Graduate Student Spotlight Round-Up

The Emory Department of Chemistry is an epicenter of cutting-edge research in organic, inorganic, biomolecular, and physical chemistry fueled by its motivated and passionate graduate students. We have featured a few outstanding graduate students in previous blogs who embody the mission of our department to engage in teaching and research efforts as a collaborative scientific community. With Recruitment Weekend kicking off today, it is the perfect time to reflect on some of the accomplishments and experiences of a few of our graduate students.

Roxanne Glazier

Roxanne Glazier of the Salaita Group is a student in the Biomedical Engineering Program, a joint graduate program shared by Emory and Georgia Tech. For her research on developing novel methods to elucidate the mechanobiology of podosomes, Roxanne was recognized with the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, a funding opportunity providing financial support to promising scientists early in their careers.



Robert Kubiak

Robert Kubiak of the Davies Group joined the Chemistry PhD program at Emory after serving as a platoon senior medic in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion. His research project focuses on developing novel catalysts for N-sulfonyltriazoles-nitrogen-based compounds, with an ultimate goal of saving time and money in pharmaceutical synthetic processes.




Brian Hays

Brian Hays of the Widicus Weaver Group defended his thesis in April 2015 and, a year later, was recognized as the winner of the American Chemical Society’s Astrochemistry Dissertation Award. His award-winning research was focused on making and examining unstable molecules for their potential to lead to prebiotic molecules in space.



Yang Liu

Yang Liu of the Salaita Group defended his thesis, “Developing Nanoparticle-based Tools to Investigate Mechanotransduction at the Living/Nonliving Interface” in September 2016. In addition to his research on how our immune system can recognize and eliminate pathogens or cancer cells, he helped developed a technique for using single elastic molecules, such as DNA, protein, and polymer, as sensors to visualize membrane receptor mediated forces.


Jacob Burman

Jacob Burman of the Blakey Group has already seized two study abroad opportunities with the Center for Selective C-H Functionalization (CCHF) since joining the Chemistry PhD program at Emory. His research focuses on the foundations of chemical reactivity, catalysis, and synthetic strategy, with potential impacts on solar energy conversion, touch-screen display technology, and therapeutics.

Congratulations, Dr. Kuangbiao Liao!

On Thursday, December 21st, Kuangbiao Liao successfully defended his thesis, “Site-Selective and Stereoselective Functionalization of Non-Activated C-H Bond.” Kuangbiao’s thesis committee included his thesis advisor, Dr. Huw Davies, and members Dr. Lanny Liebeskind and Dr. Simon Blakey.

Kuangbiao was born in Heyuan, Guangdong Province, China in 1990. He attended Sun Yat-sen University for his undergraduate education in 2009, then he moved to Emory University for his doctoral studies in 2013. During his stay, he developed three catalysts to achieve selective functionalization of non-activated primary, secondary, and tertiary C–H bond under the supervision of Prof. Huw M. L. Davies. His work, including two Nature publications, has been recognized by the community and has earned several prestigious awards. After his successful defense, he moved to North Chicago to join Abbvie Inc. as Senior Scientist I.

Congratulations, Dr. Liao!

10 Great Things About the Emory Chemistry PhD Program

Curious to learn more about the Chemistry PhD Program here at Emory? Look no further! From research and resources to community and collaboration, Emory provides the perfect environment for cultivating ideas and inspiring innovation. Here, we have provided a comprehensive list to highlight some of the wonderful attributes that our university has to offer its graduate students.

1. Diverse Research Opportunities

The research opportunities within the Emory Department of Chemistry are far from limited, with over 20 research groups exploring topics ranging from catalysis to sustainable energy. Our research groups span the four major subdisciplines—inorganic, organic, biomolecular, and physical chemistry—providing graduate students the opportunity to pursue research in a variety of topics.

