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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Masters
 

Programs

Master of Science in Chemistry


The MS degree offered at the Downtown Campus is a broad-based chemistry degree that allows students to take courses and do research in the following basic fields: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, physical or environmental chemistry. The MS program is available to both full- and part-time students. The chemistry faculty strives to ensure that students receive excellent advising and supervision of work. Students enrolled in the program have an opportunity to be appointed as laboratory teaching assistants. Research activities on the part of the chemistry faculty provide opportunities for graduate students to obtain research assistantships. For assistantship and scholarship information, please see our students section.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the UCD Downtown Campus Graduate School admission requirements. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 is required. International students may have additional admission requirements concerning immigration status, proof of financial responsibility, and acceptable TOEFL scores. An undergraduate major in chemistry essentially equivalent to the one offered at UCD (see the undergraduate requirements), including two semesters of organic, analytical and physical chemistry, with laboratories, and one semester of inorganic chemistry, is required. Failure to meet the full admission standards may lead to provisional admission. No student will be admitted to the graduate program who is not within two classes of meeting the undergraduate requirements. The GRE examination is recommended, as is the advanced chemistry GRE examination. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the graduate program director for additional details concerning the chemistry program, admission procedures, financial assistance, and faculty research interests. Details may also be obtained by visiting the Chemistry Department Website.

General Program Requirements

At the heart of the graduate program is a set of four core graduate courses, in the fields of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. A student must qualify in order to register for any core graduate class, either by passing a qualifying examination in that field, or by passing the equivalent undergraduate class in that area at UCD, with a grade of B (3.0) or better. All entering students are required to qualify in all four core fields. The qualifying requirements must be completed during the first year in the graduate program. Individual core classes may have additional prerequisites. Depending on the program option that she/he selects, a student will be required to pass either three (Plan I) or all four (Plan II) of the graduate core courses, with no grade in a core course below B- (2.7). The remaining coursework for the degree will consist of regular graduate offerings in chemistry, a limited number of which may be substituted by approved classes in related fields. In particular, students interested in interdisciplinary areas, such as biochemistry or environmental chemistry, are encouraged to take cognate courses outside the chemistry department. Approval of any graduate class taken outside the department that is to count towards the degree must be obtained from the chemistry graduate program director in advance. All students are required to annually submit an updated program plan for approval and to have their progress evaluated by the graduate program director.

Specific Degree Requirements

There are two options for obtaining a master’s degree from the downtown Denver campus Department of Chemistry: Plan I, the thesis option; and Plan II, the course work emphasis option. All students must complete at least 3 credit hours of Master’s Report (CHEM 6960). A student is allowed to participate in the thesis option only after the successful completion of Master’s Report with the proposed advisor, and upon the mutual agreement by both the student and advisor that the student is prepared to work on a master’s thesis. Students who select the course work emphasis option may petition to have up to 3 additional credit hours of Masters Report research substitute for an equivalent number of course work hours.

Plan I
Thesis Requirements

Plan I is a research-oriented program involving a minimum of 30 credit hours with the following requirements: 

  • 21-23 credit hours of formal course work, including three of the four graduate core courses
  • 4-6 credit hours of CHEM 6950, Master’s Thesis research; successful completion of the Thesis research includes the presentation of the results as a Departmental seminar
  • 3 credit hours of CHEM 6960, Master’s Report research
  • a grade of C (2.0) or better in all courses completed: B- (2.7) or better in all core courses
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses taken as a graduate student
  • an acceptable formal thesis consistent with the guidelines of the Graduate School
  • successful oral defense of the master’s thesis  before a committee of at least three graduate faculty members, two of whom must be tenure track faculty members in the Chemistry Department
  • compliance with all Graduate School rules, available from the Graduate School office or Web site UCD Catalog 2006–07
    All work must be completed within five years of completion of the first graduate class in the Department

    Plan I Thesis research must be conducted under the direct supervision of a tenure track faculty member of the downtown Denver campus Department of Chemistry. Plan I students must take a minimum of 15 credit hours of formal course work in chemistry at the 5000 level or above. Students may petition the graduate  program director in advance for permission to take one or two courses at the graduate level outside of chemistry that would count toward the requirements for an MS in chemistry.

Plan II
Course Work Emphasis Option

Plan II is a course work-oriented program involving a minimum of 33 credit hours with the following requirements: 

  • 27-30 credit hours of formal course work, including all four graduate core courses
  • at least 3 (but not more than 6) credit hours of CHEM 6960, Master’s Report research
  • a grade of C (2.0) or better in all courses completed; B- (2.7) or better in all core courses
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses taken as a graduate student
  • a final research report
  • presentation of the research project in a final seminar
  • successful defense of the project before a committee of at least three graduate faculty members, one of whom must be a tenure track faculty member in the Chemistry Department.
  • compliance with all Graduate School rules, available from the Graduate School office or Web site UCD Catalog 2006 – 07
  • All work must be completed within five years of completion of the first graduate class in the Department

 A  Plan II student may petition the graduate program director to substitute  up to 3 credit hours of Master’s Report (CHEM 6960) research, beyond the required minimum, for  an equivalent number of credit hours of formal course work.  Approval will be perfunctory for research performed with the support, and under the direct supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry on the downtown Denver campus. Plan II students must take a minimum of 24 credit hours of formal course work in chemistry at the 5000 level or above. Students may petition the graduate program director, in advance, for permission to take up to two courses at the graduate level outside of chemistry that would count toward the requirements for an MS in chemistry.

BS/MS Program

While students are completing a BS degree in chemistry, they may also complete some of the requirements for an MS degree in chemistry under the following guidelines: 

  • The student must apply and be accepted for participation in the BS–MS program prior to completion of the BS degree, and be advised by both the undergraduate and graduate advisors
  • Up to 9 credit hours of graduate-level course work may be taken as an undergraduate and applied toward the MS degree. This course work may not be applied toward the BS degree or ACS certification requirements for the BS degree
  • Up to 3 credit hours of independent study (research) may be applied toward the graduate degree if that research is expanded and continued for a portion of the master’s thesis research. This requires approval of the student’s graduate research advisor in chemistry, the chemistry graduate program director, and the CLAS associate dean for Graduate Studies
  • The chemistry department will waive the requirement for qualifying examinations in each area of chemistry for which the student has completed the undergraduate sequence of courses and laboratories at the downtown Denver campus with grades of B or better for each course.
  • The student must apply for and be admitted to the graduate program in chemistry beginning the semester immediately following completion of the BS degree in chemistry at the downtown Denver campus.
    This program allows undergraduate students who have begun their research as undergraduates to complete up to 12 credit hours (with approval of the graduate dean) toward the 30 credit hours required for a Plan I MS degree in chemistry while they are still completing their BS degree. This makes it possible for students to complete an MS degree in chemistry in only one year beyond the BS degree in chemistry. Students entering the program through the BS-MS program option must fulfill all of the requirements of the Plan I or Plan II graduate programs.