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Chemistry MS

Semester Requirements

Joseph P. Hornak, Graduate Program Director
(585) 475-2904, jphsch@rit.edu

http://www.rit.edu/cos/chemistry/

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 student’s 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 student’s undergraduate records and the placement examinations. The MS degree consists of the following requirements:

1. A minimum of 30 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s 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 student’s 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

Course Sem. 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

Course Sem. 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:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in chemistry from an accredited college or university. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in another scientific discipline and the equivalent of a full year’s course work in analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, and calculus also will be considered for admission.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) for all previously completed undergraduate or graduate course work.
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The chemistry GRE is also recommended.
  • Submit two letters of reference.
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.5. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit www.ielts.org. This requirement may be waived for students who submit transcripts from universities at which the language of instruction is English. Foreign students with English language deficiencies may be required to take the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency, given by the RIT English Language Center. If a student’s score is below standard, additional course work may be recommended. Successful completion of this work is a requirement of the program. This may mean that the student will need additional time and financial resources to complete the degree program.

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 bachelor’s 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 master’s 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 school’s 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 master’s 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.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

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 department of chemistry 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 student’s background in chemistry. Students in the program will develop the ability to attack scientific problems with minimal supervision.

Curriculum

The program offers concentrations in organic, analytical, inorganic, and physical chemistry. In addition, concentrations in polymer chemistry, materials science, and  biochemistry are available. 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 arrange a program best suited to their interests and needs. This program 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 student’s undergraduate records and the placement examinations. The MS degree consists of the following requirements:

1. A minimum of 45 quarter credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Courses in chemistry will generally be chosen from 700- and 800-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 student’s adviser and the graduate committee) that include the following: Analytical Chemistry (1008-621 and 1008-711); Organic Chemistry (1013-737 or 1013-739); and Physical Chemistry (1014-741, 1014-742, 1014-743, or 1014-744). The inorganic core course is 1012-764. As part of the required credits, each student must have one or two quarter credit hours in seminar (1010-870), and three to four quarter credit hours from outside of the department of chemistry. A maximum of 9 quarter credits may be taken in undergraduate-level courses.

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

A minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 quarter credit hours are required with the project option. The program also offers a course-work-only MS option. With this option, the student must complete a four quarter credit hour capstone course.

3. Passage of an oral defense of the MS thesis

Students enrolled in the program full time are expected to complete 45 quarter credit hours of course work, including up to 21 quarter credit hours of research leading to the submission of an independent research thesis, and pass an oral defense of the thesis. A full-time student normally takes six to nine graduate credits per quarter, including thesis work. Typically, all requirements are met within two years. No more than eight credit hours of research are allowed in the non-thesis MS option.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their graduate program adviser with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Chemistry, MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following organic chemisty courses: 4
   1013-737    Advanced Organic Chemistry  
   1013-739    Advanced Organic Chemistry  
Choose one of the following physical chemistry courses:  3-4
   1014-741    Advanced Chemical Thermodynamics  
   1014-742    Survey of Physical Chemistry  
   1014-743    Advanced Chemical Kinetics  
   1014-744    Advanced Quantum Mechanics  
1008-621, 711  Analytical Chemistry 5
1012-764 Inorganic Chemistry* 4
1010-870 Research Seminar 1-2
  Graduate Elective 3-4
Choose one of the following:  
     Thesis 9
     Project 4-8
     Course-work only option†  
Total Quarter Credit Hours 45

* This course may be waived if the student completed an inorganic chemistry course as part of their undergraduate curriculum.

† Please consult the program director.

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:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in chemistry from an accredited college or university. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in another scientific discipline and the equivalent of a full year’s course work in analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, and calculus also will be considered for admission
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) for all previously completed undergraduate or graduate course work
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The chemistry GRE is also recommended
  • Submit two letters of reference
  • Complete a graduate application
  • International applicants whose native langauge is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.5. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit www.ielts.org. This requirement may be waived for students who submit transcripts from universities at which the language of instruction is English. Foreign students with English language deficiencies may be required to take the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency, given by the RIT English Language Center. If a student’s score is below standard, additional course work may be recommended. Successful completion of this work is a requirement of the program. This may mean that the student will need additional time and financial resources to complete the degree program.

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 bachelor’s 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 master’s degree. A maximum of 9 quarter 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

The department of chemistry offers courses in the late afternoon and evenings to encourage practicing chemists to pursue the MS degree without interrupting their employment. Part-time students may take the course-work-only option with the capstone project, 1010-800. Students employed full time normally take one course each quarter. At this pace, course work can be completed within four to five years.

Equipment

The department of chemistry 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 chemistry department’s website for a complete list of equipment and instrumentation.

External research credit

The department of chemistry 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 option

The cooperative education option accommodates students at the master’s level who have, or are able to obtain, industrial employment. Quarters of co-op can be interspersed with quarters of full-time academic work. If industrial employment permits research, up to 16 of the 45 required quarter credit hours may be obtained through the external research credit option. If industrial employment does not permit research, then research credits may be obtained within the department of chemistry.