Master of Sciences in Chemistry or Biochemistry

Master of Sciences in Chemistry or Biochemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers programs leading to the degree of Master of Sciences (MSc) in Chemistry or Biochemistry. The following focus areas are available:

Research Faculty

Analytical Chemistry Biochemistry Inorganic Chemistry Organic Chemistry Physical Chemistry
Dr. Janel Owens Dr. Wendy Haggren Dr. Ronald Ruminski Dr. Allen Schoffstall Dr. Amanda Morgenstern
Dr. David Weiss Dr. Andrew Klocko     Dr. Kevin Tvrdy
  Dr. James Kovacs      
  Dr. Crystal Vander Zanden      

Note: The Department also offers an Accelerated Master's Program for current UCCS chemistry and biochemistry majors. Click on the Graduate Students tab for more information.

Program Requirements

The student should choose a research advisor in consultation with the Program Director during the application process. To be admitted to the program, a research advisor 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

Students will:

  • 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.
  • Present a 20-minute progress report each semester to the research advisor and, when possible, to the thesis committee members. The research advisor 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.
  • Confer with the Program Director once per semester to update the student’s program plan, discuss student progress, and 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


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: The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will accept either path for demonstrating English proficiency for international students seeking admission to the program:

  • Post-secondary degree from a US accredited institution or in a program where English is the language of instruction; or
  • A score of 100 on the TOEFL test or a score of 7 on the IELTS test. International Student Office.

A student with a Bachelor's degree in biology must complete the core requirements for a BA in biochemistry degree in addition to meeting the requirements above.

Streamlined Admission

A student who is within one year of graduation or has graduated within the last four years with a BA or BS in chemistry or biochemistry at UCCS is guaranteed admission to the MSc program, if he or she satisfies all of the following requirements:

  • Has completed a minimum of 45 credits at UCCS and be within one year of graduation or has graduated from UCCS within the last four years.
  • Has a minimum grade point average of 3.20.
  • Has two letters of recommendation from faculty members in chemistry or biochemistry.
  • Submits a goal statement.

The Streamlined Admission is designed to offer outstanding UCCS students and alumni an expedited application to graduate school in participating programs. If you are interested in applying, please fill out the regular application. Once you indicate that you are currently or have have previously attended UCCS, it will ask you if you will be submitting the streamlined application. Submit the application, a $60 non-refundable application fee, and all required supporting documents.

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. Students must take a placement exam chosen by the MSc Director. Enrollment in certain undergraduate courses may be required to offset any deficiencies indicated by the placement exam. 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.

To Apply...

Application Deadline: April 15

Contact Information

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