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Columbia, MO 65211
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MS in Chemistry

Admission to the Chemistry program to pursue an MS degree is not typically an option, as students are accepted with the intent that they will fulfill the PhD requirements. Only under unusual circumstances is a student allowed to transfer to the MS degree. In those cases, qualifications and degree requirements are described below. Please see admission information on our PhD Program.

Degree Requirements

An MS program of study must include a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree.  Students are required to complete all graduate work attempted with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and no more than two C grades will be accepted.  The program is usually comprised of coursework as follows:

- 15 credit hours of graduate level coursework (including a minimum of one course at the 8000 level).
- Of these 15 hours, 3 courses should be in the student's area of concentration, and 2 courses outside their area of concentration (e.g. organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, biological).
- 1 credit hour of graduate student orientation seminar in the first semester (CHEM 7087 Seminar in Chemistry for Beginning Graduate Students).
- 2 credit hours of seminar (CHEM 8087 Seminar in Chemistry), one hour for a literature presentation in departmental seminar and one hour for the dissertation seminar in the student's final semester.
- up to 12 credit hours in thesis research (CHEM 8090 Thesis/Dissertation (pre-candidacy) Research in Chemistry).

A maximum of 6 credit hours of graduate work completed elsewhere also may be applied towards the 30-hour requirement (with the approval of the student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies).

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Qualifying Exams

The purpose of Qualification is to demonstrate proficiency in core areas of chemistry. Graduate students entering the Chemistry graduate program will be given Qualifying Exams in each of the 4 core areas of Chemistry (Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical) prior to registration. These exams are administered in August and January by the Chemistry Department. A student must pass the exams in two or more areas to be Qualified for the MS graduate program. Entering graduate students who do not pass at least two of the exams when they first enter can qualify by three different methods:
- retake one or two exams prior to registration for the second semester.
- passing approved graduate level course in the area with grade of B or better.
- passing approved undergraduate level course in the area wit grade of B or better.

Advisors and Advisory Committee

Students are strongly encouraged to select a research advisor by the beginning of their second semester (fall entrance) and must select an advisor by the end of the semester preceding their first summer of research. With his/her advisor, the student will recommend faculty for appointment to his/her Masters Program Committee and submit the appropriate Graduate School forms. (The final membership of the committee must be approved by the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.)


The thesis is the result of the student's own work. It is to be prepared according to Graduate School guidelines and submitted to the three readers on the student's thesis committee. Submission to the readers must be early enough for them to have an opportunity to go over the work. Students should refer to the Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines.

Seminars and Colloquia

Each student is required to attend regularly scheduled Departmental Colloquia and either one of the DyNAMITE or Organic seminar programs. Seminars are announced weekly in the departmental newsletter.

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
125 Chemistry Building
Columbia, MO 65211

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