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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 22, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

Chemistry, MS

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Requirements for the Master’s Degree

Four to six terms of full-time graduate work is generally required to obtain a MS degree in chemistry (a minimum of 30 credits). Special arrangements can be made for individuals who wish to pursue a MS degree as part time students. Each MS student must take a minimum of 12 credits of 2000- or 3000-level chemistry courses. These must include 2 three-credit core courses (CHEM 2110 , CHEM 2120 , CHEM 2210 , CHEM 2220 , CHEM 2230 , CHEM 2310 , CHEM 2320 , CHEM 2430 , CHEM 2440 , CHEM 2810 , CHEM 2820 ); the remaining courses can either be in the student’s area of specialization or in other chemistry division areas. Students electing to present a nonresearch thesis must take one laboratory course (CHEM 1250, 1430, 1440, or 1600) for credit, in addition to the preceding requirements. Each student must also demonstrate proficiency in physical chemistry by achieving 65% or higher score on physical chemistry appraisal exam, or earn a grade of B or better in CHEM 1410 and 1420 (or equivalent) or earn a B or better grade in either CHEM 2430  or CHEM 2440 .

Additional Requirements

Comprehensive Examination: The student must earn a B or higher in all required chemistry courses and must maintain an overall QPA of 3.0 or higher to be in good standing. The comprehensive examination consists of an examination of the student’s record in the required core courses and the additional 2000- or 3000-level courses.

Thesis: The thesis for the MS must represent an original research project or a comprehensive and detailed survey of a research topic of current interest in chemistry. It must be defended in an oral examination.

Analytical Chemistry Concentration

Students with a concentration in Analytical Chemistry are required to take at least two out of these three courses: Electrochemistry (Chem 2210), Chemical Separations (Chem 2220), and Analytical Spectroscopy (Chem 2230) for 6 credits toward the 12-credit course requirement.  The other 6 credits may be chosen based on the student’s own interests, the advice of the Graduate Student Advising Committee, or the recommendation of the Major Advisor.

Biological Chemistry Concentration

Biological Chemistry doctoral students will take four 3-credit courses.   All external courses will need approval by the Graduate Curriculum Committee.

Inorganic and Materials Chemistry Concentration

Organic Chemistry Concentration

Organic students are required to take both organic core courses (Chemistry 2310 and 2320) and Chemistry 2380 (Techniques of Organic Research).  Advanced courses in the Division are treated in a two-year cycle of one month, one credit modular units (Minicourses) on Special Topics (Chemistry 3300, 3310, 3320).  This program is designed to give advanced students exposure to new developments outside their area of concentration.  Each doctoral candidate is required to take for credit a total of three credits of advanced-level minicourses during his or her residence but is encouraged to audit others.  No single course can be used to account for all 3 credits, and a GPA of 3.00 or greater is required.  In order to ensure maximum freedom of choice, students are advised to register for all three courses (3300, 3310, 3320) during any term in which he or she plans to take one minicourse for credit; before the final examination in the course, the student informs the instructor whether he or she wishes to take the course for credit or audit.

Physical Chemistry Concentration

Physical Chemistry doctoral students are required to take both Physical Chemistry core courses: CHEM 2430 and CHEM 2440.  The Graduate Student Advising Committee, Preliminary Examination Committee, and/or the Research Advisor will recommend additional courses, from within and outside the Department to meet the 12-credit concentration requirement.

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