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New Students & FAQ

New Students

Congratulations on being admitted to the Chemistry/Photochemical Sciences Graduate Program at Bowling Green State University!

We are here to help you begin your studies at BGSU and will try to answer any questions you may have. Below is some information you will need to know prior to your arrival to Bowling Green as well as the first few days you are here. If you an international student, there is some paper work and visa requirements that will need to be done before you arrivel. Much of the information you will need can be found at the International Student Services website.

When admitted, you should have received a Certificate of Admission from the Office of Admissions with information about establishing your BGSU account, including your BGSU ID Number. If you have not already done so, you must set up and activate your BGSU account before conducting any other business related to your enrollment at BGSU.

We suggest that you arrive a few days before the International Orientation program begins in order to be rested for the activities of Orientation Week. The nearest airport to Bowling Green is the Toledo Express Airport (a distance of 25 miles). If you are traveling by air, you will need to arrive at either Detroit Metro or Toledo Express Airport. If you need to be picked up from the airport, contact International Student Services at iss@bgsu.edu.

You should arrange for temporary housing before your arrival. BGSU has some temporary apartments you can stay for a short period of time. It is about $25-30/day. You can contact International Student Services to make arrangements.

There is no on-campus housing. Therefore, once you arrive, you will need to hunt for an apartment. One may locate a single room for about $275.00 per month, depending on whether it is a single or double occupancy, whether it has cooking privileges, and the condition of the property. Rents range from about $400.00 to $700.00 per month and may be furnished or unfurnished. You must also pay a security deposit (usually one month’s rent) and agree to a legally binding contract. Thus, at the beginning, you need about $400.00 to $700.00 to secure an apartment. It would be wise for you to come to Bowling Green a few days before the required orientation reporting date so that you can seek off-campus housing. Additional off-campus housing information may be obtained by visiting the off-campus housing website at http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/sa/offcampus/

Realistic budget expectations are crucial to your well-being in the U.S. The Center for Photochemical Sciences provides full support for all graduate students in good standing, which includes tuition, fees, and a competitive stipend.  This support will be in the form of a teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or fellowship.

Some countries limit the amount of money that may be transferred abroad. Inquire about such regulations before coming to the U.S. Please take into account that you will have considerable expenses when you first arrive—registration fees, health insurance, rent, deposits for housing, electricity and telephone, and basic furniture and household items. In addition to money for tuition, we recommend that you bring at least $2,500 to cover other expenses. It is suggested that you carry some money for immediate use in the form of U.S. dollar traveler’s checks, a cashier’s check or an international draft in the U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank.

Bowling Green is located in northwest Ohio and has an official population of 30,028. Bowling Green is a thriving community that provides high quality services and maintains a caring, small town atmosphere. Activities, festivals, and football games and classes will not allow you to be bored. For activities and festivals, click here.
http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/mc/page94566.html

Students will need about four to five years to complete the degree. Coursework is completed in the first two or three semesters, and students are encouraged to begin research as early as possible. You will have chosen your research adviser by the beginning of the second semester. For the overall roadmap click (here).

International Student Orientation:  International Student Services will conduct an orientation for all international students the week before the Graduate Student Orientation (GSO.  This orientation informs international students about everything they need to know to become officially registered as a student.  All international students are required to attend.

Graduate Student Orientation (GSO): Classes will begin on on August 25, 2014. GSO is held the week before classes start (August 18-23, 2014) and is required for all students who are receiving an assistantship.   GSO includes special informational seminars as well as the Chemistry Department orientation.

Road Map to the Ph.D. Program
Ph.D. Doctoral Guide

During the week of Graduate Student Orientation, students will be required to take both an organic chemistry and a physical chemistry exam.  These exams are given to determine the students strength and weakness in these subjects and subsequently place the student in the appropriate level course.  Though it is important that the student does well in these exams, the student will not be removed from the program should he/she do poorly.

International students will also be taking an English exam which will be coordinated through the English Department.

  • Assist undergraduate students with their lab experiments
  • Proctor examinations
  • Read and grade examinations, homework assignments, and papers
  • Assist with the general record-keeping for the course
  • Help with audio visual equipment, making copies of course material, or other duties related to the course.

