Accelerated Master's

Why choose an accelerated option?

If you know, as an undergraduate, that you want to pursue a graduate degree, you can begin your graduate studies in chemistry your senior year. This accelerated option offers an opportunity for chemistry majors with undergraduate laboratory research experience to complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Chemistry in just five years.

Accelerated Master's Degree option

Eligible Missouri State University majors in chemistry may apply for preliminary acceptance into the Master of Science program in Chemistry after admission requirements for the accelerated master's option have been satisfied. If accepted, graduate courses chosen from CHM 602, CHM 607, CHM 642, CHM 656 and CHM 675 may be counted towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees, with a maximum of 12 credit hours counted towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. This option offers an opportunity for chemistry majors with undergraduate laboratory research experience to complete the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Chemistry in two semesters and a summer after attaining the Bachelor’s degree, rather than the typical four semesters and a summer.

Before enrolling in a course to be counted as mixed credit toward both undergraduate and graduate degrees, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated program. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule period for the course(s). See the Graduate College for further information.

Admission Requirements for Accelerated Master's Degree Option

  1. Junior standing with an overall GPA of 3.20 or better.
  2. Successful completion of each of the following courses, all with grades of "c-" or better and with a combined GPA of not less than 3.20: CHM 160, CHM 161, CHM 170, CHM 171, CHM 302, CHM 342, CHM 343, CHM 345, CHM 375 and CHM 399; PHY 123 and PHY 124 or PHY 203 and PHY 204; MTH 261.
  3. Undergraduate laboratory research experience in residence in the Department of Chemistry with a supportive recommendation from the student’s undergraduate research mentor.
  4. Acceptance of applicant by a graduate faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s graduate research mentor.
  5. Acceptance of the applicant by the graduate faculty in Chemistry under the accelerated masters option.

Degree requirements (minimum of 32 hours)

  1. Proficiency Requirements. Entering graduate students are required to demonstrate minimal proficiency in undergraduate chemistry content by passing exams in four (4) of five (5) core areas of Chemistry - analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical.  At least two of the exams must be passed at an intermediate level.  The exams are standardized assessments developed by the American Chemical Society to assess typical undergraduate content in the core areas. Students who do not achieve the prescribed test scores can meet the proficiency requirement in a given area by one of the following processes:
    1. A student can retake and pass a proficiency exam prior to the beginning of the second semester of their graduate program (excluding summers). As part of this option it is assumed that the student will prepare for the second attempt by independent study.
    2. A student can meet the proficiency standard for a particular core area by passing an approved graduate-level course in the area with a grade of at least "B" (intermediate level) or "C" (minimal level).
  2. Advisory Committee. Within the first semester, the student will select a graduate advisory committee consisting of a research advisor and at least three additional persons. The research advisor should be a member of the Chemistry faculty and will serve as Chair of the committee. At least one committee member, but not more than two, shall be from outside the chemistry department. The advisory committee will monitor research progress throughout the candidate's graduate program.
  3. Program of Study. Students will be advised initially by the department graduate director. Within the first semester and after a research advisor has been identified, the candidate's program of study will be structured in consultation with the research advisor and departmental graduate director. Academic background, professional experience, placement test scores, and personal and professional objectives will be considered in establishing the individual's program.
  4. Chemistry Course Requirement. A minimum of 20 hours in chemistry, with at least 6 hours of 700-level CHM courses numbered 702-790. Students must address a diverse coverage of chemistry in their programs of study by including at least three different sub-disciplines: Analytical, Biochemistry, Chemical Education, Environmental, Inorganic, Organic and Physical. Deficiencies in advanced undergraduate course work - that is, the collective instructional content equivalent to the combination of CHM 602, CHM 606, CHM 607, CHM 642, and CHM 675 - as determined from academic transcripts and/or test scores, may be included in the program of study. Course work hours from these inclusions will count toward the 32-hour program requirement as well as toward the sub-disciplinary diversity policy.
  5. Colloquium. At least 1, but no more than 2 hours of credit must be earned in CHM 700, Chemistry Colloquium.
  6. Interdisciplinary Electives. Upon departmental approval, graduate courses from related fields may be included as part of the 32-hour degree requirement but no more than 6 hours may be counted from any single course code other than CHM.
  7. Research Requirement. For all options, the student is required to give an oral presentation of his/her research to the Department.
    1. Thesis Option: The maximum credit toward the 32-hour degree requirement is 6 hours of CHM 798 and 6 hours of CHM 799 with no more than 12 total hours of any combination of CHM courses numbered 791 or higher. Submission of a thesis is a specific requirement for the degree. The purpose of the thesis is to demonstrate competence in scientific research and the ability to: choose a research topic of scientific importance; conduct a comprehensive literature search of the problem; design and implement a plan of research; collect and interpret scientific data; and communicate results and interpretations to peers. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
    2. Non-thesis Option: After an attempt at a research-based thesis, and with the permission of the thesis committee and department head, a student may switch to a non-thesis option. This option requires the production of two (2) extensive papers by completing CHM 792 (3 hours) and CHM 793 (1 hour), both of which will be read and evaluated by faculty committees and one of which (CHM 792) will be presented orally to a public audience and defended before the advisory committee. Four (4) hours (no more, no less) of CHM 798 must be counted toward the degree under this option and additional approved 600- or 700-level course work hours will be taken as needed to fulfill the 32-hour program requirement.
  8. Comprehensive Examination. A comprehensive examination will be administered after most of the course work has been completed. This examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be given.