Chemistry PhD Program

NYU Shanghai, in partnership with the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) and the NYU Department of Chemistry, invites applications from exceptional students for PhD study and research in Chemistry.
Participating students are enrolled in the NYU GSAS Chemistry PhD program, complete their coursework at the NYU Department of Chemistry in New York, and then transition to full-time residence at NYU Shanghai where they undertake their doctoral research under the supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty.

Highlights of the Program

  • NYU PhD degree in Chemistry upon graduation
  • Graduate coursework at the NYU Department of Chemistry in New York
  • Research opportunities with and close mentorship by NYU Shanghai faculty
  • Access to the vast intellectual resources of NYU GSAS and NYU Department of Chemistry
  • Cutting-edge research environment at NYU Shanghai, including the Center for Computational Chemistry, activities such as a regular program of seminars and visiting academics, a thriving community of PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and research associates, and links with other universities within and outside China
  • Financial aid through the NYU Shanghai Doctoral Fellowship, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend equal to stipends received by all NYU Chemistry PhD students
  • Additional benefits exclusive to the NYU Shanghai program, including international health insurance, housing assistance in New York, and travel funds

Supervising Faculty

  • william-glover

    William Glover

    Theoretical Photochemistry, Biophysics, Quantum Chemistry

  • Xiang Sun

    Xiang Sun

    Theoretical Chemistry, Quantum Dynamics, Statistical Mechanics, Spectroscopy

  • John Zhang

    John Zhang

    Protein-Protein Interaction, Computational Drug Design, Protein Dynamics

Recent Publications by NYU Shanghai Faculty 

  • W. J. Glover, T. Mori, M. S. Schuurman, A. E. Boguslavskiy, O. Schalk, A. Stolow, T. J. Martínez, “Excited state non-adiabatic dynamics of the smallest polyene, trans 1,3-butadiene. II. Ab initio multiple spawning simulations”, J. Chem. Phys. 148, 164303 (2018)
  • M. A. Hagras and W. J. Glover, “Polarizable Embedding for Excited-State Reactions: Dynamically Weighted Polarizable QM/MM”, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 14, 2137 (2018)
  • X. Sun, P. Zhang, Y. Lai, K. L. Williams, M. S. Cheung, B. D. Dunitz, E. Geva, “Computational Study of Charge-Transfer Dynamics in the Carotenoid–Porphyrin–C60 Molecular Triad Solvated in Explicit Tetrahydrofuran and Its Spectroscopic Signature”, J. Phys. Chem. C 122, 11288-11299 (2018)
  • L. Qiu, Y. Yan, Z. Sun, J. Song, John Z.H. Zhang, “Interaction entropy for computational alanine scanning in protein-protein binding”, WIREs Comput. Mol. Sci., 8, E1342 (2018)
  • M. Xu, T. Zhu, Tong, John Z. H. Zhang, “A Force Balanced Fragmentation Method for ab Initio Molecular Dynamic Simulation of Protein”, Front. Chem., 6, 189 (2018)
  • X. Liu, L. Peng, Y. Zhou, Y. Zhang, John Z.H. Zhang, “Computational Alanine Scanning with Interaction Entropy for Protein-Ligand Binding Free Energies”, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 14, 1772-1780 (2018)
  • A. A. Kananenka, X. Sun, A. Schubert, B. D. Dunietz, E. Geva, “A Comparative Study of Different Methods for Calculating Electronic Transition Rates”, J. Chem. Phys. 148, 102304 (2017)
  • Z.X. Sun, Y.N. Yan, M.Y. Yang, John Z.H. Zhang, “Interaction entropy for protein-protein binding”, J. Chem. Phys., 146, 124124 (2017)
  • M. Li, John Z.H. Zhang, “Two-bead polarizable water models combined with a two-bead multipole force field (TMFF) for coarse-grained simulation of proteins”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 19, 7410-7419 (2017)
  • Y.N. Yan, M.Y. Yang, C.G. Ji, John Z.H. Zhang, “Interaction Entropy for Computational Alanine Scanning”, J. Chem. Inf. Model., 57, 1112-1122 (2017)
  • W. J. Glover and B. J. Schwartz, “Short-range Electron Correlation Stabilizes Non-cavity Solvation of the Hydrated Electron”, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 12, 5117 (2016)
  • X. Sun, E. Geva, “Nonequilibrium Fermi’s Golden Rule Charge Transfer Rates via the Linearized Semiclassical Method”, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 12, 2926-2941 (2016)
  • M. Li, F.J. Liu, John Z.H. Zhang, “TMFF-A Two-Bead Multipole Force Field for Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Protein”, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 12, 6147-6156 (2016)

Selected Faculty Features

"Xiang Sun Contributes to New Understanding in Charge Transfer Dynamics in Light-Harvesting Molecules", Sep 2018 (Xiang Sun)

"Chemists Find the Missing Link of Polyene Photophysics", Jun 2018 (William Glover)

"John Zenghui Zhang Awarded 3.2 Million RMB NSFC Key Grant", Sep 2014 (John Zhang)


Structure of Program

Participating students complete the PhD degree requirements set by the NYU Department of Chemistry and in accordance with the academic policies of NYU GSAS. Each student develops an individualized course and research plan in consultation with the Director of Graduate Study at the NYU Department of Chemistry and the student’s NYU Shanghai faculty advisor. A typical sequence follows:

Summer 1
in Shanghai


Begin program with funded research rotation, up to 3 months preceding first Fall semester, to familiarize with NYU Shanghai and faculty as well as lay a foundation for future doctoral study.

Year 1
(Fall and Spring)
in New York


Complete PhD coursework at Department of Chemistry alongside other NYU PhD students. Continue research rotations with NYU Shanghai faculty and receive co-supervision from NY faculty.

Summer 2
in Shanghai


Return to Shanghai for second funded research rotation to solidify relationships with NYU Shanghai faculty and make further progress in research.

Year 2
through Year 4
in Shanghai


Under supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty advisor, pursue dissertation research and continue coursework. Depending on each student’s individualized course of study, return visits to New York may also occur. Complete all required examinations and progress evaluations, both oral and written, leading up to submission and defense of doctoral thesis.

To learn more about the NYU Chemistry PhD program degree requirements, please visit this page.


Current Students

Name Research Areas Supervising Faculty
Yuanming Bai Quantum Chemistry, Excited States, Machine Learning William Glover
Xingpin Li Photochemistry, Biophysics, Linear-Scaling Quantum Mechanics William Glover
Amiel Paz Theoretical and Computational Chemistry TBD (pursuing rotations)
Willmor Pena Theoretical and Computational Chemistry TBD (pursuing rotations)

Application Process and Dates

Applications are to be submitted through the NYU GSAS Application portal, within which students should select the Chemistry PhD as their program of interest, and then indicate their preference for NYU Shanghai by marking the appropriate checkbox when prompted. Applicants will be evaluated by a joint admissions committee of New York and Shanghai faculty. Application requirements are set by the NYU Department of Chemistry and are the same as those for all NYU PhD applicants; however, candidates are recommended to elaborate in their application and personal statements about their specific interests in the NYU Shanghai program and faculty.

The NYU GSAS Application portal is now open for Fall 2019 admission, and the deadline is December 12, 2018. Applications are only accepted for Fall admission.



Contact Us

Interested students are welcome to contact Xiaoyun Du, program coordinator of the NYU Shanghai Chemistry PhD, via email at with any inquiries or to request more information.