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Chemistry MS

Program overview

The master of science degree in chemistry is offered on a full- or part-time basis. The program is designed to fill the needs of the traditional student or the practicing chemist who is employed full time and wishes to pursue a graduate degree on a part-time basis.

The School of Chemistry and Materials Science has research- and teaching-oriented faculty, as well as excellent equipment and facilities that enable full-time graduate students to carry on a program of independent study and develop the ability to attack scientific problems at the fundamental level. The research can result in either a thesis or a project report.

Through course work and research activities, the program strives to increase the breadth and depth of the studentís background in chemistry. Students in the program will develop the ability to attack scientific problems with minimal supervision.

Curriculum

The program offers two options: a thesis option and a project option. Concentrations are available in organic, analytical, inorganic, physical chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials science, and biochemistry. Customized program options are available to accommodate specific student interests and needs relating to graduate study in chemistry.

Each student, together with an adviser, will choose courses to create a customized curriculum that best meets their interests, needs and career aspirations. Each student's curriculum will be subject to the approval of the director of the graduate program.

A deliberate effort will be made to strengthen any areas of weakness indicated by the studentís undergraduate records and the placement examinations. The MS degree consists of the following requirements:

1. A minimum of 30 semester credit hours beyond the bachelorís degree.

Courses in chemistry will generally be chosen from 600- and 700-level courses and should include one or more courses in analytical, organic, and physical chemistry. The core requirement is one course each in organic, physical, and analytical chemistry, plus one course in inorganic chemistry, if an appropriate undergraduate course was not taken. Specifically, each student must select core courses (subject to approval by the studentís adviser and the graduate committee) that include the following: analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. As part of the required credits, each student must have four semester credit hours in seminar (CHEM-771, 772, 773, 774).

2. Ten credit hours in research (minimum) for the thesis option

A minimum of 10 semester credit hours are required with the thesis option. For students who opt for the project option, a 1 semester hour project is required.

3. Passage of an oral defense of the MS thesis

Students enrolled in the thesis option are expected to complete an independent research thesis and pass an oral defense. Typically, all requirements are met within two years.

Chemistry (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CHEM-771 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 1 1
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 1 3
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 2 3
CHEM-670 Graduate Chemistry Writing 1
CHEM-772 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 2 1
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 3 3
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 4 3
CHEM-790 Research and Thesis Guidance 1
CHEM-790 Research and Thesis Guidance (summer) 4
Second Year
CHEM-773 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 3 1
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 5 3
CHEM-790 Research and Thesis Guidance 2
CHEM-774 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 4 1
CHEM-790 Research and Thesis Guidance 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Chemistry (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CHEM-771 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 1 1
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 1 3
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 2 3
CHEM-670 Graduate Chemistry Writing 1
CHEM-772 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 2 1
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 3 3
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 4 3
Second Year
CHEM-773 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 3 1
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 5 3
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 6 3
CHEM-774 Graduate Chemistry Seminar 4 1
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 7 3
  Graduate Chemistry Focus Course 8 3
CHEM-780 Chemistry Project 1
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in chemistry, a candidate must fulfill the following requirements:

As a supplement to the normal application process, it is strongly recommended that students visit RIT.

Additional information

Assistantships

All candidates for teaching assistantships must have a personal interview with the department head and/or the chair of the Chemistry Graduate Committee. International students can complete the interview by phone.

Nonmatriculated students

An applicant with a bachelorís degree from an approved undergraduate institution and the background necessary for specific courses is permitted to take graduate courses as a nonmatriculated student. If the student is subsequently admitted to the graduate program, courses taken for credit usually can be applied toward the masterís degree. A maximum of 6 semester credit hours (from courses taken at RIT as a nonmatriculated student) may be transferred to the degree program.

Any applicant who wishes to register for a graduate course as a nonmatriculated student must obtain permission from the chair of the graduate program and the course instructor.

Part-time study

Courses are offered in the late afternoons and evenings to encourage practicing chemists to pursue the MS degree without interrupting their employment. Part-time students may take the project option, which includes a capstone project in place of a thesis. Students employed full time normally take one course each semester. At this pace, course work can be completed within four to five years.

Equipment

The School of Chemistry and Materials Science has modern instrumentation in the areas of spectroscopy (NMR, IR, UV-vis, fluorescence, atomic absorption, fluorimetry), chromatography (gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, etc.), mass spectrometry (high-performance lc- and gc-mass spectrometry and electrospray mass spectrometry), and materials characterization (rheometry, thermal gravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, hot-stage microscopy and contact angle goniometry). Visit the schoolís website for a complete list of equipment and instrumentation.

External research credit

The School of Chemistry and Materials Science recognizes that the experience of a number of chemists employed in industry includes independent, creative research. A maximum of 16 hours of research credit, conducted during employment, may be applied toward the completion of the master of science degree in chemistry on either a full- or part-time basis.

Cooperative education

Students at the masterís level who have, or are able to obtain, industrial employment, may be able to earn cooperative education credit for their work experiences. Semesters of co-op can be interspersed with semesters of full-time academic work. Research credits may be obtained through external research credit. If industrial employment does not permit research, then research credits may be obtained within the School of Chemistry and Materials Science.


Career Outcomes

Job Titles

Chemical technician, lab technician, chemist, environmental chemist, research associate

Functions

Basic research, assist in the development of new products; provide chemistry lab support for various project initiatives, chemical sales

Recent Employers

Xerox Corporation, Eastman Kodak Company, E.I. DuPont, Merck, Ultralife Batteries, Schenectady International, Environmental Health Services, Micron Display Technology, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Smithkline Beecham, Arkwright, Columbia Analytical Services


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