Sterling Chemistry Laboratory, 203.432.3913
M.S., Ph.D.

Gary Brudvig (1 SCL, 203.432.3912,

Director of Graduate Studies
Elsa Yan (

Professors Victor Batista, Gary Brudvig, Robert Crabtree, Craig Crews,* R. James Cross, Jr. (Emeritus), Jonathan Ellman, John Faller (Emeritus), Nilay Hazari, Seth Herzon, Patrick Holland, Francesco Iachello,* Mark Johnson, William Jorgensen, J. Patrick Loria, James Mayer, J. Michael McBride (Emeritus), Scott Miller, Peter Moore (Emeritus), Anna Pyle,* Lynne Regan,* James Rothman,* Martin Saunders, Alanna Schepartz, Charles Schmuttenmaer, Dieter Söll,* David Spiegel, Thomas Steitz,* Scott Strobel,* John Tully (Emeritus), Patrick Vaccaro, Elsa Yan, Frederick Ziegler (Emeritus), Kurt Zilm

Assistant Professors Richard Baxter, Jason Crawford, Ziad Ganim, Timothy Newhouse, Sarah Slavoff, Hailiang Wang

Lecturers Paul Anastas, Christine DiMeglio, Narasimhan Ganapathi, Jonathan Parr


A secondary appointment with primary affiliation in another department.

Fields of Study

Fields include bio-inorganic chemistry, bio-organic chemistry, biophysical chemistry, chemical biology, chemical physics, inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physical-inorganic chemistry, physical-organic chemistry, synthetic-organic chemistry, and theoretical chemistry.

Special Admissions Requirements

Applicants are expected to have completed or be completing a standard undergraduate chemistry major including a year of elementary organic chemistry with laboratory, and a year of elementary physical chemistry. Other majors are acceptable if the above requirements are met. The GRE General Test is required. The GRE Subject Test is strongly recommended though not required. Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Special Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

A foreign language is not required. Three term courses are required in each of the first two terms of residence. Courses are chosen according to the student’s background and research area. To be admitted to candidacy a student must (1) receive at least two term grades of Honors, exclusive of those for research; (2) pass one oral examination (preparative chemistry students) or two oral examinations (physical chemistry students) by the end of the second year of study; and (3) submit a thesis prospectus no later than the end of the third year of study. Remaining degree requirements include completing a formal proposal (inorganic, organic, and chemical biology students), a written thesis describing the research, and an oral defense of the thesis. The ability to communicate scientific knowledge to others outside the specialized area is crucial to any career in chemistry. Therefore, all students are required to teach a minimum of two terms at a TF level 20. Students may be required by their advisers to teach in additional terms, but would not be required to teach more than five terms over their first five years. All students are required to take CHEM 590, Ethical Conduct and Scientific Research, in the fall term of their first year of study.

Master’s Degree

M.S. (en route to the Ph.D.) A student must pass at least five graduate-level term courses in the Chemistry department exclusive of seminars and research. In addition, an overall average (exclusive of seminars and research) of High Pass must be maintained in all courses. One full year of residence is required.

Program materials are available upon request to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Chemistry, Yale University, PO Box 208107, New Haven CT 06520-8107.


CHEM 505a, Alternative EnergyGary Brudvig

Design principles for molecular components of alternative energy devices. Climate change and our alternative energy future. Light energy conversion, energy transfer, and charge separation in photosynthesis. Dioxygen evolution in photosystem II. Biofuels: bioethanol, biodiesel, hydrogenase. Interaction of light with semiconductors. Fast spectroscopy to probe interfacial electron transfer. Computational design and characterization. Solar cells for electricity, photo-catalysis, biomimetic water oxidation. Hydrogen economy. Team-taught.
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 518a, Advanced Organic ChemistryWilliam Jorgensen

Concise overview of structure, properties, thermodynamics, kinetics, reactions, and intermolecular interactions for organic molecular systems.
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 521a, Chemical BiologyJason Crawford and Alanna Schepartz

A one-term introduction to the origins and emerging frontiers of chemical biology. Discussion of the key molecular building blocks of biological systems and the history of macromolecular research in chemistry.
TTh 9am-10:15am

CHEM 525b, Spectroscopic Methods of Structure DeterminationMartin Saunders

The background and use of spectroscopic methods emphasizing NMR in organic chemistry. The course includes the use of programs for simulating spin-spin coupling and rapid rearrangement reactions in NMR. All methods commonly used by organic chemists for determining molecular structures of species in solution, in the gas phase, and in solids are included.
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

CHEM 528a, Natural Products SynthesisSeth Herzon

Survey of natural products syntheses, with an emphasis on those that contain unique strategies, transformations, or reagents. Key transformations are introduced in the context of various syntheses. Retrosynthetic analysis and synthetic planning are discussed.
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 529b, Special Topics in Chemical BiologyTimothy Newhouse and David Spiegel

Current topics at the interface of chemistry, biology, and medicine with an emphasis on synthetic biology approaches.
T 9:25am-11:15am

CHEM 530b, Statistical Methods and ThermodynamicsVictor Batista

The fundamentals of statistical mechanics developed and used to elucidate gas phase and condensed phase behavior, as well as to establish a microscopic derivation of the postulates of thermodynamics. Topics include ensembles; Fermi, Bose, and Boltzmann statistics; density matrices; mean field theories; phase transitions; chemical reaction dynamics; time-correlation functions; Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations.
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 531b, Special Topics in Organic ChemistryJonathan Ellman and Seth Herzon

Current topics in organic chemistry.
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 537a, Chemistry of IsotopesMartin Saunders

