Photochemical Sciences - Archived 2019-20 Graduate Catalog

Director: Malcolm Forbes, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator: Pavel Anzenbacher, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Secretary: Kristi Brandeberry
Phone: 419-372-2033
Address: 132 Overman Hall
Program Web Page:

Degrees Offered
Doctor of Philosophy

Program Offered
Doctor of Philosophy in Photochemical Sciences

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the doctoral degree, students in the Photochemical Sciences program are expected to be able to:

  • Apply quantum mechanical methods to predict observable properties for molecular motions including translation, rotation and vibration.
  • Apply quantum mechanical methods to determine molecular electronic wavefunctions and to characterize the molecular bonding.
  • Analyze organic reaction mechanisms and the mechanistic diagrams and methods for their education.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of selected topics of physical organic chemistry including stereochemistry principles, and the application of reactive intermediates in chemistry.
  • Analyze the generation and nature of excited states, including evolution of excited states, and radiative and nonradiative processes and energy transfer.
  • Demonstrate and active knowledge of experimental techniques and modern instrumentation for characterization of excited states is part of the topics covered.
  • Demonstrate an active knowledge of photochemical reactions, various reaction types including absorption and emission of light, intersystem crossing, energy transfer, electron transfer and symmetry rules that govern these processes, rules for orbital symmetry governed reactions.
  • Analyze different types of photoreactions including inorganic photoprocesses, organic and organometallic photochemistry, photobiochemistry, polymer photochemistry and photoelectrochemistry applications.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge of selected "hot topics" under a rapid advance in recent years focusing on photochemistry, photophysics, nanoscience and scanning probe microscopy.
  • Evaluate previous scientific conclusions as they apply to a new area of investigation.
  • Integrate the results of the PhD dissertation and effectively communicate original scientific findings.

Prerequisites to Graduate Work
Applicants who show evidence of an outstanding undergraduate education and research ability may enter directly into the Ph.D. program after completing the baccalaureate degree in chemistry, biology, physics or related disciplines. All other applicants must have completed a master's degree in one of the above areas and show evidence of outstanding research performance.

Admission Procedure
Applicants seeking admission to the graduate program in chemistry should follow the instructions outlined in the Graduate Admission section of the Graduate Catalog.  All application materials should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Degree Requirements
The Doctor of Philosophy program in Photochemical sciences, overseen by the Center for Photochemical Sciences, is designed for students with a background in chemistry, physics, or biology. The interdisciplinary curriculum consists of a combination of course work and research focusing on the study of the interaction of light with physical, chemical, and biological systems. The course work provides students with a solid foundation in photochemistry and photophysics. It examines applications in fundamental areas of chemistry, biological sciences, physics, spectroscopy, and/or photopolymer science, and prepares students for conducting original research in the field of photochemical sciences. The research opportunities span a number of available groups mentored by faculty of the Center and involve: (i) utilization of light as a spectroscopic tool (such as single molecule spectroscopy, time-resolved laser spectroscopy and EPR spectroscopy) to study materials, biologically relevant systems and/or chemical systems (molecules and nanostructures);  (ii) utilization of light to drive chemical reactions relevant to solar energy utilization, photo-releasable bio-agents or to sense small molecules.

Students must complete at least 90 credit hours of graduate credit (at least 60 beyond the master's degree). These hours include a series of required core courses in photophysics, photochemistry, and spectroscopy and can be tailored to include elective courses that meet the student’s specific needs and interests.

Doctoral candidates complete an independent research project under the guidance of their research advisor and dissertation committee and present their findings in a dissertation.  Up to 30 credit hours of dissertation research, PCS 7990, can be applied toward the degree.

A preliminary examination to qualify for doctoral candidacy is administered upon the student’s nearing completion of 60 credit hours.  The preliminary examination consists of the written preparation and oral defense of an original research proposal.

The final examination for the degree is an oral defense in which the student presents a seminar on the research and defends the results and conclusions before the dissertation committee.

Graduate Courses
Please access graduate courses online by clicking the “Browsing Course Catalog” button at Graduate courses offered by the Photochemical Sciences program use the prefix PCS.

Updated: 08/14/2020 10:41AM