Master of Science in Chemistry

Admission to Program

Students must meet these criteria:

  • Satisfy the University’s admission requirements.
  • Have completed a BS or BA in chemistry,  biochemistry, or a related field such as molecular biology, chemical engineering, materials science, or physics. Please note that some graduate courses assume the enrolled students have completed a year of physical chemistry and/or a semester of biochemistry. Additional coursework may be required for non-chemistry or biochemistry applicants.
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0 in chemistry and related courses.
  • Applicants are required to fill out the department application form. Department application procedures are described at www.chembiochem.sfsu.edu/graduate_app_proc.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with previous academic work and/or potential for graduate work in chemistry. These letters should be sent through CalApply.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge in a subdiscipline of chemistry.
  2. Organize and communicate scientific information clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.
  3. Use the scientific literature to develop and implement a research project.
  4. Demonstrate independence in designing and conducting experiments, analyzing data, and interpreting results.
  5. Keep accurate records of experiments and data.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to engage in collaborative scientific activities in research and coursework.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One

The Level One writing requirement is satisfied by successfully completing CHEM 879.

Level Two

The Level Two writing requirement is satisfied by successfully completing CHEM 880, a thesis (CHEM 898) or written manuscript (CHEM 895), and an oral defense of the research project.

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must:

  • Pass any three of the American Chemical Society (ACS) graduate entrance examinations: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry. These examinations cover mainly undergraduate-level material.
  • Satisfy Level One of the written English proficiency requirement.
  • Satisfy all course deficiencies stipulated upon entrance into the program.
  • File an Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form.

Note: After initiating a research project, a graduate student must enroll each semester in CHEM 897 while actively engaged in research for the M.S. degree. A maximum of 9 units of CHEM 897 may be included in the Advancement to Candidacy.

Chemistry (M.S.) — 30-33 units

Program (6 units)

CHEM 879Research Methods I3
CHEM 880Research Methods II3

Research Requirements (9-12 units)

A research project in organic, analytical, physical, environmental, inorganic, or chemical education subdiscipline required.

CHEM 897Research1-3

Culminating Experience (3 units)

One of the following Culminating Experience courses selected with prior consultation with Culminating Experience committee:

CHEM 898Master's Thesis3
or CHEM 895 Research Project
Oral Defense of Culminating Experience

Related Study (9 – 12 units)

Graduate courses in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, mathematics, or biology on advisement of graduate major advisor. Upper-division courses may be used with permission of a graduate major advisor.

Analytical/Environmental/Methods (AEM)
CHEM 741Electron Microscopy4
CHEM 800Special Topics in Chemistry (X-Ray Techniques)3
CHEM 820NMR Applications and Techniques3
CHEM 821Mass Spectrometry - Principles and Practice3
Biochemistry (BIO)
CHEM 800Special Topics in Chemistry (Proteomics)3
CHEM 800Special Topics in Chemistry (Enzymology)3
CHEM 841Enzymology3
CHEM 851Biochemical Spectroscopy3
Organic/Medicinal (OM)
CHEM 800Special Topics in Chemistry (Natural Products)3
CHEM 800Special Topics in Chemistry (Adv. Org. Chem. - Molec. Struct. & Reactivity )3
CHEM 832Organic Synthesis3
CHEM 834Organic Spectroscopic Methods3
CHEM 842Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry3
Physical/Inorganic/Computational (PIC)
CHEM 851Biochemical Spectroscopy3
CHEM 800Special Topics in Chemistry3
CHEM 852Statistical Mechanics: Molecular Relaxation3
CHEM 870Computational Methods in Chemistry3
Chemical Education
CHEM 885Teaching College Chemistry3