MS Chemistry


You will need to complete 30 semester hours with a B average (GPA 3.0) to graduate. If you have an assistantship, you will need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 at all times to keep the assistantship. To complete the program in two years, you will need to take 7-8 credits in each semester excluding Summer. You do not need to register for any courses during the Summer Semester, unless you graduate during Summer. The following courses are required:

Four core courses in the major areas of chemistry are required for the Master of Science degree:

  • CHE 553 – Advanced Organic Chemistry I
  • CHE 632/633 – Advanced Analytical Chemistry or Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • CHE 641 – Advanced Inorganic Chemistry II
  • CHE 661 – Advanced Physical Chemistry I

In addition, students must select two electives from the courses in chemistry or biochemistry, which may include organometallic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, forensic chemistry, enzyme mechanisms, spectroscopy, computational chemistry, and others.


Students attend the Department’s weekly seminar series and present two seminars during the course of their Master’s degree studies. One seminar is based on a topic from the recent literature. The first is a presentation of the thesis proposal.  The second seminar is a presentation of the thesis research and should generally be given in the semester or summer of graduation.  These seminar experiences provide strong preparation for future professional presentations. The seminars are presented in the context of courses:

  • CHE 601 – Graduate Seminar I
  • CHE 602 – Graduate Seminar II

Research and Thesis

Each graduate student in the M.S. Chemistry program must carry out a research project and write a Master’s thesis based on the research. Course credit for research is accumulated through two courses, which may be taken for up to 6 credits each:

  • CHE 699 – Thesis
  • CHE 680 – Research Problems in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Students choose a research advisor and begin research under the course number CHE 680. Before registering for CHE 699, students must write a research proposal and present it to his or her thesis committee. The research project and thesis are an important part of the M.S. program, accounting for at least a third of the credit hours earned. Actual effort invested in the research project may be much greater, since students must work toward completion of a project with meaningful results. During the summer, students supported by assistantships should devote full-time effort to making major progress on the research project.

Electives and additional research

(10 or more credits) You will need to take 10 semester hours of electives and research. Research Problems (CHE 680), which will get you started on research, can be taken for up to 6 hours. You will need to take 4 or more credits of elective courses.


All graduate students, regardless of whether they are registered for a seminar course, are required to attendall seminars related to CHE 602, as well as additional symposia and guest seminars.  This is part of your broad training in chemistry.