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Department of Chemistry
Welcome to Chemistry @ NTHU


Guidelines for PHD program(for fall, 2015)

Guidelines for Ph.D. program in Department of Chemistry of NTHU

(For all students starting their program in 2015 fall)

        Approved by the Departmental Affairs Council (Oct, 07, 2015)

I.                 Entrance Exams: Follow the rules set by the Office of Academic Affairs of NTHU.

II.               After starting the Ph.D. program, Students must select a thesis advisor and prepare a signed “Thesis Advisor Commitment Form” within two months in the first semester. If failed to do so, Admission Committee of the Department will assign an advisor to the student. Students should not request to change laboratory before second semester in their first year. When students change a new thesis advisor, a “Thesis Advisor Commitment Form” must be submitted again to accomplish the change.

III.             The thesis advisor serves as the Chair of the Dissertation Research Advisory Committee and members of the Committee consisting of three or more faculty members (including assistant professors), two of whom are from the Department or from TIGP.

IV.            The roles and responsibilities of the Dissertation Research Advisory Committee:

1.     Assist the Ph.D. student with his or her dissertation research topics, and give advice on the progress in classes and research.

2.     Evaluate the student’s qualification and ability to continue the Ph.D. program.

3.     Evaluate the Ph.D. candidate’s research progress and see if he or she is ready to write the dissertation draft.

V.              Course Requirements:

1.     Students with master degree admitted to the Ph.D. program are required to pass 18 credits of courses before graduation. 12 of the 18 credits must be graduate-level courses offered by the Department with class numbers beginning with CHEM5 and above, or similar courses in the TIGP program. Credits for the Seminar classes are counted.

2.     Obligatory Courses

(a) Education on Academic and Research Ethics Course (online course, 0 credit): All doctoral students must register this course during the first year of Ph.D. program and pass the exams. This requirement applies to the students enrolled in the Ph.D. program since fall, 2015.

(b) Seminar I& II(CHEM6)2 semesters are required, 2 credit for each semester.

(c) Thesis1 semester is required course, 0 credit

(d) Colloquium (CHEM5)4 semesters are required, 0 credit

(e) Seminar (Organic/Inorganic/Analytical/Physical Division)(CHEM6)2 semesters are required, 1 credit for each semester.

(f) Teaching Practice (CHEM6)1 semester is required course, 1 credit. A student must pass the course in the 2nd year of Ph.D. program and act as a teaching assistant

(g) Chinese I & II2 semesters are required, 3 credits for each semester. This is only for international students.

3.     Students who do not have the master degree should obtain at least 30 credits, in which at least 24 credits are graduate-level course offered by the Department of Chemistry with course number CHEM5 or higher .

VI.            Ph.D. Qualifying Exams:

Must pass the Ph.D. qualifying exams by the end of the third academic year after starting the Ph.D. program, otherwise the student will be dismissed from the program.

1.     Rules for qualifying exams in the physical chemistry division:

A.    Requirements for a student to become a PhD candidate:

Finish and pass at least 9 credits of graduate-level courses offered by the department with class numbers CHEM5 and above, or similar courses in TIGP program. After that, submit the first application for research proposal defense (qualifying examination) to Physical Chemistry curriculum committee before the starting date of the third year of study. Become a PhD candidate after passing the research proposal defense.

B.    Procedure for taking the Research Proposal Defense:

[1] Faculty in the physical chemistry division or TIGP should serve as the Qualifying Exam Committee, which includes 3 or more faculty members (with title of assistant professor, associate processor or professor). The Chairman of the Qualifying Examination Committee is assigned by the curriculum coordinator. Half or more than half of the committee members should be physical chemistry professors in the Department or from TIGP. However, the student’s thesis advisor cannot be on the committee.

[2] The student should submit a 3 to 5 page pre-proposal to the committee. The topic of this Research Proposal should not be directly related to the research topic currently undertaking in his or her lab. With the approval of the committee (respond within one week), the student can then provide a detailed research proposal.

[3] The Research Proposal exam proceeds in two stages: “Evaluation of the Research Proposal” and “Oral Defense”. The committee should reply comments within three weeks after the student has submitted the proposal. After successfully passing this evaluation, an oral defense exam should be held within one month.

[4] For both stages, the student needs to receive a passing grade from at least 2/3 of the committee members.

[5] If the student fails the research proposal evaluation, he/she can modify and re-submit the revised proposal to the committee within one month. If the student still does not pass the evaluation, he/she must submit a completely new proposal four months later. If the student does not re-submit a revised proposal, his/her right to re-submission is waived. In this case, the student should submit a completely new proposal four months later. Each student can at most submit two research proposals for evaluation.

[6] If the student does not pass the oral exam, he/she may apply for a re-examination within one month. If the student does not apply for a re-examination within one month or fails the second oral exam, he/she has to submit a complete new research proposal four months later 

[7] If the student uses plagiarized data or ideas on his/her Research Proposal, the right to take the oral qualifying exam is lost.

2.     Rules for qualifying exams in the analytical chemistry division:

Exams are given once each semester, and one can take two exams each time. One needs to pass the following two exams: [1] Instrumental Analysis and [2] Chemical Separation.

