Master of Art

Master’s Program

The master’s program in chemistry provides students with additional exposure to advanced topics in chemistry relative to an undergraduate degree. Significant, independent research experience is a substantial portion of the program so that the successful student can function as a research scientist in a corporate laboratory. Students earning a Master’s degree in chemistry are technically skilled to perform advanced scientific research in the laboratory. They also have strong oral and written communications skills.

A. STUDENT ORIENTATION – PRIOR TO INITIAL REGISTRATION

PROFICIENCY, ENTRANCE, EXAMS
All entering students will be given proficiency exams, usually of the ACS type. Currently, these exams are in the following areas: Inorganic, Organic, and Physical. The results of the examinations will provide the Chemistry Department with information regarding the entering class as a group and the Graduate Studies Committee with information about the scientific backgrounds of individual members of the entering class.

B. STUDENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE, SAC, AND PERMANENT COMMITTEE

1. CONSTITUTION
Selection of a research director by a new student usually begins during the first semester of study in the program. The student is required to talk with at least three faculty members about research before the formal selection process is completed. The process is completed when the student turns in the SAC form to the Chemistry Student Services Office that has been signed by at least three faculty members. One of the faculty members must indicate a willingness to accept the student into his/her research program. This process may not be completed before October 15th for students starting in the fall semester or February 15th for students starting in the spring semester, and is normally completed by the end of the first semester in residence.

As soon as the student on the M.A. program has selected a research director, the SAC for that student will be constituted. The SAC will be chaired by the research director and will consist of three graduate faculty members including:

  1. The research director
  2. A member selected by the research director, and
  3. A member selected by the student

2. RESPONSIBILITIES OF SAC
The SAC has the responsibility of serving as a resource for the graduate student concerning any problems that arise during his or her course of study. A SAC meeting should be called any time advice is deemed necessary by either the student or research advisor. Since only three members of a Permanent Committee are required for the M.A. examination(s), the SAC will also function as the student’s Permanent Committee. The Permanent Committee conducts the Final Oral Examination as prescribed by the Graduate School requirements.

3. CHANGES IN MEMBERSHIP OF SAC
Any changes in the constitution of the SAC should be reported by the research director to the Chemistry Student Services Office. In the event that the student wishes to change his/her research director, the Chemistry Student Services Office should be consulted for the proper procedures to be followed.

C. REQUIREMENTS FOR MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE

1. COURSE PROGRAM
The Master of Arts degree requires a minimum of thirty semester hours. Typically the M.A. program in Chemistry requires nine semester hours of course credit in the major area of interest, nine semester hours course credit in other areas of chemistry, and a total of twelve semester hours in thesis registration and seminar ,not more than six of the thirty hours may be earned through registration for CHEM 993. Students must be registered for CHEM 993 for three hours at least once. And you must be registered for 3 hours of 993 in the semester you defend. Third, fourth, and fifth year students must register for CHEM 993 for three hours until they graduate. Course programs are arranged on an individual basis by a Student Advisory Committee, SAC, established for each student. A list of graduate courses can be viewed HERE.

2. RESIDENCE CREDIT
To obtain a Master of Arts degree, the student must earn at least one academic year, that is, two semesters of residence credit; see below. Thirty hours of course work satisfies the residence requirement. For thesis registration as many as six hours of CHEM 993 may be counted as residence credit. Residence credit in any term of summer school is computed the same as during the regular semester. Residence credit earned on work for a Master’s degree is applicable as residence credit for a doctoral degree.

Residence Credit Computation
  •  Nine ,9, semester hours of credit is considered full-time and earns a full semester of residence credit.
  •  Six to eight ,6-8, semester hours of credit earns ½ semester of residence credit.
  •  Three to five ,3-5, semester hours of credit earns 1/4 semester of residence credit.

3. M.A. WRITTEN EXAMINATION
The comprehensive examination for the M.A. degree is the passing of half the number of cumulative exams required for the Ph.D. by a particular division. Students should note deadlines listed on the Registrar’s Calendar.

4. APPLICATION FOR DEGREE
When an M.A. candidate nears the end of research and can anticipate final approval of the thesis, he/she should formally apply for a degree for the next commencement according to the deadline listed in the Registrar’s Calendar. Forms are available on-line at the Graduate School and in the Chemistry Student Services Office.

If a student has already applied for candidacy and for the degree but has failed to meet the deadline for a specific commencement, he/she must make an application for the degree again, but not for candidacy.

5. THESIS FOR M.A. DEGREE
The thesis should be submitted to the Graduate School for a specific commencement according to the schedule in the Registrar’s Calendar. The thesis must be prepared as directed in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide.

It is the responsibility of the thesis advisor to verify that the thesis is in appropriate form. After all alterations and corrections have been made to the thesis and the final oral examination has been held, the Master’s Comprehensive Exam Report is submitted and the thesis, in final typed form, three copies of thesis with four abstracts, is registered with the Graduate School. The title pages of the thesis should be signed by the thesis director and two other members of the student’s committee.

6. FINAL ORAL EXAMINATION
The final oral examination is administered by the student’s Permanent Committee. The student should submit a copy of his/her thesis to the readers along with a copy to the other permanent committee members two weeks before the defense. Also 2 weeks prior the student must inform the Chemistry Student Service office of when/where the oral defense will take place. The examination involves a defense of the dissertation; students normally present a description of their dissertation research and discuss its scientific significance.

The Dempsey Group

Professor Jillian Dempsey and her research group