2. Size of Program

The chemistry PhD program at Emory is considered to be a mid-sized program. A program of this size, with 141 graduate students, 21 research groups, and 15 full-time staff members, is large enough to span most areas of chemistry, but small enough to facilitate effortless intradepartmental relationships. Graduate students in this scientific community find themselves surrounded by like-minded individuals and a supportive faculty providing a personalized and productive research environment.

3. Funding

With $11.7 million in research funding in the 2017 fiscal year, the research endeavors in the Emory Department of Chemistry are well-funded. External financial support affords our program high-end technologies, top of the line equipment, and all necessary laboratory resources.

4. Resources

As mentioned above, Emory is fortunate to be equipped with the latest and greatest instrumentation. With the Mass Spectrometry Center, the Solid-State NMR Center, the Robert P. Apkarian Integrated Electron Microscopy Core, the NMR Research Center, and the X-ray Crystallography Center, chemists in our department have access to an arsenal of state of the art equipment for all their scientific inquiries.

5. Collaboration Opportunities

Motivated by the idea that the best teaching and research happens in the context of a scientific community, everything from building design to department events are poised to promote collaboration. Graduate students in the chemistry department can connect with other researchers across the campus through seminars and courses and across the world through study abroad opportunities.

6. Support

Students in the department can find themselves armed with support throughout the duration of their graduate career. New students are paired with a senior graduate student at the start of their studies for mentorship and their progress is measured with yearly checkpoints. In addition, every new graduate student is automatically inducted into the social and service organization, Pi Alpha Chemical Society, where they will have the opportunity to strengthen relations with other graduate students in the program.

7. Future Careers

Graduate students from our department are uniquely equipped with the skills and training to be successful in a multitude of future careers. Some graduate students have gone on to hold faculty positions in colleges and universities across the country, while others hold positions in industry at companies such as DuPont or Pfizer. Our graduates are not limited to research-driven careers, with many branching out into law, medical practice, tech start-ups, government, science writing, or teaching. Strong alumni connections provide current students with networking opportunities and career resources.

8. Amazing Building

The heart of the program is centered in the beautiful, recently-renovated Sanford S. Atwood Chemistry Center on Emory’s main campus. With plenty of lab space, a glass-fronted atrium, numerous collaborative spaces, and an aroma-filled coffee shop, the Atwood Chemistry Center provides the perfect arena for innovation and discovery.

9. Beautiful Campus

Our main campus has been ranked by The Best Colleges as one of the top ten “most amazing college campuses”, ranking number 8 on the most beautiful campus list. Located in the magnificent Druid Hills neighborhood, the 630-acre campus features unique marble architecture amongst splendid trees and lush greenery.

10. Awesome City

Emory is situated in northeastern Atlanta, a city bursting with culture. The city, the capital and most populous city in Georgia, is home to Zoo Atlanta, the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and countless parks and museums. Atlanta takes pride in its dynamic culture, diverse cuisine, and southern hospitality, with no shortage of experiences for its tourists and residents.

Interested in learning more about our graduate program? Refer to our website or contact us at gradchem [at] emory [dot] edu.

Graduate Student Profile: Jacob Burman

Jacob Burman

For Jacob Burman, choosing Emory for graduate school meant a cross-country move from his West Coast seaside stomping ground. Three years later, travel opportunities with the graduate program have led him even farther afield, from wandering the streets of Osaka to working in an office with a breathtaking view of Lake Geneva, allowing Jacob to couple two of his greatest passions: travel and chemistry.

Before starting graduate school at Emory, Jacob graduated from California Lutheran University with a bachelor’s in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. As an undergraduate, Jacob conducted research in the lab of Dr. Jason Kingsbury, where he worked to optimize a formal carbon-insertion into carbonyl compounds using diazoalkanes. Jacob’s undergraduate experience gave him scientific training and technical skills, but also instilled in him a sense of curiosity and passion. “I always loved the idea of building or shaping the world with chemistry,” says Jacob. “I always knew I wanted to do chemistry, but I didn’t know I wanted to do organic chemistry until I had taken my first class.”

