Chemistry, MA

Master of Arts Program

The MA program in chemistry satisfies the needs of students who desire a master’s degree based primarily on coursework.

The departmental graduate committee recommends for the degree of MA in chemistry students who complete the following requirements:

  • An acceptable research project (at least four credits of CHEM 597)
  • Participation for one semester in the graduate seminar (CHEM 592)
  • Two semesters of Frontiers in Chemistry (CHEM 593)
  • Six graduate courses, at least four of which are in chemistry, the balance to be related courses approved by the departmental graduate committee
  • Public presentation of a seminar on the subject of the research project
  • A total of at least 32 graduate credits obtained under the above requirements

MA candidates must complete six graduate courses; a research thesis is not required. Requirements for Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) are determined by the Graduate School of Education; a minimum of 20 credits in graduate-level chemistry courses is required.

Once You’re Admitted

Placement Exams

Entering students must demonstrate proficiency at the undergraduate level by satisfying a placement requirement. Three options are available.

  1. Pass ACS Placement Examinations in the areas of analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry;
  2. (Biological Chemistry emphasis) pass the ACS Placement Examinations in any two traditional subdisciplines of chemistry (organic, analytical, inorganic, physical) and a Placement Examination in biochemistry;
  3. (Materials Chemistry emphasis) pass the ACS Placement Examinations in inorganic and physical chemistry, and either a Placement Examination in solid state and materials sciences, or the ACS Placement Examinations in analytical and organic chemistry.

The biochemistry and solid state/materials sciences placement examinations for students in interdisciplinary programs are comprehensive, making the overall placement requirement comparable for all students.


  1. A student may not enroll in a graduate course in any subdiscipline area for which the placement requirement has not been satisfied.
  2. All deficiencies must be removed within twelve months after entering the program. Failure will lead to dismissal from the program.
  3. A placement deficiency is normally removed by course work as determined by the GPC. Deficiencies in analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry are removed by:
    1. Receiving a grade of B or better in an advanced level undergraduate course in Harpur College (numbered 300-499),
    2. Receiving a grade of S in a remedial tutorial assigned by the GPC.
  4. Deficiencies in biochemistry or solid/state materials sciences are removed by one or two courses as specified by the GPC on an individual basis.
  5. Entering students who have already taken the appropriate courses in Harpur College may petition the GPC to have the corresponding placement examination(s) waived. The biochemistry or solid state/materials sciences requirement may be waived if the student transcript shows at least two appropriate courses in Harpur College or the Watson School.
  6. Remedial course work will match the deficiency as close as possible. Remedial courses cannot normally be counted in satisfying the degree course requirement; exceptions are indicated in writing by the GPC at the time of the placement.
  7. A placement deficiency may also be removed by retaking the Placement Examination successfully after a period of self-study. Placement Examinations are given three times a year: the week preceding the beginning of the Fall semester, the first week of the Spring semester, and the last week of the Spring semester.
  8. Satisfying the placement requirement is to be given absolute priority during the first two semesters in residence and will be the first concern in arranging the student’s schedule.
  9. Students who fail all Placement Examinations upon entering will automatically be placed on probation; failure to remove at least two deficiencies by the end of the first semester will result in dismissal.