Chemistry Program

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Graduate programs

Master of Science, Chemistry

G. Alan Schick, Graduate Director
Temple Hall, Room 104, Phone 417-836-4161
AlanSchick@missouristate.edu

Program description

This program is designed to prepare students to work in industrial or governmental chemistry laboratories, or to pursue doctoral studies in chemistry.

Program objectives

Development of a sound knowledge of chemical principles, acquisition of outstanding research and communication skills, and attainment of an understanding and appreciation of applied chemistry and the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to the solution of scientific problems.

Areas of specialization include analytical chemistry, biochemistry, chemical education, environmental chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry (including polymer chemistry and nanotechnology). organic chemistry, and physical chemistry.

Formal courses, graduate seminars, professional advisement, directed research, and an extensive written document (thesis or non-thesis) will be incorporated into a customized curriculum based on the individual's scholastic background and career goals.   On completion of the program, students will have developed the skills needed for careers in chemical production, development, or research.

Assistantships and application deadlines

Initial review of applications for program admission begins March 1 for subsequent fall semesters and October 1 for subsequent spring semesters.  Late applications may be considered based on program enrollment.  Evaluation of applications for teaching assistantships begins on April 1 for fall and November 1 for spring and will continue until positions are filled.  Applicants for assistantships must first be accepted into the program, and files must be complete to be considered.

Entrance requirements

Students admitted to the graduate chemistry program in full standing must meet the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or equivalent training in a foreign university.
  2. A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, or a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of course work.
  3. Scores from the Verbal Reasoning , Quantitative Reasoning, and Analyitcal Writing sections of the Graduate Record Examination.  Normally, students are expected to score at or above the 50th percentile on each section of the GRE.  A waiver of this requirement may be requested for exceptional circumstances.
  4. International applicants from countries not recognizing English as the primary official language are additionally required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of not less than 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based) and with a minimum of 50th percentile on the Listening Comprehension Section.
  5. A minimum undergraduate foundation in chemistry and supporting content consisting of two semesters of general chemistry with lab, two semesters of organic chemistry with lab, one semester of analytical chemistry with lab, one semester of inorganic chemistry, two semesters of calculus, and two semesters of college-level physics, all with grades of “C-” or better and with a combined GPA of not less than 3.00.  Applicants lacking any of the foundation courses listed may not be admitted until the deficiencies are rectified with appropriate course.

Students who do not meet the grade point standards outlined above may be granted conditional admission to the program.  As conditions of admission, students will be required to complete a minimum of 9 hours of specified graduate courses with a GPA of at least 3.00 to be advanced to full standing in the program.

Accelerated Master's Degree option

Eligible Missouri State University majors in chemistry may apply for preliminary acceptance into the Master of Science program in Chemistry after admission requirements for the accelerated master's option have been satisfied. If accepted, graduate courses chosen from CHM 602, CHM 607, CHM 642, CHM 656 and CHM 675 may be counted towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees, with a maximum of 12 credit hours counted towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. This option offers an opportunity for chemistry majors with undergraduate laboratory research experience to complete the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Chemistry in two semesters and a summer after attaining the Bachelor’s degree, rather than the typical four semesters and a summer.

Before enrolling in a course to be counted as mixed credit toward both undergraduate and graduate degrees, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated program. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule period for the course(s). See the Graduate College for further information.

Admission Requirements for Accelerated Master's Degree Option

  1. Junior standing with an overall GPA of 3.20 or better.
  2. Successful completion of each of the following courses, all with grades of "c-" or better and with a combined GPA of not less than 3.20: CHM 160, CHM 161, CHM 170, CHM 171, CHM 302, CHM 342, CHM 343, CHM 345, CHM 375 and CHM 399; PHY 123 and PHY 124 or PHY 203 and PHY 204; MTH 261.
  3. Undergraduate laboratory research experience in residence in the Department of Chemistry with a supportive recommendation from the student’s undergraduate research mentor.
  4. Acceptance of applicant by a graduate faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s graduate research mentor.
  5. Acceptance of the applicant by the graduate faculty in Chemistry under the accelerated masters option.

