The Department of Chemistry offers two graduate degrees: Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Students engage in coursework and conduct chemistry-related research that prepares them for careers in fields such as academia, industry, and government. Faculty and students in the Department of Chemistry participate in active research programs encompassing modern aspects of analytical, biological, environmental, inorganic, organic, physical, and polymer chemistry.
Master of Science Degree
A master’s degree may be earned under either of two plans (Plan A or Plan B) as determined by the Advisory Committee. Plan A requires at least 21 hours of course work (plus nine credits of GRAD 5950) and a written thesis describing original research in chemistry. The coursework must include at least three credit hours of independent study carrying out laboratory work or theoretical research. The Advisory Committee must approve the topic and scope of the master’s thesis. For students interested in a career in chemical research, the Department strongly recommends following Plan A. Plan B requires 30 credits of course work but no thesis. The Advisory Committee determines the courses to be taken and may require more than the minimum number of credits.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree
The primary requirement for the Ph.D. degree is submission of a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to the candidate’s field of specialization. The requirements for the Ph.D. in Chemistry are as follows:
Required Courses: A minimum of 30 course credits of graduate work beyond the Bachelor’s degree, in addition to 15 credits of GRAD 6950, required by the Graduate School. The Graduate Faculty of Chemistry may require specific courses based on the student’s proficiencies and areas of focus. The Department encourages extensive work in the major area and at least nine credits in a non-major area (usually chemistry but also areas such as biochemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacy, physics, and mathematics). It is most common for 21-27 course credits to be required beyond the Master’s degree, unless a student earns a Master’s degree in this Department as a step toward the Ph.D. In the latter case, all graduate credits may count toward the minimum of 30 course credits for the Ph.D., if approved by the Advisory Committee. The Ph.D. in Chemistry does not have a related area or foreign language requirement.
General Examination. After qualification, the student must pass the General Examination, consisting of a written and an oral portion as determined by their selected division (Analytical, Biological, Environmental, Inorganic, Organic, Physical, or Polymer). The General Examination is generally completed during the second or third year of graduate work.
Dissertation Prospectus. A Dissertation Prospectus must be filed with the Graduate School at least six months before submission of the dissertation, but preferably much earlier.
The programs are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.