California 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
- 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.
- San Jose, CASan Jose, CA
San Jose State University
- Santa Barbara, CASanta Barbara, CA
University of California - Santa Barbara
We offer advanced degree programs with emphasis upon research leading to a masters or a doctoral degree in chemistry.
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
San Francisco State University
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
The Master's program in Chemistry provides the graduate student with invaluable experience and training in laboratory chemical research, including Biochemistry.
- Pomona, CAPomona, CA
California State Polytechnic University Pomona
- Fullerton, CAFullerton, CA
California State University, Fullerton
The Department offers specialized programs in biotechnology, environmental chemistry, and geochemistry.
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
California State University, Los Angeles
- Davis, CADavis, CA
University of California - Davis
The agricultural and environmental chemistry graduate group is an applied chemistry group which focuses its research efforts on analytical or mechanistic chemistry problems of environmental or agricultural importance.
- Davis, CA
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
University of California - Riverside
areas of interest: Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, Physical, Bioanalytical, Chemical Genomics, Environmental, Materials...
- Fresno, CAFresno, CA
California State University, Fresno
The Master of Science degree program in Chemistry is designed to provide the first graduate degree for students who expect to continue on to advanced...
- Santa Cruz, CASanta Cruz, CA
University of California - Santa Cruz
Research opportunities: organic synthesis, natural products isolation and synthesis, polymer synthesis, glucose sensor development; metallo-enzyme catalysis, high throughput inhibitor discovery, biocatalysis; molecular basis of protein deposition diseas...
- Hayward, CAHayward, CA
California State University, East Bay
M.S. in Chemistry prepares students who are seeking opportunities in the chemical industry requiring training beyond the BS level.
- Merced, CAMerced, CA
University of California - Merced
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Chemistry and Chemical Biology is a research-based graduate program focused on interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research.
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
- Sacramento, CASacramento, CA
California State University, Sacramento