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Graduate – Program MSIA

Master of Science Industrial Associate

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.

The Pielak Group

Professor Gary Pielak and his research group


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

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.S. examination/s, the SAC will also function as the student’s Permanent Committee conducting these examination/s.

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.


The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 semester hours. At least 24 of these hours must be in chemistry or allied subjects including graduate seminars numbered 700 or above but not including 921, 931, 941, 951, 961, or 981, referred to collectively as 9X1. In lieu of a thesis the student must have 6 hours of registration in 992 and submit a written Master’s report. Students unsure of whether they might wish to enter this program are advised to take one or two courses in the Continuing Education program.

Credit for up to two graduate courses, 6 credit hours, can be transferred from the Continuing Education program to the regular program with the permission of the Department. Under certain circumstances, up to 6 hours of graduate credit can be transferred from another institution and applied toward the M.S. degree. A list of graduate courses can be viewed HERE.

To obtain a Master of Science degree, the student must earn at least one academic year, that is, two semesters of 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 1/2 semester of residence credit.
  •  Three to five, 3-5, semester hours of credit earns 1/4 semester of residence credit.

The requirement for a written examination can be met either by passing half of the number of cumulative examinations required for the Ph.D., varied by division, or by passing a comprehensive written examination prepared by the student’s major division of study. These examinations should be passed within one semester following the completion of the course work required.

The initial registration for the student will be done by the representative on the Graduate Studies Committee who has interests most closely related to that of the student’s planned field of study. The student should select a departmental advisor whose research work is related to the interests of the student. The Chemistry Student Services Office should be informed in writing of the selection of this individual as the Departmental Liaison. The further program of study will be established by the Departmental Liaison and the student.

When the student is ready to register in 9X1 or 992 several precautions must be noted. First, no research that the student performs for his or her company and for which he or she receives monetary compensation can form the basis of the written report required for the M.S. The requirement for the written report is the same as that described for the regular MS degree. The research experience that the student in 9X1 or 992 is to have should be established by the mutual agreement of the Departmental Liaison, who will serve as the student’s advisor, the student, and a representative of the company that employs the student. The Chemistry Student Services Office should receive a written summary of the outcome of this meeting from the student.

In this program the Department of Chemistry does not offer any financial support for the student and expects that the company employing the individual will provide support.

When an M.S. 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.

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