The Department of Chemistry offers two master of science degrees. The non-thesis M.S. program has an emphasis on coursework, while the thesis-based degree has an emphasis on both coursework and original research. Graduating chemistry M.S. students will be exposed to the most recent advances in chemical sciences. In addition, thesis-based M.S. students will experience the excitement of performing guided research.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants should have the equivalent of an American Chemical Society (ACS)-approved bachelor's degree in chemistry. This degree includes the equivalent of: one year of general chemistry, quantitative analysis, one year of organic chemistry, one year of physical chemistry, physical chemistry laboratory, instrumental analysis, inorganic chemistry, one year of physics, and three semesters of calculus, and the ACS-recommended distribution of advanced courses and course credits. (For example, see UMKC's B.S. program in chemistry in the undergraduate catalog.) Applicants should take particular note of the physical chemistry requirement. They may be admitted as provisional students if they have a limited number of undergraduate deficiencies. At the time that admission is offered, applicants will be notified of any requirements to be met for reclassification as fully admitted. Undergraduate courses included in these requirements must be completed with grades of C- or higher.

Applications are only accepted through the online system, and include:

  1. Official, confidentially transmitted transcripts.
  2. Statement of purpose.
  3. Two confidentially transmitted letters of recommendation (academic and/or professional).
  4. Official Graduate Record Exam (General Test) score, less than six (6) years old.
  5. English language proficiency requirement.

An official Graduate Record Exam score (general test) is required as part of the application to the program. The GRE score will be evaluated as part of the entire application.

Applicants from foreign countries, who have an official language other than English, must achieve scores of at least 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based)on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to be considered for admission.

Placement Examinations

Incoming students must take placement examinations in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Placement examinations are typically administered the week before the first week of classes of the fall and spring semesters. Students scoring below the 50th percentile in the organic and/or physical chemistry exams are required to enroll in CHEM 5520R and/or CHEM 5530A/CHEM 5530B, respectively. Enrollment in other graduate organic or physical chemistry courses is not permitted until CHEM 5520R or CHEM 5530A/CHEM 5530B, respectively, is (are) successfully completed. CHEM 5530A/CHEM 5530B is currently offered concurrently with CHEM 431 or CHEM 432. A student is required to take either CHEM 5530A/CHEM 431 or CHEM 5530B/CHEM 432 or both, depending on his/her performances in the various sub-disciplines of the physical chemistry placement exam. Should a student be required to take both CHEM 5530A/CHEM 431 and CHEM 5530B/CHEM 432, the average grade of the two CHEM 5530 courses will be considered for the fulfillment of the physical chemistry deficiency. Two grades of C+ (2.3 out of 4.0) or lower, or one grade of less than C- (1.7 out of 4.0) in CHEM 5520R or CHEM 5530, will result in termination from the degree program. These courses may not be counted toward the M.S. coursework requirements listed below. Students must complete all additional coursework required as a result of the placement exams by the end of their first three regular semesters.

Graduate Program Committee

Upon admission to M.S. program in chemistry, students will be advised by the department's principal graduate advisor, acting on behalf of the chemistry graduate program committee. Based on the committee's evaluation of the students' transcripts and placement exam scores, the principal graduate advisor will inform students of any deficiencies and how they should be removed. The principal graduate advisor also will advise students on course curriculum. For the thesis degree, the curriculum advising is performed by the research advisor (once they have been selected). The graduate program committee serves as the supervisory committee for non-thesis M.S. students.

Seminar Attendance

Full-time M.S. students are required to attend all regularly scheduled and special departmental seminars and colloquia. Part-time students are also required to attend these seminars but may petition the Chair of the Department of Chemistry to waive this requirement all but one semester. Such students will be required either to attend and participate fully during one semester, including the presentation of a one-hour seminar (see details below), or to present two one-hour seminars in lieu of full participation.

Minimum Requirements for Master of Science Degree

In addition to the requirements listed here, all M.S. students are subject to the all general M.S. requirements of the University. See the School of Graduate Studies section of this catalog for a complete listing.

Time Constraints and Financial Assistance

The non-thesis M.S. degree program is intended primarily for students currently employed in a chemically related industry. Full-time, non-thesis M.S. students are required to complete all of the requirements for their degree within four years. Part-time non-thesis M.S. students are required to complete all requirements for their degree within seven years. Non-thesis M.S. students are not eligible for financial support from the Department of Chemistry.