Dec 06, 2021  
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry, (MS)

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MS Degree Program

Program objectives are: (1) competence in a common core of material in the major area of specialization; (2) experience in experimental design, data analysis, and oral and written presentation of research results; (3) competitive for professional positions in the chemical sciences.

Program Admission and Prerequisites

Prospective students, in addition to meeting the requirements for admission to The Graduate School, are required to present as a prerequisite for admission a satisfactory record of undergraduate work in chemistry; normally 32 semester hours of chemistry will be required, including quantitative analysis, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry (biochemistry may also be taken). Students who are deficient in undergraduate work may be admitted and the deficiencies removed without graduate credit. Submission of GRE scores is required for admission, but permission for a waiver may be requested from the department for extraordinary circumstances.

Program Requirements

Diagnostic Examinations

Before registering for the first time, incoming graduate students will take a series of six standardized examinations, in general, analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. The examinations are at a level equivalent to completion of the following undergraduate courses at the University of Memphis: CHEM 4111 (inorganic),4211 (analytical), 3310 and 3511 (organic), 4411 (physical), and 4512 (biochemistry).


A candidate for the Master of Science degree must make at least 50th percentile on the general chemistry test to remain in the program. A candidate for the Master of Science degree must make at least 50th percentile on the analytical and organic tests plus one of the remaining three or take the equivalent classes (CHEM 6111 , CHEM 6211 , CHEM 6311 , CHEM 6411 , CHEM 6511 ). Students should note that a score of 75th percentile on the test or a “B” or better in the course is prerequisite to higher level graduate courses in each area.

Course Work Requirements

The thirty semester-hour total required is subject to the following restrictions:

No more than 9 hours of

No more than 9 hours of credit at the 6000 level may be counted towards the Master of Science degree. At least 9 hours must be in courses numbered CHEM 7100 -7899, with at least two areas of chemistry represented.

A maximum of 6 semester hours

A maximum of 6 semester hours of CHEM 7996 - Thesis  can be applied to the 30 semester hour requirement.

A maximum of 3 semester hours

A maximum of 3 semester hours of CHEM 7910 - Spec Prob In Chem /CHEM 8910 - Spec Prob In Chem  may be counted toward the 30 semester hour requirement.


Presentation (CHEM 7911 ) is required of all graduate students. A maximum of 4 semester hours from some combination of CHEM 7911  and CHEM 7913 - Chemistry Seminar / CHEM 8913 - Chemistry Seminar  may be used to meet the 30 semester hours required.

A maximum of 6 semester-hours

A maximum of 6 semester-hours credit can be granted for graduate courses successfully completed at other regionally accredited institutions. Credit previously earned at another institution must be presented for evaluation not later than the end of the student’s second semester of enrollment.

No more than 6 semester hours

No more than 6 semester hours of CHEM 7001 - Directed Research  and CHEM 7996 - Thesis  combined may be counted toward the 30 semester-hour requirement.

Comprehensive Examinations

The student must begin the written part of the comprehensive examinations by the beginning of the third semester and take up to eight consecutive tests. These are described in the summary of the administration of the graduate program. A student pursuing the master’s degree must obtain a total of at least six points. Any student who has not amassed six points at the completion of eight tests is automatically terminated from the Master’s degree program. Written permission from the student’s Advisory Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee is required to delay beginning the tests or to delay continuing once the student has begun taking tests. Within six months of obtaining the required six points, students must complete the oral part of the comprehensive examinations. The student will prepare a Research Prospectus on his or her thesis research problem, to be presented orally to the Advisory Committee in an open meeting and in a written form to the Graduate Studies Committee. The oral comprehensive examination can be repeated only once.


Participation in seminar is required during each semester of residence (excluding summer terms).

The Advisory Committee

Upon admission to the Graduate School, the student will be advised by the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee. A student must choose a major professor before the end of the first semester following enrollment. The major professor, in consultation with the student, will recommend the faculty members to be appointed to the student’s Advisory Committee. This committee, which is appointed before the student’s First Year Conference, must be composed of at least three members, with the major professor serving as chair. Upon appointment, the committee will review the student’s progress to date and outline an appropriate program tailored to the student’s individual interests to permit fulfillment of the degree requirements. The student will be regularly evaluated by their Advisor and Advisory Committee. In the unlikely event that a student changes major professors, a new Advisory Committee must be appointed.

Thesis Option

Each student must submit a thesis acceptable to the student’s Advisory Committee. The thesis can be based on work done for CHEM 7996 , for which a maximum of six credit-hours can be applied to the degree requirement. NOTE: Students electing to write a thesis should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.

Non-Thesis Option

If a non-thesis program is selected, a student must 1) take two additional 7/8000-level course and 2) prepare a detailed report in the form of a review or proposal (which can be based on literature research). Three hours credit for CHEM 7910  will be earned. A minimum of three semester-hours from one credit of CHEM 7911  and two credits of CHEM 7913 /CHEM 8913  (Seminar) must be earned. Thesis credits (CHEM 7996 ) do not count toward the non-thesis degree. No more than four credits of CHEM 7001  and CHEM 7910  together may be counted toward the non-thesis MS. For the non-thesis option, a maximum of 9 hours of course work may be included in a field related to chemistry (physical or biological sciences, mathematical sciences, or engineering).

Final Oral Examination

A final oral examination on the student’s thesis or report and related material will be administered by the student’s Advisory Committee after completion of all other requirements. This examination will be held seven or more days after the student has distributed copies of the thesis or report to the members of the Advisory Committee, which must be done at least one month before the end of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. If the final oral examination is unsatisfactory it must be repeated within one year; it may not be repeated more than once.


A student pursuing the Master’s degree program may be terminated for any of the following reasons:

  1. Failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above. A student who has a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 will be placed on probation. Continuation in graduate school must be approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. Any person whose continuation is denied may appeal the decision to the University Council for Graduate Studies.
  2. Failure to accumulate the requisite number of points on the departmental comprehensive examinations (See Comprhensive Examination Section).
  3. Failure to complete the degree requirements within six years of initial enrollment in the graduate program.
  4. Failure to make satisfactory progress towards the degree in a timely fashion, as determined by the Departmental Program Retention Committee.
  5. Failure to satisfy the Advisory Committee on the final oral examination (See Final Oral Examination Section).

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