Apr 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Chemical and Biological Sciences, PhD

Contact Information

Dr. Rajesh Sani, Program Coordinator
Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences
(605) 394-1240
E-mail: Rajesh.Sani@sdsmt.edu


Department Website

Students are responsible for checking with their advisors for any program modifications that may occur after the publication of this catalog.

PhD in Chemical and Biological Sciences

This program will provide advanced studies and research training that covers the applied aspects of chemistry and biology, including green chemistry, sustainable energy, environmental science, biotechnology, and biomedical health sciences. The program will prepare students for a diverse range of career options in these high-demand technology fields. Furthermore, the program’s cross-disciplinary curriculum will prepare scientists and professionals with the skills needed to thrive in the increasingly multi-disciplinary nature of applied science. To facilitate this goal, each student is asked to complete a program of study plan that will provide the framework for the student’s coursework and research. 

Degree requirements

Distribution of credits

Core requirements: 12 credits
Research requirements: 32-36 credits
Elective requirements: 24-28 credits
Total credits: 72

Students may apply 24 coursework credits and 6 research credits from a previous MS degree in a relevant discipline toward the PhD requirements, subject to approval by the student’s committee.

At least 36 of the required 72 credits must be taken at the 600 level or above.

Core requirements

Research requirements

The completion of a doctoral dissertation, approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee and the Dean of Graduate Education, is required for this degree.

  • Credits: 1 to 12 **
  • Credits: 1 to 12 **
  • **At least 32 credits of Chem 898D or Biol 898D are required for the degree. No more than 36 credits of Chem 898D or Biol 898D may be applied to the degree.

Elective requirements

Students, after consultation with their advisor, select graduate level electives which provide a framework upon which the PhD is based. Between 24-28 credits of electives are required. The following is a list of currently approved CBS electives. Other graduate level courses approved by the student’s graduate committee may also be counted as electives. All courses on the program of study must be approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee. 


Detailed information on examination policy, admission to candidacy, and defense of dissertation are included in the Chemical and Biological Sciences PhD Program Handbook.

Qualifying examination

The Chemical and Biological Sciences PhD program qualifying examination is a 2-hour written examination covering the Chemical and Biological Sciences core courses: Chem 600, Biol 702, and Chem/Biol 708. The exam is typically offered at the end of the spring semester.

Comprehensive examination and admission to candidacy

Chemical and Biological Sciences students submit a written proposal to their dissertation committee between the second and third year; an oral presentation and examination by the committee follows no earlier than two weeks after submission of the proposal. The comprehensive examination, and subsequent admission to candidacy, must be completed at least 12 months before the dissertation is defended.

Dissertation defense

A dissertation defense and a final oral examination are required for this degree.

Additional requirements

In addition to these degree-specific requirements, the student must also meet the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education.

Objectives and Outcomes

Student Outcomes:

  1. Students demonstrate advanced knowledge in their specific research areas in chemical and biological sciences.
  2. Students apply contemporary methods, tools, and theory to conduct original research in their specialized field.
  3. Students show proficiency in developing technically sound plans to address new research in chemical and biological sciences.
  4. Students effectively communicate ideas and results relevant to chemical and biological sciences in both oral and written formats.
  5.  Students act professionally and ethically.
  6. Students demonstrate leadership skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with diverse teams.