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Graduate Program in Chemistry: Chemical Education

An example of a student research project from a student in the Department of Chemistry a dissertation in biochemistry education research.

Research Topic: Using multiple representations to promote second year organic chemistry students’ understanding of acid-base chemistry

Which chemistry concepts and external representations are critical in the teaching and learning of acid-base chemistry at second year of undergraduate organic chemistry and how do they map to each other and to the desired learning outcomes?

What types of tasks will best develop (formatively) and assess (summatively) the critical chemistry concepts and students’ understanding and reveal evidence of the nature of student reasoning/visualization including any related conceptual and reasoning difficulties

The faculty in chemical education have a wide range of research interests including student understanding of the particulate nature of matter, mathematics in physical chemistry, visualization of biomolecules, science literacy, climate literacy, student understanding of concepts in organic chemistry, and the goals of undergraduate laboratory. Transforming research findings into practices that impact educational environments connects our fundamental research to teaching methodologies. (Source)

Department and Program


How to apply

How to demonstrate discipline-specific competence

Students are given a maximum of 2-years to pass a total of 5 cumulative exams from either one of the four disciplines of chemistry (biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry & physical chemistry)

How to demonstrate independent research competence

In their fifth semester, students ought to write and present an original proposal. The topic for the proposal can be from either one of the five disciplines of chemistry.

Suggested Course Work 

  • EDPS 533 Introduction to Education Research
  • EDCI 517 Survey of Science Education Research
  • EDCI 518 The Nature of Science and Teaching Science

If a student wants to take biochemistry courses, the following courses are recommended:

  • CHM 635 Biochemistry: Dynamic Aspects
  • CHM 634 Biochemistry: Structural Aspects
  • CHM 599 Visualizing Cells and Molecules
Graduate funding opportunities

There are a couple of scholarships that a student can apply for. However, if one doesn’t get a scholarship, the chemistry department offers a guaranteed five year teaching assistant (TA) funding.