M.S. Requirements

The Department of Chemistry offers the master's degree to those graduate students who have decided not to continue pursuing a PhD. The awarding of the master's is considered a terminal degree and usually takes about 3 semesters of coursework to achieve.

M.S. Coursework Requirements

Students may choose either to pursue the master's under Plan I, a formal thesis or Plan II by comprehensive examination. The requirements under each Plan are summarized below:

Plan I (Thesis)

Under Plan I the requirements are a thesis and 20 semester units of which at least 8 are letter grade course work in 200 series or upper division courses plus a maximum of 6 units of 299 research and the rest (6) in 298.

Plan II (Comprehensive Examination)

Under Plan II 12 semester units of upper division and graduate coursework (298, 299) and a comprehensive examination administered by Chemistry is required.

Courses in the 300 or higher series do not count in the unit requirement for either Plan I or II. Academic residence is defined for the master's as payment of registration fees and enrollment in at least 4 units in 100 or 200 series course for a minimum of two semesters. All coursework required for the degree must be completed by the last day of the semester in which the student expects the degree to be conferred.


Masters students are not automatically advanced to candidacy. Students must submit an application for the master's degree before the end of the fifth week of instruction in the semester during which they expect to file their thesis under Plan I. Students taking the comprehensive exam under Plan II must register with the Chemistry Department's SAO in 419D Latimer. Student must have fulfilled the coursework requirements for the M.S degree (courses in which the student is currently enrolled may be counted), and selected a thesis committee if filing a thesis. Master's students have six semesters after advancement to candidacy in which to complete the requirements for the degree.

The application for advancement to candidacy under Plan II can be downloaded from the Graduate Division Web site. There is no charge for advancement to candidacy for the masters degree.