Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Possess an extensive knowledge in both breadth and depth in chemistry
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Search, read, understand and use scientific literature
  • Articulate scientific information both orally and in writing
  • Design and conduct rational experimental research


The emphasis of this program is research. A minimum of 31 credit hours (including research and thesis) is required. Full-time students should complete the formal coursework requirement no later than the end of their second year.

Select one of the following Physical Chemistry Courses:3
Classical Thermodynamics
Quantum Chemistry
Molecular Spectroscopy
Select one of the following Organic Chemistry Courses:3
Mechanisms Of Organic Reactions
Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Additional credit hours from graduate-level Chemistry Courses numbered CHEM 5521R to CHEM 5589 (excluding CHEM 5530 and CHEM 5540)6
Additional graduate-level courses for a minimum of 12 credit hours (with no more than 6 credit hours of directed studies, CHEM 5590, applied)12
CHEM 5611Chemistry Seminar1
CHEM 5599Research And Thesis (under direction of student's research advisor)6
Total Credits31

The selected courses must be approved by the student's supervisory committee. Students who receive a grade of C+ or lower in more than two courses applicable to the M.S. program or who have a cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 on courses (not including CHEM 5590, CHEM 5599 or any undergraduate courses) applicable toward the M.S. degree after completing 18 or more credit hours of such courses, will be terminated from the degree program.

Students, who have received a grade of B- or better in graduate coursework taken as part of a degree program at another institution, may transfer up to 6 credit hours of this work on approval of a majority of the student's committee. A written request for this approval must be submitted within one year of full admission to the program.

Research Advisor and Supervisory Committee 

Full-time students must select a research advisor from the graduate faculty of the Department of Chemistry and a supervisory committee by the end of their first regular (i.e., fall or spring) semester on campus. Part-time students must select their research advisor and supervisory committee by the end of their third year after enrollment in their first course as an M.S. student at UMKC.

The research advisor becomes the chairperson of the supervisory committee, which includes at least two additional members of the chemistry graduate faculty. Students and their supervisory committee shall plan a program of study which, when met, will qualify students for the M.S. degree. This program of study must be approved by the supervisory committee, the department chair, and the principal graduate advisor prior to the completion of 15 hours of coursework applicable to the degree. The supervisory committee is responsible for conducting the final thesis examination for students in the thesis program.

Seminar Presentation

Students must present a one-hour seminar based on their thesis research project. This seminar will include an exhaustive review of the literature pertinent to their project, a description of the objectives, the proposed methodology, and the significance of this research. Students must register for CHEM 5611 and present this seminar during the semester following selection of their research advisor and committee.

Thesis Defense

The candidate's thesis must be prepared following all of the guidelines required by the UMKC School of Graduate Studies. All supervisory committee members must receive a final draft of the thesis for approval of form and content at least two weeks before submission to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates should submit preliminary drafts of their thesis to their supervisory committee well in advance of this deadline. After the thesis is certified for acceptance by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, the student must present an oral defense of his/her research in the form of a thesis seminar. The supervisory committee will make a final determination of the acceptability of the thesis immediately following this presentation. Only minor changes may be made to the thesis at this point.

Time Constraints and Financial Assistance 

Full-time Thesis-Based 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.

Full-time Thesis-Based 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 standards for international students to become certified as GTAs.  Full information on that process can be found here:  Policy on Award of Teaching Assistantships.