All students must complete 30 credits of graduate coursework. Up to 10 graduate credits may be transferred from other institutions, if approved by the program director. Graduate courses offered outside the program may be taken for graduate credit, but only if approved by the graduate faculty. There are two plans leading to completion.

Plan A: Master of Science with Thesis

Below is a sample outline for full-time MS chemistry students to complete their degree over 4 semesters if they complete extensive research during the summer. Courses offered vary by semester. Students are encouraged to meet with the graduate program director to discuss specific course schedules.

Year One, Fall Semester

  • Two chemistry lecture courses (6 credits) selected from the course list.
  • The student must have selected a research advisor and given an oral presentation (research proposal) by the end of the semester. See the Faculty Adviser and Committee information below.

Year One, Spring Semester

  • Two chemistry lecture courses (6 credits) selected from the course list.
  • One credit of seminar in chemistry. 
  • Two individual studies in chemistry (56:160:620) or biochemistry (56:115:620) research credits should be completed under the supervision of their MS thesis advisor.

Year One, Summer

It is common for Plan A students to receive an IN for their spring research credits as they primarily focus on successful completion of their chemistry lecture coursework. The individual study (research credits) should be completed during the summer. (No additional credits are required.)

Significant independent research accomplishments during the summer are expected to be a primary goal of Plan A students and they need to give research updates to the thesis committee at least three weeks before the ending of summer. The students on Plan A will have the option to be switched to Plan B if the research committee decides that the student research progress cannot fulfill the requirements of a research thesis in the following academic year.

Year Two, Fall Semester

  • Two chemistry lecture courses (6 credits) selected from the course list.

Full-time students may be nearing completion of the required 18 lecture credits required for the degree. Three individual studies in chemistry (56:160:619) or biochemistry (56:115:619) research credits should be completed under the supervision of their MS thesis advisor. At the start of the term, a research update is given before the committee to ensure that the student is on track for degree completion.

Year Two, Spring Semester

  • Five individual studies in chemistry (56:160:702) or biochemistry (56:115:702) research credits should be completed under the supervision of their thesis advisor.
  • One credit of seminar in chemistry. The thesis must be approved by the director of the student’s research committee and then accepted by the other committee members. The committee members have two weeks to review the thesis before the oral exam. For May graduation, the oral presentation and exam must be completed by mid-April.

The thesis must be submitted online via the Electronic Theses and Dissertations system. The thesis deadline adheres to the same deadline as the Application for Admission to Candidacy for Degree. Students should be sure to follow the guidelines set forth in the Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide.

Faculty Adviser and Committee 

All students are urged to find a faculty adviser (by mutual consent) before the start of their second semester, usually one who specializes in their areas of interest. Two other faculty members will be appointed to form the student’s committee. The committee oversees the selection of a research project, judges the acceptability of the thesis, and conducts the final examination.

Research  

When a student is ready to begin a research project, an outline of the proposed topic is presented during seminar to the graduate faculty for approval. The deadline is mid-semester of the student’s second term as a full-time student (generally prior to spring break).

The student is expected to inform members of the student’s committee of the date and time of the research proposal. At the end of each semester following approval of the research proposal, the student prepares a short (two- or three-page) written progress report for the research director.

The report is circulated to other committee members for their information and becomes part of the student’s file. A meeting is scheduled between the student and the committee at the start of the last academic year to ensure that the student is on track for degree completion. 

Plan B: Master of Science Degree, Non-Thesis

Below is a sample outline for part-time MS chemistry students to complete their degree over 6-10 semesters. Courses offered vary by semester. Students are encouraged to meet with the graduate program director to discuss specific course schedules.

Two lecture courses should only be taken if the student performed well during the previous term and the student’s work/life schedule will enable them to be successful with a heavier course load.

Year One, Fall Semester

  • One or two chemistry lecture courses (3-6 credits) selected from the course list. First semester part-time students working 40 hours/week are encouraged to register for only one graduate chemistry course.

Year One, Spring Semester

  • One or two chemistry lecture courses (3-6 credits) selected from the course list. 

Year Two, Fall Semester

  • One or two chemistry lecture courses (3-6 credits) selected from the course list.

Year Two, Spring Semester

  • One or two chemistry lecture courses (3-6 credits) selected from the course list.

Year Three, Fall Semester

  • One or two chemistry lecture courses (3-6 credits) selected from the course list.

Depending on the number of courses successfully completed each term, part-time students may be nearing completion of the required 27 lecture credits.

Year Three, Spring Semester

  • Two individual studies in chemistry (56:160:620) or biochemistry (56:115:620) research credits should be completed under the supervision of their individual studies in chemistry faculty advisor. 
  • One credit of seminar in chemistry (56:160:602). Students completing Plan B are expected to attend seminar and present their topic as part of their final comprehensive exam. 

Students are urged to find a faculty adviser (by mutual consent) before the start of their final semester, usually one who specializes in their areas of interest. The individual study credits should be taken after the 27 lecture credits have been completed. The student must inform the graduate director of the selection of the topic of the research paper and name of the faculty adviser.

Course List

Any of the 56:160 or 56:115 lecture courses are accepted. Other courses may be accepted if approved by the graduate program director. Not all courses on the lists below will be available during the years the student is attending.

Fall courses generally have odd course numbers. Spring courses generally have even course numbers.

Typical Fall Courses

  • 56:160:509 Organic Mechanisms: Electrophiles and Acids (3) 
  • 56:160:511 Advanced Organic Chemistry I (3) 
  • 56:160:513 Organic Analysis (3) 
  • 56:160:515 Polymer Chemistry I (3) 
  • 56:160:519 Fluorocarbons (3) 
  • 56:160:531 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I (3) 
  • 56:160:533 Symmetry Applications in Chemistry (3) 
  • 56:160:541 Electrochemistry (3) 
  • 56:160:545 Radiochemistry and Radiation Chemistry (3) 
  • 56:160:575 Special Topics in Chemistry (BA) 

or

  • 56:115:511 Biochemistry I (3) 
  • 56:115:525 Pharmaceutical Chemistry I (3)  
  • 56:115:527 BionaNotechnology (3) 
  • 56:115:575 Special Topics in Biochemistry (BA) 

Typical Spring Courses

  • 56:160:506 Materials Chemistry (3) 
  • 56:160:510 Organic Mechanisms: Radicals (3) 
  • 56:160:512 Advanced Organic Chemistry II (3) 
  • 56:160:514 Introduction to Molecular Modeling (3) 
  • 56:160:522 Molecular Spectroscopy (3) 
  • 56:160:524 Chemical Statistical Mechanics (3) 
  • 56:160:526 Surface Chemistry (3)
  • 56:160:528 Theory of Solids (3) 
  • 56:160:532 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry II (3)

or

  • 56:115:512 Biochemistry II (3)
  • 56:115:524 Natural Product Chemistry (3) 
  • 56:115:576 Special Topics in Biochemistry (BA)

Final Examinations

In both programs, students are expected to complete a final comprehensive examination. The final comprehensive examination is administered by the graduate faculty.

The examination normally is taken during the semester in which the student completed his or her course of study. It includes a thesis defense for students in Plan A. This exam is at least one hour in length and begins with a presentation (open to the public and possibly scheduled as a research seminar) of his or her thesis (Plan A) or research paper (Plan B).

The candidate is responsible for publicizing the seminar and scheduling an appropriate seminar room. The student must inform the graduate director of the intent to complete the final examination. All committee members must be available at the date/time arranged by the student. In the event of an unfavorable decision, the examination may be repeated twice.