section III, article 2

Research is a daily practice for most scholars and the constancy of research effort can make it difficult to recognize growth. Course grades and milestones are intended to help scholars assess their skills, celebrating accomplishments and setting goals for improvement.

Research progress for chemistry graduate scholars is assessed through:

Scholars should also seek regular feedback from their primary mentor, lab members, and others within their professional network. Research effort requires perseverance and customization that cannot be fully prescribed by the graduate program on the scholar’s behalf. Setbacks and failures can be progress. Activities that scholars may draw on to enhance their research effort include, but are not limited to:

  • conference attendance
  • conference presentations
  • regular attendance at department seminars
  • attendance at industry Q&As
  • PDS activities through LGS, including career coaching, proposal development support, and writing groups
  • reading the literature
  • independent study
  • supplemental courses, “short” courses”, and other training

Research Effort and Assessment Through Coursework

Scholars should enroll in research credit to reflect their research effort throughout their time in the chemistry graduate program. The appropriate courses are:

  • CHEM 599R (pre-candidacy)
  • CHEM 799R (post-candidacy)

The research credit guidance below should be used to determine how many hours of research credit are appropriate in any given semester. Scholars may not enroll in more hours than indicated by this guidance and are encouraged not to enroll in less hours in most cases. In extraordinary circumstances, scholars may petition the DGS to increase or decrease research credit.

Research Credit Guidance for First Year Scholars

First Semester: 0 hours of CHEM 599R (research effort will be evaluated via enrollment in CHEM 504: Rotations)

Second Semester: 3 hours of CHEM 599R

Research Credit Guidance for Advanced Scholars

Engaged in Full Time Research, no Advanced TA: 12 hours of CHEM 599R/799R
Engaged in Research & 10 hours Advanced TA: 10 hours CHEM 599R/799R
Engaged in Research & 20 hours of Advanced TA: 9 hours CHEM 599R/799R 

Research Grades

The Director of Graduate Studies is the instructor of record for all research coursework. Grades are determined via a mid-semester and end-of-semester assessment provided by the primary research mentor. Specifically, scholars performance will be assessed as falling into one of the following categories:

  • Progressing well, no concerns (on track to receive an “S” grade)
  • Some concerns will need improvement (possible “U” grade)
  • Major concerns, needs significant improvement (probable “U” grade)

At mid-semester, scholars who receive an assessment of “some concerns” or “major concerns” are advised to request a meeting with both their primary research mentor and the DGS to discuss strategies for improving their research performance.

At the end of the semester, scholars must receive a final assessment of “progressing well, no concerns” to earn an “S” grade in CHEM 599R/799R . Otherwise, scholars will receive a “U” grade in research and be placed on probation.

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Probation and Appeal Process

Section VI, Article 1

We want all scholars to succeed. If you are concerned about falling into probationary status, be sure to communicate with the Graduate Program Coordinator and your research advisor to determine your best path forward.

Causes of Probationary Status

Scholars whose work causes them to fall into probationary status will receive notification from Laney Graduate School. Scholars who receive a semester or Cumulative G.P.A. of < 2.7 will fall into probationary status. In addition, scholars will receive a “U” grade for the following courses (thus falling in to probationary status) when they fail to meet a program requirement:

  • CHEM 504 for failure to complete rotations or join a group.
  • CHEM 798 for failure to complete the Second Year Qualifying Exam (failure to successfully re-test by the end of the summer term will result in termination from the program).
  • TATT 605 for unsatisfactory TA performance.
  • CHEM 599 (pre-candidacy) or CHEM 799 (post-candidacy) for insufficient research progress.
  • CHEM 599 (pre-candidacy) or CHEM 799 (post-candidacy) for failure to meet a milestone requirement or submit an annual report.

Scholars in probationary status are not eligible for merit awards or LGS Professional Development Support (PDS) funds.

Review Process

All scholars will be reviewed at the end of each semester by the faculty. Scholars who fall into probationary status due to a negative review will be informed of their status in writing by the Laney Graduate School. Consequences of a negative review may include:

  • Withdrawal of financial support
  • Repetition of research, coursework, and/or examinations
  • Termination from the program

Appeal of Probationary Status

Scholars in probationary status may petition for one additional semester to improve their record by following the departmental appeal process.

  1. Write a letter to the Graduate Committee detailing any extenuating circumstances that contributed to the probationary status and requesting a one semester extension.
  2. Ask the research advisor to submit a letter of support, including a plan for ongoing financial support.

The Graduate Committee will review appeals and make recommendations. Scholars may petition for a maximum of two semester-long extensions.


Scholars whose appeal is not approved will be recommended for termination from the program by no later than the end of their second semester on probation.

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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 chemistry graduate courses (or approved external courses)
  • TATT 600 + 605
  • JPE 600 + 605 + 610
  • CHEM 597: Proposal/Library Course

New Scholar Enrollment

Course Registration for Continuing Scholars

All scholars should meet with their advisor 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. 

Registering for Non-Chemistry Courses


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.

Petitioning for Course Credit or a Course Waiver

Scholars may petition to receive course credit for graduate courses taken at another institution or a course waiver for a maximum of 9 credit hours. The scholar should submit the Petition for Course Credit and/or Waiver form to the Graduate Program Coordinator. 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 8.A).

Coursework petitions must be submitted by the end of the first semester of coursework and will be accepted as early as the first graduate committee meeting of the semester.​​​​​​​

What is the difference between transfer credit and a waiver?

Course credit may be given only for courses that were not used to satisfy the requirements of any previous degree. Transfer credit may also reduce the number of courses required at Emory by an equivalent amount—a waiver. A course waiver alone may be requested to reduce the usual six-credit course load required for candidacy but the courses themselves will not be reflected on the Emory transcript.

Scholars wishing to use non-chemistry coursework as part of a transfer or waiver request should include a rationale from their advisor indicating the relevance of the course to the chemistry degree. This should be signed by the advisor.

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.​​​​​​​

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. Scholars should carefully review the Research section of the handbook to understand how to pair required coursework with research credit to fulfill this minimum.

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section II, article 1

Orientation activities always begin on the start date indicated in your Emory offer letter – this is quite a bit earlier than the first day of classes! In Fall 2021, orientation starts on August 13th.


Orientation Overview

New scholars are required to attend orientation for both the chemistry graduate program and the Laney Graduate School before the start of classes.

Advanced students may be required to attend orientation activities to complete program requirements that were missed or not offered during their own orientation.

​​​​​​​All orientation activities are mandatory. Scholars who do not participate may forfeit their August stipend payment and/or be excluded from rotation activities.

Orientation Content

Orientation will include the following:

  • program requirements, including rotations
  • mail and keys
  • Emory ID cards and building access
  • payroll and compensation
  • facilities and stockroom
  • safety training
  • TA training
  • course selection/academic advising with faculty
  • cohort team building
  • strategies for success in graduate school
  • peer mentoring and graduate organizations

Orientation Schedule

An orientation schedule will be provided to scholars by the graduate program coordinator prior to the start date in their Emory offer letter. In turn, scholars are asked to submit a photo and short bio to the graduate program coordinator before orientation begins.

For more information about the schedule for Laney Graduate School orientation activities, please visit their website.

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