Student Learning Outcomes

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.

The following student learning outcomes are expected for our educational process:

At the end of their studies, students will:

  • Have an extensive knowledge of the basic areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic, physical, analytical, and biochemistry).
  • Be familiar with the recent advances in the basic areas of chemistry.
  • Have the ability to communicate scientific information clearly and precisely, both written and oral forms.
  • Have the ability to read, understand, and use scientific literature.
  • Have had the opportunity to work with others as part of a team to solve scientific problems.


The emphasis of this program is coursework. Non-thesis M.S. students are required to complete a minimum of 31 credit hours of graduate-level coursework. Non-thesis M.S. Students are required to complete:

  1. Three credit hours must be from Organic Chemistry courses:
    CHEM 5521RMechanisms Of Organic Reactions3
    or CHEM 5522 Synthetic Organic Chemistry
  2. Three credit hours from Physical Chemistry courses:
    Select one of the following:3
    Classical Thermodynamics
    Chemical Kinetics
    Quantum Chemistry
    Molecular Spectroscopy
    Statistical Thermodynamics
  3. Nine additional credit hours from graduate level chemistry courses numbered CHEM 5521 - CHEM 5589  excepting CHEM 5520R and  CHEM 5530 .
  4. One credit hour seminar presentation (CHEM 5611).
  5. The remaining 15 credit hours, among which up to 6 credit hours of CHEM 5590, CHEM 5599, or CHEM 5699 may be applied, may be taken from courses approved by the graduate program committee.

Students who receive a grade of C+ (2.3) or less in more than two courses applicable to the M.S. program, or who have a cumulative grade-point average of less than 3.0 on courses applicable toward the M.S. degree after completing 18 or more credit hours of such courses, will be terminated from the degree program. Grades received for CHEM 5590 and any undergraduate-level courses are not included in the minimum GPA calculation.

Students who have received a grade of B- (2.7) or better in graduate chemistry coursework taken as part of a degree program at another institution may have up to 6 credit hours of equivalent required coursework waived upon approval of a majority of the graduate program committee. A written request for this approval must be submitted within one year of full admission to the M.S. program.


Students must present a one-hour literature seminar based on a topic of their choice which has been approved by the Department of Chemistry Chair (or a designee). Students must register for CHEM 5611 the semester of this presentation. This seminar will include an exhaustive review of the pertinent literature and discussion of both present and future implications of research in this area. An abstract is to be posted and distributed one week prior to the presentation date.

Time Constraints and Financial Assistance 

Full-time thesis M.S. students are required to complete all of the requirements for their degree within four years. In compelling circumstances, and on the written recommendation of a majority of the Supervisory Committee, a single extension for up to one year may be requested for approval by the Chair of the Department of Chemistry. Part-time thesis M.S. students are required to complete all of their requirements for their degree within seven years.

Full-time thesis M.S. students may receive financial support from the Department of Chemistry for a maximum of two-and-one-half years. Students from countries having an official language other than English, and who wish to be supported as GTAs, must meet the UMKC stards for international students to become certified as GTAs.  Full information on that process can be found here:  Policy on Award of Teaching Assistantships.

Part-time thesis M.S. students are not eligible for financial support from the Department of Chemistry.