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.
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.
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 concentrations are available to accommodate specific student interests and needs relating to graduate study in chemistry.
Each student, together with an adviser, chooses 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, four semester hours of project are 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.