offer you admission to the program. If you are admitted and choose to attend Emory, we will need an official transcript.

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I would like to work with in a specific faculty member's research group. Do I apply to him/her directly?

No, all applications are reviewed by our admissions committee. Individual faculty members do not make admissions decisions. Students join research groups in the second semester of their first year after completing our research rotation program.  However, we encourage you to research the faculty by looking at their profiles and you may contact them directly regarding specific questions about their research.

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What is a rotation program?

A research rotation program allows students to spend time in multiple labs ("rotating" between labs) before choosing a home for the Ph.D. Specifically, Emory students spend 5 weeks in 3 different labs before choosing a group at the end of the Fall semester. Because students have an opportunity to test out the atmosphere and science of their prospective research homes, it is very unusual for students to switch groups after the rotation experience ends. We find the rotation experience to be very useful and important and all admitted students must complete rotations before joining a group.

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Which faculty are accepting students in the current application cycle?

Faculty taking students into their groups next fall are indicated with an asterisk on this page of our website: http://chemistry.emory.edu/home/research/index.html. Please note, students do not apply to individual groups. All accepted students enter our rotation program, spending time in at least three groups, and may choose to rotate with any of the faculty currently accepting students.

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Can I visit the department?

If you are interested in visiting the department, please send an email to gradchem@emory.edu with the following information. We offer a visitation weeknd for admitted students attending domestic institutions. Therefore, we are unable to accomodate most ad hoc visits. However, we will do our best to arrange a visit for you and/or to address your questions in a phone or email conversation. We also welcome visits from undergraduate chemistry clubs.

  • Prospective days and time frame (be as specific as possible)
  • CV/Resumé
  • Undergraduate institution(s)
  • Graduation data
  • Major and GPA
  • Brief statement of research experience and interests
  • List of faculty you would like to meet (see the Chemistry faculty page for a list of our current faculty accepting graduate students.)

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What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Please email us at gradchem@emory.edu. Email will generally receive a faster response than phone calls. You might also want to check out our Applying to Graduate School 101 blog series.

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