VCU Bulletins

Chemistry, Master of Science (M.S.)

Rutan, Sarah C.
Graduate Coordinator, Department of Chemistry
(804) 828-7517

Collinson, Maryanne
Chair, Graduate Recruiting and Admissions Committee, Department of Chemistry
(804) 828-1298

Admission requirements summary

Chemistry, Master of Science (M.S.)

of entry:


April 15
Oct 15


Students seeking the Master of Science degree must demonstrate competency in analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry by satisfactory performance on the proficiency exams or with a minimum grade of B in the appropriate course. These examinations are at the level of sound undergraduate courses and are offered preceding the start of the school's fall and spring semesters. These tests are used to evaluate the student's strengths and weaknesses, and the student's program is planned accordingly.

The Master of Science student must earn a minimum of 15 credits in six didactic graduate courses, not including credit for seminar (CHEM 690 or 692), research (CHEM 697) or CHEM 693 Chemistry Perspectives and Ethics. The credit hours must include three of the core courses (9 credits) selected from the following four areas.

3 credits of graduate analytical course work

CHEM 620 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I

CHEM 504 Advanced Organic Chemistry I

CHEM 510 Atomic and Molecular Structure or
CHEM 511 Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Additional graduate courses to be taken will be determined in consultation with the faculty research adviser and the faculty of the Department of Chemistry. Students are expected to participate in the department’s seminar program and present at least two formal talks in the seminar program (2 credits of CHEM 692). In addition to course work and seminar, the master’s degree requires a minimum of 15 credits in CHEM 697 (directed research), and the total of all credits must be at least 30.

All Master of Science students are required to take CHEM 693 Chemistry Perspectives and Ethics in their first year enrolled as an admitted graduate student in chemistry.

All M.S. students are required to enroll in CHEM 698 Investigations in Current Chemistry Literature (0.5 credit) twice during the course of their graduate studies, including the semester preceding their literature seminar presentation. Up to 2 credits of CHEM 698 may be presented toward didactic course graduation requirements to count as one course.

An acceptable research thesis and a final oral examination on the thesis are required. Full-time students should complete these degree requirements in two to three years.

Student learning outcomes



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Richmond, Virginia
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Last update: 9/6/2013

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