Master of Science in Chemistry

Major: CHEM
Degree Awarded: MS
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

The Department of Chemistry, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry with options in analytical chemistry, biochemistry, biomolecular structure and engineering, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and chemical physics.

The general requirements for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, for admission to candidacy, and for the master's degree are stated in the General Information section of this catalog. The following additional provisions apply to the program leading to the Master of Science in Chemistry.

Program Admission Procedure

Students seeking a graduate degree in chemistry should meet the following requirements:

  1. A B.A. or B.S. degree in chemistry or in a related field such as physics, engineering, or mathematics. It is expected that students will have obtained a background in chemistry equivalent to 36 hours of undergraduate coursework. Students planning to pursue graduate study in chemical physics may substitute some of the chemistry hours with advanced courses in physics or mathematics beyond those required for a B.A. or B.S. in chemistry. Students with inadequate preparation will be required to register for specific courses in the area of deficiency. Some of these courses, subject to approval by the department, may be accepted for graduate credit. Admission to graduate study in chemical physics is made on the recommendation of the entrance committee for that option.
  2. A minimum quality point standing of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Submission of Graduate Record Examination scores (quantitative and verbal scores totaling at least 1000 with an analytical score of 2.5 or totaling at least 900 with an analytical score of 3.0).

In individual cases, the conditional admission of a student who does not satisfactorily meet the above requirements may be recommended by the department to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. If admission is granted, that student will be subject to those conditions specified by the department or School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies as being necessary to remedy the conditional admission.

Program Requirements

The requirements for the Master of Science Degree in chemistry are as follows:

  1. The general requirements as stated in the General Information section of this catalog.
  2. Completion of course curriculum as described in the section on Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
  3. Students with a native language other than English must show a proficiency in English. This requirement may be met with a grade of "B" in Eng. 101 (or equivalent) or an acceptable score on a standardized test (such as the TOEFL or Michigan test).
  4. Acceptable presentation of a one-hour literature seminar on a topic of current chemical interest. This seminar must be presented no later than the fifth semester of graduate studies.

Early Start Program

The Master of Arts in Teaching program in conjunction with the undergraduate programs in Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics offers a comprehensive and professionally-focused program leading to the degree of MAT Middle or Secondary Education. This early start program enables superior students to receive two degrees within five years. A total of 150 credits are required for the dual degrees: 123 credits of course work devoted toward the baccalaureate degree and 36 credits toward the MAT (nine hours are double counted). This program will be available for students who are entering their junior year. They may take graduate level courses in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) in their 4th year.

The current qualifications for the joint degree program have been agreed upon by discipline faculty from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Development. The criteria vary by discipline.


  1. Students must have at least 23 credit hours of chemistry (through CHEM 441 and CHEM 470) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in those courses.
  2. Applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee of the Chemistry Department and the Secondary MAT Screening Committee, the applicant must be approved by both committees.
  3. Once approved, the student may take a maximum of nine (9) hours for graduate credit while in undergraduate status, which can also apply to the requirements for the BA in Chemistry. All graduate coursework must be approved by the student's MAT faculty advisor.
  4. Students enrolling in the accelerated program will be non-thesis students and must adhere to all policies pertaining to Graduate Students.
  5. All students must submit an application to the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) MAT program and meet the admission criteria.


General Requirements

A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required.  At least 15 semester hours must be in chemistry courses.  An overall GPA of 3.0 must be maintained.  Details are given in the current “Graduate School Bulletin”.

Chemistry Requirements

1. Students must pass at least four graduate courses from at least three of six divisions (or research areas) with a minimum grade of ‘C’ in any one course.  A ‘C-’ grade is considered unacceptable.  The areas are: Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Physics. An overall GPA of 3.0 or greater is required by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

2. Students with a native language other than English must show a proficiency in English. This requirement may be met with a grade of ‘B’ in Eng. 101 (or equivalent) or an acceptable score on a standardized test (such as the "Michigan test").  A ‘B-’ in Eng. 101 is considered unacceptable

3. A one-hour literature seminar on a topic in chemistry of current interest (Chem 695). The student must present this seminar in the second or third semester of his/her program (excluding summer).

