Chemistry Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Take the next step toward becoming a leader in a field that occupies a uniquely central place in science. Develop new approaches to everything from sustainable energy to treatment of disease in our innovative doctoral program. Our award-winning department includes 40 faculty members and 100-plus graduate students focused on advancing knowledge and finding solutions to problems in areas such as cleaner energy, health, and chemistry for the quantum-nano world. As you design and conduct your own original research, you will benefit from the support of state-of-the-art laboratories and tools, while your imagination will be fed by the department’s extensive research presentations and talks featuring world-class experts in the field of chemistry.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Students participate in two research seminars focusing on studies of the literature or current research.
  • Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.
  • Additional Courses: May include electrochemical fundamentals, organometallic, organic, or inorganic chemistry, toxicology, or other topics.
  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.


Director of Research, Educator, Government Regulatory Scientist, Industrial Process Chemist, Medical Researcher, Research Scientist, Scientific Advocate (Business, Law, Government Policy), Team/Project Leader.

A PhD in chemistry is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


One to four courses, depending on academic background

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six years maximum


Co-Supervision is required; supervisors must agree to oversee the student prior to application

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Tom Back

    Tom Back

    Seeking Students
    Organic & Medicinal Chemistry; Design and Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules
  2. Darren Derksen

    Darren Derksen

    Accepting Inquiries
    Organic synthesis and methodology applied to natural product development
  3. Picture of Dr. Belinda Heyne (she/her/elle)

    Belinda Heyne

    Accepting Inquiries
    Photochemistry & Nanotechnology
  4. Farideh Jalilehvand

    Farideh Jalilehvand

    Accepting Inquiries
    Heavy Metal Complex Formation with Amino Acids
  5. Pierre Kennepohl

    Pierre Kennepohl

    Seeking Students
    Electronic Structure and Properties of Molecules and Materials
  6. Susana Kimura-Hara

    Susana Kimura-Hara

    Accepting Inquiries
    Drinking Water Treatment and Water Reuse
  7. Peter Kusalik

    Peter Kusalik

    Accepting Inquiries
  8. Justin MacCallum

    Justin MacCallum

    Accepting Inquiries
    Biophysical Chemistry, Integrative Structural Biology, Biomolecular Recognition and Design
  9. Gabriel Menard

    Gabriel Ménard

    Seeking Students
    Inorganic Electrochemistry for Clean Energy Applications
  10. Hans Osthoff

    Hans Osthoff

    Accepting Inquiries
    Analytical and Atmospheric Chemistry

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system.

Minimum education

MSc required. A four-year honours bachelor degree with a minimum 3.70 GPA will also be considered.

Work samples




Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents- apply by July 1
  • International students - apply by March 1

For admission on January 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents- apply by Nov. 1
  • International students - apply by July 1

For admission on May 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents- apply by March 1
  • International students - apply by Nov. 1


If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Chemistry

Science A 229
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website


Faculty of Science

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Science's website

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