Chemistry Masters Graduate Programs
With a masters in chemistry, scientists may find jobs in laboratories, government agencies, research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, colleges and universities, and more.
Chemistry is the study of the composition, properties, and activity of matter. Master's degree programs in chemistry offer students training across major chemical disciplines. Coursework often includes planning experiments, conducting research, studying chemical literature, and exchanging ideas with professors and colleagues.
Chemistry Master's Degree Application Process
Potential applicants to chemistry graduate schools should plan to submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Generally speaking, basic courses in chemistry, such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry, are required, as are calculus and physics. Undergraduate coursework requirements vary among graduate schools; be certain to check specific application requirements with the admissions department at the school of your choice
Chemistry Master's Degree Curriculum
Chemistry graduate schools generally offer coursework in the following areas.
- Chemical biology
The first year of a graduate program in chemistry generally involves a focus on coursework. Research begins towards the end of the first year or at the beginning of the second year. Those continuing on to a doctoral program are usually required to pass oral examinations at the end of their second year. Master’s programs in chemistry usually take two to three years to complete, while Ph.D. programs average five years in length.
Funding, in the form of teaching and research assistantships and fellowships, is often available for doctoral students. In fact, some schools require students to work as teaching assistants in order to advance in the program.
Chemists Career Paths
Chemists can work in the chemical industry in research, production, sales, and marketing. Those who have earned their doctoral degree may teach and conduct research at the university level. Chemistry plays a key role in nearly every science, which means chemists enjoy a wide variety of career options in a wide range of disciplines. There are jobs available with federal, local and state government in both research and regulatory capacities. Scientific fields that employ chemists include food chemistry, forensic chemistry, and toxicology.
Chemist Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of chemists is expected to grow by 6% between 2012 and 2022, which is slower than average. Manufacturing and research and development are expected to be increasingly outsourced, to other countries as well as universities and testing services firms. Chemists with advanced degrees are expected to have better job opportunities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 the median salary of chemists and materials scientsts was $71,770. Salaries of chemists in the top 10% in earnings made more than $120,600 annually, those in the bottom 10% in earnings made less than $41,080 per year. Salaries vary based upon industry, experience, and location. The graph below provides 2012 median salary information for chemists working in select industires.