M.A. Degree Requirements

Placement Exams

Placement exams are used to assess undergraduate preparation. Graduate students in Chemistry are expected to pass two placement exams, with one exam fitting the specialty of the students' graduate thesis. There are six placement exams, one in each of the following areas: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. In addition to chemistry subject placement exams, all incoming graduate students must meet the university writing requirement by completing one of the following: 1). the Exam in Writing Proficiency (EWP) with a passing grade; 2). Eng 301 or Eng 360 and the received grade must be a "B" or better; 3). a minimum score of 4 on the GRE Writing Assessment Test; 4). a minimum score of 4 on the Graduate Management Admissions test (GMAT) Analytical Writing Assessment.

Required Courses

The degree program consists of 30 semester units of course work, of which at least 21 units must be at the 500-level. All of the courses must be completed with a minimum grad of "B". The following courses are required:

  • Chemistry 505A,B -Seminar in Chemistry
  • Chemistry 597 - Original Research Proposal Project (3 units, Prerequisite: 6 units of 500-level coursework
  • 400- and/or 500-level laboratory courses (4 units)
  • 400- and/or 500-level lecture coursework (up to 21 units)

Although courses from the Chemistry and Biochemistry department are preferred, a student may also use coursework from other Departments (e.g., Biological Science, Physics, Science Education, Business, etc.) if it can be demonstrated that these courses are useful for the student's career. The use of such coursework on the MA study plan is limited to 9 units and must be approved by the Project Advisor and the Graduate Program Advisor.

Core & Elective Requirements

A minimum of 21 units of advisor-approved coursework is required, at least fifteen units of which must be lecture courses at the 500 level. In addition each student is required to take a minimum of four units of 400- and/or 500-level laboratory coursework.

Elective Courses to Satisfy Degree Requirements

A minimum of 25 units of advisor approved elective coursework is required. Of these units, at least 16 units must be lecture courses at the 500 level and at least 4 units must be laboratory coursework at the 400- and/or 500-level. Some of the courses offered in CHEM that are appropriate for the MA degree are:

  • CHEM 410 Advanced Computational Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 410 Advanced Computational Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 411A Instrumental Analysis-Optical Spectroscopy
  • CHEM 411B Instrumental Analysis-Magnetic Resonance (1)
  • CHEM 411C Instrumental Analysis-Separations (1)
  • CHEM 411D Instrumental Analysis-Electrochemistry (1)
  • CHEM 411G Instrumental Analysis-Mass spectrometry (1)
  • CHEM 421 Biological Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 422 General Biochemistry Laboratory (2)
  • CHEM 423A General Biochemistry (3)
  • CHEM 423B General Biochemistry (3)
  • CHEM 425 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 431 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 435 Chemistry of Hazardous Materials (3)
  • CHEM 436 Atmospheric Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 437 Environmental Water Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 438 Environmental Biochemistry (3)
  • CHEM 445 Nutritional Biochemistry (3)
  • CHEM 472A Advances in Biotechnology Laboratory (3)
  • CHEM 472B Advances in Biotechnology Laboratory (3)
  • CHEM 473 Introduction to Bioinformatics (3)
  • CHEM 477 Advances in Biotechnology (3)
  • CHEM 480T Topics in Contemporary Chemistry (2-3)
  • CHEM 511 Advanced Analytical Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 512 Advanced Instrumentation (3)
  • CHEM 535 Organic Synthesis (3)
  • CHEM 537 Organic Spectroscopy (3)
  • CHEM 541 Protein Biochemistry (3)
  • CHEM 542 Nucleic Acid Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 543 Physical Biochemistry (3)
  • CHEM 546 Metabolism and Catalysis (3)
  • CHEM 551 Quantum Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 552 Kinetics and Spectroscopy (3)
  • CHEM 580T Topics in Advanced Chemistry (1-6)

Minimum Requirements for the Culminating Experience

The degree's culminating experience, CHEM 597, Original Research Proposal Project, is a “significant undertaking appropriate to the field” in all areas of chemistry. As part of this culminating experience students will demonstrate the ability to conduct an independent literature research, collect, analyze, and interpret information using contemporary methods, and communicate results of research using oral and written formats to experts and non-experts in the field. The written project will be defended orally. Students graduating with the MA degree in Chemistry are expected to demonstrate an awareness of the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge, have an awareness of the broader impact of research and practice in the chemical sciences and pursue career objectives that make use of the graduate degree.

Formal Steps in Obtaining the MA Degree

The formal steps in obtaining the MA in Chemistry are:

  1. Admission (conditional classification, granted for either Fall or Spring semester)
  2. Classification (completion of pre-classification requirements and selection of a project advisor)
  3. Advancement to candidacy (after a request is filed for graduation)
  4. Graduation (completion of requirements and awarding of degree)