Master of Science

Student entering data in a computer in a lab with microscopes on the deskThe Master of Science in chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Western Michigan University is designed to provide a broad background in various fields of chemistry with a concentration in one. This program is research based and a thesis of original research is required for graduation. This program is ideal if you are looking to advance your education and be more competitive in the job market for academic, government and industrial positions or desire research experience before applying to a professional school.

This program will enhance your abilities to plan, conduct, analyze and report original research. Required coursework enhances your scientific preparation and supports your research.

With the guidance of the major advisor, you will choose additional courses to meet your needs and interests. The degree may serve as preparation for continue graduate or professional study or for positions in the private or public sector.


The following criterion are required for the M.S. in chemistry:

  • A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in chemistry or higher
  • Non-chemistry major students should have at least one year of calculus-based physical chemistry
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • All international students must provide proof of English proficiency by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 80 TOEFL IBT score (internet-based version)
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score

Application instructions

The Department of Chemistry at Western Michigan University has rolling admissions. As such, students may submit a graduate application at any time. However, it is highly recommended that applicants submit completed applications no later than six weeks before the semester for which they are applying. This allows sufficient time for your required documents to be mailed, received, processed and uploaded to your application; for the committee to review your application and reach an admission decision; for the department and university to process the decision; for you to consult with your graduate advisor and, finally, enroll in courses. All of this must happen ahead of semester deadlines. As such, applications submitted without sufficient time will be considered for the following semester.

IMPORTANT: Applications are due February 1 for fall admission. The committee reviews applications in mid-February. You can expect a decision by March 15. *NOTE: Applications for self-funded students are accepted for ALL admission terms (spring, summer I, and fall). If you are self-funded please email immediately after submitting your application.

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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Program requirements

Completion of at least 30 credit hours including a master’s thesis.

See the WMU catalog for full list of program requirements.

Financial assistance

There are several opportunities for you to obtain financial assistance to assist with the cost of attendance. Teaching assistantships include tuition awards, and are available on a competitive basis for the fall and spring semesters. A limited number of summer session teaching assistantships are also available to outstanding students.

  • Information about additional assistantships and fellowships, special assistance for minority graduate students, tuition grant and research funds may be obtained from the Graduate College.
  • Information about student loans and other federal, state and University need-based financial aid programs may be obtained from the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office.

The application deadline is February 15 for departmental teaching and research assistantships and for most University fellowships, doctoral assistantships, Thurgood Marshall assistantships, professional tuition grants and other financial assistance.

Research specializations

Our masters programs allow you to specialize in several areas including:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinorganic chemistry
  • Bioorganic chemistry
  • Computational chemistry
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Nanoscience
  • Protein chemistry
  • Supramolecular chemistry
  • Synthetic organic chemistry
  • Ultrafast laser spectrometry

Placement exams

Placement exams covering the fields of analytical, organic, inorganic, biochemistry and physical chemistry are scheduled during the week preceding each semester. If you are a new student, you are required to take all examinations before you start classes. Enrollment in a 6000-level chemistry course is not permitted unless the appropriate placement examination has been passed.


Prospective and current students who have questions about our program or the application process should contact Dr. Ramakrishna Guda, graduate advisor.