College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2017-2018

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry, Master of Science

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Bioorganic and Biomedical Chemistry - Emphasis
  • Carcinogenesis and Cancer Chemotherapy - Emphasis
  • General Chemistry - Emphasis

Chemistry is a diverse discipline that encompasses living processes, inorganic interactions, and analytical methods. The field is foundational for careers in areas such as pharmacy, forensics, medicine, the environment, space exploration, and international defense. This research-and-thesis-based masters produces graduates who are well grounded in the five sub-disciplines of chemistry and in their area of emphasis.

Careers

What Can I Do with a Master of Science in Chemistry?

Chemists study the basic laws of the physical world and the composition and properties of matter. Progress in chemistry has helped us to better understand our environment and how human activities impact that environment. Advances in computer technology, pharmaceuticals, space exploration, alternative fuels, and medicine all have their roots in the chemical sciences. The demand for technicians and researchers with advanced education is rising, and chemistry is at the heart of many burgeoning scientific fields. If you want to be part of the latest discoveries and developments in medicine and technology, or you want to make our world a better and safer place to live, our program might just be for you.

We'll encourage you to attain your educational goals as you conduct original research in traditional and interdisciplinary areas of chemistry. You will emerge prepared for a career in chemical analysis, research and development, or education. Our MS degree is also excellent preparation for post-graduate and professional programs at other institutions.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Environmental analyst
  • Community college instructor
  • Crime lab analyst
  • Laboratory researcher exploring: pharmaceutical drug development, new materials for space, defense, or alternate fuels applications, causes of diseases such as cancer, reactions to facilitate preparation of new drugs or materials, the chemistry of foods and flavors


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 32
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The Chemistry M.S. program prepares students for research-focused professions in the chemical sciences, emphasizing the development of a students' ability to develop experimental approaches that accurately capture information to solve questions and problems in their chemical field of study. Our faculty members conduct research in the many fields of chemistry, from the level of single molecules to whole chemical systems. From the first day of entry into our program, students work closely with their faculty mentor, selecting a course of study suited to their future goals and professional interests. The program enables graduates to contribute to the forefront of knowledge in the scientific community, share their knowledge through teaching, or apply it in public service or industry.
 
This two-year, thesis-based degree program has three distinct emphasis areas: 1) A comprehensive emphasis, (2) an emphasis in Carcinogenesis and Cancer Chemotherapy and (3) an emphasis in Bioorganic and Biomedical Chemistry. All chemistry students work closely with a faculty adviser to design and implement individual thesis research. Students in the Carcinogenesis and Cancer Chemotherapy emphasis generally focus their coursework and research on learning about cancer and its causes and treatments from a chemical perspective. Students in the Bioorganic and Biomedical Chemistry emphasis generally investigate the principles of organic chemistry and biochemistry that serve as a foundation for the medical sciences.
 
The Chemistry M.S. program’s rigorous training in the chemical sciences prepares graduates for successful careers in industry, government, and academics. Our graduates can successfully communicate across multiple disciplines and negotiate scientific solutions to the wide range of chemical problems that currently challenge our society. The Chemistry curriculum trains students how to think broadly about chemical and scientific problems. The research skills gained by Chemistry students help them continue to expand their knowledge long after they graduate from the program. This training and experience helps our graduates assume leadership roles in chemical fields. Finally, the Chemistry M.S. program prepares students for entry into Ph.D. programs in chemical sciences and other related fields, if they choose to continue in an academic track.

Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Chemistry M.S. degree, students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of major concepts in several chemistry sub-disciplines, such as biochemistry, chemistry education, analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.
  • Apply appropriate research methods and analysis as evidenced by skills such as:
    • Planning and carrying out a research project independently;
    • Demonstrating the ability to be self-critical in evaluating procedures and outcomes;
    • Taking responsibility for the success of a research project;
    • Participating and collaborating with members of their research group and with people outside of their group; and/or
    • Understanding the limitations of the research methods used in their work.
  • Adhere to appropriate research practices, including:
    • Safe laboratory practices (chemical hygiene, personal protective wear, etc.);
    • Proper application of regulatory policies (FERPA, IRB, CITI, etc.);
    • Procedures and regulations for safe handling and use of research materials; and/or
    • Proper handling of waste streams.
  • Examine how ethical issues impact decisions concerning research/experimental design, and apply this knowledge to develop ethical approaches to research methodology and data collection.
  • In the sub-discipline of their research project:
    • Demonstrate knowledge of nomenclature, structure, reactivity, and function; and
    • Demonstrate mastery of appropriate research techniques and procedures.
  • Present and defend an original scientific project with the purpose of generating new knowledge.
    • Formulate hypotheses on the basis of observations, obtain and analyze data to test (i.e., refute or confirm) hypotheses, and explain phenomena by means of accepted principle, theories or laws in new and unfamiliar areas of the chemical sciences with a high degree of sophistication.
    • Summarize existing literature and interpret their research findings within the context of the existing literature.
    • Precisely describe all research results and forms of scientific investigation used (e.g., experiments, field work, surveys, or calculations) in permanent research records (hard copy and electronic).
    • Draw meaningful conclusions from research findings.
    • Draft technical documents describing methods, data, and results that are suitable for eventual publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Communicate chemistry knowledge, including results of research undertakings, and the rationale underpinning their conclusions, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously.

 

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
    • GRE® revised General Test
    • GRE® Subject Exam in Chemistry (recommended but not required)
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 32 units:

    Emphasis Requirements (Select One):

    • General Emphasis (32 units)
      Select at least 18 units of formal coursework from:
      • CHM 698 (4 units)
      • Graduate level courses (500- or 600-level) chosen with your advisor's and committee's approval, consisting of at least 9 units in CHM (12-15 units)
      • CHM 595 with advisor and committee approval (0-3 units)
      Select at least 14 research units from:
      • CHM 685 for the research of an approved thesis (8-11 units)
      • CHM 699 for the writing and oral defense of an approved thesis* (4-6 units)
      • CHM 697 (1 unit)
    • Bioorganic and Biomedical Chemistry Emphasis (32 units)
      Select at least 18 units of formal coursework from:
      • CHM 698 (4 units)
      • CHM 530 (3 units)
      • CHM 560 (3 units)
      • Non-duplicating graduate level courses (500- or 600-level) chosen with your advisor's and committee's approval (3-6 units)
      • CHM 595 with advisor and committee approval (0-3 units)
      Select at least 14 research units from:
      • CHM 685 for the research of an approved thesis (9-11 units)
      • CHM 699 for the writing and oral defense of an approved thesis* (4-6 units)
      • CHM 697 (1 unit)
    • Carcinogenesis and Cancer Chemotherapy Emphasis (32 units)
      Select at least 18 units of formal coursework from:
      • CHM 698 (4 units)
      • CHM 560 (3 units)
      • CHM 565 3 units
      • CHM 567 (3 units
      • Non-duplicating graduate level courses (500- or 600-level) chosen with your advisor's and committee's approval (3-6 units)
      • CHM 595 with advisor and committee approval (0-3 units)
      Select at least 14 research units from:
      • CHM 685 for the research of an approved thesis (9-11 units)
      • CHM 699 for the writing and oral defense of an approved thesis* (4-6 units)
      • CHM 697 (1 unit)
  • Each emphasis also requires:
    • Passing proficiency exams in three of the five subdisciplines of chemistry (see the Program Rules and Guidelines)
    • Successful completion of a research thesis.
  • *Please be aware that you may end up taking more than the 4-6 units you can count toward your degree because you must enroll for CHM 699 each term while you work on your thesis.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability



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