Master in Applied Chemical Science

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

“The Applied Chemical Sciences program will prepare students with chemistry backgrounds for employment in chemical industries, energy industry, medical or pharma, or government / non-profit organizations. These graduates will target jobs that are different from the more technically focused Ph.D. in Chemistry and/or Master’s in Chemical Engineering.” The program offers an enhancement of various chemical topics that can be directly applied to specific industrial, technological, and medical purposes. It consists of three separate areas of specialization reflecting the importance of chemical sciences in multiple technological applications.   
(Dr. Michelle Gilbertson, professor Chemistry)

The Petroleum Chemistry area of specialization will focus on coursework with applications of chemical sciences in the oil industry. A molecular description of the processes taking place during the oil extraction and its processing into final industrial products will be presented.

The Bioorganic Chemistry area of specialization will focus on explaining the molecular structures, the underlying mechanisms of chemical reactions, synthesis, and biological applications of various compounds that are relevant for modern biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries.

The area of specialization in Computational Chemistry and Data Science will focus on developing a theoretical understanding of complex chemical processes by developing computer simulations and data science analysis skills.

Dagmar Beck, Director of the Professional Science Master’s Office at the Wiess School of Natural Science pointed out: “Our oversight faculty from the Chemistry department has been working closely with industry advisors to provide an appropriate curriculum relevant to industry and business addressing their workforce needs.”

Objectives

Students in this degree will not only be strengthening their technical knowledge and scientific skills, such as analysis, research, characterization, data collection, and problem-solving, but also will work on the development of written, analytical, and verbal communication skills. This interdisciplinary curriculum provides graduates of this program with the tool-set to be successful in the science/technology industry.

The objective of this non-thesis MS program is to provide an alternate pathway for students to complete an MS degree in chemistry that does not involve an in-depth research project and thesis. This degree option is intended for students whose personal interests or current work responsibilities lower the desirability of conducting the required research for the thesis-based degree. K-12 teachers, non-traditional students, and employees of local industry who want to earn an MS degree for promotions or to meet eligibility requirements for teaching positions at community colleges may wish to pursue this degree option.

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Coursework

Program Requirements

The Applied Chemical Science degree requires a minimum of 39 credit hours, not including the internship. The curriculum is built on a framework of relevant chemistry courses, business/management, analytics, and professional development: i.e. communication training, research, and practical experience in the form of an internship.

Recommended Background

Applicants may or may not hold a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry, but they should hold a Bachelor’s degree in a closely related natural science discipline.

  • B.A. or B.S. degree in a related science or engineering program that included coursework in general physics, chemistry, calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations
  • Scores form the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • GPA of 3.0 or above
  • TOEFL or IETLS scores required for international students
  • Strong quantitative abilities recommended
  • Statistics, introductory economics, and computer skills are preferred, but not required

General Course Requirements:

  • NSCI 501 (2 semesters required, 1 credit each)
  • NSCI 511 Science Policy and Ethics
  • NSCI 512 Professional Master’s Project
  • NSCI 610/ENGI 610 Management for Science and Engineering

Note: Resources for these courses are already in place; faculty has been teaching the management course and the PSM Program Director has been hosting the seminar inviting guest speakers to campus since inception of the program.

Core Chemistry Courses:

  • CHEM 5XX New Seminar Course
  • CHEM 5XX New Course on a statistical analysis
  • CHEM 6XX Research Experience

In addition to the courses listed above, students will pick from one of the areas of specialization below and choose 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the area.

Bioorganic Chemistry (Advisor: Eugene Zubarev)

Select 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the following:

  • CHEM 501 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 511 Spectral Methods Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 542 Medicinal Chemistry
  • CHEM 552 Chemical Biology
  • CHEM 548 Peptide Chemistry AND CHEM 554 Drug Discovery
  • CHEM 547 Supramolecular Chemistry

Computational Chemistry and Data Science (Advisor: Anatoly Kolomeisky)

Select 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the following:

  • CHEM 501 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 511 Spectral Methods Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 542 Medicinal Chemistry
  • CHEM 552 Chemical Biology
  • CHEM 548 Peptide Chemistry AND CHEM 554 Drug Discovery
  • CHEM 547 Supramolecular Chemistry

Computational Chemistry and Data Science (Advisor: Anatoly Kolomeisky)

Select 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the following:

  • CHEM 523 Molecular Dynamics Methods-from statistical
  • Mechanics to Machine Learning
  • CHEM 551 Biomolecular Concepts
  • CHEM 537 Biophysical Chemistry
  • CHEM 515 Chemical Kinetics
  • CHBE 505 Advanced Numerical Methods
  • STAT 532 Foundations of Statistical Inference I
  • STAT 533 Foundations of Statistical Inference II
  • STAT 535 Data Science Projects

Petroleum Chemistry (Advisor: James Tour)

Select 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the following:

  • CHEM 533 *Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
  • CHEM 511 Spectral Methods Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 547 Supramolecular Chemistry
  • CHEM 520 Classical & Stat Thermodynamics
  • CHEM 5xx New Lab Course **
  • CHBE 505 Advanced Numerical Methods
  • CHBE 550 Petroleum Phase Behavior and Flow Assurance
  • ESCI 544 Hydrocarbon Exploration

*Course will be renamed to include petroleum chemistry. Topics are already covered ** Course taught by adjunct faculty. Introduced year 2 of the program. This course would teach the field lab techniques used specifically by chemists in the oil industry.

