Master of Science in Chemistry

Admission

An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus this departmental requirement to be considered for admission to the program

Undergraduate preparation in chemistry and related areas equivalent to a chemistry major which includes at least one year each of physical and organic chemistry with laboratories, and one course each in analytical and inorganic chemistry with physical chemistry prerequisite.

Submission of scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The Chemistry Subject Test is strongly recommended.

Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree. See Special Non-Thesis Option below for additional requirements for admission to that option.

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise their studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. The incoming student is required to register for the coursework recommended by the Graduate Advising Sub-Committee in the first semester; and a permanent advisor must be selected by the end of the first semester of study. The major professor serves as the student’s research mentor.

Entrance Examinations

All entering graduate students must take entrance examinations in analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. These exams are intended to measure your ability to perform at the bachelor’s degree level in each of the five disciplines. For M.S. students these exams are used for advising only.

Credits and Courses

Minimum degree requirement is 24 graduate credits for MS. Normally these include at least five 600-899 level courses, chosen by the student in consultation with the advisor. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 must be earned in formal coursework, not including research courses (990-996) or seminars (912, 931-935). The remaining credits are taken in research and seminars. The student must take or audit Chemistry 912 (Graduate Seminar) each semester in residence. This requirement may be modified for part-time students who may be employed during normal hours of the seminar and colloquium. Graduate School regulations require that a majority of all courses taken be at the 700-999 level. Prior to initial registration, all students must take entrance examinations in analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. The entrance exams are intended to measure the individual’s ability to perform at the bachelor’s degree level in each of the five disciplines.  For M.S. students these exams are used for advising only.  In consultation with the major professor, the student plans a program based on the results of these examinations. The student must also participate in at least one term of part-time teaching as a teaching assistant. A graduate student in our program will be offered full TA support only if they are determined to be in good academic standing in the Department.

Thesis

The student writes a thesis, essentially a formal report of that student’s research. Since the M.S. is largely a research degree, the quality of research reported in the thesis is an important measure of the student’s success in the program.

Comprehensive Examination

The student must pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis. At the discretion of the examining committee, this examination may include topics in addition to the thesis.

Special Non-Thesis Option For Students With Professional Experience In Chemistry

Admission

In addition to the general requirements noted above for the master’s degree program, applicants must have a minimum of five years of professional chemistry experience beyond the B.A. or B.S. degree, including a sizable amount of research or development laboratory work. Since the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry believes that the problem-solving experience of research is an indispensable part of graduate study, applicants will be interviewed by a faculty committee to assess the prior research experience as appropriate background for the program.

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. For this option, the major professor is chosen (by the Graduate Subcommittee) before admission to the program, and serves as a member of the committee which assesses the prior research experience of the student. The major professor should be from the area of chemistry in which the student intends to concentrate the major portion of course efforts.

Credits and Courses

Minimum degree requirement is 24 graduate credits, including no more than two credits of seminar. The remaining credits should be in formal courses. Registration for Graduate Seminar and Chemistry Colloquium, entrance examinations, course program, and core courses shall follow requirements for full- or part-time graduate students, as described for the Standard Thesis Option.

Papers and Comprehensive Examinations

The student prepares two survey papers exploring subjects in more depth than the coverage in coursework. Of these, one is in a major area and one is in a minor area. These must be approved by the student’s examining committee, which consists of three faculty members representing the areas of the papers. One paper must be approved at least six months before the comprehensive examination. An oral comprehensive examination covers both the areas of the papers and other areas at the discretion of the committee.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.