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 prerequisite 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.
Popular Chemistry Masters Programs
Master of Science in Chemistry
Master of Science in Chemistry: Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Masters in Polymer & Coatings
Masters in Chem-bioinformatics
Masters in Molecular Biochemistry
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.
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
View All Master Degree Programs 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
- 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..
- Madison, NJMadison, 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...
- Teaneck, NJ
- Binghamton, NYBinghamton, NY
Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y.)
Binghamton University's graduate program in chemistry offers the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in chemistry for students who are innovative, competitive and highly motivated in the traditional areas of...
- 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...
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology
The program is designed to fill the needs of the traditional student or the practicing chemist who is employed full time and wishes to pursue a graduate degree on a part-time basis...
- Lewisburg, PALewisburg, PA
The program normally requires two full academic years. Graduate-level courses are offered in physical, organic, inorganic,...
- Provo, UTProvo, UT
Brigham Young University
Cutting-Edge Research: At Brigham Young University we have approximately 36 faculty members with research programs in all five of the traditional chemical disciplines (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry). These research programs...
- Grand Forks, NDGrand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
The mission of the Department of Chemistry graduate M.S. program is to provide quality learning experiences in both hands-on laboratory research and classroom settings to post-baccalaureate students. These experiences will establish critical thinking an...
- Muncie, INMuncie, IN
Ball State University
The Ball State Chemistry Department offers two types of master’s degrees: The Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) in chemistry. Teaching and research assistantships are available...
- Indiana, PAIndiana, PA
Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
The Master of Science degree requires an original thesis, while the Master of Arts degree is based largely on course work.
University of Saint Joseph
Enhance your skills in the chemical sciences and prepare for professional advancement with USJ’s graduate program in Chemistry.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New York University
The Department of Chemistry hosts a stimulating, interdisciplinary research environment that provides students with the broad training needed to tackle the complexity of modern research problems while ensuring a solid foundation in the core disciplin...
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
- Youngstown, OHYoungstown, OH
Youngstown State University
The Department of Chemistry offers a program of study leading to the M.S.
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
St. Louis University
The Master of Science (Research) degree in Chemistry at Saint Louis University offers specialization in analytical, inorganic or physical chemistry. It is a 30 credit-hour program which includes a core curriculum of 12 hours consisting of courses select...
- Queens Village, NYQueens Village, NY
St. John's University
The widely respected Master of Science degree program in Chemistry at St. John’s University prepares students for careers in industry or education, government laboratories or private research.
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
University of Louisville
The Department of Chemistry offers both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry, with concentrations in analytical chemistry, biochemistry, chemical physics, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. The research projects are clust...
- Lincoln, NELincoln, NE
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degrees in Chemistry with areas of emphasis in analytical, inorganic, organic, physical chemistry,biochemistry, as well as interdisciplinary programs in materials, surface science, bioorganic, biophysical, and environmental toxicology.
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- Morgantown, WVMorgantown, WV
West Virginia University
- Melbourne, FLMelbourne, FL
Florida Institute of Technology
An applicant for admission to the master’s program should have an undergraduate degree in chemistry or in a related area. Typically, a minimum of eight semester courses should have been taken in four of the five major fields of chemistry: organic, analy...
- Murfreesboro, TNMurfreesboro, TN
Middle Tennessee State University
- Manhattan, KSManhattan, KS
Kansas State University
The Department of Chemistry offers programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in analytical, biological, inorganic,materials, organic, and physical chemistry. Strong interdisciplinary programs at the Ph.D. level are also offered through the Center f...
- Oswego, NYOswego, NY