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
- Rostock, GermanyRostock, Germany
University of Rostock
- Storrs Mansfield, CTStorrs Mansfield, CT
University of Connecticut
- Ottawa, ONOttawa, ON
University of Ottawa
- Cape Girardeau, MOCape Girardeau, MO
Southeast Missouri State University
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
State University Of New York College Of Environmental Science And Forestry
The Chemistry Department offers MS and PhD degrees with Specializations in biochemistry, environmental chemistry, natural products chemistry and polymer chemistry. In October, 1997, the Department moved into the newly build and equipped Jahn Laboratory,...
- Tuskegee, ALTuskegee, AL
- Hamburg, GermanyHamburg, Germany
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomNewcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Northumbria University, Newcastle
A large number of chemistry graduates work as analytical chemists and the demand for knowledgeable and skilled analysts is high in various industries...
- Newark, DENewark, DE
University of DelawareUpcoming Start Date: January 14, 2019
The graduate program in chemistry was one of the first advanced-degree programs established at the University of Delaware, awarding its first Ph.D.s in 1948. Over the years, more than 500 doctoral degrees and more than 300 master's degrees have been...
- Little Rock, ARLittle Rock, AR
University of Arkansas - Little Rock
- Hoboken, NJHoboken, NJ
Stevens Institute of Technology
Concentrations in:Analytical Chemistry Chemical Biology Organic Chemistry Physical Chemistry Polymer Chemistry...
- 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.
- Stoke-On-Trent, United KingdomStoke-On-Trent, United Kingdom
- Huntsville, TXHuntsville, TX
Sam Houston State University
Work in close collaboration with PhD faculty who are experts in their fields with this MS in Chemistry.
- Cork, IrelandCork, Ireland
University College Cork
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Welcome to the Chemistry Department at Boston College. We hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about our dynamic research community. Our department is made up of nearly 200 scientists studying all phases of contemporary chemical scienc...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
San Francisco State University
- Edwardsville, ILEdwardsville, IL
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
The program is highly research oriented, although a course work only M.S. is available.
- Nashville, TNNashville, TN
Tennessee State University
- Lubbock, TXLubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
Graduate students may select from seven areas of specialization: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, chemical physics, chemistry education, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry.
- San Marcos, TXSan Marcos, TX
Texas State University-San Marcos
The department offers a program of lectures, laboratories, and research leading to the Master of Science and the Master of Arts degrees.
- Huntsville, ALHuntsville, AL
University of Alabama - Huntsville
Research in the Department of Chemistry is pursued along all five of the main subdivisions of the subject (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organi...
- Cedar Falls, IACedar Falls, IA
University of Northern Iowa
The Department of Chemistry at The University of Iowa is seriously committed to providing its students with the skills needed to meet the chemical cha...
- San Jose, CASan Jose, CA
San Jose State University
- Sheffield, United KingdomSheffield, United Kingdom
Sheffield Hallam University