Master of Science in Chemistry

The Master of Science Degree in Chemistry is a two-year program intended primarily for individuals interested in advanced training in chemistry and related disciplines in preparation for doctoral programs or for careers in industry, government, or post-secondary school education.

Students are expected to be well grounded in one or more of the program’s five areas of specialization:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry


Graduate Experience

In addition to the formal curriculum and program requirements, graduate students in Chemistry are offered many opportunities to familiarize themselves with the wide-range of state-of-the-art instrumentation, work on cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary projects and participate in professional conferences. Because of the Department of Chemistry’s small size, graduate students are compelled to interact with faculty outside their immediate research area. This provides exciting opportunities for our students to broaden their graduate experience.


Thesis Option

The Chemistry Department currently offers both a thesis and non-thesis option for the Master of Science in Chemistry degree. The preferred route requires a thesis with 32 hours of graduate credit, two public lectures, and an oral thesis defense. The Master of Science thesis demonstrates that you are capable of pursuing a program of original and independent research, that you can formulate and carry out a research project, and that you can report on the project in a proper scientific manner. The thesis option prepares students for technical careers in industry, or for further study toward a more advanced degree.

This option requires advanced coursework in chemistry, biochemistry, or environmental chemistry and research, with the latter culminating in an MS thesis. Shortly after entering the program students select a faculty advisor based on their research interests and agree on a research problem. Under the guidance of their faculty advisor students carry out the research program, select a graduate research committee and write and defend the thesis in a final oral examination. The defense of the thesis will take place when the student, the research advisor, and the graduate research committee agree a defensible copy of the thesis is complete.

The thesis examination is graded on a pass/provisional pass/fail basis. To pass the examination, there can be no more than one unsatisfactory grade from the committee members. A student who fails may submit another thesis or a revised version upon approval of the student’s committee. A student may only be re-examined once. A student earning a provisional pass will generally be required to make minor revisions or corrections to the thesis.


Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option is a seldom-utilized alternative route available for students currently employed full-time and requires department authorization. Basic requirements are the same as the thesis option, however it requires 36 hours of graduate credit and a problem report followed by a public lecture. This program organization ensures all students develop research, writing and public speaking skills regardless of their area of concentration.


Research & Credit Requirements

Students are required to complete 32 and 36 hours of graduate credit for the thesis and non-thesis options, respectively. No more than six hours of Special Topics courses may be counted in the minimum hours required by either route; any exceptions require specific Departmental approval. Students whose research is in the area of analytical, inorganic, organic, biochemistry or physical chemistry are required to take at least one graduate course in three of the five traditional areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, biochemistry and physical). Students are limited to 12 hours of research credit. Specific course requirements are to be determined in consultation with one’s research advisor.


Admission Requirements

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at

In addition, applicants must:

  • hold an undergraduate degree in Chemistry, or an equivalent degree approved by the Chemistry department;
  • have GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores sent to Graduate Admissions.

Online Form: Graduate Assistantship Application

Download: Supervisory Committee Form (Word .doc)


Master of Science in Physical and Applied Science

This graduate degree program, offered in cooperation with the Departments of Geology, Mathematics, and Physics, is intended to provide a broadly based advanced science program for individuals whose undergraduate program in science lacks depth or breadth. Programs will be designed to meet individual needs. The writing of a thesis is optional. The Master of Science in Physical and Applied Science degree requirements are listed in the Graduate Catalog.


Related Graduate Programs

Link to: School of Medicine Programs in Biomedical Sciences

Link to: Master of Arts or Science in Biological Sciences

Link to: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Link to: Master of Science in Environmental Science

Link to: Master of Science in Forensic Science

Link to: Master of Arts in Mathematics

Link to: Master of Science in Physics


Contact Us:

Dept. of Chemistry
450 Science Building
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Telephone: 304-696-2430
Telephone: 304-696-6738
Facsimile: 304-696-3243
Directory: Faculty & Staff

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