Chemistry M.S.


Note: Applications for the Plan I (thesis) master's degree are not being accepted at this time.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a Plan II (capstone) master’s degree in which a student may earn the M.S. degree after approximately one year of coursework and a capstone seminar. This program serves the needs of such diverse groups as teachers on sabbaticals, technicians from industry and re-entry students. The Plan II (capstone) M.S. does not require research and is suited to future teachers and others wishing to update or broaden their chemical expertise. The degree can be finished in one year if the student is well prepared for attainment exams. No financial aid is available for this program, although student loans may be available based from the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) program.

Prerequisites: A bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in chemistry or biochemistry. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline must have taken all or most of the courses required for a B.A. or B.S. in chemistry or biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz.


Course Requirements

Nine courses are required. Of these, at least seven must be lecture courses offered by chemistry and biochemistry. The remaining two courses may be lecture courses, seminars, or independent study.

Of the seven chemistry and biochemistry lecture courses, at least four must be graduate level (200), but up to three may be advanced undergraduate level (100), excluding CHEM 109-CHEM 110. Courses used to satisfy attainment deficiencies (CHEM 103, CHEM 143, CHEM 151A, CHEM 163A, CHEM 163B, and CHEM 163C) do not count.

The seven lecture courses must include representatives from at least three of the chemistry subdisciplines: biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical.

For a further description of the courses available, please visit the Graduate Student Handbook.

Other Requirements

A solid foundation in undergraduate chemistry is essential to a student’s progress in graduate studies and research. For this reason, all graduate degree candidates are required to take entrance (attainment) exams to confirm their preparation in the fields of biochemistry, inorganic, organic and/or physical chemistry.

Students must satisfy the attainment requirement in three of four subdisciplines of their choosing.

Capstone Requirement

The candidate is required to present a passing literature seminar on a topic of their choosing, demonstrating the ability to read and critically analyze research data, to organize data into a coherent presentation, and to communicate the information in a clear and logical manner.

Applying for Graduation

M.S. students must complete the Application for the Master’s Degree form by the appropriate quarter’s deadline listed in the current Academic calendar.

The form can be found on the Graduate Division website or can be provided by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The form should be turned in to the graduate adviser and program coordinator for review and submission to the Graduate Division.