Master of Science in Chemistry (MS)

Requirements for Admission to the Master of Science Program in Chemistry 

Students who wish to be considered for admission to graduate study leading toward the Master of Science degree must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and have completed an undergraduate major or equivalent in chemistry, chemical engineering or closely related discipline.  If the degree is not from an American Chemical Society certified (or equivalent) program, students may be required to correct any deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation.  For unconditional admission, overall undergraduate grade point average must be at least 3.0/4.0.  International students must score at or above the following benchmarks on one of the English language exams:  TOEFL:  527; iBT-TOEFL:  71, with no band below 16;  IELTS:  6.0, with no band less than 5.0.  In addition, students must meet the following minimum scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE):  140 verbal, 150 quantitative, 2.5 analytical writing.  In exceptional cases (such as extensive work or research experience), students falling slightly below one of the unconditional admission benchmarks may still be considered.  A bachelor of pharmacy degree is not sufficient for admission into the chemistry program.

Entrance Exams

In order to make sure that all students are prepared for the rigors of the academic program and to find and remedy defects in undergraduate preparation, entrance exams will be held before the first day of class.  Students will take two American Chemical Society (ACS) Exams: General Chemistry (Full Year) and Organic Chemistry (First Term).  Students performing at less than the 50th percentile level will be required to take remedial coursework or to change programs.

Degree Requirements

Each candidate for the degree must complete a minimum of thirty semester hours of graduate credit with a 3.0/4.0 overall grade point average. At least eighteen hours must be in courses numbered 600. Independent study is promoted by the requirement of six credit hours of thesis research (CHE 698 and CHE 699) and the resultant thesis.

The graduate coordinator will advise students until a research director is selected. Graduate students will select a research director at the end of his/her first semester after interviews with at least five faculty members. The student and his/her research director shall formulate a graduate committee consisting of at least three faculty members. The suggested committee roster is to be submitted to the dean for approval and formal appointment. The graduate committee may be formed near the end of the second semester. Non-thesis students will be advised throughout their program by the graduate coordinator. 

To enhance confidence and poise, each student is encouraged to participate in the departmental teaching program and is required to present seminars in specialty areas. For students who choose the thesis option, these will consist of one literature (CHE 601) and one research seminar (CHE 602). Non-thesis students will be required to present two seminars.  To help prepare students for their seminar presentations and to help in professional-skills development, all students also participate in a one hour Graduate Student Orientation seminar (CHE 691).

In addition to the thesis and seminar requirements, all students must complete a core consisting of four classes: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (CHE 609), Advanced Organic Chemistry (CHE 617), Instrumental Analysis (CHE 619) and Advanced Physical Chemistry (CHE 681).  The remainder of the thirty hours may be selected from chemistry elective courses and approved courses in other departments.

Apply in to the MS in Chemistry Program

All applicants to the MSU graduate program apply to Murray State University online.  The Chemistry Department also requests that you provide a personal statement and two letters of recommendation.  More information about writing your personal statement and submitting your letters of recommendation can be found here. 

Additional inquiries into the MS in Chemistry program can be sent to the graduate coordinator at

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