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World Class Graduate Program

PhD students who have graduated from the Department of Chemistry have secured positions throughout academia, US and International government laboratories and industry. For example, Christine Aikens, who received her PhD in theoretical chemistry from ISU in 2005, has just been promoted to Full Professor at Kansas State University. Professor Aikens was awarded an ISU Distinguished Alumna Award in 2014.

Chemistry graduate students have a wide range of choices for their graduate research. In addition to the traditional Chemistry disciplines of analytical and bioanalytical, inorganic and materials, organic and bioinorganic and physical and theoretical, we offer many multi-disciplinary options, such as materials chemistry, forensics, and biophysical chemistry. Click here to visit the faculty web pages and explore the cutting-edge research areas that our department offers.

We admit for the fall semester which begins with orientation where you will be welcomed by our faculty, students and staff. Our application deadlines are January 15 for international students and February 1 for domestic students. We encourage you to apply early in the fall of your senior year as as we review applications in the order they are received. Ready to apply? Start here: How to complete our application process.

World Class Science

The Iowa State University Chemistry Ph.D. program features a renowned faculty. The professors guide students as they learn to think critically and creatively about solutions to important and challenging scientific problems. Our department's research groups are well-funded by Federal and State agencies and by industry, supporting our graduate students' work on cutting-edge and impactful science. These research projects, as well as many interdisciplinary and collaborative projects, provide opportunities for graduate students to develop world-class science in a beautiful state-of-the art chemistry building.

World Class Job Placement

Graduates from Iowa State University Department of Chemistry are highly sought after and accept offers from all types of different companies and academic institutions. The following is a list of some of the companies at which our graduates work:

  • Abbott Labs
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • 3 M
  • Genentech
  • Dow Corning
  • SmithKline Beecham
  • Baxter International
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • UCLA
  • Coe College
  • University of Minnesota-St. Cloud
  • St. Norbert College
  • Truman State University
  • and many others

World Class Small City Living

Iowa State University is located in Ames, a city of about 50,000 people that has been ranked in the top 10 places to live by Livability.com, Best College Reviews and the American Institute for Economic Research. The University plays a central role in shaping our entertainment and cultural life. We have benefits that befit a much larger city, while retaining the ambience, low crime and modest cost of living of a smaller Midwestern town.

Housing and transportation are easy in Ames. Most of our students live in private apartments, but University housing is also available. Two bedroom apartments are available for about $750 per month depending on their size and proximity to campus. While most of our students own cars, Ames is a bicycle friendly community and is proud to have an outstanding and free public transportation system.