Sep 17, 2019  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
    
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry MS


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 ►  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program 

Program Director:  Xiaotai Wang
Email:  Xiaotai.Wang@ucdenver.edu
Office: SI 4129A
Phone: 303-556-6711

Requirements for Admission

Students must meet the Downtown Campus Graduate School admission requirements with specific chemistry requirements as follows:

  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Undergraduate major in chemistry essentially equivalent to the one offered at CU Denver (see the undergraduate requirements), including two semesters of organic, analytical and physical chemistry with laboratories and one semester of inorganic chemistry. No student will be admitted to the graduate program who is not within two classes of meeting the undergraduate requirements.
  • GRE examination is recommended, as is the advanced chemistry GRE examination.
  • International students have additional admission requirements concerning immigration status, proof of financial responsibility and acceptable TOEFL scores.
  • Applicants who fail to meet the full admission standards may be offered provisional admission.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the graduate program director or visit the chemistry department website for additional details concerning the chemistry program, admission procedures, financial assistance and faculty research interests.

General Program Requirements

At the heart of the graduate program is a set of four core graduate courses in the fields of analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. A student must qualify in order to register for any core graduate class, either by passing a qualifying examination in that field or by passing the equivalent undergraduate class in that area at CU Denver with a grade of B (3.0) or better.  The qualifying examinations are administered each fall and spring during the week before classes begin.  They are required for all entering students.  The purpose of these examinations is to evaluate a student’s background in the basic areas of chemistry.  The examinations are American Chemical Society standardized tests in the four core areas.  All entering students are required to qualify in all four core fields during their first year in the graduate program. Individual core classes may have additional prerequisites.

Depending on the program option that she/he selects, a student will be required to pass either three (Plan I) or all four (Plan II) of the graduate core courses with no grade in a core course below B- (2.7).

The remaining course work for the degree will consist of regular graduate offerings in chemistry, a limited number of which may be substituted by approved classes in related fields. In particular, students interested in interdisciplinary areas, such as biochemistry or environmental chemistry, are encouraged to take cognate courses outside the chemistry department. The chemistry graduate program director must approve in advance any graduate class taken outside the department that is to count toward the degree. All students are required to annually submit an updated program plan for approval and to have their progress evaluated by the graduate program director.

Specific Degree Requirements

There are two options for obtaining a master’s degree from the Department of Chemistry: Plan I, the thesis option, and Plan II, the course work emphasis option. All students must complete at least 3 semester hours of master’s report (CHEM 6960). A student is allowed to participate in the thesis option only after the successful completion of the master’s report with the proposed advisor, and upon the mutual agreement of both the student and advisor that the student is prepared to work on a master’s thesis. Students who select the course work emphasis option may petition to have up to 3 additional semester hours of master’s report research substitute for an equivalent number of course work hours.

Plan I. Thesis Option 

Plan I is a research-oriented program involving a minimum of 30 semester hours with the following requirements:

  • 21-23 semester hours of formal course work, including three of the four graduate core courses
  • 4-6 semester hours of CHEM 6950, Master’s Thesis research; successful completion of the thesis research includes the presentation of the results at a departmental seminar
  • 3 semester hours of CHEM 6960, Master’s Report research
  • a grade of B- (2.7) or better in all courses completed: B- (2.7) or better in all core courses
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses taken as a graduate student
  • an acceptable formal thesis consistent with the guidelines of the Graduate School  
  • successful oral defense of the master’s thesis before a committee of at least three graduate faculty members, two of whom must be tenure track faculty members in the chemistry department
  • compliance with all Graduate School Rules  
  • all work must be completed within five years of completion of the first graduate class in the department

Plan I thesis research must be conducted under the direct supervision of a tenure-track faculty member of the Downtown Campus Department of Chemistry. Plan I students must take a minimum of 15 semester hours of formal course work in chemistry at the 5000 level or above. Students may petition the graduate program director in advance for permission to take one or two courses at the graduate level outside of chemistry that would count toward the requirements for an MS in chemistry.

Plan II. Course Work Emphasis Option

Plan II is a course work-oriented program involving a minimum of 33 semester hours with the following requirements:

  • 27-30 semester hours of formal course work, including all four graduate core courses
  • at least 3 (but not more than 6) semester hours of CHEM 6960, Master’s Report, research
  • a grade of B- (2.7 or better in all courses completed; B- (2.7) or better in all core courses
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses taken as a graduate student
  • a final research report
  • presentation of the research project in a final seminar
  • successful defense of the project before a committee of at least three graduate faculty members, one of whom must be a tenure-track faculty member in the chemistry department
  • compliance with all Graduate School Rules  
  • all work must be completed within five years of completion of the first graduate class in the department

A Plan II student may petition the graduate program director to substitute up to 3 semester hours of master’s report (CHEM 6960) research, beyond the required minimum, for an equivalent number of semester hours of formal course work. Approval will be perfunctory for research performed with the support and under the direct supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry. Plan II students must take a minimum of 24 semester hours of formal course work in chemistry at the 5000 level or above. Students may petition the graduate program director in advance for permission to take up to two courses at the graduate level outside of chemistry that would count toward the requirements for an MS in chemistry.

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