2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Jan 16, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Coordinator: Dequan Xiao, Assistant Professor, PhD., Duke University

The master of science in chemistry is a 2-year, 30-credit hour program. This program prepares students for industry job positions and for continuation education in chemistry. This program will equip students with a unique integrative approach in advanced chemistry study, i.e., combining theoretical, computational, and experimental chemistry methods, for the purpose of attacking important chemistry challenges such as molecular drug discovery, polymer materials design, catalyst design, and chemical analysis for sustainable environment. Students will study required courses that include frontier chemical theories, computational chemistry methods, chemical synthesis, and chemical analysis, and elective courses in one of four focus areas: Drug Discovery Chemistry, Computational and Materials Chemistry, Analytical and Green Chemistry, and General Chemistry. This new curriculum is different from the traditional master of science in chemistry curriculum where theoretical and computational chemistry training may not be a part of the core curriculum. This program will prepare well-equipped and competitive next-generation chemists to solve multi-disciplinary chemistry problems in industry and academia. Students will practice chemistry knowledge and skills through engaging in research projects, graduate thesis, or research-based internships, under the guidance of research mentors. Graduates of the program may pursue career paths as scientists in the chemical, energy, pharmaceutical, materials, biomedical, environmental, computational analysis, and data science industries, and as researchers in academic institutions and government laboratories.

minimum of 30 credits must be completed to earn the master of science degree in chemistry, including a substantial project as outlined below.

Admission Policy

In addition to prevailing admission standards listed below, before enrolling in the master of science in chemistry program, students are generally expected to have completed undergraduate courses specified below.


  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Physical Chemistry I and II
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Calculus III
  • 1 course in physics, chemical engineering, materials science, biology, physics, or biomedical engineering


Applicants with strong academic or professional experience but without the necessary background to enroll in the program may be asked to complete additional undergraduate courses and this will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the academic strength and chemistry area of interest of the applicant. A student cannot take more than two additional undergraduate courses within a two-year master of science study period.

Applicants to the master of science in chemistry program must have earned or be close to earning a bachelor’s degree and must meet course requirements described prior. In addition:

GPA requirement: Admission will usually require a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.  This is a guideline and is not a strict requirement.

Transcripts: Applicants will submit an official transcript displaying the seal of the institution and signed by the registrar.

Letters of recommendation: No more than three letters of recommendations are required. Students must submit only three letters written by those best suited to comment on the student’s academic and/or research skills.

Personal Statement: Students must submit a personal statement about their background including life experiences, why they want to pursue a master’s degree in chemistry, and what are their personal aspirations and career goals.

TOEFL/IELTS: A minimum overall score of 84 internet-based format TOEFL score or a minimum overall score of 6.5 internet-based-format IELTS.  Applicants who have earned or will earn a bachelor’s degree will be exempt from submitting a TOEFL/IELTS score if the degree was earned from an institution where the language of instruction is English. 

GRE: The GRE is NOT required for the master’s program.

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