To become successful as a chemist, one must not only be broadly based in the fundamental facts, theories and techniques of chemistry but also be able to apply these capabilities imaginatively to new chemical problems.
The graduate program in chemistry at The University of Montana is built on the philosophy that students can best achieve these important goals by interacting closely with faculty who are practicing chemists as well as good teachers. For a typical student, this interaction begins in the classroom. Class sizes are generally small (3-8 students) allowing for lively discussion. Faculty are accessible to students for consultation. The range of course offerings in chemistry educates students well in the fundamentals of all major areas of chemistry as well as in highly specialized research areas close to the frontiers of knowledge.
The crux of graduate education, however, is participation in research, where a student further develops fundamental skills while learning to apply them to solving chemical problems. The close interaction between faculty and students begun during course work continues in research groups. Faculty and students often work side by side in the laboratory. Formal and informal group meetings are frequent. However, students are expected to become increasingly independent in their research as their skills and confidence develop.