3.     Rules for qualifying exams in the organic and inorganic chemistry divisions:

[1]    Exams are given 8 times a year, 4 in each semester.

[2]    Each exam is graded as A, B, or C. A grade of A counts as 2 points, B as 1 point, and C as 0 point. Once a student has accumulated 10 points, he or she has successfully passed the qualifying exams.

[3]    A student can take either inorganic or organic exam, but he/ she must accumulate at least 5 point in the major division.

4.     Rules for qualifying exams in the Biochemistry program:

(A) Pass 2 of the following 3 exam: [1] Comprehensive Biochemistry, [2] Comprehensive Chemical Biology, and [3] Inorganic or Organic Qualifying exams (5 or more points), or pass either Instrumental Analysis or Chemical Separation Qualifying Exam.

(B) Pass the following exam: [1] Biochemistry (counted as 3 points), [2] Any one of the following: Bioorganic Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Genomics, or Proteomics (3 points), and [3] Inorganic and Organic Qualifying exams (accumulate 4 points), or pass either Instrumental Analysis or Chemical Separation Qualifying Exam.

5.     Rules for qualifying exams in the materials chemistry program:

It is required that at least 3 points must be from two exam “Property and Characterization of Materials” or “Synthesis and Applications of Materials”. Students can take the same exam more than once and the highest point on these exams is picked as the final point. A student is considered as successfully passing the qualifying exams if he/she has accumulated 10 points in the following 4 exams.

[1] Property and Characterization of Materials (The exam is held in Fall semester and the result is graded as 5 points, 3 points or 0 points)

[2] Synthesis and Applications of Materials (The exam is held in Spring semester, and the result is graded as 5 points, 3 points or 0 points)

[3] Organic or Inorganic Qualifying exams (the accumulated points is up to 7 points most)

[4] Either Instrumental Analysis or Chemical Separation (5 points)

VII.          Ph.D. students must match following requirements for language proficiency before the graduation.

1.     Achieve the minimum requirement in one of the English tests listed below or obtain 3 credits of selected English training course.

A.  Minimum requirement of English tests



(The International English Language Testing System)


(General English Proficiency Test)





Internet-based (TOEFL iBT)


High-intermediate level

Above 550

Above 213

Above 79

Above 6.0



B.  The selected English training courses (3 credits) include: (a) Technical English Writing, (b) Training in English Speaking (I and II), (c) Listening and Writing, (d) Listening and Speaking, (e) Advanced English, (f) any course at similar level as those shown in (a) to (e).

2.     International Ph.D. students should take the Chinese courses offered by Department of Chemistry (3 credits) for two semesters in the first year (Students in the TIGP program should take the Chinese courses offered by Academia Sinica) and should pass the courses within 2 years.

3.     The language classes are not included in the 18 credits of graduate-level courses required for the Ph.D. program.

XI. Minimum requirement of research publication for Ph.D. students:

Each Ph.D. student must have published SCI papers and be the first or second author of those papers.  Also, the thesis advisor(s) in the Department must be included in the list of corresponding authors.   The student will get a score for each paper according to the following rule: (IF= SCI impact factor)


Scores obtained

first author


second author

IF x 0.6


The total accumulated scores must be at least 3.0. This requirement applies to students entering the Ph.D. program after and including Fall, 2007.


Note: Students with an accumulated score less than 3.0 may submit their cases to the Committee of Curriculum for case-by-case consideration if the published paper has an IF that ranks within 30% of his research (JCR) sub-area or special conditions.


VIII.        Rules for the Ph.D. dissertation defense examination:

1.     Before working on the Ph.D. dissertation writing, the student should arrange to give a presentation of the research progress to the Dissertation Research Advisory Committee.  With the approval of the Committee, the student can then take the Ph.D. dissertation defense exam a year later from the date of this preliminary presentation.  This rule applies to all first-year Ph.D. students entering the program in and after 2002.

2.     After satisfying all the Ph.D. course requirements and have finished the dissertation draft, the student may submit the dissertation draft and abstract, transcript, and application form to the Department at least two weeks before the dissertation defense exam.  With the approval of the Department Chairman, the Department will submit the application form and a Committee member list to the Office of Academic Affairs for the approval of the University President.  Then the dissertation defense examination can be held.

3.     Dissertation Defense Committee consists of 5 to 9 members.  At least 1/3 of them are from other institutions.  The student’s graduate advisor is on the Committee, but cannot be the Chairman.  The Chairman is chosen among the members.  The Department Chairman submits a list of Committee members to the University President for appointment.

4.     The dissertation defense exam is given in a public form.  The grade received is the average scores given anonymously by all the Committee members present, and is based on the contents of the dissertation and the performance on the defense exam.  The scores are given only once, with 70 being the passing grade.  If 1/3 or more of the Committee members regard the student as failing the exam, the student may apply for a re-examination before the end of the stipulated duration of the Ph.D. program.  The student can only have one chance for re-examination.  If the student fails the re-examination, he/she will be dismissed from the Ph.D. program.

IX.            The stipulated duration of the Ph.D. program may be extended to a maximum of 7 years.

X.              TIGP students should follow the same guidelines listed above.  Places where “The Department” is mentioned can be replaced with “TIGP” instead.

XI.            The guidelines are effective now, and will be when amended after future faculty meetings.

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