SMU is the first university to offer a dedicated direct bachelors-to-Ph.D. degree program in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (TCC) based on a four-year (66 credit hour) curriculum. Ph.D. students work on cutting-edge research with one of the four TCC faculty members in a vibrant, friendly and supportive environment. Interdisciplinary research with the experimental chemistry faculty and the departments of Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Mathematics is strongly supported. SMU’s High-Performance Computer Center (HPCC) provides outstanding computational facilities (930 TFLOPS).
Current research areas include developing: accurate quantum mechanical methods to study molecules, clusters, and extended systems as well as their chemical reactions; efficient algorithms to simulate quantum dynamics and spectroscopy; new methodologies to explore protein evolution and protein drug interactions; multiscale methods to simulate biological and artificial materials. TCC research often uses concepts and techniques from physics, mathematics and computer science to establish new approaches to long-standing chemical problems. Research areas also extend to interdisciplinary topics such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and biophysics.
The TCC program focuses on training Ph.D. students who will i) perform independent research and publish in high ranking journals, ii) engage in interdisciplinary research and research teams, and iii) successfully compete for research, teaching, and consulting positions in academic institutions, federal and state agencies, and in the private sector. The demand for highly trained theoretical and computational chemists is steadily increasing and continues to grow faster than other chemistry-related jobs.
In addition to meeting the general requirements described under Dedman College: Admission in the General Information section of this catalog, applicants are required to take the GRE general graduate school admission test. Applicants who do not speak English as their native language are required to supply scores on the TOEFL English language proficiency test or the IELTS English competency test. Three letters of recommendation are required.
Financial aid is available in the form of teaching/research assistantships, which include the waiver of tuition and fees and health insurance.