May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Chemistry, Master of Science

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Department of Chemistry
260 Mathematics and Science Center  (map)
(248) 370-2320 • Fax (248) 370-2321

Graduate Coordinator:
Ziming Yang
289 Mathematics and Science Center
(248) 370-2339

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

The Master of Science in chemistry can be viewed as either a terminal or non-terminal degree. By itself it serves as preparation for employment in chemical and related industries, a wide range of government agencies, and two-year college teaching. It also prepares the student for further study toward advanced degrees in chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, oceanography, medicine, environmental science, and related fields. The program may be adapted to both full-time and part-time students.

The Master of Science in chemistry is offered in both thesis and non-thesis plans. The thesis plan, which includes a significant laboratory or theoretical research component, is particularly valuable for persons planning to pursue a future Ph.D. degree or for those preparing for, or engaged in, industrial laboratory employment. The non-thesis option is designed for those students who either cannot schedule or do not need the thesis research component, and offers opportunity for extended study of advanced chemistry for persons currently employed in industry or teaching professions, or for those who wish a more rigorous technical background ancillary to professional employment in business, law, or medicine.

With appropriate course selection, the Master of Science candidate can focus his/her graduate work in a traditional area of chemistry (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic or physical) or in an interdisciplinary area such as environmental chemistry, chemical education, polymer chemistry or toxicology.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • February 15 (early) April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants   

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree with a strong academic background in chemistry. Relevant background in mathematics, physics, or biochemistry is desired.
  • Applicants with degrees over five years old may also need to complete additional coursework. Applicants with undergraduate prerequisite course deficiencies must complete the preparatory course work before being eligible for admission to the graduate program.
  • Applicants should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 with the appropriate academic background and strong letters of recommendation may be considered for admission with limited standing. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a minimum of 16 credits of graduate-level work, with a GPA of 3.0 or above within the first year of their program, to be advanced to full admission.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department. 

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Degree requirements

The Master of Science in chemistry degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 32 credits in an approved program of study.

Course requirements

a. Core requirements (12 credits)

All students must take at least one lecture course in each of four different areas chosen from:


Inorganic chemistry

Organic chemistry

Physical chemistry

Polymer/industrial chemistry

Analytical chemistry

Environmental science

b. Electives

Additional chemistry graduate courses must be selected by student to complete 32-credit requirement. Up to 8 credits may be outside of chemistry with adviser approval.

c. Exit

Degree candidates must choose the thesis or non-thesis exit plan.

Thesis plan

  • (1 to 8 credits) (8 to 20 credits)
  • The candidate for the thesis plan Master of Science in chemistry must complete 32 credits in courses carrying graduate credit, of which 24 credits must be in chemistry.
Non-thesis plan

No specific requirements. May include:

  • (1 to 8 credits) (up to 6 credits)
  •  and/or

  • ( 1 to 6 credits) (up to 6 credits)
  • The candidate for the non-thesis plan Master of Science in chemistry must complete 32 credits in courses carrying graduate credit, of which 24 credits must be in chemistry.
  • Courses with 4000-level numbers may be included providing they do not duplicate courses in the student’s undergraduate degree.

    At least one lecture course must be taken in each of four different areas chosen from biochemistry (or approved biology courses), inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, polymer or industrial chemistry, analytical chemistry, and environmental science.

    Students might choose either concentration in a specialized area related to employment or a broad background in preparation for teaching.

    Courses taken without an adviser’s approval may be excluded from those to be applied to the degree.

    For students interested in a research experience, up to 6 credits of CHM 6996 and/or CHM 6995 may be included in the program by arrangement with an individual faculty researcher.  

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0. Courses with a grade of C or lower will not receive credit.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.



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