Advanced applications of isotopes to chemical problems and the theory associated with them, including kinetic and equilibrium isotope effects, tracer applications, and dating.
MWF 9:25am-10:15am

CHEM 540a, Molecules and Radiation IKurt Zilm

An integrated treatment of quantum mechanics and modern spectroscopy. Basic wave and matrix mechanics, perturbation theory, angular momentum, group theory, time-dependent quantum mechanics, selection rules, coherent evolution in two-level systems, line shapes, and NMR spectroscopy.
MWF 9:25am-10:15am

CHEM 542b, Molecules and Radiation IIMark Johnson

An extension of the material covered in CHEM 540 to atomic and molecular spectroscopy, including rotational, vibrational, and electronic spectroscopy, as well as an introduction to laser spectroscopy.
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 548a, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in LiquidsJ. Patrick Loria

A theoretical treatment of solution NMR spectroscopy with emphasis on applications to proteins and biological macromolecules. This includes classical and quantum mechanical descriptions of NMR, product operator formalism, multidimensional NMR, phase cycling, gradient selection, relaxation phenomena, and protein resonance assignments.
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 552a, Organometallic ChemistryRobert Crabtree

A survey of the organometallic chemistry of the transition elements and of homogeneous catalysis.
TTh 9am-10:15am

CHEM 553b, Small Molecule X-ray CrystallographyPatrick Holland and Brandon Mercado

This course provides an introduction to small molecule crystallography. It covers both theoretical and applied concepts and includes hands-on experience on how to solve and refine the structure of small molecules.
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 554b, Bio-Inorganic ChemistryPatrick Holland

An advanced introduction to biological inorganic chemistry. Important topics in metalloprotein chemistry are illustrated. Objective is to define and understand function in terms of structure. Topics include catalysis with and without electron transfer, and carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen metabolism.
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 556b, Biochemical Rates and MechanismsJ. Patrick Loria

An advanced treatment of enzymology. Topics include transition state theory and derivation of steady-state and pre-steady-state rate equations. The role of entropy and enthalpy in accelerating chemical reactions is considered, along with modern methods for the study of enzyme chemistry. These topics are supplemented with in-depth analysis of the primary literature.
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

CHEM 557b, Modern Coordination ChemistryNilay Hazari

The principles of modern inorganic chemistry. Main group and transition element chemistry: reactions, bonding, structure, and spectra.
TTh 9am-10:15am

CHEM 559b, BiophysicsElsa Yan

A discussion of applications of quantitative biophysical methods to biomolecules. Emphasis is placed on interpreting experimental data obtained by various biophysical methods to gain structural and dynamic information to address biological questions at the molecular level. Topics include mainly spectroscopic methods, such as Raman, single-molecule, fluorescence, FTIR, chiroptical, and higher-order optical spectroscopies. Discussions focus on current and classic studies reported in the literature.
MW 9am-10:15am

CHEM 560La, Advanced Instrumentation Laboratory IMark Johnson

A laboratory course introducing physical chemistry tools used in the experimental and theoretical investigation of large and small molecules. Modules include electronics, vacuum technology, optical spectroscopy and lasers, and computer programming.
Th 11am-2:30pm

CHEM 562La or b, Laboratory in Instrument Design and the Mechanical ArtsKurt Zilm and David Johnson

Familiarization with modern machine shop practices and techniques. Use of basic metalworking machinery and instruction in techniques of precision measurement and properties of commonly used metals, alloys, and plastics.

CHEM 564La or b, Advanced Mechanical InstrumentationKurt Zilm and David Johnson

A course geared for both the arts and sciences that goes beyond the basic introductory shop courses, offering an in-depth foundation study utilizing hands-on instructional techniques that must be learned from experience. Prerequisite: CHEM 562L.

CHEM 565La or b, Introduction to Glass BlowingPatrick Vaccaro and Daryl Smith

The course provides a basic introduction to the fabrication of scientific apparatus from glass. Topics covered include laboratory setup, the fundamental skills and techniques of glass blowing, the operation of glass fabrication equipment, and requisite safety procedures.

CHEM 570a, Quantum ChemistryVictor Batista

The elements of quantum mechanics developed and illustrated with applications in chemistry and chemical physics.
TTh 9am-10:15am

CHEM 590a, Ethical Conduct and Scientific ResearchJonathan Parr

A survey of ethical questions relevant to the conduct of research in the sciences with particular emphasis on chemistry. A variety of issues, including plagiarism, the falsification of data, and financial malfeasance, are discussed, using as examples recent cases of misconduct by scientists. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students in chemistry.  0 Course cr
M 5:10pm-6pm

CHEM 600a or b, Research SeminarsStaff

Presentation of a student's research results to the student's adviser and fellow research group members. Extensive discussion and literature review are normally a part of the series.

CHEM 700a or b, Laboratory Rotation for First-Year Biophysical and Chemical Biology Graduate StudentsStaff


CHEM 720a and CHEM 721b, Current Topics in Organic ChemistrySeth Herzon

A seminar series based on invited speakers in the general area of organic chemistry.

CHEM 730a and CHEM 731b, Molecular Science SeminarMark Johnson

A seminar series based on invited speakers in the areas of physical, inorganic, and biological chemistry.

CHEM 740a and CHEM 741b, Seminar in Chemical BiologyJonathan Ellman


CHEM 750a and CHEM 751b, Biophysical Chemistry SeminarJ. Patrick Loria

Th 4:30pm-5:20pm

CHEM 760a and CHEM 761b, Seminar in Inorganic ChemistryNilay Hazari

M 4:30pm-5:20pm

CHEM 990a or b, ResearchStaff

Individual research for Ph.D. degree candidates in the Department of Chemistry, under the direct supervision of one or more faculty members.