Chemistry, Master of Science (059)

Chemistry

http://www.wku.edu/chemistry/


Program Coordinator

Eric D. Conte, eric.conte@wku.edu, (270) 745-6019

The graduate program in chemistry provides a unique learning and research environment and many opportunities for students to develop as independent researchers. Fifteen graduate faculty members provide personal and professional mentoring in an intrinsically collegial, yet challenging graduate experience. Available resources efficiently support the learning needs and academic ambitions of students with varied backgrounds and interests. The program is designed to offer students comprehensive training in analytical chemistry, biochemistry, coal chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry.  

Concentration(s)

  • General Thesis (CTGN)
  • Biochemistry Thesis (CTBC)
  • Coal Chemistry Thesis (CTCC)
  • Research Intensive Thesis (CRIT)

Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP)

This degree offers a Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP) which provides academically outstanding students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in approximately five years.  Contact the graduate program coordinator for additional information.

Program Admission

In addition to Graduate School admission requirements, the Department of Chemistry requires:

  1. Bachelor's degree in chemistry or equivalent including supporting courses in mathematics1
  2. GPA in chemistry courses of 3.0 or greater (on 4.0 scale)
  3. GRE general scores (Q+V) and Analytical Writing.2,3
1

Exceptions to possessing a chemistry degree may be made for students with undergraduate degrees in chemistry-related areas (e.g. chemical engineering, pharmacy, pharmaceutical science, forensic chemistry). However, additional courses may be required and will be determined by the graduate program coordinator and/or the student's thesis committee.

2

Scores from MCAT, PCAT, or DAT may be substituted for equivalent GRE scores.

3

Although there are no formal minimum GRE scores, admission is competitive. The average GRE scores of recently admitted students are approximately 145 (V) and 150 (Q). Applications should be received by March 15th for priority consideration. 

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30-32 hours)

General Thesis Concentration

Required Courses
Select 4 courses from 4 of the 5 core areas below (minimum of 2 courses at the 500 level):12
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis
Advanced Biochemistry
Analytical Biochemistry
Biochemistry
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Advanced Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Synthetic Organic Methodology
Advanced Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry II
Physical Chemistry I
CHEM 516Chemical Literature Review2
CHEM 588Research Proposal2
CHEM 598Graduate Seminar 12
CHEM 599Thesis Research/Writing 26
Electives
Select 6 hours of graduate lecture courses6
Total Hours30
1

Requirements are to be satisfied according to the current departmental policy.

2

Requirements are to be satisfied by preparing a thesis on the project chosen by the student and approved by the members of the student's graduate committee. Theses are to be prepared in accordance with the specifications established by the Graduate School. A thesis grade will be given after the final thesis has been approved by the student's graduate committee and the department head.

Biochemistry Thesis Concentration

Required Courses
Select 4 courses from 4 of the 5 core areas below (minimum of 2 courses at the 500 level):12
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis
Advanced Biochemistry
Analytical Biochemistry
Biochemistry
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Advanced Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Synthetic Organic Methodology
Advanced Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry II
Physical Chemistry I
CHEM 516Chemical Literature Review2
CHEM 588Research Proposal2
CHEM 598Graduate Seminar 12
CHEM 599Thesis Research/Writing 26
Required Concentration Courses
CHEM 535Analytical Biochemistry3
or CHEM 562 Advanced Biochemistry
or CHEM 446G Biochemistry
CHEM 467GBiochemistry3
CHEM 447GLab Biochemistry2
Total Hours32
1

Requirements are to be satisfied according to the current departmental policy. 

2

Requirements are to be satisfied by preparing a thesis on the project chosen by the student and approved by the members of the student's graduate committee.  Theses are to be prepared in accordance with the specifications established by the Graduate School. A thesis grade will be given after the final thesis has been approved by the student's graduate committee and the department head. 

Coal Chemistry Thesis Concentration

Required Courses
Select 4 courses from 4 of the 5 core areas below (minimum of 2 courses at the 500 level):12
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis
Advanced Biochemistry
Analytical Biochemistry
Biochemistry
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Advanced Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Synthetic Organic Methodology
Advanced Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry II
Physical Chemistry I
CHEM 516Chemical Literature Review2
CHEM 588Research Proposal2
CHEM 598Graduate Seminar 12
CHEM 599Thesis Research/Writing 26
Required Concentration Courses
CHEM 590Material Chemistry3
CHEM 591Material Chemistry Laboratory3
Total Hours30
1

Requirements are to be satisfied according to the current departmental policy.

2

Requirements are to be satisfied by preparing a thesis on the project chosen by the student and approved by the members of the student's graduate committee.  Theses are to be prepared in accordance with the specifications established by the Graduate School.  A thesis grade will be given after the final thesis has been approved by the student's graduate committee and the department head. 

Research Intensive Thesis Concentration

Candidates are required to complete 30 semester hours of graduate work, including 12 hours of coursework and 18 hours of research-related graduate work. Candidates must apply to the Department Graduate Committee in order to be considered for this concentration. As part of the concentration application, they must select a research advisor and meet with the committee to demonstrate they understand the requirements for this concentration. The Committee must consider factors such as previous research experience of the student, publication record of the student, and the research advisor’s publication record when determining if the student can pursue this concentration. The student and advisor must submit a progress report to the Committee by the end of the second semester. If the committee determines there is insufficient progress towards research and publication, the student will be moved to the normal thesis concentration. A student in the Research Intensive Thesis concentration may also opt to pursue the Thesis option at the end of the first or second semester after consulting with their research advisor.

A student moving to another concentration within the first or second semester should be able to complete the requirements within the average two year period. A student who wishes to move to another concentration in the second year of graduate study must get permission from the Graduate Committee and will probably require an additional semester of coursework to complete the degree.  

Required Courses
Select one of the following advanced lecture courses:3
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
Advanced Organic Chemistry
Advanced Physical Chemistry
Advanced Biochemistry
CHEM 598Graduate Seminar 12
CHEM 599Thesis Research/Writing 26
CHEM 516Chemical Literature Review2
CHEM 588Research Proposal 32
CHEM 596Practicum Research Experience in Chemistry 46
CHEM 595Scientific Writing in Chemistry 56
Elective
Select one additional advanced lecture course above or one of the following:3
Analytical Biochemistry
Chemical Agents and Explosives
Material Chemistry
Material Chemistry Laboratory
Total Hours30
1

Requirements are to be satisfied according to the current departmental policy.

2

Requirements are to be satisfied by preparing a thesis on the project chosen by the student and approved by the members of the student's graduate committee. Theses are to be prepared in accordance with the specifications established by the Graduate School. A thesis grade will be given after the final thesis has been approved by the student's graduate committee and the Department head. Students in the Research Intensive Thesis concentration may opt to use their published papers as chapters in their thesis.

3

Requirements include preparing a research proposal which must be presented to and approved by the student's research committee and one member of the Department Graduate Committee. The final version of this proposal will be submitted to the CHEM 588 instructor of record and the Chemistry Graduate Program Coordinator. 

4

Requirements are to be satisfied by conducting a research project under the direction of the student's research advisor. This course provides faculty-mentored research experiences and emphasizes skill based training for students. Bridging the gap between academic study and professional development, this course will help students to develop and enhance problem solving and communication skills. This course emphasizes mastery of advanced technical skills, independent of thesis research.

5

Requirements include preparing and submitting two manuscripts based on their research to peer-reviewed journals under the guidance of the thesis committee. At least one paper must be accepted to receive credit and graduate.