Chemistry (MS)

Master of Science in Chemistry (CHEMMS)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department: Chemistry
Program Webpage: louisville.edu/chemistry/academics/graduate-studies

Program Information

The Department of Chemistry, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers graduate programs leading to the MS (thesis and non-thesis options) and PhD 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, Graduate Admissions, 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 Requirements

The requirements for the Master of Science 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 program requirements for the PhD 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 ENGL 101 (or equivalent) or an acceptable score on a standardized test (such as the TOEFL or Michigan test).
  4. Registration in seminar course CHEM 695 for the first three semesters of graduate study and an acceptable presentation of a one-hour literature seminar on a topic of current chemical interest or related to the student’s area of research. This seminar must be presented no later than the third semester of graduate studies.
  5. Completion of a written MS thesis and an oral defense for the thesis option or completion of an original research proposal (ORP) for the non-thesis option.

Admission Requirements

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

  1. A BA or BS 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 credit 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 BA or BS 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 (students with successful admission generally obtain quantitative and verbal scores totaling 1000 or more with an analytical score of 2.5 or totaling 900 or more with an analytical score of 3.0).
  4. Students with a native language other than English must show a proficiency in English. This requirement may be met with a grade of B or better in ENGL 101 (or equivalent) or an acceptable score on a standardized test (such as the TOEFL or Michigan test). A B-minus grade in ENGL 101 is unacceptable.

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

Master of Science (Thesis) in Chemistry

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

Chemistry MS - Thesis Option
CHEM 691Research1-15
CHEM 692Research1-15
CHEM 695Seminar 11-3
Research Areas (6 courses from at least 3 of 6 divisions) 218-20
Thesis Option0
Minimum Total Hours30

Chemistry Requirements

  1. Courses:  Students must pass a minimum of six 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.  In addition, a GPA of 3.0 or greater is required in lecture courses by the department.
  2. Mentor:  The research mentor must be selected during the first semester. Students are required to interview a minimum of 3 chemistry faculty (more are recommended) and have them sign the Mentor Selection Form. The student may choose a mentor after obtaining 3 signatures. If the mentor agrees to accept the student, the mentor will initial the Mentor Selection Form and the student should submit it for final approval by the department Director of Graduate Studies.
  3. Research: Research credit will be taken through courses CHEM 691 and CHEM 692 with the graduate mentor listed as the instructor.
  4. Seminar:  Enrollment in the chemistry research course CHEM 695 for the first three semesters of graduate study is required. The student must present a literature seminar related to their research or on a topic of current chemical interest in the second or third semester of his/her program (excluding summer).
  5. Thesis Committee:  The student will select his/her Thesis Committee in consultation with the research mentor during the first three semesters of study. The committee consists of the research mentor, a chemistry faculty in the same division, a chemistry faculty in a different division and a faculty member from a different department. Students must have each committee member sign the Thesis Committee Form and submit it the chemistry office.
  6. Publication:  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.
  7. Thesis:  A written thesis describing the research program is submitted a minimum of seven days before the defense. The defense consists of a seminar open to the public on the thesis project followed by an oral examination with the Thesis Committee.

Master of Science (Non-Thesis) in Chemistry

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

Chemistry MS - Non-Thesis Option
CHEM 691Research1-15
CHEM 692Research1-15
CHEM 695Seminar1-3
Research Areas (6 courses from at least 3 of 6 divisions)18-20
Non-Thesis Option0
Minimum Total Hours30

Note: Students in the PhD program will be awarded an MS degree (non-thesis) after successful completion of the Original Research Proposal and other previous requirements.

Chemistry Requirements

  1. Courses:  Students must pass a minimum of six graduate courses from at least three of six divisions (or research areas) with a minimum grade of C in any one course. A C-minus 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.  In addition, a GPA of 3.0 or greater is required in lecture courses by the department.
  2. Language:  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 ENGL 101 (or equivalent) or an acceptable score on a standardized test (such as the TOEFL or "Michigan test"). A B-minus inENGL 101 is considered unacceptable.
  3. Mentor:  The research mentor must be selected during the first semester. Students are required to interview a minimum of 3 chemistry faculty (more are recommended) and have them sign the Mentor Selection Form. The student may choose a mentor after obtaining 3 signatures. If the mentor agrees to accept the student, the mentor will initial the Mentor Selection Form and the student should submit it for final approval by the department Director of Graduate Studies.
  4. Research: Research credit will be taken through courses CHEM 691 and CHEM 692 with the graduate mentor listed as the instructor.
  5. Research Proposal:  The research proposal serves as the capstone project for the non-thesis MS 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’s mentor from the chemistry graduate faculty should oversee the proposal committee. The committee consists of the mentor plus two additional chemistry faculty selected by the student in consultation with the mentor.

Chemistry Courses

Analytical Division
CHEM 620Optical Spectrochemical Methods of Analysis3
CHEM 621Electroanalytical Chemistry3
CHEM 622Analytical Separations3
CHEM 625Advanced Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 626Special Topics in Analytical Chemistry1-3
CHEM 628Special Topics in Synthesis and Analysis1
CHEM 630Advanced Topics in Chemical Analysis1
Biochemistry Division
CHEM 645Advanced Biochemistry I4
CHEM 647Advanced Biochemistry II4
CHEM 648Systems Biochemistry: Principles and Practices3
CHEM 681Modern Biochemistry I3
CHEM 682Modern Biochemistry II3
CHEM 684Biophysical Chemistry3
CHEM 685Special Topics in Biochemistry1-3
Inorganic Division
CHEM 550Group Theory and its Chemical Applications3
CHEM 653Main Group Chemistry3
CHEM 654Advanced Coordination Chemistry3
CHEM 655Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry1-3
CHEM 656Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry1-3
CHEM 659Solid State Chemistry3
Organic Division
CHEM 557Bio-Organic Phenomena3
CHEM 670Chemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds and Alkaloids3
CHEM 671Advanced Polymer Chemistry3
CHEM 675Special Topics in Organic Chemistry1-3
CHEM 677Mechanisms and Theory in Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 678Advanced Organic Chemistry: General Survey3
CHEM 679Advanced Organic Synyhesis3
Physical Chemistry Division
CHEM 660Advanced Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 661Chemical Thermodynamics3
CHEM 665Special Topics in Physical Chemistry1-3
CHEM 666Special Topics in Physical Chemistry1-3
CHEM 667Reaction Kinetics3
CHEM 672Quantum Chemistry3
CHEM 684Biophysical Chemistry3
CHEM 687Molecular Spectroscopy3
Physics
PHYS 605Theoretical Mechanics3
PHYS 611Electromagnetic Theory I3

The following courses are not offered by a specific division or are common to all divisions.  CHEM 651 and CHEM 652 can count towards the course requirements with approval of the Chemistry Department Director of Graduate Studies. 

CHEM 503Special Topics in Chemistry1-3
CHEM 591Chemistry for Teachers I3
CHEM 632Chemical Education for Secondary Teachers4
CHEM 651Independent Study1-3
CHEM 652Independent Study1-3
CHEM 688X-Ray Crystallography and Its Application to Molecular Structure3
CHEM 691Research1-15
CHEM 692Research1-15
CHEM 695Seminar1-3