Graduate Admissions Flyer with QR code

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Southern California is always looking for motivated students to join our Ph.D. program. We have no application fee, do not require subject or general GRE, and often offer early admission and university-sponsored fellowships to qualified candidates. Apply early!

Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found on this page.

For further information, please contact our graduate advisor Claudia Cortez: Tel – (213) 740-6855; Email –

Application Information

DO NOT complete the application with the Office of Graduate and International Admissions (through until you are instructed to do so. Instead apply to the PhD program directly by completing the Chemistry Department Online Application.

Application opens: October 3, 2023

Application deadline: The deadline for submission of applications is December 29, 2023. All applications must be completed by this date, including transcripts. Letters of recommendation must be submitted by January 7, 2024.

    1. Transcripts: You will upload a PDF of your transcripts from all universities that you have attended. You will not mail your official transcripts to USC until you are accepted to the program.
    2. Previous Research Experience (2 pages maximum): In the field provided or in an uploaded PDF, describe your previous research experience. State the big-picture goals of your research, as well as your specific role, and any major accomplishments. For each research experience, include the corresponding university or college and faculty mentor. Conclude this section with a bullet-point list of any of your publications and/or presentations.
    3. Research Interests (1 page maximum): In the field provided or in an uploaded PDF, describe the type of research that you are interested in pursuing during graduate school and why you are interested in this category of research. Explain why you think USC Chemistry is a good fit for your research interests and describe which faculty you think aligns with those interests and why. In your research interest statement, please indicate at least 3 names of USC Chemistry faculty that you are interested in.
    4. Personal Statement (2 pages maximum): Provide a personal statement describing your reasons for attending graduate school in chemistry, why you think your background qualifies you for pursuing graduate studies, and your career goals. You can also include here any additional information that you may want to convey to the admissions committee.
    5. Recommender Contact Information: In the field indicated, enter the email addresses of 3 mentors who can provide letters of support. The admissions committee will email them directly with instructions for uploading the letter. We do not accept mailed recommendation letters. See the FAQs page for more information.
    6. International Students Only: TOEFL or IELTS Score Report: If your undergraduate degree is from a non-English speaking country, you must submit a TOEFL or IELTS Score. You do not need to mail your official TOEFL or IELTS scores to USC until you are accepted to the program. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score requirement.
    7. Resume or Curriculum Vitae: Upload a current resume/CV to the application.
  • You are welcome to email Department of Chemistry faculty whose research interests you. However, keep in mind that admissions decisions are not based on which professors have space in their lab. Faculty advisors are chosen during the first year of graduate studies and not prior to admission.