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Chemistry Grad Program

How to Apply

zarzar lab

Our application for Fall 2025 will be made available in Fall 2024


Steps for Applying to the Chemistry Graduate Program


  1. Read the Graduate School’s Requirements for Graduate Admission
  2. Fill out the ONLINE APPLICATION 
  3. Pay the Graduate School application fee
    • Applications without fee payment cannot be processed
    • The application fee is non-refundable
    • If the $65 application fee presents a financial hardship, the Department of Chemistry has funding available to pay the application fee for a limited number of applicants. Receipt of an application fee waiver does not guarantee admission. Decline of waiver is also not an indication of rejection of an application. If you would like an application fee waiver, please email Lauren Zarzar ( with your request along with a CV and transcript. International students should send proof of a TOEFL or IELTS score that qualifies them for the graduate program as detailed in the requirements for English proficiency.
  4. Upload/request the following electronic documents:
    • Three letters of recommendation
      • Domestic students- Please make sure to include reference letters from any REU experiences you have had.
      • International students- Please make sure to include reference letters from any domestic research experiences you have had (REU, Summer).
    • GRE General Test scores (GRE is optional; choosing not to submit GRE scores will not impact your admissions decision)
      • Institutional code: 2660 PENNSYLVANIA ST U All campuses
      • Department code: 0301 Chemistry, General 
    • TOEFL iBT scores (international applicants only)
      • Department code: 62
    • Transcripts
      • Note: As of November 10, 2014 the Graduate School requires all prospective students to upload an OFFICIAL, COLOR COPY TRANSCRIPT from all institutions of higher learning attended, both undergraduate and graduate, as part of the online application process.
      • International Students must also submit certified official copies of all certificates and diplomas mentioned on the application.


Please note: The online application portal is maintained by the Graduate School. Your application is submitted to the Graduate School and upon completion is forwarded to the Chemistry Department for review. If you are a current Penn State, University Park, undergraduate student desiring to apply, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at, before submitting your application.


English Proficiency Test

  • Who is required to submit a TOEFL iBT?
    • If you received or will receive your undergraduate degree from an institution outside of the United States.
  • Who is exempt from the TOEFL iBT?
    • US citizen or permanent resident.
    • Those who have a baccalaureate or masters degree conferred from an institution at the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean, British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Ghana, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, United States, Wales.
  • TOEFL iBT scores (Chemistry Department requirements)
    • Overall minimum: 100
    • Speaking minimum: 23
    • Test scores may be no more than 2 years old
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    • IELTS – The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS Academic Test is 6.5


Application Review

Applications to the program are reviewed by the Chemistry Graduate Admissions Committee on a rolling basis from December 1 - January 20. All materials must be received before the application can be evaluated. You may check the status of your application by visiting the The Graduate School website.