The MS program offers thesis and non-thesis tracks to prepare individuals for distinctive career or professional paths. All students take core courses and comprehensive examinations in the fields of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.
Coursework must include a minimum of five graduate-level courses; at least four of the courses must be core courses; at least three must be offered by the Chemistry Department. At least two graduate-level courses must be taken outside the subdiscipline of the student and in at least two other subdisciplines.
MS degree candidates must pass four comprehensive examinations in the fields of analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. These examinations are offered (over a period of several days) in fall, spring, and summer; announcements are posted on the Departmental bulletin boards. When prepared (usually after completion of the appropriate graduate course), a student should indicate his or her intention to take any two or all four of the examinations within the specified time period. A student may be excused from an examination if he or she has performed well in a related course(s) completed within the past year. A student who fails one or more of the comprehensive examinations may repeat the exam(s) at the next scheduled examination period. If the student fails a second time, no further opportunity to take an examination is permitted.
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Students who elect to take the thesis MS option are required to take 30 credit hours of approved courses, including Chem 6998-99 (Thesis Research).
A seminar based on the student's thesis research, about one hour in duration, is given shortly (a few months) before the thesis defense. An abstract (about 50 words) should be prepared to accompany the announcement of each student seminar.
Prior to the typing of the final draft of the thesis, it must be submitted to a departmental MS thesis review committee. This committee will evaluate the final draft to assure its adherence to standards appropriate for the MS degree.
Students who elect to take the non-thesis MS option are required to take 36 credit hours of approved courses, including Chem 6395 (Research). Chem 6395 involves a survey of a topic approved by departmental staff, a written report, and a presentation of a seminar. Students who register for Chem 6395 should contact the Departmental Graduate Advisor at the beginning of the semester for further information on scheduling.
Up to 9 credit hours in other departments related to the student's area of interest (e.g., Forensic Sciences) may be included in the program, subject to the approval of the Department of Chemistry. Students who are or will be employed in organizations dealing with science and technology policy programs may select from specified courses offered by Information Systems and Technology Management, Political Science, Public Policy and Public Administration, and the Elliott School of International Affairs.
About the School
At GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, research thrives, critical thinking is endemic, collaboration is constant, and real world training go hand-in-hand with learning.