Further develop your creativity as an independent researcher in an environment that is at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. Work alongside dedicated and world-renowned faculty members whose expertise in various areas, including environmental, computational and biophysical chemistry, bionanoscience, biochemistry and protein science, will propel your research to the next level.
The PhD in Chemistry provides opportunities for you to explore interdisciplinary science that encompasses environmental research, green chemistry, microbial enzymology and biotechnology. The Centre for Research in Molecular Modeling (CERMM), The Centre for NanoScience Research (CeNSR) and The Centre for Biological Applications of Mass Spectrometry (CBAMS) are recognized for their research excellence and highly qualified personnel training. Along with the Biomolecular Function, Interactions and Structure (BIOFINS) platform, these facilities have attracted over $10 million in infrastructure funding and support to promote research.
Our research-active faculty members have published in numerous prestigious journals, such as Nature, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Chemistry: A European Journal, and Chemical Communications, as well as leading topical journals, including ACS Nano, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Biochemistry. Authors on over 36 patents and 10 book chapters, our researchers have received the highest honours from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Canada Research Chairs Program.
Credits. A candidate entering the Doctoral program with a Master’s degree is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits. A candidate entering the Doctoral program under accelerated admission (fast-tracking) from the BSc program is required to complete a minimum of 9 credits from graduate courses listed under Topics in addition to the regular 90 credits; a candidate entering the doctoral program under accelerated admission (fast-tracking) from the MSc program is required to complete a minimum of 3 credits listed under Topics in addition to the regular 90 credits.
Residence. The minimum period of residence is two years (6 terms) of full-time graduate study beyond the master’s degree, or three years (9 terms) of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent in part-time study) beyond the bachelor’s degree (for those students who are permitted to enrol for doctoral studies without completing a master’s degree). It should be understood that this is a minimum requirement, and that a longer period may be necessary in order to complete all of the work that is required for the degree.
Courses. The following are required of fully-qualified students:
a. 6 credits from courses listed under Topics, in the general field of the student’s research project.
b. CHEM 896: Research Proposal and Comprehensive Examination (9 credits).
A student in the doctoral program is required to present a progress report on his/her research and on future research plans. The presentation should reflect the student’s awareness of current research in his/her field and demonstrate an ability to carry out a significant research problem and provide a rational approach to its solution. The student’s knowledge and understanding of fundamental chemical and biochemical principles will also be examined.
The student is expected to complete CHEM 896 within 18 months of admission directly into the PhD program, or within 28 months of admission via the MSc stream. In exceptional circumstances the department may permit an extension of time for completion of this course. The CHEM 896 Examining Committee assigns one of the following two grades: (a) PASS - the student is admitted to candidacy for a PhD degree in Chemistry; (b) FAIL - the student must withdraw from the program.
c. CHEM 856: Doctoral Research and Thesis (72 credits).
d. CHEM 668: Seminar (3 credits).
This seminar course provides the student with an opportunity to prepare and present the student’s own research to a critical audience. This course gives students practice at communicating and defending their ideas on a research topic in a professional forum, and should successfully inform an audience of chemists and biochemists.
e. With permission from their supervisory committee students are allowed to substitute graduate level courses from other departments relevant to their research problems, or professional development as partial fulfillment towards their degree requirements.
Thesis. Students will work on a research topic under the direction of a faculty member and present an acceptable thesis at the conclusion (CHEM 856: Doctoral Research and Thesis). Students may submit a manuscript-based thesis following the guidelines outlined in the section on Thesis Regulations in this calendar. In addition, a public oral examination will be conducted to test the student’s ability to defend the thesis.
Seminars. Each student is required to attend and participate in departmental seminars.
Cross-Registration. Students may, with the permission of their supervisory committee, cross-register for courses falling in the Topics categories in other Quebec institutions.
Admission Requirements. The normal requirement for admission is a Master of Science degree in Chemistry with high standing from a recognized university. Comparable qualifications in biology or biochemistry are also acceptable for applicants wishing to do graduate studies in biochemistry. Upon recommendation by full-time members of the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, students enrolled in the Master of Science (Chemistry) program at Concordia University who have completed a minimum of 6 credits of graduate level course work and who have shown themselves to be outstanding through performance in research may apply for permission to proceed directly to doctoral studies without submitting a master’s thesis (fast-tracking). Outstanding students who have maintained a grade point average of greater than 3.50 in their last two years of study and those with external scholarships (NSERC, CIHR, FQRNT) may also apply to the PhD program directly (fast-tracking) from their BSc program.
It is also possible to carry out PhD studies on a CO-OP basis with the collaboration of an employer. A CO-OP graduate student conducts research of interest to the employer, normally in the employer’s laboratory, but directs the project toward a thesis topic acceptable to the department at Concordia and under the guidance of an academic supervisor in the department. The student will spend one term, normally with the support of an employer, gaining experience teaching in undergraduate laboratories and participating actively in the departmental seminars. This program will be available in areas of chemistry and biochemistry where the Department has the resources to provide a suitable academic co-supervisor. It is a condition of the program that the employers agree to the publication of thesis results. Prospective applicants should contact the Department for further details.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
An up-to-date, complete copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Three Letters of Reference and Academic Assessment forms. Note: Academic Reference Letters AND Academic Assessment Forms must be received in sealed envelopes in order for the file to be considered complete. Reference letters must be on school letterhead and bear the original signature. Uploads/faxes/photocopies will not be accepted. All references must be dated within the last year.
An original Statement of purpose written in your own words. It should outline your background, experience, goals, and why you would like to enter the program
Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
Research assistant (RA) funding at a minimum level of $10,000 per annum is guaranteed for graduate students with satisfactory performance during the PhD residency period. All graduate students are additionally eligible to receive an annual teaching assistantship valued at $7,500 per annum. Beyond this base annual stipend of $17,500 per annum, income may be supplemented through various awards (see below) and/or supervisor RA top-ups.
Our graduate students continue to receive prestigious federal and provincial scholarships, including those from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Fonds Nature et technologies (FRQNT), the Quebec Network for Research on Protein Function, Engineering, and Applications (PROTEO), the Groupe de Recherche Axé sur la Structure des Protéines (GRASP), and the Center for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures (CSACS).
The departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in the Faculty of Arts and Science are seeking graduate students for specific research areas. Please visit this page for new opportunities regularly.
Other awards available through the Faculty of Arts and Science and the School of Graduate Studies include:
Concordia Merit Scholarship
Concordia University Graduate Fellowship
Faculty of Arts & Science Graduate Fellowship
Kanfi-Holzbaur Travel Award
Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence
Hydro-Quebec Graduate Award
John W. O'Brien Graduate Fellowship
Clara Strozyk Scholarship
Out-of-Province Fee Remission Awards
Faculty of Arts & Science Conference Travel Award
Consideration for Entrance Awards is automatically part of the admissions process for all new students. Other awards may be allotted on a competitive basis pending eligibility.
Faculty members have international reputations whose research is well represented in top academic journals. Their engagement in the scientific community is demonstrated by their representation on evaluation committees as well as their involvement in the organization of conferences from the local to international levels.
Graduate students organize and host an established, annual graduate student conference in the fall. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Research Conference invites graduate students throughout Canada and the northern United States to showcase their work and learn about the latest developments in academia and industry.
Our graduates are well positioned to pursue research careers in academia, industry and government sectors.
A number of our alumni have secured lecturer or professor positions in institutions around the world, including Singapore and Egypt, as well as those found in Greater Montreal, such as John Abbot College and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).
Many graduates work in research and development departments of industries, including:
Other alumni work for institutions like the Montreal Antidoping Lab, or hold government positions at the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.