The undergraduate prerequisites are the minimum requirements specified by the American Chemical Society. Those students who have graduated from ACS-approved schools will have fulfilled these requirements. Others may need to take certain courses concurrently from the undergraduate program to meet ACS requirements. Complete, current Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, including the Advanced Chemistry Exam are recommended for all students and are required of all international students.
Students entering the M.S. program with ACS-approved undergraduate chemistry degrees should be well prepared for the core courses of the program. Students with other science degrees such as biology or biochemistry, or students who performed poorly in specific undergraduate courses may be required to take preparatory courses. A maximum of 6 credit hours in this category can be applied towards the 30-hour degree. The core courses--Analytical CHM 546, Biochemistry CHM 553, Inorganic CHM 544, Organic 550 and Physical CHM 539--may be thought of as the pillars of the program. Each student is required to take four of the five core courses, depending on their research interests. Students majoring in biochemistry might take CHM 553, 546, 550 and 539 whereas a student interested in materials science could take CHM 546, 544, 550 and 539. Depending on the number of hours taken in the core, a student would have opportunities to take elective courses in chemistry or a course from other departments such as biology. Three hours of elective courses may come from chemistry courses that are double-numbered as undergraduate courses. Students are also required to present one seminar a year in addition to their thesis defense, based on topics of relevance to the student's research area. Since the M.S. is a research-based degree, 6 to 9 credit hours of thesis research are required.
Teaching assistantships normally requiring 6 to 9 contact hours of laboratory instruction per week are available. The stipend for a 9 month appointment is supplemented by tuition remission for graduate course work. Appointment as a teaching assistant requires fluency in spoken English. Research assistantships in selected areas are sometimes available and supplemental summer research stipends are available on a competitive basis.