Accelerated Master of Arts in Chemistry

The accelerated degree program in the Department of Chemistry at Western Michigan University provides opportunities for undergraduate students to complete the Masters of Arts degree requirements at a faster pace while finishing their B.S. degree. These undergraduate students may count up to 12 (but no fewer than six) credit hours of 5000-level courses taken during their undergraduate studies toward an M. A. in chemistry within 24 months after the completion of their B.S. degree in chemistry.

This program will allow an undergraduate student majoring in chemistry to complete an accelerated master’s degree in chemistry by completing 135 combined undergraduate/graduate credit hours.

Application to the Accelerated M.A. Program

Prospective students must meet with an advisor in the Department of Chemistry to develop plans of work for the B.S, and M.A. programs. The students are encouraged to set up this meeting as early as their sophomore year but no later than their junior year. Before admission to an accelerated program can be finalized, students must submit the standard application for admission to the Office of Admissions/Graduate Admissions including:

  • Application.
  • Application fee.
  • Copy of all transcripts.
  • A Plan of Graduate Work, signed by the perspective student and the department advisor.

The Plan of Graduate Work for the M.A. degree must clearly indicate:

  • The 5000-level courses (a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours) that will be counted for both the B.S. and M.A. degree.
  • The graduation date for the M.A. degree that meets the time limit for the accelerated degree (obtaining an M.A. in chemistry within 24 months of completing the B.S. degree). Any changes in the Plan of Graduate Work for the accelerated program must be submitted in writing and approved by the department advisor, the chair of the Department of Chemistry, and the graduate dean.

Western Michigan University has a new online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required documentation into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system. Applicants are asked to include some program-specific information. Applicants are encouraged to bookmark this information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.

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Permission to pursue an accelerated degree does not guarantee admission to the Graduate College. Admission is contingent on meeting the following eligibility requirements at the time of entering the accelerated graduate degree program:

  • Students must have completed a minimum of 80 and a maximum of 96 credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from advanced placement.
  • Transfer students must have completed, as a full-time undergraduate student at WMU, a minimum of 15 WMU Chemistry credit hours and a minimum of 30 WMU credit hours.
  • Students must have a minimum accumulated grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 at WMU and 3.25 in chemistry classes.
  • Students must receive credit or be planning to receive credit for the following courses, Organic Chemistry I and II (labs) and Physical Chemistry I and II (labs).
  • International students must clarify their visa status with the Office of International Students before submitting and admission application.

Requirements for participation and graduation

  • Students must complete the B.S. degree prior to entering the M.A. program. Students in the accelerated program may not elect to by-pass the B.S. degree.
  • Undergraduate students admitted to the program with senior standing can take up to 12 hours of designated 5000-level courses for graduate credit which can be used in both the B.S. and M.A. degree. These credits should be registered as graduate credit and will be waived from their master’s degree.
  • Students must receive a grade of B (GPA of 3.0/4.0) or better in the 5000-level courses taken during their undergraduate studies. Courses with a grade of CB or below cannot be counted toward their master’s degree.
  • Students who do not meet the grade criterion of a 3.0 GPA will have the earned grade applied to their undergraduate program only, assuming that the earned grade meets the requirements for the undergraduate program. Students who do not meet the grade criterion as part of the accelerated program must apply for readmission into the graduate program.
  • Students who complete the undergraduate degree including a grade of B or above in the specified 5000-level graduate courses will be admitted as graduate students (with the relevant graduate credit) in the next semester or session after receiving the B.S. degree.
  • Students must complete the master’s degree within 24 months from the completion of the completion of B.S. degree. If the M.A. program is not completed within these time limits, none of the 5000-level courses specified in the Plan of Graduate Work can be counted toward the M.A. degree. The graduate program director only in special circumstances may grant extension to this timeline.

See the WMU catalog for program requirements.

Continuing eligibility

  • It is the responsibility of the student to recognize his/her eligibility status.
  • A student completing the B.S. degree requirements with an accumulated GPA of less than 3.25 is automatically terminated from the accelerated program.
  • A student who does not follow the approved Plan of Graduate Work may become ineligible to participate in the accelerated program.
  • A student who is ineligible to participate in (or withdraws from) the accelerated program can no longer qualify for waiving any of the courses specified in the Plan of Graduate Work toward M.A. degree. These courses, however, may be counted towards the student’s B.S. degree upon the discretion of the undergraduate advisor.
  • A student, who becomes ineligible to participate in the accelerated program shall be informed by the graduate advisor in writing of the ineligibility. A copy of this letter to the student shall be sent to the Graduate College.


A student may at any time withdraw from an approved accelerated program by informing the director of undergraduate programs and the graduate advisor in writing. A copy of this request to withdraw must be sent to the Graduate College for approval. A student must complete the requirements for the M.A. degree within 24 months (two years) from the completion of the bachelor’s degree. If the student is unable to meet this requirements, he or she must apply for an extension with the Department of Chemistry graduate advisor.