Master of Sciences in Biochemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a program leading to the degree of Master of Sciences (MSc) in Biochemistry.

Research Faculty: Dr. Andrew Klocko | Dr. James Kovacs | Dr. Wendy Haggren

Program Requirements

The student should choose a research mentor in consultation with the Program Director during the application process. To be admitted to the program, a research adviser must agree to the student working in his or her laboratory. In consultation with the Program Director the student should also prepare a list of courses to be taken to fulfill program requirements when applying to the program. A thesis committee will be chosen at the start of a student's program. The committee will assist the research advisor in monitoring student progress throughout the length of the student’s program. The committee will also administer the thesis examination required for the MSc degree.

Coursework and Thesis

  • 15 hours of coursework, which must be taken at the 5000-level or above (Normally, this includes five 5000-level chemistry courses or four 5000-level chemistry courses and one 5000-level course from another department.)
  • At least 9 hours of Chemistry Research – Graduate (CHEM 5904)
  • 6 hours of thesis (CHEM 7000)
  • Thesis defense exam (open to the public)

Evaluation of Progress

Each student will:

  • Present a 20-minute progress report each semester to the research adviser and, when possible, to the thesis committee members. The research adviser will complete a report to be sent to the Program Director and be added to the student’s file.
  • Present a seminar to the capstone class in chemistry or biochemistry during the spring semester of the first year on a research topic different than the student’s research. The student’s thesis committee members are strongly encouraged to attend. This is a zero credit hour requirement.
  • Confer with the Program Director once per semester to update the student’s program plan, discuss student progress, and any identify any problem areas. The report will be added to the student’s file.

Duration of Program

Completion of the MSc degree is normally accomplished in one and one-half to three years and must be completed within six years.

On-Going Advising of Active Master Students

All MSc students should consult regularly with the Graduate Program Director for the MSc program (contact information below). Items of concern that arise regularly among MSc students are:

  • Number of transfer credits permitted
  • Timing of Plan of Study submission
  • Which faculty member to choose as a thesis project mentor and advisor
  • Number of Chemistry Research - Graduate hours allowed
  • How the BS/MSc program works


Streamlined Graduate Application

A student who is in his or her final semester studying toward the BA/BS in Chemistry or Biochemistry at UCCS or is within one year of graduation is guaranteed admission to the MSc program, if he or she satisfies all of the following criteria:

  • Has completed a minimum of 45 credits at UCCS at the time of graduation
  • Has a minimum grade point average of 3.20
  • Has two letters of recommendation from faculty members in Chemistry or Biochemistry

Regular Admission

Regular admission to the MSc program requires that the student meets the following requirements:

  • Has attained a Bachelor's degree in chemistry or biochemistry from an accredited College or University
  • Has an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.00
  • Has a combined GRE percentile score of 50th percentile or higher

Applicants must complete the online Graduate School application and include four letters of recommendation, one official transcript from each college or university attended, and pay a non-refundable $60 application fee. International students must also meet Graduate School requirements for the TOEFL or IELTS exams.

Provisional Admission

Students who meet all of the requirements for regular admission listed above, but who have a GPA between 2.75 and 3.00 may be considered for provisional admission. Program faculty may assign course work and/or examinations that must be taken to make up deficiencies. When the conditions for regular status are met, the program director will reclassify the student to regular status. Each candidate is evaluated individually for provisional admission.

Transfer of Credit

  • Up to 12 hours of coursework with a grade of “B” or better and earned at UCCS may be requested for transfer into the MSc program. These credit hours are computed into the student’s graduate GPA.
  • Up to 9 hours of coursework with a grade of “B” or better and completed at an institution other than UCCS may be requested for transfer. This request may be submitted only after completion of 9 hours of coursework as a regular admission student into the MSc program. These credit hours are not computed into the student’s graduate GPA.
  • Courses applied to a graduate degree elsewhere or within the CU System may be transferred for MSc credit with permission of the chemistry faculty.

To Apply...

Contact Information

Dr. Janel Owens
Graduate Program Director
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: 719-255-3207