Current Students

Set yourself up for success

UAF is the leading Ph.D.-granting university in Alaska. The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is home to prestigious faculty and pioneers of new discoveries. Immerse yourself in a great education among amazing people. 



Degree Completion Guide

Be sure to familiarize yourself with your program's requirements as you are making your Graduate Study Plan.

  • Most graduate courses are offered on an every-other-year schedule
  • We suggest you take your seminar course (CHEM 692) within the first year
  • Environmental Chemistry majors should take Research Presentation Techniques (CHEM 691) in the second year
  • Biochemistry & Neuroscience majors should take Biochemistry Seminar (CHEM 688) to enhance professional development
  • You must earn at least a B in all 400 level courses and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to be in good standing

  • Do your research during normal working hours - i.e. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm so that you can take advantage fo available resources such as your advisor, lab mates, university resources, and instrumentation. 
  • Have good time management. Your research should not take up all of your time so be sure to allocate some for your thesis and coursework. 
  • Always keep an accurate and honest lab book
  • Keep your lab area and all equipment clean
  • Report any damaged equipment right away
  • Help keep the labs stocked by informing the lab manager when we are running low on something
  • Always report safety concerns to a higher up or safety officer immediately. Contact information is listed next to the front door of every lab room. 
  • Successful research results from dedication, perseverance, and hard work. You got this and you'll be glad you did it. 

  1. You will work with your advisor and committee on research and thesis writing.
  2. You will identify a faculty member or program affiliate to be your primary advisor. This is the first step in establishing your committee. 
  3. Fill out and submit the Appointment of Graduate Advisory Committee form to officially establish your committee. This should be done during your first year and is submitted to the Department Admin or Office Manager.
  4. Work with your committee to develop your Graduate Study Plan. Typically you will file this form at the first annual committee meeting.
  5. Your Graduate Study Plan is due by the end of your second semester

Each year, usually in the spring, you will meet with your committee to discuss your progress.

The Graduate School uses these documents to determine whether a student remains in good standing and can continue to receive TA, RA, or Fellowship support through the university. The Graduate School must receive all documents by May 15th.

Progress Report

Check with your committee well in advance of the meeting to find out what they expect in terms of content and format of the report. However, the following must be included in your Progress Report:

  • A description of project background and specific questions being studied
  • A report on coursework and research progress since the last meeting
  • A list of all publications since the last report (the prior year)
  • All conferences attended, including date and location, since the last report.
  • Occurrences of applied research benefiting Alaska.
  • All oral and poster presentations, including date and location, since the last report.
  • All scholarships applied for and/or awards won, including travel awards, since the last report.
  • A research plan for the coming year

Please email your Progress Report to the department office manager in addition to turning in a hard copy with your Report of Advisory Committee Form to streamline processing.

Annual Report of Advisory Committee Form: This document is required by the Graduate School for students to remain in good standing. Once your committee has deemed your Progress Report satisfactory, they will sign and submit the form along with the Progress Report. From there, it will be sent to the Dean's office. 

Graduate Program Assessment Form: This form, which your committee will fill out and submit to the department without your name on it, helps with the accreditation of the department’s graduate programs.

Annual Committee Meeting: At the annual committee meeting, the student will:

  • Bring all necessary forms, including printed copies of your Progress Report for each committee member.
  • Present a 20-30 minute PowerPoint presentation on their work.  This presentation either lays out the project and describes literature research (first year) or shows the last year's progress and future directions (later years).
  • Receive feedback from their committee on progress, advice on research direction and coursework.
  • Submit your thesis to your committee members two weeks before your thesis defense date
  • Submit the abstract to the department office manager two weeks before thesis defense date so that the department can advertise for the presentation. 
  1. After your thesis is reviewed by your committee and you have addressed all comments, you will submit it to the Department Chair and address comments from the Chair.
  2. From there it will be sent to the CNSM Dean for final revisions and approval
  3. You should submit your thesis to the Department Chair at least two weeks before your deadline and one week before to the Dean.
    1. The Department Chair or Department Admin will submit your thesis to the Dean on your behalf. Please do not send it directly to the Dean. 
  4. Once your thesis has been approved by the above parties, you will submit it to the Graduate School through ProQuest for final formatting approval.
Graduating Semester Deadlines:
  • Graduation Application 
    • Fall Semester: October 15
    • Spring Semester: February 1
    • Summer Semester: July 15
  • Project Submission
    • Fall Semester: December 15
    • Spring Semester: April 24
    • Summer Semester: August 10
  • Thesis/Dissertation submission to ProQuest
    • Fall Semester: November 28
    • Spring Semester: April 7
    • Summer Semester: August 1

Note: If your deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the deadline is the 8 a.m., Alaska time, on the closest Monday. For example, if the deadline is November 28, and that falls on a Saturday, then the actual deadline will be 8 a.m. Monday, November 30.


Degree Timeline

Make sure you stay on top of your timeline so you can graduate as planned. Keep in mind...

  • Generally, there are a number of initial tasks in the first year, followed by annual committee meetings discussing progress and giving guidance.  
  • Ph.D. students take comprehensive exams as a mid-degree-path check on progress.  
  • Students need to leave enough time, in months, at the end of their program to complete their defense and thesis revisions.  



UAF currently offers three types of assistantships for teaching, research, and engagement. As an assistant you are eligible for graduate student health insurance. Not only is it a great way to enhance your education and fund yourself through your degree, but it's also an awesome thing to add to your resume.