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Applications for admission to the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University are managed centrally by the Princeton University Graduate School Admission Office. All applications are processed online and documents must be submitted electronically.


   Click here to apply online...  

Frequently Asked Questions

How many graduate students do you admit each year? How many apply?
Admission to our Ph.D. program is highly competitive -- last year we received over 330 applications from all over the world and of those, 26 percent were offered admission. The number of international students admitted varies every year. Last year, 36 percent of our admitted students were international.

What documents are required for admission?
Applicants must complete the online application and provide a statement of academic purpose, resume, unofficial transcript,  and arrange for three letters of recommendation.  GRE General and GRE Subject test scores, TOEFL or IELTS results, if applicable, must also be submitted.

The Graduate Admission Office provides complete application information and instructions. Application materials must be submitted electronically.

  • Questions regarding the application process, updates to applicants' contact information, and fee waiver questions should be sent to
  • Questions regarding GMAT, GRE, IELTS and TOEFL tests should be sent to
  • Application requirements that were not previously uploaded to an applicant’s SUBMITTED electronic application should be sent to Please review these tips when sending emails to this account.
  • Do you require a writing sample?
    We do not require a writing sample but we do require a personal statement.

    Do you require the GRE subject test?
    Yes, the subject GRE test is required; it is a useful diagnostic tool for our admission committee. While most of our applicants take the Chemistry subject GRE, we will accept a Physics or Biochemistry subject score if an applicant’s strengths and interests lie more in those areas.

    What if the GRE test results won’t be available until after the application deadline?
    We are aware that some November GRE test results might not be officially submitted by ETS until after our December 1 deadline. However, you may self-report the test results to our graduate administrator by e-mail (not by telephone) as soon as you have them, as long as you also request ETS to submit the official results when they are available.

    What are the minimum GRE and GPA requirements?
    There is no minimum score for the General GRE test, although most candidates who are offered admission to our program score above 165 on the quantitative section of the test, above 160 on the verbal section and at least 4.5 on the writing section. Most admitted students score above 815 on the Chemistry subject test.

    We do not have a minimum GPA requirement, but most of our admitted students have a GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale.  The average GPA of our admitted students last year was above 3.75.

    The chemistry department admission committee looks at every application individually. While grades and test scores certainly carry weight, our committee does not focus on just one portion of the application. Rather, the committee looks for candidates who are strong overall, paying particular attention to the personal statement, research experience, publications and letters of recommendation.

    How do I apply for financial aid?
    Princeton University and the Department of Chemistry provide full financial support, i.e., tuition, health insurance and stipend, to all students for the entire length of their degree candidacy, usually five years. Support is given regardless of citizenship or financial need, and there is no need to file a separate application. This is a grant, not a loan, and does not have to be paid back to the University.

    What are the admission requirements for foreign applicants?
    International students must complete the same admission requirements as U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

    Further, ALL students from countries where English is not the official language must take the iBT TOEFL or the IELTS as an alternative. Even if you attended an undergraduate institution overseas where English was the medium of instruction, you still MUST take the iBT TOEFL or the IELTS. The only exceptions are students who received their undergraduate education in a U.S. college or university.

    All applicants are individually reviewed and considered for admission to our program. However, over the last two admission seasons the average iBT TOEFL combined score for admitted students was 105, with the following average sub-scores: Listening 27, Reading 28, Speaking 22 and Writing 26. Furthermore, data from the University's English Language Program indicates that of newly enrolling international students, those who score below 20 on the Speaking subsection of iBT TOEFL are virtually certain to have to take an English language course during their first year of graduate study to bring their spoken proficiency up to a minimum standard.

    We do not require the TSE for admission.

    We do require the GRE exam for admission.

    Do you offer a master's degree program?
    We do not offer a master's degree program except to employees of companies that are affiliated with the chemistry department's Industrial Associates Program. This is a purely academic master's degree and does not involve research. Students in our doctoral program do earn an incidental Master of Arts degree along the path to the Ph.D.

    What if I can't pay the application fee?
    U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents may apply for a fee waiver; the application must be filed by November 25th and can be found online.  Fee waivers are not given to international students. There are no exceptions to this policy.

    Are interviews required?
    No, we do not conduct interviews.

    How can I visit Princeton Chemistry?
    In late winter, we will hold three visiting weekends for accepted students. The 2014 visits will be: February 28 - March 1, March 7 - 8 and March 28 - 29. Prospective students will have the opportunity to learn about ongoing research in the department, meet with faculty and graduate students, tour the University, graduate housing, and explore the town of Princeton.  Admitted students are strongly encouraged to attend to gain a broader perspective of the research opportunities avaialable to them here at Princeton.  Online registration will open shortly after admissions decisions are shared. 

    Other questions?
    Please contact:

    Ms. Meghan Krause

    Graduate Administrator
    Department of Chemistry

    Ph: (609) 258-4116
    Fax: (609) 258-6746