Master of Science in Chemistry

The Master of Science in Chemistry program provides graduates with the advanced knowledge necessary to continue in Ph.D. programs at other institutions and the skills and expertise needed by those who will use master's-level training in industry. While research is oriented toward applications of chemistry, the curriculum emphasizes essential principles and basic knowledge.


To be admitted to the program an applicant must have a bachelor's degree and an adequate background in chemistry. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 is required; however, students with industrial experience in chemistry and averages below 3.0 may be admitted on probation at the discretion of the graduate advisor and with permission of the Graduate School. Applicants must achieve acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Those from non-English speaking countries who have not received any degrees from a United States university must satisfy English proficiency requirements, including a score of 550 or above on the TOEFL.

General Requirements

Upon admission, the student will confer with the department graduate advisor to plan course sequencing and discuss research or report options. Satisfactory progress in course work is required and a 3.0 grade-point average is the minimum needed for continuance in the program. All students must complete the following curriculum requirements:

  • Nine hours of graduate core courses: Chem 6043, Inorganic Chemistry; Chem 7113, Advanced Organic Chemistry; and Chem 7123, Advanced Physical Chemistry.
  • A minimum of six hours of graduate courses taken in departments outside chemistry.
  • Three hours of graduate seminar.

Students without the necessary prerequisite undergraduate courses will be required to take these as deficiencies. No more than six hours of transfer credit beyond the bachelor's degree from an accredited institution may contribute toward fulfilling these requirements. No more than six hours of independent study will be allowed. 

Thesis Program Requirements

The thesis program is strongly recommended for those planning to pursue graduate study at the Ph.D. level and for those with research-oriented employment. By the end of the first semester, the student should select a research area and a thesis advisor who will supervise the research and the remainder of the student's course work. Required for thesis option:

  • Nine hours of core courses
  • Minimum of six hours of graduate courses outside the department.
  • Three to six hours of thesis credit.

A minimum total of 30 graduate hours are required to complete the thesis option.
In collaboration with the advisor, the student should identify a three-member thesis committee. Two members must be from the department with the advisor as the committee chair; the third member must be from outside the department. An expert from outside the University may be used with the approval of the Graduate School. In carrying out the thesis project, the student must complete a minimum of three and maximum of six hours of thesis credit. On completion of the research, the student will write a thesis that conforms to the Graduate School's recommended procedures. With the advisor's approval, a draft of the thesis will be forwarded to the other members of the thesis committee for examination and review. After the thesis has been reviewed and judged ready for defense by the advisor and by the other members of the thesis committee, the student must pass an oral thesis examination. The oral examination is comprehensive, covering the student's entire graduate program and emphasizing the research work and content of the thesis. All thesis and oral examination requirements must be scheduled and completed to meet Graduate School deadlines.

Non-Thesis Option

This option is provided for students who desire a stronger foundation in chemistry for professional schools or personal knowledge. Completion of this option requires six additional hours of course work, and preparation of a master's report. Required for non-thesis option:

  • Nine hours of core courses.
  • Minimum of six hours of graduate courses outside the department.
  • A minimum total of 33 graduate hours are required to complete the non-thesis option.
  • Three hours of report.

A minimum of 33 semester hours is required to complete the non-thesis option.
During the first semester of enrollment and in consultation with the graduate advisor, the student will select a general area in which to write a report and a member of the faculty to supervise it. The report is a result of independent study and may involve extensive literature search, laboratory work, or review of an area. The report must follow the general guidelines for writing a thesis and is subject to the advisor's approval. Students in this option must enroll in Master's Report 7913 for the report portion of their study.