The objective of this non-thesis MSc program is to provide an alternate pathway for students to complete an MSc degree in chemistry or biochemistry that does not involve an in-depth research project and thesis. This degree option is intended for students whose personal interests or current work responsibilities lower the desirability of conducting the required research courses for the thesis-based MSc degree. K-12 teachers, non-traditional students, and employees of local industry who want to earn an MS degree for promotions or to meet eligibility requirements for teaching positions at community colleges may wish to pursue this degree option.
Applicants may or may not hold a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry, but they should hold a Bachelor’s degree in a related natural science discipline. For example, a student pursuing an MSc in biochemistry will likely have majored in molecular biology or in a related biology sub-discipline. A student pursuing an MSc in chemistry but who does not have a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry should have completed undergraduate courses in organic, physical, and analytical chemistry prior to applying for the MSc program.
Students should not apply to the MSc program if they do not intend to complete the program. Entering the program represents a commitment by the student to do everything possible to reach completion. Students who eventually wish to pursue a PhD program in chemistry or biochemistry should opt instead to enroll in the thesis option program.
Students who wish to pursue a business career, but who also want to have technical knowledge at the graduate level in chemistry and biochemistry should consult the brochure describing the MSc, Chemistry with Business option and the MSc, Biochemistry with Business option to be submitted separately.
Upon completion of the non-thesis option MSc degree program, students will have:
- A broad knowledge of the basic areas of chemistry and biochemistry, with specific sub-areas of concentration.
- An overall view of recent advances in chemistry and biochemistry.
- The ability to communicate science clearly in written and oral forms.
- The ability to comprehend, search, and use the scientific literature.
- Had opportunities to work as a team to discuss and solve scientific problems.
MSc non-thesis option students must meet the following departmental requirements:
- Admission to the MSc non-thesis program requires that the student has attained a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher.
- For students who have completed at least 45 credits at UCCS by the time of graduation, the GRE is not required.
- For students applying from other accredited institutions, the GRE is required with a combined score in the 50th percentile or higher.
- For students who have a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry with a cumulative GPA below 3.2 or for students who lack the degree in chemistry or biochemistry (but still hold a Bachelor’s degree in a related natural science discipline such as biology, physics, science education, etc.):
- The GRE is required with a combined score in the 50th percentile or above.
- Additionally, students must take a placement exam chosen by the MSc Director. Enrollment in certain undergraduate courses will be required to offset any deficiencies indicated by the placement exam. Remedial course requirements are more likely for students who received their undergraduate education in a natural science-related major and who do not have a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry.
- In consultation with the MSc Director, choose an MSc advisor prior to the end of the first semester in the program.
- Prepare an MSc course plan in consultation with the MSc advisor and approved by the MSc Director. This must be completed by the end of the first semester in the program.
- Candidates must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit according to the following requirements:
- At least 21 credit hours must come from 5000-level lecture courses in chemistry and biochemistry taken at UCCS.
- Up to 6 credit hours of 5000-level coursework may be taken in a related discipline (e.g., biology, mathematics, or physics) and be applied to the 30 credit hour minimum if approved by the student’s MSc advisor and the MSc Director.
- To establish breadth in knowledge, the chemistry option candidate must complete at least one course in each of four (out of five) sub-disciplines of chemistry (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, physical). The biochemistry option candidate will pursue a program of courses consistent with the biochemistry curriculum, but will also have a breadth requirement approved by the MSc advisor and the MSc Director.
- Maintain a 3.00 grade point average in graduate coursework. A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Two consecutive semesters of being on academic probation will result in dismissal from the program.
- In addition to 27 credit hours of course work, completion of three credits of CHEM 7050, to be taken during the fall semester prior to the anticipated date of graduation, is required. In order to complete CHEM 7050, candidates must:
- Complete a research paper to be submitted to and accepted by the student’s MSc advisor and the MSc Director.
- Deliver a successful presentation in the chemistry or biochemistry capstone course on a topic other than the research paper topic.
- Prepare and present a departmental seminar on the research paper.
- Credits for graduate research (CHEM 5904) and thesis (CHEM 7000) may not be counted towards the 30-hour minimum for the non-thesis MSc degree.
- This MSc non-thesis option is not designed as a program for traditional, full-time students working towards attaining research or technical positions in industry nor for students working toward a tenure-track faculty position in 4-year colleges and universities.
- Students pursuing this degree option are not eligible for assistantship support or tuition remission from the department. However, a semester or two of teaching assistantship (TA) support may be considered for those preparing for teaching positions in a community college and those who would benefit from the teaching experience provided by the TA position. This is contingent upon the availability of TA funds.
- Full-time graduate students already in the thesis-based MSc program in chemistry or biochemistry who wish to switch to the non-thesis track must seek formal approval from the MSc advisor, MSc Director, and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. If approved, this will result in immediate loss of TA support. Credit for thesis research (CHEM 5904 and CHEM 7000) cannot be applied towards the 30 hour minimum for the non-thesis MSc degree.
- The non-thesis degree requires no laboratory research work. Students wanting laboratory research should choose the thesis plan.
- The curriculum for each student will be different. The course plan will be determined near the beginning of the program.
Details for Completion
- The deadline for filing to advance to degree candidacy is the end of the second week of the semester in which the MSc degree is to be awarded. The final hours needed to finish may be in progress the semester the intent to graduate is filed.
- Complete the program assessment form prior to proceeding to your Final Report Form. The assessment form will also tell us your post-graduation plans (we have to know this for reporting purposes to the Institutional Research Office) and post-graduation address.
- Degree and Diploma Application: The MSc Director prepares this form for you. Only your signature is needed. This will be forwarded to campus offices to generate and mail your diploma. The address on it must match the address on the Final Report Form.
- Final Report Form: Completed by the MSc Director. Once you pass your exams, the MSc Director approves your scores and signs it. We will notify you when it is signed and mail it on your behalf to campus offices.
- Step 1: Apply and be admitted to the Graduate School
- Step 2: Fill out the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry MSc Application Form
Dr. Allen Schoffstall
Graduate Program Director
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry