United States Master's in Chemistry Degrees
Masters in Chemistry programs typically award a Master of Science (MS) degree and offer students an advanced postgraduate education in the major branches of the Chemical Sciences. Students may be able to focus their masters degree in chemistry on areas such as organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials science, and biochemistry. They may also be able to concentrate on key industries, such as pharmaceutical chemistry.
Master chemistry programs often seek to cultivating students’ proficiency in conducting specialized laboratory research. This may prepares students to purse a variety of potential careers in chemistry research, development, education, and administration, or for advanced study at the doctoral level.
The Basics of Chemistry Masters Programs
Masters in Chemistry programs are typically two year, 30 credit graduate programs that combine classroom learning with independent research. Many students choose to earn the masters degree in chemistry as preparation to pursue a PhD, which is widely considered the prequisite degree to become a professional chemist. For these students, a key component to earning this masters in chemistry degree is the completion of a thesis.
There are also graduate chemistry schools that offer programs with non-thesis options. These may be designed to provide students with the skills they might need for leadership positions and culminate in a final project. Students enrolled in a course-based M.S. program take more courses, than do students in a thesis master chemistry program.
Those applying to Chemistry Masters programs often must hold an undergraduate degree in chemistry, or in some cases, chemical engineering. Some universities may accept an applicant with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry as well. Many colleges also require that prospective students meet the minimum
required GPA for coursework in chemistry and submit scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
MS Chemistry Potential Curriculum
Students enrolled in a course-based Chemistry MS program may take courses that cover the following topics.
- Advanced organic chemistry
- Advanced physical chemistry
- Advanced analytical chemistry
- Environmental chemistry
- Statistical methods
Courses in your masters in chemistry program may differ. Therefore it's important to read full course lists and contact an advisor to learn more.
Choosing a Masters in Chemistry Program: Online or On-Campus
Students might consider looking into programs that are approved by the American Chemical Society, whether they are looking for a general Masters program in Chemistry or one that allows them to pursue a specialization in a subfield, such as analytical chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry or inorganic chemistry, nanomaterials or polymer science. Accreditation may speak to the program's curriculum, faculty and more.
Another important search criteria is program format. Some Chemistry masters programs are laboratory intensive ones, so a campus program may make sense since you would have access to the university’s facilities. For busy working students, pursuing an online master in chemistry may be more convenient. You can initiate a search for chemistry masters programs on GradSchools.com by location; choose a city, state or country then browse the listings. Some of these options might include: Chemistry MS, and Chemistry PSM.
FACT: A relatively new type of degree, called the Professional Science Master’s (PSM), blends advanced training in a particular science field with business skills, such as communications and program management, and policy.[i]
Chemists: Job Outlook and Salary
Entry-level jobs for Chemists require a bachelor’s degree, however, a masters or PhD in Chemistry is required for many research and upper-management jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a slow employment growth rate expected between 2014 and 2024 (3%), Chemists with advanced degrees, particularly those with a Ph.D. and work experience, are expected to have better opportunities[ii].
Chemists are employed in many industries; research and development, the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industries, laboratories, government and basic chemical engineering.
In terms of salary expectations, the median annual wage for chemists was $73,480 in May 2014; the lowest 10 % earned less than $41,560, and the highest 10 % earned more than $126,220.[iii]
Other Potential Careers For Chemistry Masters Graduates
- Materials scientists
- Natural Sciences Managers
- Forensic Chemist
- Air Quality Chemist
- Agricultural or Food Scientist
Ready to Pursue a Master of Science in Chemistry?
Whether you are pursuing a master’s in chemistry as a portal to a PhD or to potentially increase your career prospects, the degree has many professional and vocational applications. Why not start browsing through the listings on GradSchools.com to find the program that aligns with your goals!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/management/natural-sciences-managers.htm [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/chemists-and-materials-scientists.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/19-2031.00 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/chemists-and-materials-scientists.htm
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
The Master of Science in Chemistry with a Concentration in Pharmaceutical Chemistry is intended to serve the needs of the pharmaceutical industry in the North Jersey area.
- Madison, NJ
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart offers an MS degree to full-time and part-time students in General Chemistry, Molecular Biochemistry and Chem-bioinformatics..
- Huntsville, TXHuntsville, TX
Sam Houston State University
Work in close collaboration with PhD faculty who are experts in their fields with this MS in Chemistry.
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The Master's in Polymers and Coatings builds on a foundation in organic chemistry at is relates to the formulation and application of polymer coatings.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
The upper-division courses are designed to educate the chemistry major for graduate studies or industrial work. Loyola programs are unique because of the close contact between students and faculty, due to smaller class sizes in advanced classes. Chemist...
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Welcome to the Chemistry Department at Boston College. We hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about our dynamic research community. Our department is made up of nearly 200 scientists studying all phases of contemporary chemical scienc...
- San Jose, CASan Jose, CA
San Jose State University
- Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University
- Birmingham, ALBirmingham, AL
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Graduate Program in Chemistry provides individualized training for students who desire to becomeprofessional chemists in academia, industry, or government. Research encompasses analytical, inorganic,organic, and physical chemistry, in addition to em...
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
University of Rochester
Chemistry - Master
The graduate program in Chemistry at Rochester concentrates on the course of study leading to the Ph.D. degree. The department is large enough to offer diverse research areas and state-of-the-art instrumentation, but at the same time manages to maintain...
- University, MSUniversity, MS
University of Mississippi
Join us for graduate study at a university where the people are friendly, the size is not overwhelming, and where you can study with nationally known scholars. All of this in Oxford, MS, which is consistently, listed by USA Today as one of the top colle...
- Cookeville, TNCookeville, TN
Tennessee Technological University
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
The George Washington University
Established in the heart of the nation's capital in 1821, GW provides innovative programs in more than 200 fields of study, including graduate certificate, master's, and doctoral programs. Under the guidance of a world-renowned faculty, you will explore...
- Cleveland, OHCleveland, OH
Case Western Reserve University
The Department of Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University strives to provide a world-class program of research and coursework for pursuit of Master of Science (MS) or Doctorate (PhD) in Chemistr...
- Portland, ORPortland, OR
Portland State University
The Department of Chemistry at Portland State University offers Ph.D., M.S., and M.A. degrees. Feel free to examine the research descriptions from our faculty profiles where you will find research programs spanning topics such as biological chemistry,...
- Jonesboro, ARJonesboro, AR
Arkansas State University
- Storrs Mansfield, CTStorrs Mansfield, CT
University of Connecticut
- Socorro, NMSocorro, NM
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- Corvallis, ORCorvallis, OR
Oregon State University
The Chemistry program at OSU emphasizes graduate-level research and education for exploration of new aspects of chemistry leading to improved understanding of chemical processes and their applications.
- Kansas City, MOKansas City, MO
University of Missouri - Kansas City
Doctoral degree programs at UMKC are interdisciplinary and provide academic training at the highest level, while allowing students' participation in other research areas. Currently, graduate students in the department have codisciplines in the following...
- Houghton, MIHoughton, MI
Michigan Technological University
- Las Cruces, NMLas Cruces, NM
New Mexico State University
The Department of Chemistry and Bio...
- Oxford, OHOxford, OH
Students in the master's degree program have undergraduate degrees in one of the sciences or in engineering.
- Flagstaff, AZFlagstaff, AZ
Northern Arizona University
NAU offers academic programs leading to the Master of Science degree in Chemistry.