Jul 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Chemistry, MS

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College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  > Department of Chemistry  > Chemistry, MS

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Houston offers programs leading to Master of Science (MS) degree in analytical, biological, inorganic, materials, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry. With nationally recognized faculty who pursue research which provides a rich learning environment with the use of a wide variety of instrument facilities and excellent technical staff who support the research and teaching efforts within the department, students will have acquired a broad and in-depth knowledge of the discipline. Students have the option to pursue a thesis track option by demonstrating research competence with the successful completion and defense of acceptable thesis research, or a non-thesis track where students demonstrate technical competence with successful completion of formal graduate-level course work in Chemistry and related disciplines. Our graduates successfully find employment after they graduate in academia and industry.

For more information, please visit http://www.uh.edu/nsm/chemistry/about/.

Admission Requirements

  • Candidates who have completed the normal four-year program leading to the bachelor’s degree in chemistry and who present documentary evidence of the ability to pursue graduate study are eligible for consideration for admission to the graduate program.
  • A complete graduate school application (link http://www.uh.edu/graduate-school/admissions/how-to-apply/) must be submitted. 
  • Applicants must submit scores from the General GRE examination taken in the last 5 years.
  • Letters of recommendation are also given considerable weight in the evaluation process. 
  • Students who did not earn a prior degree from a U.S. institution or a country where English is the medium of instruction (see list here ) must meet minimum test scores to demonstrate English language proficiency. To learn more, visit International Student.
  • International applications also require an application fee.
  • Admission to our graduate program is based on a competitive selection process. Meeting the minimum requirements published does not guarantee admission to our program. All applicants’ credentials are evaluated by the admissions committee using a broad range of criteria, including:
    • Content of undergraduate and graduate programs and grades earned, particularly in the areas of Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Mathematics.
    • GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing; GRE advanced chemistry subject test is highly recommended by the department).
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better in the last 60.0 Credit Hours.
    • Letters of recommendation from three (3) individuals (preferably faculty members), who are able to judge the candidate’s academic abilities and potential for scholarly scientific research.
    • English proficiency scores, when applicable.
    • Any previous scientific and technical experience, publications, and presentations.

Degree Requirements

Diagnostic Examinations

Prior to the first day of class, new graduate students take four diagnostic examinations in the areas of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry. These are used by the Department to assess the student’s preparation for graduate study and to help guide the student in course selections.

Research Divisions and Programs

Immediately following the diagnostic examinations, a meeting is scheduled between the new student and the Graduate Chair to determine course enrollment for the first semester. At that time, the student must elect a division with which to be associated. The divisions are:

A limited number of students may also request to participate in the Chemical Physics Program or the Chemical Biology Interdisciplinary Program. 

A student who requests to participate in either of the latter two programs must obtain permission from the Graduate Chair and is subject to special requirements for participating in the programs and graduation. Students interested in the Chemical Physics or the Chemical Biology Interdisciplinary Programs should contact the Graduate Chair before the start of the first semester.

Course Requirements

Plan I: Thesis Option

A minimum of 30.0 approved Credit Hours including:

A. Divisional Courses

Completion of 6 graduate-level courses, no less than 18 credit hours, based on the course requirements in their elected division.

B. Master’s Thesis Hours

Completion of 6.0 credit hours of Master’s Thesis in the semester of anticipated graduation. Once enrolled in Master’s Thesis, registration must be continuous and no grade is given until the Thesis is approved by the NSM Office of Academic Affairs.

C. Seminar Requirements

Credit Hours: 6.0

  • Credit Hours: 1.0
  • Note: Students must complete 3.0 credit hours of CHEM 6111 by the end of their second year in residence. Although participation in the Graduate Colloquium is required each term the student is enrolled at the University, enrollment beyond the second year is not required.

  • Credit Hours: 1.0
  • Note: Students must complete 3.0 credit hours of CHEM 6112 by the end of their second year in residence. Although participation in the Graduate Seminar is required each term the student is enrolled at the University, enrollment beyond the second years is not required.

D. Other Requirements

  • Credit Hours: 1.0
  • Note: Students holding a teaching fellowship must complete 3.0 credit hours of CHEM 6115 by the end of their second year in residence.

  • A final oral M.S. thesis defense is required and a finished Thesis must be submitted to the NSM Office of Academic Affairs by the deadline posted on the College website.

