Department of Chemistry

Student Resources

Illinois Tech’s small Department of Chemistry allows students to receive individual attention in academic advising. Academic advice is also always available at Illinois Tech’s Academic Resource Center.

Find out more about the scholarships that are offered (including scholarships for domestic and international science graduate students). You can also learn more about the Lewis College of Science and Letters’ Undergraduate Summer Research Stipends, which grant undergraduates an opportunity to spend 10 weeks in a lab.

ChemDraw, CrystalMaker Software Now Available

The Department of Chemistry has two new software packages available for interested students and faculty.

ChrystalMaker is available to a limited number of faculty and students. To request a license to download CrystalMaker, contact department chair Yuanbing Mao at

M.S. Non-Thesis Comprehensive Exam

The MS Non-Thesis Comprehensive Exam is an oral examination based on a recent research paper selected by an exam committee. Students may take the examination two times and must pass before the end of their fourth semester. It is recommended that the student take the examination in their third or fourth semester. The students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the research paper, fundamental knowledge of the selected subject matter, and critical thinking and analysis skills to the committee of two faculty members during the oral exam. The committee is formed based on their subdiscipline. After the committee has been determined, the committee chair will schedule the exam’s date, time, and location.

M.S. with thesis students fulfill their comprehensive exam requirement with their thesis defense.

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Ph.D. Qualifying Exam

All full-time students in the PhD program are expected to join a research group and to establish a four-member supervisory committee (SC) by the end of the second semester.  They are required to take and pass the PhD qualifying examination (QE) by the end of their fourth semester. The examination is a two-step process that consists of a mini-proposal based on an original research topic that the student submits to the SC by the end of the third semester. Upon approval, the student prepares for a full proposal followed by an oral defense before the SC. Students are allowed two attempts at the qualifying examination but must pass it by the end of the fourth semester. Students passing this examination at the PhD level are judged to be qualified to continue in the PhD program. Students who fail the PhD qualifying examination can choose to graduate with a M.S. degree.

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American Chemical Society

Illinois Tech is home to a student chapter of the American Chemical Society.
Learn more about ACS and how to become involved.