section III, article 1

Coursework is an opportunity to delve deeper into the science of your chosen research area as well as the discipline of chemistry more broadly. Required skills-based coursework in proposal preparation, pedagogy, and ethics, among others, will help prepare you for your thesis work and for the job market.

Required Courses for All Scholars

In addition to the course requirements listed below, all scholars must enroll in research credit as defined in the Coursework Residency Requirement and Research Credit section below.

  • six 3-credit chemistry graduate courses (or approved external courses)
  • TATT 600 + 605 (TATTO)
  • JPE 600 + 605 + 610 (JPE)
  • ELSP courses, if required (ELSP)
  • CHEM 504 (Rotations)
  • CHEM 597 (Proposal/Library Course)
  • CHEM 798B, CHEM 798C, CHEM 798D (Milestones)


Courses are graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) or on a letter grade basis (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C, or F). Courses that offer a letter grade must be taken for a grade if they will be applied towards the requirements for candidacy.

New Scholar Enrollment

Understanding Course Levels

Graduate courses at Emory are offered at the 500-level about above. The following guidance may be helpful in distinguishing between levels:

  • 500-level: core/foundational graduate course; appropriate for any graduate scholar
  • 600-level: required training courses, including TATTO and JPE
  • 700-level: advanced graduate course; first year scholars may enroll, but are encouraged to seek advising support to ensure they can be successful in the course

ELSP Courses

The LGS English Language Support Program (ELSP) provides highest quality language support to graduate and professional students, postdoctoral fellows, and scholars with diverse linguistic backgrounds at all stages of the academic journey.  Scholars for whom English is a second language may be required to take an ELSP assessment during orientation. The chemistry graduate program strongly encourages scholars to take all required and recommended ELSP courses. ELSP courses are also recommended as an excellent resource for fluent English speakers seeking support in graduate writing and presentation skills.

Petitioning for Course Credit or a Course Waiver

Scholars may petition to receive course credit for graduate courses taken at another institution and/or a course waiver for a maximum of 9 credit hours. The scholar should submit the Petition for Course Credit and/or Waiver form as supporting documentation for a petition to the graduate program. Petitions will be forwarded to the Graduate Committee for review. Transfer credit requests must also be approved by the Laney Graduate School Dean (see box below.)

Coursework petitions must be submitted by the end of the first semester of coursework.

What is the difference between transfer credit and a waiver?

Course transfer credit may be given only for courses that were not used to satisfy the requirements of any previous degree. When you request course credit, you are requesting for a specific course taken elsewhere to be included on your official Emory transcript. Transfer credit may also reduce the number of courses required at Emory by an equivalent amount. A course waiver may be requested to reduce the usual six-credit course load required for candidacy based on prior coursework at the graduate level. Waivers may be requested for courses that were also used to satisfy requirements for a previous degree. In the case of a waiver, the courses themselves will not be reflected on the Emory transcript. It is more common for students to be eligible for a waiver than for transfer credit.

Scholars wishing to use non-chemistry coursework as part of a transfer or waiver request should include a rationale indicating the relevance of the course to the chemistry degree. Support from the primary research mentor significantly strengthens requests (therefore, scholars are encouraged to submit these requests after group selection has concluded.)

All requested waivers and petitions will be reviewed. However, scholars should be advised that in most cases, it benefits the scholar to take a full slate of courses at Emory.​​​​​​​

Course Registration for Continuing Scholars

All scholars should meet with their primary research mentor to decide on necessary coursework. Scholars must register themselves online via OPUS with assistance, as needed, from the Graduate Program Coordinator. Scholars are responsible for ensuring that they are enrolled prior to the enrollment deadline each semester. 

Milestone Course Guidance

Scholars must enroll in a specific course to properly record and receive credit for chemistry milestones. Scholars should enroll in these courses in the semester in which they plan to complete a milestone. Scholars are also required to re-enroll if they are approved to re-test a milestone in a given semester.

  • CHEM 798B: Second Year Qualifying Exam (3 credits)
  • CHEM 798C: Third Year Milestone (1 credit)
  • CHEM 798D: Fourth Year Milestone (1 credit)

Registering for External Courses

Coursework Residency Requirement and Research Credit

All scholars in the graduate program are required to maintain a full course load consisting of at least 9 units during the fall, spring and summer semesters. In most semesters, scholars will need to enroll in CHEM 599R (Pre-Candidacy) or CHEM 799R (Post-Candidacy) to properly reflect their research effort. Scholars should refer to the table below to determine the appropriate research credit to reflect their effort in a given semester.

Research Credit Guidance

First Year, First Semester0
First Year, Second Semester6
First Year, Summer12
Second Year, First Semester9
Second Year, Second Semester9
Second Year Summer and Above12
Note: In any given semester, if a scholar calculates that their full credit load will fall below 9 credits or rise above 18 credits, the scholar must contact the Director of Graduate studies to discuss prior to the beginning of add/drop.

Grading for Research Credit

The Instructor of Record for CHEM 599R/ 799R is the Director of Graduate Studies. The DGS will seek input from the primary research mentor as to the scholar’s research progress at the midpoint of each semester. Scholars will be graded as:

  • Progressing well, no concerns 
  • Some concerns will need improvement 
  • Major concerns, needs significant improvement 

Scholars will be informed of their mid-semester evaluation and will be provided with notes from the primary research mentor regarding the assessment. At the end of the semester, faculty will be asked to advise the DGS of any changes to the mid-semester evaluation. Scholars must receive an assessment of “progressing well, no concerns” to earn an “S” grade in research in a given semester.

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