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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

M.S. Requirements

Please note that the requirements for the M.S. in Chemistry are not a subset of the Ph.D. requirements. Interested students may need to complete additional work to receive the M.S.

M.S. in Chemistry

Students may earn the M.S. in Chemistry in the normal course of pursuing the Ph.D. by fulfilling the requirements below. Note that students are not admitted for the purpose of earning the M.S. degree and the department does not offer financial support for students wishing to pursue the M.S. as a terminal degree.

Candidates for the M.S. in Chemistry are assigned to an Academic Advisor for the M.S. Degree, who coordinates with the Chair(s) of the Graduate Program Committee and the Department Head. The Academic Advisor for the M.S. Degree meets with the student to formulate a course of studies, and annually thereafter to assess the progress of the student.

Candidates must complete at least 96 units of work, distributed with some flexibility but subject to the following constraints:

  1. A minimum of 48 units must be in graduate lecture courses in Chemistry.
  2. No more than 18 units may be in undergraduate courses in Chemistry. These must be in upper-level courses (400 level or above) and may include no course equivalent to one previously required to complete a degree in any other college or university.
  3. Relevant upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in other departments or at the University of Pittsburgh (through cross–registration policies) may be taken for credit toward the 96 units, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
  4. To be used for credit, no grade shall be lower than C. The average grade of 96 units, of the first 120 units attempted, must be at least B. Graduate Teaching, 09-931/2 may not be applied as course credit toward the MS degree.
  5. Graduate research credit — candidates who elect to apply units earned in graduate research toward the MS degree must complete not fewer than 20 units of 09-861 (Graduate Research). If more than 25 units of graduate research are to be credited, substantial evidence of research accomplishment or proficiency must be presented. Such evidence can be in the form of a dissertation, or in the significant authorship of scientific publications, or the equivalent, and must be approved by the Research Advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  6. If no more than 25 units of graduate research are to be credited toward the MS degree, evidence of research proficiency may be provided by the successful completion of the Formal Seminar requirement of the Ph.D Requirements.

M.S. in Polymer Science

Within the general requirements of the Master of Science in Chemistry, the Master of Science in Polymer Science provides the basic background for scientists and engineers to pursue technical careers in industries that manufacture, process and use polymeric materials. In consultation with an advisory committee, the student will arrange a course of studies designed to fit his or her background and career goals. Of the total 96 units, 36-48 units will be required in basic science. Students without prior research experience are encouraged to undertake a research project in collaboration with a faculty supervisor. Faculty members in this research area include Tomek Kowalewski, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Gary D. Patterson, and Newell Washburn.

M.S. in Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces

The Interdisciplinary M.S. in Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces (CPS) degree is a joint program with Chemical Engineering designed for professionals working in the polymer field. Participating faculty include Andrew Gellman, Tomek Kowalewski, Kris Matyjaszewski, Gary D. Patterson, Lynn Walker and Newell Washburn.

The program is open to students with a bachelor's degree in science or engineering. Courses are arranged to permit a part-time student to complete the degree work in two years by attending late afternoon and evening classes and by working on a research project during the summer.