Master's Degree in Chemistry: Program Information and Requirements
Research the Master of Science degree in chemistry. Get information on requirements, courses, career prospects and salary to make an informed decision about your education.
Chemists and materials scientists examine how various substances interact with each other for the purposes of improving and creating new products and processes. Bachelor's degrees in chemistry are typically needed for entry-level jobs in the field. However, graduate programs might interest those individuals who want to perform more advanced research or specialize in a subspecialty of the field, such as organic chemistry.
Master of Science in Chemistry
Master of Science in Chemistry programs prepare students for a number of career options through coursework in physical, organic, biochemistry or computational chemistry. Students in these 18- to 24-month programs have the option of focusing their studies in a specific area, such as chemical biology, environmental chemistry or molecular structure; both thesis and coursework-only options are available.
Many master's degree programs require that applicants possess a bachelor's degree in a related discipline. The committee reviewing a candidate's application may look for important research experience at the undergraduate level. Students considering a master's degree may benefit from pursuing a related undergraduate degree in chemistry.
Students learn how to apply the scientific method in order to solve complex problems through laboratory work and classroom training in theory. A student's selected focus area will dictate relevant course topics, but commonly available courses include:
- Instrumental analysis
- Forensic science
- Environmental chemistry
- Quantitative analysis
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that chemists and material scientists were expected to see a slower than the national average job growth - at a rate of four percent - from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). This growth rate was projected because major chemical corporations have recently started partnering with scientific R&D companies based outside the United States, as well as universities to complete research projects. The BLS revealed that chemists reported median annual wages of $69,760, as of May 2011.
The BLS reports showed that employers were increasingly seeking chemists with a doctoral degree in chemistry. As a result, some students may want to pursue their Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry to increase employment opportunities, expand on their current knowledge or perform independent research. Students may be required to acquire teaching experience, complete written and oral examinations and defend a thesis to complete the program.
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