U.T. Dallas to Offer Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry
Latest Move by the University to Upgrade, Expand its Program

In a move designed to help graduates qualify for a greater range of positions in the sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) this fall will begin offering a Ph.D. degree in chemistry for the first time.

It’s the latest in a series of moves by the university to upgrade and expand its chemistry program, including an announcement earlier this month that the 2000 Nobel laureate in chemistry, Dr. Alan G. MacDiarmid, would become a member of the UTD faculty this fall.

The new Ph.D. degree, approved recently by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, will replace the Doctor of Chemistry degree the university has offered for two decades.

“Our new Ph.D. degree in chemistry will offer coursework and research which is more focused than that in the existing doctoral degree,” said Dr. John P. Ferraris, head of the UTD Chemistry Department. “Consequently, we believe it will allow students to compete for a greater variety of positions in academia as well as in industry.”

“Intellectually, the new degree rounds out our Ph.D. program in the sciences, expanding our students’ horizons and the university’s potential student base,” said Dr. Richard A. Caldwell, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

In the sciences, UTD offers Ph.D. degrees in molecular and cell biology, geosciences, physics and mathematical sciences.

Other key developments in the chemistry program at UTD include:

  • A year ago, renowned nanoscience expert Dr. Ray Baughman joined the Chemistry Department faculty and became director of a newly established UTD NanoTech Institute. He also was appointed to the department’s first Welch Chair, a position endowed by the Welch Foundation of Houston, which supports chemistry research and education in Texas.
  • Last month, the university announced that the Welch Foundation granted UTD $1 million to establish a second academic chair in chemistry funded by the philanthropic organization. UTD matched the foundation’s gift and launched a nationwide search for a top researcher to fill the position.
  • Beginning later this month, Nobel laureate MacDiarmid will hold professorial appointments in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, in addition to filling the newly created James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology and leading a Center for Scientific and Technical Innovations.
  • The university has launched a multi-million-dollar renovation of its science facilities, including chemistry classrooms, laboratories and offices.
  • Chemistry Department head Ferraris last September won the W. T. Doherty Award from the Dallas-Fort Worth Section of the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes significant achievement in research, teaching and service in the chemical field. He is the third UTD faculty member to receive the award.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].