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Master of Science in Chemistry


1. Acceptance as a graduate student by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry;

2. A bachelor's degree with a major in chemistry; or a bachelor's degree with undergraduate preparation in chemistry, physics and mathematics equivalent to that required for the bachelor's degree with a major in chemistry at this University. A student deficient in any of these courses must complete the course(s) as a graduate student. The courses that must be taken to make up those deficiencies will be determined by the Graduate Adviser in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee. Students with majors in other areas may be considered for admission at the discretion of the Graduate Adviser.

3. Entering graduate students are required to take a minimum of two placement examinations (more exams may be required by Graduate Committee) as follows:

  • at the beginning of the first semester of the M.S. program: student chooses to take one placement examination in analytical, inorganic, organic, physical or biochemistry.
  • at the beginning of the second semester of the M.S. program, student takes any additional placement examination(s) required by the Thesis Committee to a minimum of two.

Under some circumstances with the approval of the Graduate Adviser, students may take 2 or more placement examinations at the beginning of the first semester.

Any student failing to pass a placement examination is required to complete with a minimum grade of "B" or better an appropriate course recommended by the Graduate Studies Committee. Usually the recommended courses are:

  • CHEM 251 and/or CHEM 451 if the subject is analytical chemistry;
  • CHEM 331 and/or CHEM 431 if the subject is inorganic chemistry;
  • CHEM 220A and/or CHEM 220B if the subject is organic chemistry;
  • CHEM 371A and/or CHEM 371B if the subject is physical chemistry;
  • CHEM 441A and/or CHEM 441B if the subject is biochemistry.

4. The placement examinations are usually given on the Monday of the week preceding the first day of instruction. The Graduate Studies Committee evaluates the examination results and recommends appropriate courses to correct any deficiencies in chemistry.

5. Entering students must select a research advisor by the ninth week of the first semester. The thesis advisor will select two additional faculty members to serve on the Thesis Committee by the 13th week of the first semester. The Thesis Committee will prepare a degree program including the following: (1) additional placement examination(s) the student will take at the beginning of the second semester, (2) a list of graduate courses to be completed in the course of the program. The degree program must be finalized and forwarded to Graduate Advisor by the end of the first semester in residence. Any change in the approved degree program must be preauthorized by Graduate Advisor.

6. Each student shall prepare a thesis proposal in collaboration with the research advisor, stating the specific topic of the research and its significance, the specific objectives of the research, and the methods to be used. The thesis proposal must be approved by the Thesis Committee. The student must make a public presentation of the proposal by the end of the second semester in the MS program. Any major change in direction during the course of the research shall be subject to the approval of the Thesis Committee.

Advancement to Candidacy

The Department Graduate Studies Committee recommends advancement to candidacy after the graduate student has:

1. Either passed all the required placement examinations including those recommended by the Thesis Committee or achieved a grade of "B" or better in each course recommended by the Graduate Studies Committee for correcting the deficiencies;

2. Completed at least 6 units of courses on the proposed Graduate Program;

3. While in residence as a graduate student at this University, earned at least a 3.0 ("B") average in all upper division and graduate work, a 3.0 gpa in all CHEM courses, and a 3.0 GPA in all courses on the graduate program.

4. Fulfilled the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR);

5. Obtained approval of a graduate degree program by the Thesis Committee, the Graduate Adviser, the Department Chair (in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee), and the Associate Dean or designee responsible for graduate studies in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

6. Make a public presentation of their thesis proposal and made appropriate progress in their proposed research as determined by the Thesis committee.

The criteria above should be met by the beginning of the third semester of graduate study. Deficient students may continue at the discretion of the Department Graduate Studies Committee. Students should be advanced to candidacy as soon as they are eligible.


1. Advancement to candidacy;

2. Complete a minimum of 30 units including:

  • A. Take a minimum of 12 units in chemistry lecture courses in the 500 series (excluding CHEM 595);
  • B. Take CHEM 595 Colloquium for a total of 2 or 3 units
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
  • C. Take CHEM 660 Seminar in Chemistry (1-3)
    Prerequisite: None
  • D. Take CHEM 697 Directed Research (4-6)
    Prerequisite: Arrangement with instructor.
  • E. Take CHEM 698 Thesis (4-6)
    Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy for M.S. in Chemistry or M.S. in Biochemistry and arrangement with instructor.
  • F. Additional courses (excluding CHEM 595 and required courses in the BS Chemistry degree program) as approved by Thesis Committee with concurrence of Graduate Advisor.

Changes in the above pattern of course requirements may be made only by the Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate Advisor subject to approval by the College's Associate Dean.

3. Completion of a written thesis, of publication quality, acceptable to the members of the thesis committee and a public presentation of the thesis research. The public presentation must be completed before the thesis is signed by the committee members.

4. A record of regular attendance at departmental seminars, poster sessions, thesis proposal presentations, and thesis defenses.

5. While not a requirement for the degree, students in the MS program normally gain experience teaching laboratory sections of Chemistry courses, as preparation for professionally related teaching activities in their future careers.

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