Planning for Graduate Work in Chemistry

Successfully preparing for, finding, and transitioning into a graduate program requires an investment of time and effort. Central to this process is the on-going consideration of your goals, strengths, and opportunities. The contacts in your network will also provide information, advice, and support. Remember that great resources for learning about graduate school are undergraduate advisers, graduate faculty, and graduate school events held as part of undergraduate programming at ACS meetings.

The process differs for each person, reflecting different experiences, abilities, and goals.  As the Timeline for Success indicates, there are some common steps in each phase of the process:

Step 1

Preparing as an Undergraduate

During this phase, focus on building the knowledge, skills, and network you need to be successful in graduate school and your career.

Step 2

Choosing a Graduate Program

During this phase, focus on identifying and getting into graduate programs aligned with your career goals and needs.

Step 3

Early Graduate School Life

During this phase position yourself to expand your knowledge, skills, and network in ways that will help you obtain your degree and career goals.



Common questions to consider throughout each phase of the process

  • Why are your pursuing a graduate degree?
  • What do you want to contribute to the chemical sciences?
  • What graduate school experienes will benefit you?