M.S. Requirements

M.S. Requirements

Advisor and Committee Selection

New students must interview with at least three potential research advisors during the 1st semester. An advisor must be selected before the start of the 2nd semester. The number of departmentally-supported students (TAs) who may work with a given faculty member is limited; a student should select an advisor as soon as possible. An Advisor Selection Form must be filled out and returned to the Graduate Coordinator for approval by the Graduate Affairs Committee.

The research advisor will appoint a permanent committee to guide the student's studies by the end of the 2nd semester. The committee will have at least three members of the graduate faculty. If the student is co-directed by two committee members, a fourth committee member is required. The Committee Selection Form must be completed.

Advisor Selection Form

Program of Studies

The Program of Studies form should be completed and approved by the student's committee by the end of the 2nd semester in residence. Program requirements are:

  • At least six hours of CH 8000 thesis research.
  • At least twenty four hours of coursework:
    • Up to six hours may be out-of-department graduate courses.
    • All chemistry courses must be at the 7000 level or higher, with at least twelve hours at the 8000 level or above.
    • Up to six hours may may be earned by directed individual study.
    • One literature seminar credit is required as part of the twenty four hours.
  • Up to nine hours of transfer credit can be accepted, but it must be approved through the Office of the Graduate Studies.

The Office of Graduate Studies enforces an eight year limit on all course work listed in a M. S. program. An extension of time form can be used to request a one-time, one-year extension. A typical program of studies would include:

  • CH 8000 Thesis Research (6 hours; required).
  • CH 8711 Seminar (1 hour; required).
  • •Six 3-hour 6000 level or above courses chosen in consultation with the research director/committee (eighteen hours).
  • CH 7000 Directed Individual Study (five hours).

Academic Standards and Probationary Policy

An overall GPA of 3.0/4.0 on all graduate courses is required by the university to remain in good-standing. The chemistry department additionally requires that the student must maintain a 3.0 average in all chemistry courses above the 6000 level. If either cumulative GPA drops below 3.0 at any time, the student will be placed on probation and be required to correct the deficiency by the end of the next semester. If after a probationary semester, a 3.0 cumulative GPA is still not achieved, a recommendation by the student's committee to the Graduate Affairs Committee is necessary for program continuation. The Graduate Affairs Committee decides what action should be taken. Possible actions include extension of probation or dismissal from the Graduate Chemistry Program.

  • The University requires a "B" average on all graduate course work.
  • A "B" average is required for all chemistry courses above the 6000 level.
  • No grade under "C" can be accepted for graduate credit


Original research is required of all graduate students, and the results will constitute a M. S. thesis.  Since the completion of a research project involves the investment of a great deal of time and effort, research should begin as early as possible. This research requires direction from a faculty advisor, and possible collaboration with other faculty, but it must be based, in substantial part, upon the work for which the student is solely responsible.

Research assistantships (RAs) may be available.  Students who accept an RA to work on specific projects supported by extramural funds (not from the Chemistry Dept.) will be solely responsible to the faculty member that manages the project. In certain cases, part or all of the RA research may be included in the student's thesis. In the cases where this situation is not possible, the faculty advisor will clearly delineate the RA research and the thesis research. Students should understand that extramural research funds are often renewed annually, and if the funding is discontinued, the RA may be terminated as well.

Thesis and Final Exam

When the student in the M. S. program has successfully completed his/her research project, as judged by the research advisor, the student should write an original research thesis and apply for the final oral examination.

At the oral, the candidate will present and defend his/her research before his/her committee, invited guests, fellow students, and general faculty.  The candidate has two attempts in which to successfully complete this examination.  The attempts must be at least four months apart.

  • The student must apply for graduation by the published deadline and be enrolled during the semester of the defense.
  • Committee members must receive the final copy of the thesis at least two weeks before the defense.
  • The title, time, place, and date of the seminar must be announced in the department at least one week before the defense.

The results of the "masters final" must be reported using the form provided on the Graduate School's website (the form must be downloaded by your major professor).

Please note deadlines and general guidelines for submission of dissertations as published by the Office of Graduate Studies.