Saint Louis University’s Department of Chemistry offers two master’s programs (Master
of Arts and Master of Science) and a doctoral program. Each offers specializations,
including traditional areas of analytical, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry,
as well as cross-disciplinary areas of materials and biological chemistry.
About the Programs
Our thesis-based M.S. in chemistry degree program is designed for full-time students
who will be doing research in the department as well as writing and defending a thesis.
In general, the thesis-based M.S. degree is for research students who want to finish
with a master's degree.
The M.A. program in chemistry is intended for either research students who want to
transition into the Ph.D. program after they have completed the master’s degree requirements
or part-time students who want a coursework master’s degree. It does not require thesis
research or the writing of a thesis.
Ph.D. students must complete intense research culminating in a dissertation. Doctoral
graduates pursue different paths, including teaching, postdoctoral studies, or careers
in industry or with government agencies, such as the FDA.
Research Groups and Publications
Our graduate students are active in the research areas of analytical, physical, synthetic,
materials, environmental and biological chemistry. Our research groups regularly publish
in top-ranked journals and present at national and international conferences.
Research is externally supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research,
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Petroleum Research Fund
and the American Heart Association, among others.
Both the thesis-based Master of Science and the non-thesis-based Master of Arts chemistry
degree options offer specialization in analytical, inorganic, organic, physical or
biological chemistry, with cross-disciplinary activity encouraged.
The requirements for the thesis-based M.S. degree include:
A minimum of 24 credit hours of post-baccalaureate coursework (exclusive of thesis
Six credit hours of thesis research (CHEM 5990)
A public oral presentation and a private oral examination
The requirements for the non-thesis M.A. degree in chemistry include a minimum of
30 credit hours of post-baccalaureate coursework and an oral examination.
Many graduate courses in chemistry are scheduled in the evening, allowing you to complete
the degree as a part-time student. This flexibility allows students to tailor a program
of study to suit their needs. For example, graduate courses in business and management,
education, mathematics or other science disciplines may be included.
For students who hold a bachelor’s degree and are interested in completing the doctoral
program in chemistry, there is a mechanism to transition into the Ph.D. program after
the master's requirements are completed. A total of 39 credit hours are required,
including 12 credit hours from dissertation research credits. You will develop an
appropriate coursework track with your mentor that will be approved by the graduate
program director and/or the department chair.
All research-based graduate students in the chemistry program receive teaching or
research assistantships funded by the College of Arts and Sciences and external grants
that have been awarded to faculty. Assistantships provide a tuition scholarship, a
base stipend of $24,000 and health insurance.
Applicants should possess sufficient GPA and TOEFL (if applicable) scores, and a bachelor's
degree from an accredited college or university, usually in chemistry or biochemistry,
although other science majors will be considered.
Admission normally requires a minimum of 18 semester hours (minimum 2.8 GPA) of upper-division
undergraduate chemistry courses including: organic chemistry (two semesters), quantitative
analysis (one semester) and physical chemistry (two semesters). Students who do not
meet these criteria may complete these prerequisites as part of their graduate program,
though not for graduate credit.
Students who have not completed equivalent coursework in upper-level undergraduate
“Inorganic Chemistry” (CHEM 413) and “Instrumental Analysis” (CHEM 420) will also
be required to complete these courses but they can be taken for departmental graduate
Established in 1908, the Department of Chemistry at Saint Louis University houses
active research groups involving graduate students in traditional areas such as analytical,
physical, organic and inorganic chemistry, as well as cross-disciplinary areas such
as materials, environmental and biological chemistry.
These research groups regularly publish in top-ranked journals and present at national
and international conferences. Research in the department is supported by a variety
of sources, including the Frasch Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National
Science Foundation, Petroleum Research Fund and American Heart Association.