Prospective Students

CCB is committed to enrolling students from groups underrepresented in graduate study. For advice about applying, including how to prepare a competitive application, check out the Diversity at GSAS page. 


Harvard’s policy is to make decisions concerning applicants on the basis of what each individual can contribute to the University’s educational objectives and institutional needs. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or course of study requirements. Immigration status does not factor into decisions about admissions and financial aid. For more information, see Undocumented at Harvard.

Our diversity webpage outlines the core values we rely on to guide our actions and create an inclusive departmental culture.


Our degree programs

We offer two distinct graduate degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Chemical Physics. Both programs take an average of 5 to 6 years to complete.

Course Requirements

Chemistry and Chemical Biology Ph.D. candidates must pass four advanced courses in chemistry and/or related fields (e.g. biochemistry, physics, etc.). Chemical Physics Ph.D. candidates must pass five advanced courses in chemistry and/or related fields (e.g. biochemistry, physics, etc.).

Check out our course requirements page to learn more about the specific requirements for each program and take a look at the graphic below for a general timeline of what you'll need to accomplish in which year of your Ph.D.


A visual representation of the graduate program requirements


Tuition and Fees

The department covers the cost of tuition for all PhD students. Learn more on our graduate student financial support page. CCB provides a stipend of $39,000 to all students in good standing.

Required Tests

Anyone who did not graduate from a 4 year undergraduate institution where English is the first language, must submit either the TOEFL or IELTS. 

Submission of GRE test scores is optional/not required.


The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences facilitates the application submission process for both the Chemistry and Chemical Physics PhD programs.

The application deadline is December 1st. The department announces admissions decisions in February and invites accepted students to an official visit during March. We typically host an admitted student visit in either late February or early March. 

GSAS at a Glance

  • Degree candidates:  4,814 (4,521 PhD candidates; 293 master’s candidates)
  • Degree programs:  59
  • 47  percent of GSAS students are women
  • 34  percent of GSAS students are international
  • 12  percent of GSAS students are underrepresented minorities