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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Degree Programs

Master of Science in Chemistry

The M.S. degree is intended for students who wish an advanced degree in chemistry primarily for the purpose of better preparation to conduct research work in chemistry or biochemistry. To facilitate the educational process, each student has an advisory committee that functions to both advise the student and monitor the student's progress. In general, students serve as teaching assistants during their first year. For subsequent years, they are supported as either teaching assistants or research assistants, depending on the circumstances. Tuition charges are waived for all graduate teaching and research assistants. For complete information, see the current graduate bulletin and our general admission requirements.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 45 credit hours are required of which a minimum of 35 hours must be earned at the University of Denver. First year graduate students take three courses each quarter that comprise the graduate core curriculum in chemistry. Students must maintain a B average in the following courses.

  • Chemical Systems - three quarter sequence
  • Chem 3110 - Chemical Systems I - 3 quarter hours Advanced discussion of modern concepts in organic chemistry; bonding, stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms. Prerequisites: CHEM 2453 or equivalent & 1 year of physical chemistry
  • Chem 3120 - Chemical Systems II - 3 quarter hours Interpretation of trends in the chemistry of the elements in terms of orbital interactions. Most examples will be taken from the 3d transition metals and the boron and carbon groups. Prerequisites: CHEM 3110 & 3310
  • Chem 3130 - Chemical Systems III - 3 quarter hours This is an advanced level physical biochemistry course. The course will focus on kinetic, thermodynamic and dynamic aspects of biopolymers, and will delineate the relationship of these properties to the mechanism and function of biological macromolecules. Prerequisites: CHEM 3620, CHEM 3811, and CHEM 3812 or equivalent
  • Molecular Structure and Energetics - two quarter sequence
  • Chem 3310 - Molecular Structure and Energetics I - 3 quarter hours Topics to be covered are fundamentals of quantum chemistry, introduction to symmetry, and molecular structure of small and large systems. Prerequisite: 1 year of physical chemistry
  • Chem 3320 - Molecular Structure and Energetics II - 3 quarter hours This is a course on computational methods in chemistry. Prerequisite: 1 year of physical chemistry
  • Biochemistry - two quarter sequence
  • Chem 3811 and 3812 - Biochemistry/Proteins and Biochemistry/Membranes and Metabolism - 3 quarter hours each These courses cover structure and function of proteins, membranes, generation and storage of metabolic energy, and biosynthetic pathways.
  • Analytical Chemistry - one quarter course
  • Chem 3220 - Advanced Analytical Chemistry - 3 quarter hours This course covers principles of chemical instrumentation and electronics applied to analytical measurements. Principles, instrumentation, and applications of spectrometric and chromatographic measurements are also covered.

Other Graduate Courses

  • Chem 3820 - Biochemistry Laboratory - 3 quarter hours This course covers purification and properties of biological molecules and structures. Requires permission of instructor.
  • Advanced and Special Topic Courses One advanced topic course is required as part of the graduate core sequence. Currently, courses in organic chemistry and biochemistry are being offered in alternate years.
  • Chem 4900 - Chemistry Seminar - 1 quarter hour Weekly presentations are given by outside speakers, faculty, and graduate students of research in progress and current literature.
  • Chem 4991 - Independent Study By arrangement with an individual professor.
  • Chem 4995 - Independent Research By arrangement with an individual professor.

Seminar and Thesis

A student in the M.S. Degree program presents one departmental seminar during the second year. Along with this, a thesis of publishable quality based on the original research completed by the student is written. A summary of this thesis is presented in a public seminar and later defended in a private oral examination before a thesis examination committee comprised of the three members of the student's advisory committee and a chairman from outside the department.

Transfer to the Ph.D. Program

A student who wishes to transfer to the Ph.D. program must reapply to the university.