Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

MS in Chemical Sciences

Accepting Applications December 15 - February 15

About the MS in Chemical Sciences Program

The MS in Chemical Sciences is a nine-month graduate degree program offered by the Department of Chemistry. It is not part of the PhD program. The degree is designed for students with bachelor’s degrees who are interested in pursuing continuing education in chemistry to advance their career opportunities in the field. 

There are two options for students pursuing the MS in Chemical Sciences degree: 

  • a coursework-only curriculum
  • curriculum with research opportunities

Coursework Only Option

The coursework-only option might be of interest to employees in chemistry-related industries for whom additional research experience is not as important as obtaining the MS degree for job advancements. The non-research option may also be interesting to students who intend to apply to Law or Business programs and who want to demonstrate an advanced technical background, or for students interested in post-baccalaureate courses prior to enrolling in health science degree programs that do not emphasize research in their admission process. Although this is intended as an intensive, 9-month program, we recognize that is may be convenient for students to extend the time according to the needs of their individual life and employment circumstances.

Research-based Option

The research-based option might be of interest to employees in chemistry-related industries who wish to diversify their experimental skills; students from abroad; students bridging from their BS to improve their competitiveness for employment or for admission to PhD, MD/PhD and other programs where a research background would be useful, including health science professional programs where research experience is used in ranking candidate for admissions. 

The number of research-based positions is limited by the availability of mentors. Applicants should review carefully the research programs of faculty mentors before including their list of prospective research groups in their application materials. Commitment of laboratory space beyond the 9-month period is not guaranteed and completely up to the discretion of the research mentor.


• earned undergraduate degree in chemistry or a related field

• no formal GPA requirement, we will use a holistic analysis of an applicant’s records

• no GRE required

• U-M Graduate School TOEFL standard, for international applicants (score = 84)

• only for those interested in the research option:

- a record of achievement in laboratory research

            - at least one letter that speaks directly to the applicant’s research skills

How to Apply

December 1: Applicantion site opens for submission
February 15: application due date

Decisions about admission will be made on a rolling basis, as files are reviewed and faculty recommendations are completed.


Submit your application on the online form on the UM Rackham Graduate School website:
Graduate School Application Link

Please note: the application form lists two different essays called “academic statement of purpose” and “personal statement.” Please select the option you are interested in applying for (course-only versus research-based) and use the guidance given below to respond to those essays.

Application Package for course-only option:

  1. Transcript
  2. Essay #1 (called: “academic statement of purpose” on the application form):
    Include statement of career interests and motivation for the MS degree
  3. Essay #2 (called: “personal statement” on the application form):
    Tentative course plan for MS program including timeline
  4. Three letters of support

Application Package for research-based option:

  1. Transcript
  2. Essay #1 (called: “academic statement of purpose” on the application form):
    Include statement of career interests and motivation for the MS degree
  3. Essay #2 (called: “personal statement” on the application form):
    Statement of past research experience, plus a statement of research interests for the MS, including your detailed interest in doing research with up to 3 of the UM faculty members
  4. Three letters of support, including at least one that addresses research skills

Financial Considerations

Cost of the MS in Chemical Sciences is the student’s responsibility. You will be responsible for tuition at in-state or out-of-state rates, living expenses, and health care. 

See the Rackham Graduate School’s website for financial aid available to Masters students.

Credits Needed for Degree

24 credits are needed for the Masters Degree:

  • 18 credits at or above 500-level approved from Chemistry graduate credit -- including 6 credits of research (CHEM 596) for students pursuing the research curriculum
  • 6 credits of cognate courses at or above the 400-level
    or an additional 6 credits of Chemistry graduate courses

Transfer Credits: Credits earned for another degree are not eligible for transfer. Credits earned from non-degree activity may be eligible under some circumstances. 

For more information, please see the Rackham Graduate School website on transfer of credits.

Suggested Program

To maximize the flexibility and effectiveness of the program, there are no prescribed course plans for the MS in Chemical Sciences degree. Prospective candidates are encourage to work with the department and/or potential advisor(s) to create a customize plan of study that meets the needs and interests of the individual.

Cognate Courses

The department is particularly open to the widest range of options for the cognate requirements, understanding that our students’ long-term career interests may also vary widely, including but not limited to the Law School, Business School, School of Public Policy, or School of Education.

Other Training

  • Safety Training: All MS students who will carry out research will receive laboratory safety training.
  • Research Ethics Training: All MS students will participate in mandatory ethics training in the winter semester.
  • GSI Training: MS students who obtain GSI positions in the Department of Chemistry will participate in a mandatory training program before the fall semester.

Sample Course Plans (Traditional Areas)

The following are representative course plans taken by our PhD students. These plans are not required or recommended, but are intended to give prospective candidates an idea of the types of chemistry classes available in the department.

MS students are free to follow these recommendations, which are requirements for PhD students. Or you may mix and match course selections according to your specific interests.

Analytical Chemistry
Any 3 (or all 4) of these: CHEM 646 (Separation Processes), CHEM 647 (Mass Spectrometry), CHEM 648 (Analysis Spectroscopic and Imaging), and CHEM 649 (Electroanalytical Chemistry). The fourth Chemistry class can also be any remaining 600 level analytical course or some other Chemistry graduate class.

Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 507 (Advanced Inorganic Chemistry), 616 (Physical Methods in Inorganic Chemistry), at least one of the following: CHEM 511 (Materials Chemistry), CHEM 515 (Organometallic Chemistry) or 710-716 (Special Topics), and an elective Chemistry course

Organic Chemistry
CHEM 540 (Organic Principles), 541 (Advanced Organic Chemistry), 543 (Organic Mechanisms), and either CHEM 542 (Organic Spectroscopy) or CHEM 515 (Organometallic Chemistry).

Chemical Biology
CHEM 501 (Chemical Biology I) and CHEM 502 (Chemical Biology II), and two additional Chemistry graduate courses (choice depends on your research interests).

Materials Chemistry
CHEM 511 (Materials Chemistry) and either CHEM 535 (Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules) or CHEM 538 (Organic Chemistry of Macromolecules). Two courses from the offerings of any other Chemistry cluster (analytical, chemical biology, inorganic, organic, or physical) are required, noting that both courses must be from the same cluster.

Physical Chemistry
CHEM 571 (Quantum Mechanics) and CHEM 576 (Statistical Mechanics), Two advanced courses: CHEM 567 (Kinetics), CHEM 580 (Spectroscopy) are recommended.

Cognate Courses
Students may choose from a list of approved cognate courses. This list is expands on that available to PhD students. For example, courses in the Law School, Business School, and School of Education will be approved to accommodate students with interests/career goals in chemistry/patent law, chemistry/business, or chemistry/education. 

Some example of relevant courses include: BA 518 (Business of Biology), BIT 465 (Business Systems Consulting), ES 504 (Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship), MO 501 (Human Behavior and Organization), MO 563 (Leading Creativity and Innovation), EDUC 504 (Teaching with Technology), and EDUC 522 (Improvement of Science Teaching).