Program Description

The M.S. degree in Chemistry is designed to prepare students for research-oriented careers in the chemical industry, for entry into doctoral programs at other institutions, or for teaching chemistry at institutions such as community colleges.

Program Requirements

A. For Admission to the Program

  1. In addition to general University requirements for admission, a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher overall GPA and a Chemistry major or other area with appropriate science content is recommended. Applicants with an overall GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 must additionally submit GRE scores (from the general test).
  2. Foreign students must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language.
  3. Departmental approval. The department also requires the submission of a personal statement and at least one letter of recommendation. See the departmental website for details. The department may request additional supporting material to assess an applicant’s preparation and likelihood for academic success.

B. For Classified Status

  1. Satisfactory scores on the departmental proficiency exams in three subdisciplines (chosen from analytical, organic, inorganic, physical chemistry or biochemistry) or demonstrated competence through coursework in these areas.
  2. General University requirements for classified status.

C. Requirements for the Degree

1. A minimum of 30 units of graduate work, including a thesis.

At least 21 units must be taken in 500- or 600-level courses. Normally, degree candidates are expected to serve as teaching assistants in the department.

a. Required Courses (6-12 units)

CHEM 691 Literature Seminar (1)
CHEM 692 Thesis Seminar (1)
CHEM 696A-C Directed Graduate Research (3-7)
CHEM 698A-B Thesis (1-3)

b. Electives (18-24 units)

The electives should be selected with the approval of the graduate coordinator from 400- and 500-level courses and must include at least one course that has a lab component.

A maximum of 9 units of 400-level courses may be applied toward the 30 units required for the degree.

2. Oral defense of thesis.

3. Formal approval by the graduate thesis committee.

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 30


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Chair: Simon Garrett
Eucalyptus Hall (EH) 2102
(818) 677-3381

Graduate Coordinator: Karin Crowhurst
(818) 677-4288

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge in the following areas of chemistry: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical.
  2. Organize and communicate scientific information clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.
  3. Effectively utilize the scientific literature to research a chemistry topic or to conduct chemical research.
  4. Work effectively and safely in a laboratory environment, including the ability to maintain a proper laboratory notebook and use advanced chemical instrumentation.
  5. Use computer technology for advanced chemical applications.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to work independently in the lab by designing solutions to problems or devising experiments to test hypotheses.