Chemistry, MS

Master of Science Program

A candidate for the degree of MS in chemistry is expected to demonstrate a general knowledge in the field and the ability to do original work in a specialized area of the field of chemistry, leading to an acceptable thesis. The program is guided by an advisor and the departmental graduate committee until certification and approval of a research subject and advisor. The research problem is started as early as possible in the student’s graduate education, consistent with the attainment of an acceptable general proficiency as determined by the satisfactory completion of appropriate courses and examinations.

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

  • An acceptable research project and thesis (CHEM 599)
  • Participation for one semester in the graduate seminar (CHEM 592)
  • Two semesters of Frontiers in Chemistry (CHEM 593)
  • Four graduate courses, at least three of which ordinarily are in chemistry, the balance in related courses approved by the departmental graduate committee. A student in the biological chemistry program must complete at least two courses in chemistry and the remainder from the fields of biological sciences and other sciences (physics, computer science, geology, mathematics or engineering) approved by the faculty advisor. A student in the materials chemistry program must complete at least two courses in chemistry, including CHEM 544, and at least two courses from the fields of materials science and engineering, geology, physics or engineering approved by the faculty advisor.
  • Passing an oral examination on the subject of the research thesis
  • A total of at least 30 graduate credits obtained under the above requirements

The examining committee for each candidate consists of at least three faculty members appointed by the departmental graduate committee. In interdisciplinary programs, one member may be from another department.

  • Biological Chemistry and Biochemistry Track
    The graduate program in biological chemistry and biochemistry is a program for students wishing to specialize in the chemistry of biological systems. Students entering this program take a biochemistry placement examination in lieu of an organic, inorganic or analytical placement examination. Students may count an additional course outside the department toward the minimum six to eight courses necessary for the PhD degree.
  • Materials Chemistry Track
    An interdisciplinary graduate program in materials chemistry has been approved by the faculty. Students may take a materials and solid-state placement examination in lieu of the organic and analytical placement examinations. Relevant cumulative examinations are given, and courses outside the department are required toward the minimum courses necessary for the MS and PhD degrees.

Once You're Admitted

Placement Exams

Placement Examinations will be given to entering students to evaluate their background in undergraduate level chemistry. Examinations will be offered in the following six sub-discipline areas: Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Materials Chemistry. Entering PhD/MS students take a minimum of three/two placement exams. The placement examinations will provide the Chemistry Department with information that helps to assess the entering class as a group. The Graduate Program Director will review the results with each graduate student and advise them individually on their course selections.