The CCHF map of the global network of research institutes focused on C-H Functionalization.

Jacob is currently in his third year working on his Ph.D. research in the lab of Dr. Simon Blakey. Research in the Blakey Lab focuses on the foundations of chemical reactivity, catalysis, and synthetic strategy, with potential impacts on solar energy conversion, touch-screen display technology, and therapeutics. The group is involved with the Center for Selective C-H Functionalization (CCHF), which just received a five year, $20 million renewal from the National Science Foundation. The CCHF mission is “to leverage the potential of the center to develop technology for selective C–H functionalization that will revolutionize the practice and reshape the teaching of chemical synthesis, empowering end users in the material sciences, fine chemicals development and drug discovery.”

The CCHF actively promotes collaboration, and building relationships with other scientists and the public is central to the Center’s work. “The CCHF has developed strong collaborations with many international researchers and offers an exchange program for our students to study abroad for up to three months,” says Dr. Huw Davies, CCHF Director. “Conducting a meaningful research collaboration in an international setting is a great career development opportunity. The CCHF actively encourages its students to be involved in international exchange programs with our collaborators in Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.”

Jacob cites Emory’s involvement with the CCHF as one of the many reasons he chose to come here for graduate school. “Emory just seemed like a really good choice. There were so many opportunities that I could see myself benefitting from while being a student with the CCHF,” says Jacob. These opportunities came early when, as a first-year, Jacob travelled to Japan with the CCHF, visiting partnered organizations for a workshop on inspiring international collaboration. He spent a week engaging with other scientists in his field, learning about their research, and sharing his own. “As a student in the CCHF you are exposed to a wonderful array of different disciplines, and you learn new scientific vocabularies and techniques through this exposure,” adds Dr. Dan Morton, Managing Director of the CCHF.

Jacob enjoyed his time in Japan so much that when a second opportunity to travel abroad presented itself, he jumped on it. At the end of his second year, he spent two months at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva. During his time abroad, Jacob collaborated with Dr. Nicolai Cramer and his group to engage in asymmetric catalysis for the next step in developing his synthetic method. Shortly upon returning from Switzerland, Jacob authored his first paper entitled, “Regioselective Intermolecular Allylic C-H Amination of Disubstituted Olefins via Rhodium/π-Allyl Intermediates” in Angewandte Chemie. Jacob explains, “More than 60% of pharmaceuticals advertised and out on the market contain a nitrogen as the key component for activity. Any new, interesting, or insightful way to develop amination technology can give more powerful tools for developing pharmaceuticals.”

View of Lausanne, Switzerland from the Cramer Lab at EPFL.

“Jacob worked incredibly hard to develop a new reactivity platform, opening up a new research program in the lab,” says Jacob’s research advisor, Dr. Simon Blakey. “His commitment to the project allowed him to publish the initial communication of this work within 12 months of starting the project, and set the stage for the next phase of the work which was carried out with our collaborators at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland.”

Now Jacob is focusing on optimizing and building upon the techniques outlined in his publication. Most recently, he travelled for a third time to Charlotte, North Carolina where he presented his research at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS). In the future, Jacob plans on finding a post-doc position with an ultimate goal of one day becoming a professor at a research institution where he can navigate his own scientific exploration.  “I really like thinking and talking and doing chemistry and I would like to do that for the rest of my life,” he says.


Arial view of EPFL on the coast of Lake Geneva.

Dunham Group Publication in Nature Chemical Biology

Graduate student Ha An Nguyen of the Dunham Group recently published a News and Views article for the journal Nature Chemical Biology entitled, “Genome Mining: Digging the Tunnel for Chemical Space” based on a July article published in the same journal, “Klebsazolicin Inhibits 70S Ribosome by Obstructing the Peptide Exit Tunnel”.

