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The Chemistry Program
The Chemistry Department offers graduate study and research leading to a Masters degree. The department consists of sixteen faculty with research interests in all the major subdisciplines of chemistry. The intimate scale of the Masters degree programs in chemistry creates professionally advantageous opportunities for students with a wide variety of backgrounds and career objectives. Faculty work closely with students to tailor the program to their individual needs.
Students are provided with full tuition waivers as well as teaching and/or research assistantships. The program usually takes no more than 24 months and enables students to fortify their academic background in chemistry while conducting publishable research in close collaboration with faculty. The department maintains a wide range of instrumentation used by students in their research. Classes are typically very small and can be taken in all major subdisciplines of chemistry, as well as related fields of science. Most graduate students have opportunities to mentor undergraduates and present their results at local and national meetings.
Some students earning a Masters degree in chemistry will go directly to industrial positions with a strong career trajectory or continue their education in quality Ph.D. programs. Recent graduates are attending Northwestern University, Purdue University, the University of California at San Diego and the University of Texas at Austin. Other students use the program as a stepping-stone to professional degree programs in education, law and medicine.
The graduate degree programs in Chemistry are designed to flexibly prepare students for their choice of doctoral programs, careers in industry, or medical and other professional degree programs. Graduate students actively participate in the Analytical, Biochemical, Inorganic, Organic, Physical or Polymer research programs of the faculty, producing high-quality, publishable results. In consultation with their research supervisor, students select courses complementing their research and professional interests from Chemistry or related fields, especially Biology, Applied Science, and Marine Science. Thesis-based degree programs include an accelerated joint B.S./M.S. degree in Chemistry, a traditional M.S. in Chemistry, and an M.S. in Environmental Chemistry offered in cooperation with the School of Marine Science. Programs leading to a joint M.S. in Chemistry/Ph.D. in Applied Science or a M.A. in Chemistry do not require a Thesis. An industrial internship is possible for the three M.S. in Chemistry programs.
Additional information about the department can be found on the web at www.wm.edu/as/chemistry.
All applicants must submit scores for the aptitude portions of the Graduate Record Exam. The subject portion (Chemistry) is recommended but not required. Admission to the M.S. in Chemistry/Ph.D. in Applied Science program will be made by a joint departmental committee.
Matriculating undergraduates interested in the B.S./M.S. program should contact the Chemistry Department when they arrive for advising. Chemistry concentrators may apply for formal admission to the joint program in the second semester of their sophomore year. Applicants must have completed the first two years of chemistry as well as the physics and math prerequisites before their 3rd year, and they must possess an overall GPA average of 3.0 and a 3.0 in chemistry courses.
Chemistry Laboratory Facilities
There are stockrooms, a reading room, a glass-blowing shop, shared instrumentation laboratories for multi-nuclear magnetic resonance, chromatography, spectroscopy (uv/visible, fluorescence, and atomic absorption), mass spectrometry and polymer characterization, as well as a regional X-ray diffraction facility. These facilities, and collaborations with other departments, the Virginia Institute for Marine Science, the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton and institutions throughout the US, support research across the spectrum of traditional chemistry areas.
Programs and Course Descriptions
Description of Courses
Unless otherwise noted, all courses are graded using standard grading [A, B, C, D, F] scheme (See Grading and Academic Progress in the section entitled 'Graduate Regulations ') and may not be repeated for credit (See Repeated Courses requirements in the section entitled 'Graduate Regulations ').