Plus Elective Requirements: 9 Credit Hours: Choose from electives in management, business, analytics or communication

  • ENGI 515 (3) Leading Teams and Innovation (F)
  • ENGI 614 (3) Learning how to Innovate
  • ENGI 542 Communication for Engineers/Scientists
  • ESCI 549 Data Management and Governance
  • MGMT 610 Fundamentals for the Energy Industry
  • MGMT 625 Design Thinking
  • MGMT 633 / BIOE 633 Life Science Entrepreneurship
  • MGMT 676 Social Enterprise
  • MGMT 678 US Health Care Management
  • MGMT 686 Introduction to Marketing Research
  • MGMT 689 Decision Models
  • MGMT 717 Project Management
  • MGMT 771 Digital Marketing
  • MGMT 721 Business Law
  • MGMT 747 Regulatory Environment of Business

and others – depending on availability of courses and in coordination with the respective departments and the Jones School of Business

And others

Three to Six Month Internship:*

Internships are envisioned with local chemical/medical/bioscience industries, non-profits, governmental or municipal organizations, labs, etc.

*Footnotes and Additional Information

  1. Practical experience is offered via a three to six-month immersion. The internship will be under the guidance of a hosting company, government agency, or non-profit organization. At the conclusion of the internship, students must present a summary of their internship project in both oral and written form for the cohort course NSCI 512. Part-time students who already work in their area of study may fulfill the internship requirements by working on an approved project with their current employer.

Applications

Professional prospects and work applications for graduates of the program:

When developing this new degree, corporate representatives and leaders in the industry were contacted to provide feedback about the curriculum and the employment prospects for potential graduates.

The objective of this non-thesis MS program is to provide an alternate pathway for students to complete an MS degree in chemistry or biochemistry that does not involve an in-depth research project and thesis. This degree option is intended for students whose personal interests or current work responsibilities lower the desirability of conducting the required research courses for the thesis-based MS degree, for example, undergrad students, non-traditional students, and employees of local industry who want to earn an MS degree for promotions.

Graduates from existing programs are extremely competitive in the job market. Biochemistry plays a vital role in medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, and biodefense. Employment of biochemists is projected to grow eight percent over the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Texas Medical Center and the local industries have opportunities in biotechnology, chemistry, pharmaceutical, forensics, and clinical laboratories and are constantly looking for qualified workers to serve in their offices and labs.

Career Opportunities for Graduates:

The employment areas for graduates are among government agencies, biotechnology units, chemical agencies, labs, chemical manufacturing units, oil industry, petroleum sector, pharmaceutical sector, heavy chemical firms, etc.

With a Professional Science Master’s in Applied Chemical Sciences students will be prepared for a wide range of jobs in many settings:

  • Environmental science
  • Pharmaceutical industry/drug safety operations
  • Watershed, land use, and ecosystems organizations
  • Toxicology and risk assessment divisions
  • Entrepreneurship, start-up specialty chemical or pharmaceutical industry
  • Industrial biotechnology administration
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational chemistry
  • Project management
  • Business development for chemical industries
  • Technology transfer
  • Product marketing
  • Clinical and regulatory affairs
  • Clinical research analyst
  • Lab management/ analytical laboratory position

Admission

Rice seeks highly qualified students for its graduate programs. Beyond objective standards of academic competence, we also look for other, more subjective qualities such as creativity, ambition, and leadership potential.

To apply, please send the following items:

  • Completed application (apply online) No application fee is required 
  • Three personal letters of recommendation - recommenders can now submit their letters online
  • General GRE scores (use the code 6609 for Rice; do not worry about a department code)
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • TOEFL scores (if required)
  • Statement of Purpose

Cost & Fees

The Professional Master's Program requires three semesters of tuition (total of $57,000) and a nominal fee to continue full-time student status during the semester that the student is involved in his or her internship.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Today, the Wiess School is still pioneering educational frontiers by incorporating research into more classes and undergraduate students into research laboratories. In the majority of Rice labs today, ... Read More

Today, the Wiess School is still pioneering educational frontiers by incorporating research into more classes and undergraduate students into research laboratories. In the majority of Rice labs today, undergraduates can be found working side by side with faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to advance the boundaries of human understanding in astronomy, biochemistry, cell biology, chemistry, earth science, ecology, evolutionary biology, mathematics and physics. Read less
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