In her review, Ha An summarizes the major findings of the Metelev et al. paper and emphasizes the value of genome mining in the discovery of new antimicrobials. “We previously thought we had beaten bacterial infections with ‘miracle drugs’ but if you look at the numbers from the CDC, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections in the United States alone,” Ha An says. “Techniques such as genome mining used in this paper can help sift through tons of sequencing data and can lead us to places we would have never thought of to look.”

Beyond its scientific contributions to the field, this manuscript held particular value to Ha An. “As a novice scientist, this paper on klebsazolicin provides a nice story of a scientific study that walks through the project from conception in silico and into the laboratory for mechanistic and structural investigation,” she says. “It also let me dip my toes into making figures of ribosomes structures, which I am hoping to do a lot of during my time in the Dunham lab to tease out the details of bacterial translation with atomic-level resolution.”

Victor Ma Receives Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award

Victor Ma, a fourth-year graduate student in the lab of Dr. Khalid Salaita, was recently selected as one of twenty-six Predoctoroal to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award Fellows from the National Institute of Health. This award will provide Victor with two years of funding to complete his doctoral thesis and an additional four years of funding for future postdoc training. In the Salaita lab, with co-mentorship by Dr. Brian Evavold, Victor’s research focuses on developing technologies to study mechanobiology at the molecular scale. With an ultimate goal of establishing an alternative mechanism for regulating T cell activity, he studies the roles of mechanical forces in T cell activation, whether these forces are coordinately controlled by mechano-sensitive proteins, and the importance of these forces for T cell biological function. The findings from these studies can provide insight into a potential strategy for developing effective immunotherapies.

In his postdoc, Victor plans on transitioning into the field of tumor immunology, where he hopes to capitalize on his skillset to elucidate the physical mechanisms responsible for preventing T cells from interacting with tumor cells. “My ultimate career goal is to become an independent investigator at a research-intensive university, where I can assume teaching duties and direct a research lab that combines knowledge from various disciplines to innovate career research,” says Victor. “This award will surely serve as a stepping stone to help achieve my goal!”

Congratulations, Victor!

Congratulations, Dr. Kyle Giesler!

On Friday, October 20th, Kyle Giesler successfully defended his thesis, “The Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Novel LipidProdrugs for Nucleoside Analogues.” Kyle’s thesis committee included his thesis advisor, Dr. Dennis Liotta, and members Dr. Khalid Salaita and Dr. Frank McDonald.

During his time at Emory, Kyle designed a novel prodrug strategy for tenofovir and other antiviral nucleosides that “unlocks” their therapeutic potential and significantly rivals well-accepted conjugation strategies used in the clinic. His research contributed to 8 publications and a patent application. In addition, Kyle initiated a collaboration between Emory and Morehouse School of Medicine, developed analogs for the treatment of chronic viral infections and cancer, and was awarded the Graduate Diversity Fellowship awarded to outstanding graduate students showing academic excellence and “exceptional promise as future leaders in their fields”.

Looking forward, Kyle plans to pursue a post-doctoral position at U.C Berkeley with Dr. Nirem Murthy where he intends to jump into bioengineering and develop delivery strategies for genome editing technology. After that, Kyle hopes to land an industrial position at the interface of chemistry and biology and be a part of a creative and team that operates at the forefront of human knowledge to design and discover novel therapeutics to change the course of human disease.

Congratulations, Dr. Giesler!

2017 National Chemistry Week: Chemistry Rocks!

This week, October 22nd -28th, the American Chemical Society will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of National Chemistry Week. The goal of National Chemistry Week is to promote the value of chemistry in everyday life. ACS members and science enthusiasts are encouraged to spread awareness of chemistry by organizing events for ACS local sections, schools, businesses, and the general community.

In 1987, former ACS President Dr. George Pimentel organized a national event to celebrate the impact of chemistry. This single day of celebrating science evolved into an annual week-longevent where the scientific community engages in education and outreach. The events of the week are accompanied by the publication of Celebrating Chemistry, a booklet designed to engage and educate children in the basic principles of chemistry and to inspire the next generation of future scientists.

