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
- Maynooth, IrelandMaynooth, Ireland
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
- Guildford, United KingdomGuildford, United Kingdom
University of Surrey
- Fredonia, NYFredonia, NY
State University Of New York at Fredonia (S.U.N.Y.)
The Chemistry degree program is a 30-hour program, which can include up to 12 credit hours from related fields (i.e. biology, g...
- Tampa, FLTampa, FL
University of South Florida
Chemistry has been called the central science.
- Goeteborg, SwedenGoeteborg, Sweden
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Ohio State University
Graduate courses and research programs leading to the MS and PhD degrees in chemistry are offered in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry. These programs include photochemistry, stereochemistry, electrochemistry...
- Las Vegas, NVLas Vegas, NV
University of Nevada Las Vegas
- Medford, MAMedford, MA
The graduate program in Chemistry at Tufts University is large enough to foster stimulating interaction among colleagues, but small enough to have a very favorable student/faculty ratio. Students become well acquainted with the faculty and, based on mut...
- Victoria, BCVictoria, BC
University of Victoria
- Cleveland, OHCleveland, OH
Cleveland State University
- Bowling Green, KYBowling Green, KY
Western Kentucky University
Areas of interest:Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic, Physical...
- Fayetteville, ARFayetteville, AR
University of Arkansas
A hallmark of our graduate program is a strong tradition of close collaboration among the various research groups within the department, as well as across departments and colleges.Of special significance are three centers for research; Center for Pro...
- Bangor, United KingdomBangor, United Kingdom
University of Wales - Bangor
Chemistry MSc: The course aims to give graduate students a sound understandingof modern chemical laboratory practice and techniques covering all areas of chemicalexpertise and is this respect is highly project orientated. We have a high success rate ine...
- Kelowna, BCKelowna, BC
University of British Columbia
The Chemistry graduate program offers the research-based degrees Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Chemistry and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemistry. The program offers a variety of research areas including analytical, environmental, inorganic, organic...
- Vancouver, BC
- Kent, OHKent, OH
Kent State University
- Dayton, OHDayton, OH
Wright State University
The Department of Chemistry offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Science degree in chemistry.
- 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...
University of Oxford
- North Dartmouth, MANorth Dartmouth, MA
University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
- Greensboro, NCGreensboro, NC
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The Department of Chemistry offers Master of Science and Master of Education degrees. The Master of Sciencedegree requires stud...