May 19, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


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Department Chairperson: Dr. Andrew G. Sykes
Graduate Program Director: Dr. Ranjit T. Koodali

Department of Chemistry
Churchill-Haines, Room 115
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-677-5487



Mary T. Berry, Ph.D., University of Virginia. Specialization: Physical Chemistry, Lanthanide Spectroscopy, and Photochemistry.
Miles D. Koppang, Ph.D., University of North Dakota. Specialization: Analytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry as Applied to Bioanalysis, Electron-Transfer Mechanism at Electrodes, and Chemical Education.
P. Stanley May, Ph.D., University of Virginia. Specialization: Physical Chemistry, Spectroscopy of Transition Metal and Lanthanide Ions in Solid State, Solid-State Energy Transfer Dynamics, and Multiple Photon Excitation.
Andrew G. Sykes, Ph.D., University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Specialization: Inorganic Chemistry, Luminescent Sensors and X-ray Crystallography.

Associate Professors:

David C. Hawkinson, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University. Specialization: Physical Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry.
James D. Hoefelmeyer, Ph.D., Texas A&M University. Specialization: Inorganic Chemistry.
Chaoyang Jiang, Ph.D., Nanjing University. Specialization: Analytical Chemistry and Materials Chemistry. Layer-by-Layer nanocomposite, Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering, Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy, Plasmonic Nanomaterials.
Ranjit T. Koodali, Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Chennai. Specialization: Physical Chemistry, Mesoporous materials and their applications in environmental remediation and conversion and storage of solar energy.
Grigoriy A. Sereda, Ph.D., Moscow State University. Specialization: Organic Chemistry, Synthesis of Biomedically Relevant Compounds, Catalysis, Photocatalysis, Controlled Modification of Fluorescent Nanocrystals with Organic Functionalities.
Joseph E. Vitt, Ph.D., Iowa State University. Specialization: Analytical Chemistry, Electroanalysis, Analysis of Electrochemical Oscillating Reactions, and Oxidation Mechanisms by Oxygen-Atom Transfer at Electrode Surfaces.

Assistant Professors:

Dmitri Kilin, Ph.D., Chemitz University of Technology. Specialization: Physical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry.
Haoran Sun, Ph.D., Jilin University. Specialization: Organic Chemistry, Fluorinated materials for energy conversion and drug development.
Z. Rick Wang, Ph. D., University of South Florida (Tampa). Specialization: Inorganic Chemistry, general chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, materials chemistry.


Master of Science, thesis option only
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Chemistry

Program Description

While the thirteen research faculty span the major sub-disciplines of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic and physical), their work is focused on: (1) nanomaterials for catalysis, energy storage, environmental remediation, luminescent up-conversion, plasmonics, sensors, and solar energy conversion, (2) metalorganic chemistry for luminescent sensors and catalysis, (3) organic synthesis for photovoltaic and drug delivery applications, and chemical reaction mechanisms (4) computational chemistry and molecular spectroscopy, (5) electro and photoelectrochemistry, and (6) bio-polymers and bio-medical devices. The department offers a Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry as well as a Master of Science in Chemistry. Graduate students may begin their program at the start of either the fall or the spring semester. Completion of requirements for the M.S. degree in Chemistry generally takes two years for students who enter with the equivalent of an ACS approved B.S. in Chemistry. There is a substantial research component to the program culminating in oral defense of a thesis whose basis is an original contribution to the discipline. The Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry is designed to allow students to complete both master’s and doctoral requirements within six years.


  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree in Chemistry.  Satisfaction of additional requirements may be stipulated to provide a course background equivalent to that of an American Chemical Society (ACS) approved major.
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.7 or a graduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Students who do not have a degree from an American University should submit their general GRE scores for admission to the University of South Dakota. The minimum standard is a score of 147 in the Quantitative Reasoning and 134 in Verbal. The score is considered along with the other application materials.
  • International students must document their proficiency in English. A score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) or 550 on the written TOEFL is required for graduate admission. The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) Exam is accepted with a minimum score of 6.0. The PTE Academic English Test is also accepted with a minimum score of 53. Students from English-speaking countries (UK, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, and New Zealand) are not required to submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score if their academic records indicate that English was the classroom language for the majority of their schoolwork. Foreign students who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from an American college or university are not required to submit a score.

    *Please Note: Permanent residents and American citizens whose first language is not English and who do not have a degree from an American University must also complete the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE for admission to the University of South Dakota.

- Subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the criteria above may be admitted on a provisional basis.


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