Department of Chemistry

Address: P.O. Box 23346, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-3346

Telephone: (787) 764-0000, ext. 2445, 4817, 4818

Fax: (787) 756-8242

E-mail: rmorales@uprrp.edu

Web address: http://chemistry.uprrp.edu


PhD in Chemistry


Rafael Arce Quintero, PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1971, Professor.
Biophysical, environmental, and physical chemistry; chemical physics

Carlos R. Cabrera, PhD, Cornell University, 1987, Professor.
Analytical, inorganic, materials, and physical chemistry; chemical physics

Néstor M. Carballeira, PhD, Julius-Maximilians-Unversität, 1983, Professor.
Bioorganic, lipid, and organic chemistry; marine natural products

Zhongfang Chen, PhD, Nankai University, 2000, Associate Professor.
Computational chemistry; computational science of nanomaterials; physical organic chemistry

Jorge Colón, PhD, Texas A&M University, 1989, Associate Professor.
Bioinorganic, biophysical, inorganic, and materials chemistry

Fernando González, PhD, Cornell University, 1989, Professor.
Biochemistry and Medicinal Chemistry

Kai Griebenow, PhD, Max-Planck-Institut/Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, 1992, Associate Professor.
Biochemistry; bioorganic and biophysical chemistry

Ana R. Guadalupe, PhD, Cornell University, 1987, Professor.
Analytical, inorganic, materials and polymer chemistry

Yasuyuki Ishikawa, PhD, University of Iowa, 1976, Professor.
Theoretical and physical chemistry; chemical physics

Reginald Morales, PhD, Rutgers University, 1976, Professor.
Biochemistry; bioorganic and lipid chemistry

José A. Prieto, PhD, University of Puerto Rico, 1982, Professor.
Biophysical, medicinal, organic, and organometallic chemistry

Edwin Quiñones, PhD, University of Puerto Rico, 1986, Professor.
Physical chemistry; chemical physics

Raphael Raptis, PhD, Texas A&M University, 1988, Professor.
Inorganic, bioinorganic, and materials chemistry

José Rivera, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000, Assistant Professor.
Supramolecular chemistry, molecular recognition, organic synthesis, nanotechnology, bioorganic chemistry, medicinal chemistry

Abimael Rodríguez, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1983, Professor.
Analytical, bioorganic, and organic chemistry; marine natural products

Osvaldo Rosario, PhD, University of Puerto Rico, 1978, Professor.
Analytical chemistry

Eric R. Schreiter, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005, Postdoctoral, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Postdoctoral, Centro de Proteómica de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Assistant Professor.
Biochemistry; protein structure and function; posttranslational protein modification; protein engineering; unusual metabolic pathways of extremophile bacteria

John A. Soderquist, PhD, University of Colorado, 1977, Professor.
Organic, organometallic, and natural products chemistry

Brad R. Weiner, PhD, University of California, Davis, 1986, Professor.
Chemical physics; environmental, materials, and physical chemistry

Zarixia Zavala Ruiz, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2004, Postdoctoral, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. Assistant Professor.
Biochemistry; molecular immunology; protein structure and function

Doctoral Program

Research Areas: Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to graduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, applicants must also fulfill the admission criteria established by the College of Natural Sciences and the Department of Chemistry:

  1. Results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Advanced Examination in Chemistry
  2. TOEFL results (foreign students only)
  3. Three letters of recommendation from professors at the institution where undergraduate studies were completed
  4. Attend an interview (only upon request by the Admissions Committee)

Graduation Requirements

In addition to meeting all the general graduation requirements in effect at the Rio Piedras Campus, students must fulfill the specific requirements established by the program:

  1. Courses: Complete a minimum of 30 credits in graduate courses (18 credits in graduate courses at the 6000 level, and 12 credits in electives, 9 of which must be taken at the 8000 level). The student will select courses in close consultation with the advisor, who may recommend that the student take courses in other disciplines, such as biology, physics, or mathematics, if these courses are considered necessary for the student to develop his or her research
  2. Comprehensive Examinations: Pass three written comprehensive examinations, one in the student’s area of specialization, by the end of the first year of graduate studies
  3. Graduate Seminars: Present a minimum of two graduate seminars to the graduate faculty. One of the seminars should consist of an oral presentation of the student’s dissertation work. The student must pass these seminars with a grade of A or B.
  4. Proposal A: Present a research plan to the Dissertation Committee
  5. Proposal B and Oral Comprehensive Examination: Present and defend a proposal of original research to the Dissertation Committee. With this requirement is included the oral comprehensive examination in the student’s area of specialization
  6. Research Group Seminar: Enroll in and attend research group seminars each semester. These credits are in addition to the 30 required credits. A minimum of 12 credits must be completed in the student’s area of research
  7. Graduate Research: Complete a minimum of 24 credits in graduate research. The student will write and defend an acceptable dissertation based on this work
  8. Graduate Teaching Assistantship: Complete a minimum of one year as a graduate teaching assistant. Enrollment in QUIM 6905-6906 Chemical Principles and Practices is required.


Advancement to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy will be evaluated according to academic achievement, comprehensive examinations taken at the end of the first year, graduate seminar proposals A and B, recommendation of the student’s advisor and the final decision of the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Chemistry. Candidacy will be granted at the end of the student’s third year from initial admission to the program.

Program of Study

Program Requirements


6000-Level Courses (from three of the fundamental areas: inorganic, organic, and analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and physics)


Electives (3 credits from 6000-level courses and 9 credits from 8000-level courses)


QUIM 6905-6906 Chemical Principles and Practices (Teaching Assistantship)

Proposal A (Dissertation Proposal)


Proposal B (Original research proposal to be presented in an oral defense)


QUIM 8901-8902 Graduate Seminar (Part I and II)


Research Group Seminars (Each course is one credit and should be repeated until completing 12 credits)


Graduate Research and Dissertation Courses


QUIM 8999 Research for Doctoral Thesis
(Must be repeated until completing 24 credits)


QUIM 8896 Thesis Continued


Total Credits


Description of Courses (PDF)


Office of the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research©2009-2011
University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Campus

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