  • All courses must be in Chemistry or pre-approved courses in related fields at the 6000 level or above.

  • Chemistry coursework requirements must be met within the first five long terms (Fall and Spring terms). Graduate students cannot take coursework after the first five long terms in residence without approval from the Graduate Committee. Exceptions are granted only under extraordinary circumstances.

  • Two grades of C+ or less will result in the student being placed at the bottom of the priority list for receipt of a teaching fellowship.

Plan II: Non-Thesis Option

A minimum of 30.0 approved Credit Hours of formal graduate-level courses in Chemistry and related disciplines, with prior explicit Departmental approval to include:

  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Chemistry Division course, selected with approval of the Graduate Chair Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Elective courses selected from graduate-level CHEM courses Credit Hours: 18.0
    Note: Graduate courses outside the department may be substituted with prior written permission from the Graduate Chair.
  • Other requirements:

  • Four diagnostic examinations must be taken no later than the beginning of the second semester of study.
  • A maximum of 6.0 hours may be transferred to satisfy the degree requirements, with permission of the Graduate Committee, provided that they were taken at the graduate level but not while in pursuit of an earned degree, the grades are B or higher, and the courses were taken within 5 years from the time of the graduation at UH.

Divisional Course Requirements

Completion of a minimum of 6 graduate-level courses is required. Students may take additional graduate-level courses with the written approval of their research advisors and Graduate Chair. 

Inorganic Division

18.0 Credit Hours

Required Courses

3.0 Credit Hours

Elective Course Options

15.0 Credit Hours

Organic Division

18.0 Credit Hours

Required Courses

12.0 Credit Hours

Elective Course Options

6.0 Credit Hours

Physical Division

18.0 Credit Hours

Required Courses

12.0 Credit Hours

Elective Course Options

6.0 Credit Hours

  • Elective courses Credit Hours: 6.0
    Must be selected with approval of advisor

Department/Program Policies

  • All MS Plan I students must be continuously enrolled full time until the degree requirements are completed.
  • Transfer from the regular Graduate Program to the Plan II Program and vice versa is normally prohibited and is at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.
  • Any off-campus research that will become part of a thesis must have prior written approval of both the external company or institution involved and the Graduate Committee.

Scholastic requirement
Graduate students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in all course work to be considered in good standing. Students not in good standing cannot receive a graduate degree and can be declared ineligible for support with a graduate assistantship (IA, TA or RA).

A candidate for MS Plan I graduate degree conducts research under the direction of his or her research advisor and thesis committee. The results of the research form a large and necessary component of the thesis demonstrating that the student is capable of conducting original chemistry research and of systematically planning and executing a research project. After the thesis has been written, the candidate must pass an oral final thesis defense administered by the thesis committee. This defense deals extensively with that portion of the candidate’s field of specialization under which the thesis falls. The thesis must be successfully defended no later than two weeks before the deadline for submission of the approved copy to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Office of Academic Affairs. Copies of the thesis must be given to the committee members no less than two weeks prior to the oral final thesis examination. The college submission deadline can be found on the NSM website each semester.

  • Advisor Selection
    The selection of a research advisor to guide a student through the thesis research is a critically important step. New graduate students should meet with several (at least four) members of the Chemistry faculty to discuss potential research projects and mutual interests. After meeting with faculty members and deciding which faculty member’s research provides the best fit, students should ask the faculty member for permission to join the faculty member’s research group. Students who enter in the fall semester must choose and be accepted by a research advisor no later than the first day of the spring semester (the earlier the better). Students are expected to begin research as soon as they have chosen an advisor. Students who cannot choose an advisor in the required time may request from the Graduate Committee an additional semester to decide. Extensions are granted, however, only under extraordinary circumstances. Failure to observe the time limit for choosing a research advisor may jeopardize a student’s standing in the program.
  • Thesis Committee
    The thesis committee of a student in the MS Plan I program is composed of five members: the research advisor, two (2) faculty members from within the student’s division, one faculty member from outside the division but from within the Department, and one member from outside the Department, which may be a faculty member from the University, from another university or college, or a person from industry with a PhD A thesis committee composition form required by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) must be completed and submitted to the College one semester prior to the graduation. Should changes in the committee composition be necessary, a new form must be submitted for re-approval prior to the thesis defense exam.

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