Interdisciplinary Chemistry

Interdisciplinary chemistry graduate degree program

In the 21st century, the lines distinguishing one specialty area of Chemistry from another sometimes become almost indistinguishable, and some students have research interests broader than those typical of the classical areas of chemistry.

At Minnesota, students in the various specialty areas of Chemistry have a considerable amount of flexibility in tailoring their program of study either to classical areas or to interdisciplinary areas, subject to approval by the appropriate advising mechanism. Furthermore, at Minnesota, students have more options. One is the degree program in Chemical Physics. The other, the most flexible of all, is the option of declaring an interdisciplinary degree program in Chemistry. As for study in one of the specialty areas, this leads to a Ph. D. degree in Chemistry.

For students choosing the interdisciplinary chemistry option, the course program and format for the written preliminary examination are determined on an individual basis by the student together with the 3-member faculty advising committee assigned to him or her on entry into the graduate program. (When the student chooses a research adviser, that person replaces one of the previous members of the three-member advsing committee, if the adviser was not already a member.) The student and the advising committee develop a personalized degree program specifically tailored to the student's interests. In particular, for students declaring an interdisciplinary program, individual choices may be made for what classes will be taken and what form the written candidacy examination will have.

One aspect of interdisciplinary research is that new opportunities and new projects arise frequently, and no Web page can possibly be complete as far as listing all the possibilities. The following faculty, however, have indicated their willingness to supervise interdisciplinary students, and have indicated some potential research areas, which are listed:

Christopher J. Cramer

Variable-spin Systems, Solvation and Other Condensed Phase Phenomena, tRNA Structure and Dynamics, Detoxification of Chemical Weapons, and Experimental/Theoretical Synergy.
Cramer Group Website

Marc A. Hillmyer

Polymer chemistry; renewable resource polymers; block copolymers; nanoporous organic materials; polymer modification; fluorinated macromolecules; new polymerization catalysts; biomedical materials; advanced applications of macromolecular nanocomposites
Hillmyer Group Website

Tim Lodge

Polymer structure and dynamics; block copolymers, blends, melts and solutions; scattering, microscopy, rheology, and diffusion; synthesis and chemical modification.
Lodge Group Website

Kristopher McNeill

Environmental chemistry; photochemistry; detection of high energy species in natural waters; pharmaceutical pollutants in the environment; catalytic dehalogenation; luminescent and chemiluminescent materials
McNeill Group Website

R. Lee Penn

Environmental chemistry, materials chemistry, mineralogy, and geochemistry. A major goal of our research group is to link chemical reactivity with specific sub-nanometer length-scale features of both natural and synthetic nanoparticles.
Penn Group Page

Donald G. Truhlar

Biological chemistry; computational neuroscience; applications of quantum physics and statistical physics in chemistry; algorithm development for scientific computation; nanoparticle science and engineering; photochemistry; solvation
Truhlar Group Website

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