Chemistry M.S.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree


An M.S. degree in chemistry prepares students for careers in chemical sciences, biomedical sciences, catalysis, energy, environment, or materials science as well as other professional fields that apply strong research skills or basic chemical understanding. For a description of research by classic chemical subdivision, please refer to the Chemistry Ph.D. topic in this catalogue.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

An undergraduate major in an appropriate field, minimally with course work in the four classic subdisciplines of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical). This is most commonly satisfied with a B.A., B.S., or equivalent degree in chemistry. Applicants with prior research experience are preferred. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination general (aptitude) section is required.

Minimum Degree Requirements

The above prerequisites for admission to candidacy must be supplemented in either of the following two ways:

Option A (Thesis)
Completion of twelve credits of CHEM 391 and submission of a satisfactory thesis; and competion of at least thirty credits of gradaute work (courses and Master's Thesis Research)
Option B (Non-Thesis)
Completion of six credits of CHEM 395; and completion of at least thirty credits of graduate work (courses and Literature Research Project)

M.S. students should decide at the beginning of their program whether they will pursue Option A or Option B and inform the Department of Chemistry and the Graduate College of their decisions.

Comprehensive Examination

In the Chemistry Department, the Comprehensive Examination for the Master’s degree consists of completion of the following three parts:

(1) Passing of the (entrance) qualifying-examinations requirement within the first year, and successful completion of the coursework requirement. The qualifying examinations establish a broad knowledge base in all major areas of chemistry, while the latter requirement is constructed to add breadth to the students’ knowledge base in specific areas of chemistry not directly related to their research area.

(2) Successful completion of the Advancement to Candidacy exam (CHEM 384). This course consists of the preparation of an end-of-second-year, 15-page dossier of research accomplishments, and an oral examination on its contents, which serves as a comprehensive review of the student’s fundamental understanding of chemistry.

(3) Completion of a total of two (2) credits of Current Topics (CHEM 318). This course consists of a review of one major article from the current literature (and supporting supplementary articles).  The oral presentation is followed by an examination of the student’s understanding of the crucial information in that paper by faculty in the student’s major area.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Proficiency in three areas of chemistry evidenced by the biannual qualifying examinations or completion of designated courses at this university
One semester of residence
CHEM 318Current Topics in Chemistry (Must be taken twice)1
CHEM 380Chemical Investigations1
CHEM 381Grad Seminar1
CHEM 384Advanced Topics in Chemistry2
At least 15 credits of formal course work including:15
Six credits of graduate level courses in the chemical field of specialization
Nine credits of graduate-level chemistry courses not in the area of specialization
Maintenance of an overall point-hour ratio of 3.00