4. Research: Chem 691-692.  A research advisor should be selected by the end of the first semester in the graduate program.

5. Scientific publication is an important element of graduate education and research.  Therefore, it is normally expected that a manuscript based on the student’s research would have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal by the time of his/her thesis defense.  The student’s contribution must be significant to both the scientific content and the manuscript drafting.

6. A written thesis describing the research program is submitted a minimum of seven days before the defense.  The defense consists of a one-hour seminar on the thesis project followed by an oral examination with the Faculty Reading Committee.

Note: Students in the Ph.D. program will be awarded an MS degree after successful completion of the Research Seminar and other previous requirements

Requirements for Master of Science (non-thesis) in Chemistry

A minimum total 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required.  At least 15 semester hours must be in chemistry courses. An overall GPA of 3.0 must be maintained.

Courses: Students must pass at least 6 graduate lecture courses from at least 3 of 6 divisions with a minimum grade of ‘C’ in any one course. Additional credit hour requirements can be met by research and/or additional graduate level coursework.

Mentor: The research mentor should be selected during the first semester. Students are required to interview a minimum of 5 chemistry faculty, including members of at least 2 divisions, and have them sign the Mentor Selection Form. The student may choose a mentor after obtaining 5 signatures. If the mentor agrees to accept the student, the mentor will again sign the Mentor Selection Form and the student should submit it for approval by the departmental Director of Graduate Studies. Students wishing to change research directors should first consult with the departmental Director of Graduate Studies. Failure to actively participate in a research group is grounds for loss of funding and/or dismissal from the program.

Literature Seminar: Students must enroll in seminar (Chem 695) during their first 3 semesters (excluding summers). Students enrolled in CHEM 695 must attend seminars and make a presentation during their second or third semester. The seminar attendance requirement may be waived after all other candidacy requirements have been achieved.

The literature seminar should be based on a topic under active discussion in the recent literature. The student is responsible for selecting the seminar topic, although consultation with the student’s research advisor is recommended to verify that the independently chosen topic is appropriate. The topic must not be chosen from the student’s immediate area of research and must not be chosen from an area over which a comprehensive review has been published during the previous two years. The topic must be approved by the Seminar coordinator and/or the Seminar Committee. The student must fully develop the topic, integrating material from at least three primary references and a total of at least eight references into a flowing, well-organized presentation of appropriate length. A passing grade for seminar is B- or above. A student who does not attain this grade will be allowed one attempt to repeat the seminar. The second attempt must be completed prior to the end of the students 4th semester. Failure to receive a B- or higher on the second attempt will result in dismissal from the program. Additional information will be provided on the Chem 695 syllabus.

Proposal: The research proposal serves as the capstone project for the non-thesis M.S. degree. Students must develop, explain, and defend a research proposal.  The proposal can be based on recent literature or the student's research project (if applicable). The student should select a mentor from the chemistry graduate faculty to oversee the proposal committee. The committee consists of the mentor plus two additional chemistry faculty selected by the student in consultation with the mentor.


Richard P. Baldwin

John W. Brown

Robert M. Buchanan

Christopher T. Burns

Assistant Professor

Thomas H. Crawford

Teresa W. M. Fan
Associate Professor

Craig A. Grapperhaus
Associate Professor

Gerald B. Hammond

Richard M. Higashi
Associate Professor

Pawel M. Kozlowski
Associate Professor

N. Thornton Lipscomb

Jinjun Liu

Assistant Professor

Frederick Luzzio

Muriel C. Maurer
Associate Professor

Sergio B. Mendes
Associate Professor

Hunter N. Moseley

Assistant Professor

Eugene Mueller


Michael H. Nantz

Mark E. Noble

George R. Pack

Aleeta M. Powe
Assistant Professor

Christine V. Rich
Assistant Professor

John F. Richardson
Associate Professor

Gradus L. Shoemaker

K. Grant Taylor

Charles A. Trapp

Richard J. Wittebort


M. Cecilia Yappert

Francis P. Zamborini

Assistant Professor