The theme of National Chemistry Week for 2017 is “Chemistry Rocks!”, which focuses on geochemistry. Topics include the chemistry of salt, the types of rock within the Earth’s crust, and the difference between a rock, a mineral, and a gemstone. Some activities in Celebrating Chemistry include growing crystals from Epsom salt and testing mud samples for clay content.

Previous topics of National Chemistry Week include “Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry”, “Chemistry Colors Our World”, “The Sweet Side of Chemistry—Candy”, and “Energy: Now and Forever”. Next year, events will focus around outer space in “Chemistry Out of this World”.

To spark widespread interest and appreciation for chemistry is a goal also shared with our graduate student social and service organization, Pi Alpha Chemical Society (PACS). On Thursday, October 26th, PACS and Graduation Generation, a collaborative family-school-university-community partnership, will host an outreach event at Toomer Elementary School involving 20-minute science demonstrations for kids in third through fifth grade. In addition, ChEmory, our undergraduate chemistry club will host a series of events in honor of National Chemistry Week including an alumni career seminar, science demonstrations, and periodic table cupcake baking!

Outreach opportunities like those presented by PACS, ChEmory, and National Chemistry Week give us the chance to share our love of chemistry and science with the community. Through education and outreach, we can cultivate an appreciation for chemistry and inspire the next generation to become as passionate as we are.

Interested in learning more about National Chemistry Week? Check out the ACS website! If you are interested in getting involved with the PACS outreach event, contact Elaine Liu.


ChEmory events this week:

Tuesday, October 24th

Demo Show: 6:30-7:30 pm at Memorial Student Center E208

            Wednesday, October 25th

ChEmory at Wonderful: 12-2 pm in Asbury Circle

Periodic Table Cupcake Baking: 7-8 pm in the LSM Kitchen

            Thursday, October 26th

Periodic Table Cupcake Decorating: 7-8 pm in the LSM Kitchen

Applying to Graduate School 101: Choosing a Lab

A view of a laboratory in Atwood Chemistry Center through the window of a hallway "study pod."
A view of a laboratory in Atwood Chemistry Center through the window of a hallway “study pod.”

This Fall, we are publishing a special series of blog posts about applying to graduate school–at Emory and in general. Our goal is to demystify the application process and help applicants feel confident as they seek a home for their graduate studies. This post provides advice on researching and choosing a laboratory home for the PhD.

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In the natural sciences, graduate students eventually join a specific lab. At some schools, the lab selection process happens during the application process or immediately after students arrive on campus. When you arrive at school, you will complete department requirements, such as coursework and TA assignments, but you will immediately focus your research effort by joining a specific lab. At other schools–Emory included–laboratory selection is a longer process.

What is a research rotation program?

At Emory specifically, we offer a research rotation program. The research rotation program requires students to spend about five weeks in three different labs. (Occasionally, students are able to arrange to complete a fourth rotation by beginning their graduate studies in the summer. ) We take our research rotations seriously and feel that they provide unique and important training for our students. First and foremost, students have an opportunity to get a feel for different laboratories and select the lab that is the best fit for them in terms of both science and lab culture. Additionally, students benefit from becoming familiar with the research and resources of labs other than the one they ultimately join. It is common for students to ask rotation advisors to be a part of their dissertation committee (at Emory, this committee is actually convened in the second year so that they can evaluate other program milestones, such as our Second Year Qualifying Exam and Fourth Year Original Research Proposal.)

For applicants, the fact that Emory offers rotations means that they are accepted into the graduate program instead of any one specific lab. As a consequence, admissions decisions are not made by any single member of the faculty but by a graduate committee. It’s 100% appropriate to communicate with faculty whose research interests you, but these individuals cannot offer you admission and you are not required to make a commitment to a lab prior to completing rotations. After rotations are over, students submit their ranked choices for a laboratory home and faculty meet to make final decisions. Most students end up in their first choice because they have used the rotation program to determine where they best fit.

