Apr 17, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2016-2017 
Graduate Catalog | 2016-2017 Previous Edition

Chemistry, M.S.

The Department of Chemistry offers a research-based Master of Science (M.S.) degree, which provides the background necessary for further graduate or professional studies in the physical, life or medical sciences or a career in chemistry. The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours and a thesis based on original research carried out under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty. Student participation in research activities is through selection of a faculty advisor and enrollment in the special research courses offered. Major emphasis is placed upon the research project and required thesis.  UNC Charlotte B.S. degree chemistry majors may elect to participate in the five-year Accelerated Early Entry M.S. program (described in the UNC Charlotte Undergraduate Catalog).

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the following are required for graduate study in Chemistry:

  1. A satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination.
  2. Administration of placement examinations by the department each semester just prior to registration as an aid in identifying academic deficiencies.
  3. Removal of any deficiencies within one year.
  4. International students must meet published University standards on English proficiency.

Degree Requirements

Students in this program must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, including at least 15 credit hours in 6000-level courses open to graduate students only.

Students in the M.S. in Chemistry program are required to be non-deficient in four out of five sub-disciplines of chemistry (inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, instrumental/analytical chemistry) as determined by five placement exams prior to the beginning of classes during the first enrolled semester.  Students must not be deficient in organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and two other sub-disciplines of their choice.  Deficiencies may be removed by passing the placement exam at the beginning of the subsequent semester or by passing a graduate level course with a grade B or above. 

To obtain the required 30 credit hours for graduation, students may choose additional credit hours in Research and Thesis or Elective Courses. 


*Departmental approval is necessary before CHEM 6060 credit can be used to satisfy this requirement.  

**Any 5000 level or higher Biology, Engineering, Mathematics or Physics course, except those designed for a professional education sequence, may be taken for graduate credit upon departmental approval.  

Grade Requirements

Students in the M.S. in Chemistry program are required to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree.  Continued enrollment is at all times subject to review on the basis of academic record.  This review is performed by the departmental Graduate Committee.

A GPA of 3.0 is required for the degree.  An accumulation of two marginal (C) grades or one unsatisfactory (U) grade on the graduate transcript results in termination of the student’s enrollment in the M.S. in Chemistry program and a termination of any assistantships and fellowships they were receiving. 


Approval of the program of each student and monitoring his/her progress toward the degree is the responsibility of the student’s research advisor. Prior to the selection of a research advisor, graduate student progress is monitored by the departmental Graduate Committee.


A thesis must be written and defended within six calendar years after admission into the M.S. program as a degree student.

Thesis Committee

The written thesis is defended before the department and a special thesis committee of no fewer than four persons, with at least one member from outside of the Department of Chemistry.

Application for Degree

Each student should make application for his/her degree by completing the online Application for Degree through Banner Self Service no later than the filing date specified in the University Academic Calendar.

Research Experiences

Chemistry faculty offer research opportunities in all areas of molecular and nanoscale sciences, and many participate in formal or informal interdisciplinary research programs. Faculty research interests include computational chemistry, organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, organometallic chemistry, structural and mechanistic organic chemistry, electrochemistry, materials and interfacial chemistry, catalysis, biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, analytical separations, bioanalytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, and chemical education. Many chemistry faculty are active participants in interdisciplinary research projects in biotechnology and biomedicine, optical science, materials science, or electrical engineering. Students receive academic credit for their research and benefit from a low student-to-faculty ratio. Graduate students are assigned individual projects and work closely with faculty members to build their own, original contribution to the scientific literature. Students have full access to and receive excellent training in the use of any departmental instrumentation needed to carry out their research. Results are presented at informal seminars, scientific conferences, and in articles published in high-quality, refereed journals. Research in the Department is funded in part from competitive grants obtained from agencies such as the American Chemical Society, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, DoD, DoE, Research Corporation, Dreyfus Foundation, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, UNC Charlotte Foundation, and private industry.


Graduate students generally support their education through teaching or research assistantships available through the Department of Chemistry. The department also sponsors the Gary Howard Research Fellowship competition, which provides significantly greater support to one highly qualified applicant. Tuition waivers covering state tuition are also available to external applicants through the Thomas Walsh Tuition Fellowships. Many faculty may offer research assistantships to qualified students. Further information is available in the department. Support in the summer months may also available.

Tuition Waivers

Fellowships are available for students enrolled in the M.S. in Chemistry program and for students seeking an interdisciplinary doctoral degree through the Department of Chemistry.  Further information is available in the department.