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
- Moncton, NBMoncton, NB
Université de Moncton
We are the largest Francophone (french) University outside of the province of Qu#eacute;bec in Canada.
- 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...
- Athens, OHAthens, OH
The OU Chemistry department houses the Center for Intelligent Chemical Instrumentation. We also have students that participate in the Condensed Matter and Surface Science and Molecular and Cellular Biology programs.
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
The Ph.D. program in Chemistry provides students with a broad background in chemistry and intensive research experience culminating in the preparation of a formal thesis. The goal of the program is to prepare students for a variety of careers in academi...
- Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University
- Dunedin, New ZealandDunedin, New Zealand
University of Otago
The University is committed to international education and has long been acknowledged as a leader in this field in New Zealand.
- Rolla, KSRolla, KS
Missouri University of Science and Technology
- Lawrence, INLawrence, IN
University of Kansas
At Kansas, our approach to graduate education appeals to students with goals that range from teaching at colleges anduniversities to conducting research in university or industrial settings. We offer a variety of emphasis areas from bioanalyticalto orga...
- York, United KingdomYork, United Kingdom
University of Bradford
The MSc in Analytical Sciences is designed to provide a platform for specialism in modern subject areas with direct relevance to the employment market. The course develops a solid set of practical skills in the University's state-of-the-art Analytical C...
- Newcastle, AustraliaNewcastle, Australia
University of Newcastle
- Windsor, ONWindsor, ON
University of Windsor
- York, United KingdomYork, United Kingdom
University of York (UK)
The graduate school comprises 33 members of academic staff, 35 technical staff and experimental officers, approximately 100 graduate students, and 90 research fellows. We are housed in a group of laboratories most of which have been recently extended an...
- Charleston, ILCharleston, IL
Eastern Illinois University
The M.S. degree in chemistry has been designed for students who seek an environment featuring close interaction with faculty.
- Harare, ZimbabweHarare, Zimbabwe
University of Zimbabwe
- Greenville, SCGreenville, SC
- Timisoara, RomaniaTimisoara, Romania
University of the West
The Faculty of Chemistry, Biology and Geography is an inter- and trans-disciplinary unit, joining together specialists from three major fields of life sciences: chemistry, biology and geography. All our students are invited to take advantage of our 19 i...
- Taejon, KoreaTaejon, Korea
Chungnam National University
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Designed to prepare students for advanced work in the profession of chemistry or biochemistry & for further graduate study.
- Burlington, VTBurlington, VT
University of Vermont
- Manila, PhilippinesManila, Philippines
De La Salle University
- London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom
University of Westminster
The course will develop the appropriate knowledge and intellectual skills required by clinical chemists working in routine and research settings.
- Tokushima, JapanTokushima, Japan
University of Tokushima, The
- Irbid, JordanIrbid, Jordan
- Golden, COGolden, CO
Colorado School Of Mines
All of the department's degree programs have been admitted to the Western Regional Graduate Program. This allows residents of Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming...