Graduate Programs

Admission Requirements

The Department of Chemistry requires of every student admitted a minimum of thirty-two (32) semester hours, or the equivalent, in the four major areas of chemistry. One year of physics and one year of calculus also are required. Students lacking any of these prerequisites may be admitted conditionally.

Program or Study

The Department of Chemistry offers programs of course work and research leading to the Master of Science degree in organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry, biochemistry, and industrial chemistry; and the Ph.D. in Chemistry in these subdisciplines.

Master of Science in Chemistry

Students entering the Department are required to take basic examinations during the week of registration in order to insure that they begin graduate work at a level commensurate with their background. The examination is based upon the subject matter covered by the following courses: general chemistry, qualitative analysis, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and mathematics through calculus.

A candidate for the Master of Science degree must complete a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours in a program of study and research approved by the chair of the Department in consultation with the student and his/her major professor. Minimum departmental requirements are the following:

  • Satisfactory completion of a minimum of twenty-four (24) semester hours of approved course work and six (6) semester hours of thesis research, including for all students these required courses: CHE 412 (Instrumentation), CHE 421 (Advanced Inorganic Chemistry), CHE 531 (Mechanistic Organic Chemistry), CHE 532 (Organic Synthesis), CHE 541 (thermodynamics), CHE 542 (Quantum Mechanics). For Biochemistry majors, required course include Advanced Biochemistry (CHE 551 and CHE 552), Physical Chemistry (CHE 541 or CHE 542), Mechanistic Organic Chemistry (CHE 531), Cell Biology or Genetics (BIO 506 or BIO 513), Physical Biochemistry (CHE 651), electives and research.
  • A reading knowledge of French or German as evidenced by passing an examination or course given by the University, or upon petition by the student and written approval of the faculty. Substitution of computer programming with proficiency must be demonstrated by examination, or an acceptable grade in a graduate course in computer science. If a course in computer science is taken in lieu of a foreign language, that course cannot be used to satisfy the 30-hour minimum course requirement for the M.S. Degree.
  • Passing comprehensive examinations.
  • Passing a final examination to be given after approval of the thesis by the research advisor and may be written oral or both.
  • Acceptance of the thesis by the Department.

Masters of Science in Industrial Chemistry

The general requirements are the basic examination, language examination, comprehensive examination, final examination, and acceptance of the thesis are the same as those outlined under the heading Master of Science in Chemistry. Additionally, a candidate for the Master of Science degree in Industrial Chemistry must complete a minimum of thirty-five (35) semester hours and research approved by the chair of the Department in consultation with the student and the Director of the Industrial Chemistry Program. Minimum Departmental requirements consist of the following:

Completion of twenty-nine (29) hours of approved coursework and six (6) of the thesis research involving an internship in the chemical industry, or for students who do not participate in the internship program, completion of thirty-five (35) hours of approved course work and six (6) of thesis research, including these required courses: CHE 412 (Instrumentation), CHE 421 (Advanced Inorganic Chemistry), CHE 531 (Mechanistic Organic Chemistry), CHE 532 (Organic Synthesis), CHE 541 (Thermodynamics), CHE 542 (Quantum Mechanics), CHE 561 (Topics in Industrial Chemistry, CHE 562 (Scale-up for Chemists), CHE 571 (Polymer Chemistry), and an elective in Business Administration.

A medical industrial chemistry option may be satisfied by completion of the following additional courses:

CHE 551: Advanced Biochemistry I
CHE 552: Advanced Biochemistry II

For business administration courses, see the School of Business Administration.

Doctor of Philosophy

Applicants for the Ph.D. program must submit results for a recent Graduate Record Examination and meet all other general admission requirements. Applicants with the master's degree must have earned a minimum graduate GPA of B. Applicants must pass an entrance examination. Minimum departmental requirements are:
  • Completion of course work including of core courses, and a scientific communications course with minimum course credit beyond the bachelor's degree totaling forty-four (44) hours for organic majors and thirty-six (36) for biochemistry majors.
  • Evidence of proficiency in the use of two research tools which may be satisfied by reading proficiency in German, French or Russian and in computer science (evidenced by passing a test or completion of an approved graduate course).
  • Passing of three general and one advanced comprehensive examinations by the end of the second year for bachelor's entrants, master's entrants passing only an advanced comprehensive examination by the end of their first year, and biochemistry majors are exempted from the general comprehensive in inorganic chemistry.
  • Passing of a required number of cumulative examinations in the field of specialization by the end of the third year for bachelor's and second year for master's entrants.
  • Presentation and oral defense of a research proposal by the end of the second year for bachelor's and third semester for master's entrants.
  • Passing of a final examination which may be written, oral or both given only after approval of thesis by the thesis advisor.
  • Acceptance of a research dissertation by the Department.