Degree requirements (minimum of 32 hours)

  1. Proficiency Requirements. Entering graduate students are required to show a minimal proficiency in four (4) of five (5) core areas of Chemistry - Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic and Physical - and an intermediate proficiency in at least two of the core areas. To accomplish this, incoming students during orientation week will choose four (4) proficiency exams from the five (5) core areas and will pass all four at a minimal level and at least two at an intermediate level. The exams are standardized assessments developed by the American Chemical Society to assess typical undergraduate content in the core areas. Students who do not achieve the prescribed test scores can meet the Proficiency Requirement by one of the following processes:
    1. A student can retake and pass one or more proficiency exams prior to the beginning of the second semester of their graduate program (excluding summers). As part of this option it is assumed that the student will prepare for the second attempt(s) by independent study.
    2. A student can meet the proficiency standard for a particular core area by passing an approved graduate-level course in the area with a grade of at least "B" (intermediate level) or "C" (minimal level).
  2. Advisory Committee. Within the first semester, the student will select a graduate advisory committee consisting of a research advisor and at least three additional persons. The research advisory should be a member of the Chemistry faculty and will serve as Chair of the committee. At least one committee member, but not more than two, shall be from outside the chemistry department. The advisory committee will monitor research progress throughout the candidate's graduate program.
  3. Program of Study. Students will be advised initially by the department graduate director. Within the first semester and after a research advisor has been identified, the candidate's program of study will be structured in consultation with the research advisor and departmental graduate director. Academic background, professional experience, placement test scores, and personal and professional objectives will be considered in establishing the individual's program.
  4. Chemistry Course Requirement. A minimum of 20 hours in chemistry, with at least 6 hours of 700-level CHM courses numbered 702-790. Students must address a diverse coverage of chemistry in their programs of study by including at least three different sub-disciplines: Analytical, Biochemistry, Chemical Education, Environmental, Inorganic, Organic and Physical. Deficiencies in advanced undergraduate course work - that is, the collective instructional content equivalent to the combination of CHM 602, CHM 606, CHM 607, CHM 642, and CHM 675 - as determined from academic transcripts and/or test scores, may be included in the program of study. Course work hours from these inclusions will count toward the 32-hour program requirement as well as toward the sub-disciplinary diversity policy.
  5. Colloquium. At least 1, but no more than 2 hours of credit must be earned in CHM 700, Chemistry Colloquium.
  6. Interdisciplinary Electives. Upon departmental approval, graduate courses from related fields may be included as part of the 32-hour degree requirement but no more than 6 hours may be counted from any single course code other than CHM.
  7. Research Requirement. For all options, the student is required to give an oral presentation of his/her research to the Department.
    1. Thesis Option: The maximum credit toward the 32-hour degree requirement is 6 hours of CHM 798 and 6 hours of CHM 799 with no more than 12 total hours of any combination of CHM courses numbered 791 or higher. Submission of a thesis is a specific requirement for the degree. The purpose of the thesis is to demonstrate competence in scientific research and the ability to: choose a research topic of scientific importance; conduct a comprehensive literature search of the problem; design and implement a plan of research; collect and interpret scientific data; and communicate results and interpretations to peers. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
    2. Non-thesis Option: After an attempt at a research-based thesis, and with the permission of the thesis committee and department head, a student may switch to a non-thesis option. This option requires the production of two (2) extensive papers by completing CHM 792 (3 hours) and CHM 793 (1 hour), both of which will be read and evaluated by faculty committees and one of which (CHM 792) will be presented orally to a public audience and defended before the advisory committee. Four (4) hours (no more, no less) of CHM 798 must be counted toward the degree under this option and additional approved 600- or 700-level course work hours will be taken as needed to fulfill the 32-hour program requirement.
  8. Comprehensive Examination. A comprehensive examination will be administered after most of the course work has been completed. This examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be given.