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Graduate Programs in Chemistry

The graduate programs in the Department of Chemistry at Western Michigan University are designed to offer flexibility so that full-time students may complete their degrees in four years and to accommodate students who are employed full-time. The educational goals stress a well-rounded expertise in chemistry, as well as a literate acquaintance with another environmentally related discipline such as biological science, hydrogeology or paper science.

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Master of Science in Chemistry

The Master of Science in chemistry at Western Michigan University is designed to provide a broad background in the various fields of chemistry with a concentration in one. The degree program is research-based, and a thesis of original research is required for graduation.

Placement exams

Placement examinations covering the fields of analytical, organic, inorganic, biochemistry and physical chemistry are scheduled during the week preceding each semester and the spring session. New students, unless entering with an acknowledged deficiency, are required to take all examinations before they start classes. Students who fail a placement examination are required to attend the corresponding undergraduate course, if available, and/or repeat the placement examination if so advised. Enrollment in a 600-level chemistry course is not permitted unless the appropriate placement examination has been passed.

Elected courses

Students elect 20 hours in the field of chemistry, including the Master's Thesis. Chemistry hours may be more than 20 depending on the student's background. Remaining hours, up to at least 30, may be in a related field or fields.

Course sequence

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

The Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry with emphasis in environmental chemistry is a research degree designed for persons intending to take a leadership role in teaching and/or research in applied areas of environmental chemistry.

The program takes an innovative approach, using the skills and expertise provided by the traditional areas of chemical study as the foundation for addressing chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. The program is designed to offer flexibility so that a full time student may complete the degree in four years and a non-traditional student could be accommodated around full time employment.

The educational goals of the program stress:

These educational goals provide scientific breadth not often found in traditional chemistry degrees. Combining formal education with a research endeavor encompassing a chemical discipline will provide students with the high quality education necessary to contribute to the resolution of the expected and unexpected environmental issues of the future.

Course requirements

Graduate advisor

Dr. Sherine Obare

Phone: (269) 387-2923

Director of graduate admission and recruiting

Dr. Yirong Mo

Phone: (269) 387-2916

Meet our graduate students

Our graduate students gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to truly make a difference in the world