M.S. Degree in Chemistry

The M.S. degree programs in Chemistry provide the student an opportunity to participate in graduate education without the longer academic and research commitment of doctoral study.  Students who wish to extend their training prior to entering a doctoral program can avail themselves of this intermediate stage of education.  Students who do not wish to commit the time necessary for a doctorate may find the shorter graduate period of the M.S. degree of value before they begin their professional career.  The M.S. degree program allows the student to participate in advanced course work and to develop asignificant research program.

The rules and information which follow are intended to supplement those found in the Graduate School Catalog.  Students should become familiar with the rules found in this catalog as well as those listed below.  The M.S. program in Chemistry permits capable students to complete their work in two to three years.  Financial support for the academic year is normally available to third-year students in good standing. The student may elect to major in Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, or Physical Chemistry.


Students must demonstrate proficiency in each of the four major areas of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical.  Students satisfy this requirement by taking the appropriate 900 level courses in their area of specialization.  Outside their area, students satisfy the requirements by either passing the advanced placement exams given to entering students the week before classes begin or by passing the appropriate 800-level courses (Chem 862 for analytical chemistry, 874 for inorganic chemistry, 855 for organic chemistry, and 876 for physical chemistry) with a grade of at least B-.

Required Credit/Course Information

  • In accord with Graduate School requirements, the student must present 30 credits for completion of the M.S. program with no more than 10 and no fewer than 6 of these in thesis research (Chem 899).
  • Of the remaining 20 credits, at least 8 must be in courses numbered 800 or above.
  • All Graduate students who are or will be TA’s are required to take Chem 800 – 1 credit
  • All MS students are required to take Chem 991 & Chem 992 – 1 credit each:
    Chem 991 – Presentation Portfolio. Students will sign up in their third semester (usually fall semester, second year), maintain a presentation portfolio, and be awarded credit at the end of thei fourth year semester by the Graduate Coordinator with input from their thesis committee.
    Chem 992 – Professional Writing Portfolio – Students will sign up in their third semester (usually fall semester, second year), maintain a writing portfolio and be awarded credit at the end of their fourth semester by their research mentor with advice from the thesis committee.
  • Seminar – A seminar presentation is no longer required. However, students will sign up for and attend CHEM 997/998 beginning with their third semester in the program. Credit awarded by the Seminar Coordinator for satisfactory attendance at the end of the fourth semester.
  • Specific divisional requirements should also be fulfilled:
    • Analytical - at least three courses of the following: Chem 930, 933, 934,  or 935 MS Analytical Checklist
    • Inorganic - at least three courses of the following: Chem 903, 904, and 947. Students are recommended to take an Advanced proton NMR and carbon interpretation course which is currently offered as either 917 or 918, is recommended in addition to 808.. MS Inorganic Checklist
    • Organic - at least three courses of the following: Chem 808, 855, 902, or 911. Students are recommended to take an advanced proton and carbon NMR interpretation course, currently offered as either 917 or 918, is recommended in addition to 808. Note: All organic students are required to take Chem 855, even if they pass the placement exam. MS Organic Checklist
    • Physical - at least three courses from the following: Chem 905, 926, 927, or 995D/996D MS Physical Checklist
  • In certain cases, courses may be taken in areas outside of chemistry, provided such courses constitute an integral part of the overall program as approved by the Graduate Coordinator and thesis committee.
  • In accord with Graduate School’s Academic Policy, the student must have an accumulated 3.0 GPA or higher to graduate.

Research Progress Report

The Research Progress Report (RPR) will be scheduled late in the third semester for all MS students. All students in the M.S. program will submit an outline of a Research Progress report to their research advisor.  This outline is to be comprised of 2-3 pages of double-spaced typed text.   The advisor will return this with comments to the student within seven days.  The student will then prepare a final fuller version, which is to be distributed to the students’ committee two weeks prior to the report date. A research progress report meeting between the student and the committee will be scheduled by Cindi Rohwer, Admin. Manager to take place between the Thanksgiving Holiday and the end of the semester. The date, time and location will be emailed to the student and the committee.

This is an opportunity to talk with your committee about what has been accomplished in research up to this point.  The Research Report should include a review of the relevant literature.  It should summarize the student’s research progress to date, as well as the student’s plans and ideas for future work.  As a guideline, it is suggested that the report should comprise about ten pages of double-spaced typed text.  Any figures, references and tables incorporated should not be included in that total.
The committee will meet by the start of the spring semester and review all aspects of student work (courses, TA efforts, research, etc.).  At that time a decision will be made regarding status in program or what further actions are necessary.  RPRs that were considered inadequate by the committee will not be “made up”, although subsequent progress reports might be recommended.


The performance of each M.S. student will be reviewed periodically and, recommendations will be made to the student concerning the subsequent program.   A review by the entire faculty will occur at the end of the first and second years.   At these times, course and teaching performance, seminar participation, and research progress will be considered.   The student will be informed whether continuing in the program is advisable and will be apprized of any weaknesses.  Students whose performance is inadequate, or who show they may not be able to successfully complete the program will be asked to withdraw at this point.