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.
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
Get Started With 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
- Ames, IAAmes, IA
Iowa State University
The Department of Chemistry at Iowa State University has a renowned faculty with whom you can study. Collaborative research is common throughout our department. U.S. News and World Report ranked ISU chemistry among the top 25 public programs with our in...
- Ames, IA
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
Specializations: Analytical Chemistry; Atmospheric Chemistry; Biochemistry; Environmental Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry; Laser Chemistry; Organic Chemistry; Physical Chemistry; Polymer Chemistry; Materials Chemistry; and Theoretical Chemistry...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Northeastern Illinois University
The M.S. in Chemistry program provides graduate education for students planning careers in industry, business, and teaching.
- New Haven, CTNew Haven, CT
Southern Connecticut State University
- Wolfville, NSWolfville, NS
Graduate students are welcome at Acadia. They provide an important dimension to campus life.
- Keele, United KingdomKeele, United Kingdom
Keele is a residential campus university set in beautiful Staffordshire parkland.
- Leicester, United KingdomLeicester, United Kingdom
- Clinton, CTClinton, CT
A Master’s degree in chemistry doesn’t actually limit a graduate to careers in chemistry.
- Springfield, MOSpringfield, MO
Missouri State University
This program prepares students to work in industrial or governmental chemistry laboratories, or to pursue doctoral studies.
- Socorro, NMSocorro, NM
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry...
- Auburn, ALAuburn, AL
- Burnaby, BCBurnaby, BC
Simon Fraser University
- Norman, OKNorman, OK
University of Oklahoma
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers programs of study leading to the Ph.D. in each of six major divisions: analytical, biochemistry, chemical education, inorganic, organic, and physical, that are a balance between required and elective c...
- New Paltz, NYNew Paltz, NY
State University Of New York At New Paltz (S.U.N.Y.)
New Paltz is a public university and can not provide Scholarships and/or Financial aid to non New York residents.There are no fellowships for full-tim...
- Wolverhampton, United KingdomWolverhampton, United Kingdom
University of Wolverhampton
- Fort Worth, TXFort Worth, TX
Texas Christian University
The research project is central to our students' graduate study. Other requirements, including course work, cumulative examinations, seminars, and teaching, are intended to broaden students' exposure to chemistry and aid in developing the essential skil...
- Villeneuve-D'Ascq, FranceVilleneuve-D'Ascq, France
Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille
- Brookings, SDBrookings, SD
South Dakota State University
The department is equipped with modern instrumentation to support research. Most of the equipment is readily available to graduate students for "hands-on" experience after a short training course. Individual research groups also maintain their own instr...
- Calgary, ABCalgary, AB
University of Calgary
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
Texas Southern University
The program is designed to prepare scientists who are prepared to anticipate, assess and recommend action on a wide range of environmental problems impacting ecological systems.
- Edmonton, ABEdmonton, AB
University of Alberta
The Department of Chemistry has research laboratories and instructional facilities for at least 150 graduate students proceeding to the MSc and PhD degrees in chemistry.
- Memphis, TNMemphis, TN
University of Memphis
- Braunschweig, GermanyBraunschweig, Germany
Technische Universität Braunschweig
- Cambridge, United KingdomCambridge, United Kingdom
University of Cambridge
Requests can be faxed to +44-1223-338723. The Board of Graduate Studies regrets it is unable to take e-mail enquiries. Please do not send e-mail enqui...