We do ask that applicants identify up to three faculty of interest on the application. This is really important! You do not have to rotate with the three people you select, but your selections let us know that you’ve done your homework (or not) and selected labs that fit with the research interests you’ve described in your application. If your research experience is all in inorganic labs and you select three physical chemistry faculty, it would be helpful to address your intention to shift your focus within the application–otherwise, we might think you don’t understand the research you’re telling us you’re interested in or that you want to do something for which you are unprepared. So, tell us about that pchem course you aced or the research on astrochemistry that changed your career plans.

How can I figure out my faculty of interest?

It can be challenging to select labs of interest–after all, you’re still applying! The best way to learn about labs at Emory is to read our faculty websites. This will be true for most other schools, too! On our department website, we’ve gathered all those faculty websites into one place on our Research page. . Keep in mind that faculty websites can quickly get out of date. Once you find someone you’re really interested in, you’ll want to search for their most recent publications and do some reading. This is also the point where you might reach out to the lab directly–let them know you’ve seen their website and enjoyed reading X paper. Then ask a few questions about what they are working on and let them know you are planning to apply. Even if they can’t commit to having you join their lab, most faculty will appreciate the conversation and be more than happy to update you on what types of research the lab is working on. If you are applying to a school where you must be accepted into a specific lab, this same process becomes even more important. Don’t write to faculty and ask “what do you work on?” Let them know that you’ve done your research and ask them specific, informed questions.

How do I know if faculty are accepting students?

At Emory, we’ve marked faculty who are accepting students for next year with an asterisk on our Research page. If the school doesn’t tell you which faculty are accepting students, faculty titles can be a helpful hint. Faculty with the title of “Lecturer” or “Emeritus” are unlikely to be taking PhD students. Lecturing faculty are usually engaged 100% in teaching. Emeritus faculty may still be working, but are likely to be winding down their research programs. Another thing to consider is whether someone is junior or senior faculty. “Junior” faculty (pre-tenure) are often building their lab and you can get involved in their research on the ground floor, possibly with more responsibility. Senior faculty may have the resources to build a larger group or might already have established projects in your area of interest. Rank is not a good reason to choose or reject a laboratory placement, but it’s useful to understand that faculty are at all different levels in their own research journeys and that this may affect how they incorporate new students into their group. If you still can’t figure out which faculty are accepting students, it makes sense to email faculty directly or to reach out to the program administrator.

Additional Resources:

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Ready to apply? Visit Applications submitted before midnight on October 31st receive a full, automatic waiver of the application fee!

Want to learn more? Fill out an inquiry form and join our mailing list!



Applying to Graduate School 101: What does it cost?

Graduate students in Pi Alpha Chemical Society (funded by student activity fees) practice a cloud demo for an outreach event.
Graduate students in Pi Alpha Chemical Society (funded by student activity fees) practice a cloud demo for an outreach event.

This Fall, we are publishing a special series of blog posts about applying to graduate school–at Emory and in general. Our goal is to demystify the application process and help applicants feel confident as they seek a home for their graduate studies. This post provides an overview of the costs–and benefits–of applying to and attending graduate school.

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There are two key financial issues to consider when applying to graduate school–the cost to apply and the cost to attend. While other financial issues may come into play, these are the basic concerns most students face and the areas this blog will cover.

Cost to Apply

Most graduate schools require an application fee. The fee goes to pay for everything from the admissions management system (Emory uses CollegeNET) to the salaries of the admissions representatives who spend time reading each application. At Emory, we are committed the the practice of whole file review–this means that every application is read from cover to cover by an admissions representative. We do not use test scores or any other factor to weed students out of the pool preemptively. Because of this, reviewing each application takes time and has a real cost. An application fee can help ensure that students are serious about applying while also contributing to the costs of a thorough review.

That said, we never want the application fee to be a burden that keeps students from being able to apply. This year, the Department of Chemistry is offering an automatic, full waiver of the application fee for all students who submit their application before midnight on October 31st. To our knowledge, we are among a very few programs that offer this blanket waiver and we hope that it provides easy access to applicants. Your scores and letters may arrive later (ideally by the final deadline of January 1st) as long as the rest of the application is complete.

After October 31st, we still offer a waiver to applicants who are affiliated with any one of the following programs:

  • McNair Scholars
  • MMUF-Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • NIH Graduate Professional School Fair
  • …and several more.

If you do not qualify for a waiver via one of these programs, you can still request one on the basis of financial hardship. Applicants applying under this designation should meet the U.S. Department of Education definition of “low income.” If you qualify, fill out the form at this link and keep in mind that it may take up to ten days to receive a reply. We cannot extend the deadline for students waiting on the fee waiver process. Additionally, there is no need to apply for a waiver if you apply before October 31st.

Beyond the application fee, there can be costs related to the GRE and TOEFL and a fee for a transcript from your undergraduate institution. The Educational Testing Service offers some support for students facing financial hardship related to the GRE. Please contact us if you have exhausted these options and the GRE is still a financial barrier for you. Emory accepts unofficial transcripts for the application–these are often available free to the student. We do require an official, sealed transcript be submitted directly to the graduate school if a student accepts an offer of admission.

We hope that cost will not be a barrier for any Emory applicant. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Cost to Attend

Beyond the application fees, there are some costs associated with attending graduate school. Emory offers a stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance subsidy to ALL admitted students. In Fall 2018, this includes:

  • $28,000 base stipend to all students (some students will receive merit fellowships above this amount; all applicants are automatically considered for these fellowships)
  • 100% tuition waiver (worth $61,200 in 2017-2018)
  • 100% health insurance subsidy (worth $3,164 in 2017-2018–this covers the full cost of enrollment for health insurance. Students pay insurance-negotiated co-pays and other fees for actual services rendered.)

There are some costs that students are responsible for. At this time, Emory does not offer a moving subsidy. Additionally, students are required to attend orientation during the month of August prior to the start of their stipend paychecks. Most students will need a computer (although Emory offers several computer labs and individual research groups will have computers available as required for specific projects.) Additionally, Emory requires students to pay fees each semester of about $100-$400. A full fee schedule is available on the graduate school’s website. Fees pay for a wide range of student benefits including:

  • access to campus athletic facilities
  • computing
  • a one-time transcript fee that pays for all future transcripts
  • student activities, including Pi Alpha Chemical Society, our graduate student social and service group that provides free and low-cost activities to all graduate students

Importantly, Emory’s financial support is not contingent on research or teaching services. All students do some teaching as part of their education and all chemistry students will engage in research, but only through structured activities that are part of their training–not as work in exchange for scholarships and fellowships. Support is also guaranteed to continue at the same level as long as students make sufficient academic progress. We do not require advanced students to compete for their core funding. In fact, advanced students are eligible to apply for special fellowships, such as the Dean’s Teaching Fellowship–and chemistry students have been very successful in securing these fellowships. All Laney students are also eligible to apply for up to $7,500 of non-competitive research and training funds called Professional Development Support (PDS) Funds.

Beyond the Numbers

Without a doubt, pursuing a graduate education comes with a cost: though they can come close, fellowships may not cover 100% of your living costs, and by going to graduate school you are delaying or interrupting your professional career and the climb up the salary ladder.

If you decide to make that sacrifice — because you are committed to pursuing your curiosity, to develop your capacities, to contribute to the development of knowledge and the advancement of the public good, or for some other reason — and if the Laney Graduate School turns out to be the place for you, then we are committed to providing the financial assistance to make it a feasible and attractive option.

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Ready to apply? Visit Applications received prior to midnight on October 31st will receive an automatic full waiver of the application fee (scores and letters may arrive later.) The final application deadline for Fall 2018 is January 1st.

Want to learn more about chemistry @ Emory? Fill out an inquiry form and join our mailing list!