After reviewing the placement exams, the graduate coordinator will determine the courses to be taken by the student during the first semester.  All students will be required to take the following courses during their degree program with additional courses determined by the research advisor. The semester that these courses are taken will be determined by how well the student does on the placement exams.

Fall 2014

CHEM 5660 - Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry
CHEM 6140 - Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy
PCS 7810 - Seminar in Photochemistry

Spring 2015

CHEM 5420 - Organic Reaction Mechanisms
PCS 7010 - Photochemistry and Photophysics I
PCS 7810 - Seminar in Photochemistry

Summer 2015

CHEM 6830 - Problems in Chemistry (Hall Lecture)

Fall 2015

PCS 7020 - Photochemistry and Photophysics II

Students are given the opportunity to select their own research advisor.  During the fall semester, faculty from the Center for Photochemical Sciences make individual research presentations to all first-year Ph.D. students.  Also during the fall semester, the Center for Photochemical Sciences hosts its annual advisory board meeting, which includes a poster session by Ph.D. students already in a research group.  In order to assist in the selection process, first-year students are encouraged to meet individually with faculty and/or research groups to discuss ongoing projects.  First-year students will then decide their first, second, or third choice for research advisor.  Though the Center faculty try to accommodate a student's first choice, an important consideration is the successful completion of coursework with a 3.2 minimum grade point average.

Frequently Asked Questions

Situated 20 miles south of Toledo, Ohio, Bowling Green State University is located in the town of Bowling Green, part of the scenic Great Lakes region.  The City of Bowling Green was grown as a result of the prosperous oil and gas boom of the 1930s and is a true representation of small town America.  However, Bowling Green is within easy driving distance of major midwest cities and the Toledo airport.

BGSU has approximately 18,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students from 50 states and 83 foreign nations.

The Center for Photochemical Sciences has 18 primary faculty and 60 graduate students and is housed in the Physical Sciences Laboratory Building with administrative offices and additional laboratories located in Overman Hall.  The Center is both large enough to offer a wide range of research opportunities and small enough to provide a relatively intimate environment that allows close interactions among students and faculty.

Research in the Center for Photochemical Sciences focuses on a wide range of investigations into the role of light in chemical and physical processes.  Such emphasis enables collaborative, interdisciplinary research.  Some of highlights of our research focus include:

  • Molecular Photochemistry and Photophysics of Novel Chromophores  
  • Single-Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging
  • Hybrid Metal-Organic Photonic Materials
  • Organic Semiconductors, Electroluminescence, and Sensory Materials
  • Solar Energy Capture, Conversion and Catalysis
  • Biophotonics
  • Computational Mechanistic Photochemistry
  • Photopolymers and Photopolymerization

Students pursuing the Ph.D. degree will need about 4 to 5 years to complete the degree.  Coursework is completed in the first two or three semesters, and students are encouraged to begin research as early as possible.  Students will have chosen their research adviser by the beginning of the second semester.  The Qualification Examination (10-15 page research paper and oral examination) is completed by the end of the second year.  Students become candidates for the Ph.D. degree after completion of the Preliminary Examination (preparation and defense of an original research proposal) and submission of the dissertation abstract.

Students who are pursuing an M.S. degree will need about 2 years to complete the degree.

Bowling Green State University and the Center for Photochemical Sciences provide full support for all graduate students in good standing, which includes tuition, fees, and a competitive stipend.  This support will be in the form of a teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or fellowship.

Admission requirements are a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related major from an accredited college or university with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. Students with GPA's between 2.8 and 3.0 may also be considered for admission provided there are other indicators of likely success in the program, such as high grades in upper-level chemistry courses and experience in academic or industrial research.

Before beginning the application process, please note the following:

  • Our program only admits one time per year for the Fall semester.
  • The minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA requirement for applying is 3.0/4.0. The same requirement applies to the cumulative graduate GPA, if applicable.
  • The minimum total TOEFL score required in order to be eligible to apply is 80 on the Internet-based test and 550 on the paper-based test.
  • There is no minimum GRE score required by BGSU in order to be eligible to apply to the Graduate School. We do not require the GRE chemistry subject test.

Those interested in applying should contact Alita Frater by e-mail at afrater@bgsu.edu or by phone at (419) 372-6008, or by visiting How to Apply on our website.