FAQs – Graduate Program

Do I have to fill out both the Graduate Division application and the Department of Chemistry application?

Can I speak with current graduate students in the program?
We can put you in e-mail contact with one or more of our current graduate students.

Can the application fee be waived?
The application fee cannot be waived. If paying the fee will cause financial hardship, please let us know.

How do I find faculty research interests?
The research interests of the faculty are listed on the Chemistry Department web page. If the information on the web page is insufficient, you should feel free to contact individual faculty members by e-mail to ask for additional information concerning research opportunities in their respective research groups.

Should I talk with a faculty member before I submit my application?
There is no need for you to do so, but if you wish to, you are certainly welcome to.

What should I do if my TOEFL/IELTS score is too low?
Prepare and take the language examination again and earn a score equal to or better than the minimum before re-applying. The minimum score for the TOEFL is 100 with sub-scores of 25 for Speaking and 25 for Listening. For the IELTS the minimum score is 7.0.

How is the decision to admit a student to the Graduate Program in Chemistry made?
The decision is made on the basis of the grades (minimum GPA 3.0/4.0 = 75%), the recommendation letters and the personal statement. Research experience is also factored into the decision.

What is the average number of applicants usually admitted to the program?
We admit students to the Chemistry Graduate Program in the Fall and in the Spring. The typical size of the Fall entering class varies between 7 and 10, whereas the typical size of the Spr1ng entering class varies between 0 and 3.

Can applications be held from one term to another?
Yes, although the application fee must be paid again.

What is the departmental GRE requirement?
The University of Hawaii no longer requires the GRE for admission into any of the graduate programs, but specific programs do require these scores. The Department of Chemistry is aligned with the University of Hawaii and does not require GRE scores.

When can I expect to hear an answer regarding my application?
Once the application is complete the members of the Graduate Admissions Committee each review it and provide a recommendation to the department chair who is charged with making the decision to admit or not to admit. The recommendation of the Graduate Admissions Committee is typically acted on within one week.

What are the application deadline dates?
The deadlines for U.S. applicants are May 1 for Fall semester admission and September 1 for Spring semester admission. For non-U.S. applicants the respective deadlines are March 1 and August 1. These deadlines are flexible, however, it is advisable to submit your complete application long before the deadline. Applications are reviewed as they are received and offers are made before the deadlines for submission of an application. All the available openings for the entering Graduate class may be filled before the deadline.

How long does the application process take from submission to notification?
There is no way to provide an answer for this question. The admissions process is two-tiered. The Chemistry Department makes the first round of decisions but the University’s Graduate Division is then charged with making the official offers. Since the Chemistry Department has no control over the Graduate Division’s timetable, there is no way to know how long the process will take.

TA/New Student Questions

How much/What am I required to teach?
An effort is made to match each individual graduate student’s teaching preferences with the needs of the department. A typical (full) load for a teaching assistant is supervision of two laboratory sections a week, plus grading, examination proctoring and tutoring.

Is a TA considered faculty?

Is there TA training?
Yes. This training takes place during the week before the semester begins.

Are summer stipends available?
Yes. Preference is given to first year graduate students in awarding summer TA-ships.

Are tuition waivers available?
It is Chemistry Department policy to support all members of the entering graduate class with a teaching assistantship that pays a stipend and a full tuition waiver. If a graduate student is subsequently supported through a research assistantship he/she retains the tuition waiver.