Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Programs - Oxley College of Health & Natural Sciences

Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Programs

chem lab

TU’s master’s degrees in chemistry and biochemistry and doctoral degree in chemistry provide graduates with the knowledge and expertise needed for industrial, academic, and governmental positions. While the research is oriented toward chemistry and biochemistry applications, the curriculum emphasizes essential principles and a breadth of knowledge.

At the heart of the curriculum in advanced chemistry and biochemistry degrees are core graduate courses in organic, inorganic and analytical, biochemistry and physical chemistry. Specialty courses in materials chemistry, polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, medicinal chemistry, environmental chemistry, biochemistry of disease, chemical kinetics, surface chemistry, organic synthesis and spectroscopy take full advantage of the broad expertise of the faculty, all of whom maintain active research projects in these areas.

Research conducted by the chemistry and biochemistry faculty is supported by the departments of chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, geosciences and biological sciences.


Syed Hussani, Program Adviser

Full faculty list

Current Faculty Research Projects

Dr. Jyoti Iyer

Dr. Iyer’s laboratory utilizes genetics, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology approaches to study the molecular mechanisms of cell division and disease progression using the worm C. elegans.

Dr. Angus Lamar

The Lamar Research Group is interested in developing new organic reactions that will facilitate the construction of molecules with biological activity. Our work focuses primarily on using nitrogen-centered radical chemistry to directly incorporate functionality into molecular scaffolds at positions that are either previously inaccessible or would require multiple cumbersome synthetic steps to otherwise achieve.

Dr. Erin Iski

Erin Iski’s research program at TU is centered on the use of ambient, liquid, and electrochemical Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (EC-STM) to study atomically-thin, thermally stable Ag films on Au(111) and the self-assembly of amino acids on metal surfaces.

Dr. Gabriel LeBlanc

In the LeBlanc Research Group, we are interested in a wide variety of questions. We believe that the interface between electrochemistry and materials science is a treasure trove of new science and potential solutions.

Dr. William Potter

William Potter’s research interests involve the development of non-invasive diagnostics, steroid hormones, and metabolic products with respect to mental health and the intake of fluoride on human health.

Dr. Syed Hussaini

We are interested in developing regio-, chemo-, and stereoselective reactions and using them in medicinal chemistry. Currently, we are using our methods to make anti-smoking agents and cannabinoids.

Dr. Robert Sheaff

Robert Sheaff’s lab investigates the biochemical basis of human diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration.

Dr. Kenneth Roberts

Our group is interested in Chemical Toxicology, Biological Nanosensors, Environmental Chemistry, Nanostructured Photovoltaics, Fluorescence, and Raman Microscopy. We are also pursuing research in the separation of cannabinoids from hemp.

Dr. Gordon Purser

We are interested in chlorination chemistry as it pertains to water treatment and biological antioxidants.

Professional Opportunities

The University of Tulsa’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is one of the best-equipped programs for its size in the country, allowing students to gain experience with a broad variety of equipment used in the field. As a result of a strong commitment to collaboration among the faculty, all instrumentation in the department is available to graduate students to conduct research and prepare them for further study in an advanced degree or for the workforce. With a vast array of equipment available, our students leave our department to become leaders in their fields.

Fast Facts

As a small private school TU offers the benefit of less than five to one graduate student to faculty ratio, giving students plenty of one-on-one time with their faculty advisor. The small size has the advantage that graduate students can mentor undergraduate students. This builds their leadership skills. We have state of the art instrumentation equal to that of a big state school.

The University of Tulsa Institute of Nanotechnology and the Nanolab are housed in the department. Unlike most state schools, students can work with top instruments and graduate students can give guest lectures. This provides them valuable teaching experience if they later want to apply for faculty positions. Application of current research projects include drug discovery, quantum dots, photovoltaics, nanobatteries and interplanetary space travel.

Funding Opportunities

Assistantships covering tuition are available for full-time students and include a monthly stipend. The Wilfred Woobank Assistantship, tuition coverage and stipend up to $20,000 for M.S.E. and M.E. students, is also available. The Bellwether Fellowship is available to doctoral students in their final year. This award includes up to 21 hours of tuition, a monthly stipend and on-campus housing, allowing students the chance to focus on their research. For more information on applying for these opportunities, visit the

Admission Information

  • Must hold baccalaureate degree from an accredited university
  • Strong GRE general test scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores required for international students
  • For more on how to apply and required documents, visit graduate.

Graduate students can pursue two tracks for their degree: chemistry or biochemistry.

Graduate students who are admitted to the biochemistry track will perform medically relevant research involving model organisms, cancer cell lines, drug discovery and CRISPR/Cas9 editing.

We have an active undergraduate research program. Graduate students get to work, teach, and mentor these students, thus allowing them to claim the same in their CVs. These undergraduates can also accelerate Graduate work by helping graduate students with their projects.

Our nine departmental faculty have published 55 articles in peer-reviewed journals in the last five years (2018-2022).

We have several high-end instruments for students to use for their graduate studies. An old list is here. Some new devices include a spinning-disk confocal microscope, a LiCOR Odyssey system for western blot imaging, a Nikon fluorescence microscope, a Biotek plate reader, an ultracentrifuge, laminar flow hoods for cell culture, tabletop centrifuges and agarose gel imagers.

  • Program Learning Outcomes

    Master of Science in Biochemistry (M.S.)

    1. Describe and explain chemical and molecular processes that occur in and between cells.
    2. Develop original or duplicate research in biochemistry.
    3. Analyze biochemical problems in their field and, using scientific literature, devise solutions acceptable to experts in the field.
    4. Defend thesis (thesis program only).

    Master of Science in Chemistry (M.S.)

    1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the core fields of chemistry, as demonstrated by passing the core courses.
    2. Develop original or duplicate existing research in chemistry.
    3. Analyze chemical problems in their field and, using scientific literature, devise solutions acceptable to experts in the field.
    4. Defend thesis (thesis program only).

    Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (Ph.D.)

    1. Demonstrate mastery of the core fields of chemistry, including analytical, organic, inorganic, physical, and biochemistry, as demonstrated by passing the qualifying examination and the core courses.
    2. Develop original research in chemistry.
    3. Analyze chemical problems in their field and, consulting scientific literature, devise original solutions acceptable to experts in the field.
    4. Defend dissertation.
  • Degree Options

    Master of Science in Biochemistry (M.S.)

    Master of Science in Chemistry (M.S.)

    Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (Ph.D.)

    • 72 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate
    • Qualifying examinations required
    • Dissertation required
    • Public defense required