Chairperson: Scott A. Reid, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry website

Degrees Offered

Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The Department of Chemistry offers outstanding research and educational opportunities in its graduate programs, leading to the master of science or doctoral degrees. The heart of the graduate degree is research, conducted in concert with a faculty mentor. The program requires 24 hours of course work, and students are advanced to Ph.D. candidacy after successfully completing a literature seminar (4th semester) and research meeting (5th semester). The program emphasizes development of the whole scientist.

Subspecialty areas of research within the Department of Chemistry include: photochemistry; molecular spectroscopy; medicinal chemistry and drug discovery; materials chemistry and nanotechnology; organometallic, physical organic, bioorganic, polymer, and theoretical chemistry; and chemical dynamics.

Prerequisites for Admission

Applicants should have graduated with, or be about to graduate with, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The minimum prerequisite for any graduate course is one year of undergraduate physical chemistry. In addition, an undergraduate course in an area of study (e.g., analytical, inorganic, organic) appropriate to the graduate course involved is required. A student’s undergraduate grade point should normally be equivalent to a B (3.000) or above.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit, directly to the Graduate School:

  1. A completed application form and fee online.
  2. An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae.
  3. Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges/universities except Marquette.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic work.
  5. GRE scores (General Test is required; Subject Test is recommended).
  6. (For international applicants only) a TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.

General Information

For more detailed and comprehensive information about the master of science and doctoral programs in chemistry, students should consult the most recent edition of the Chemistry Department’s Graduate Student Handbook. This publication defines the current rules and guidelines that govern department and program requirements.

Foreign Language Requirements

Normally, no reading knowledge of a foreign language is required in either the master’s or doctoral programs. However, at the discretion of the student’s thesis or dissertation committee, proficiency in a foreign language may be required if it is necessary in the student’s research.

Proficiency Examinations

Incoming chemistry students must pass three proficiency examinations, which may be selected from among the four traditional areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry). Incoming chemical physics students must pass proficiency examinations in physics, physical chemistry, and one other area of chemistry. These examinations can be repeated up to two times each, and the student must pass three by the end of his/her second term of full-time study or the equivalent.

Chemistry Master's Requirements

Specializations: Analytical Chemistry, Bioanalytical Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry

A program for the master’s degree is determined by the student’s research adviser in consultation with the student’s thesis committee.

All students are admitted to the program under Plan A but may transfer to Plan B if a Change of Plan form is submitted and approved. In Plan A (research option), the student must complete 24 credit hours of course work and six credit hours of CHEM 6999 Master's Thesis for a total of 30 credit hours. Six credit hours of course work may be CHEM 6995 Independent Study in Chemistry. In addition, seminar course work (CHEM 6960 Departmental Seminar) is required for the program but earns no credit. The student must submit a thesis describing a substantial research project completed by the student in a mentor-professor’s laboratory. Public defense of the thesis constitutes a comprehensive examination.

In Plan B (essay option), the student must complete 24 credit hours of course work and six credit hours of CHEM 6999 Master's Thesis for a total of 30 credit hours. An essay must also be submitted. Up to six credits of course work may be CHEM 6995 Independent Study in Chemistry. In addition, seminar course work (CHEM 6960 Departmental Seminar) is required for the program but earns no credit. The essay will include a review of the literature of some area of chemistry and a proposal of how knowledge in that area might be extended by research. Public defense of the essay constitutes a comprehensive examination.

Accelerated Bachelor's-Master's Degree Program

The department offers a five-year combined bachelor’s-master’s program which enables students to earn both their bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemistry in just five years. After completing the program, it is anticipated that students would have the potential for:

  • Obtaining an industrial position in the chemical profession and related industries featuring greater responsibility and leadership than possible with a bachelor of science degree alone.
  • Developing their academic skills and portfolio further, with the possibility to improve their chances of acceptance into doctoral, medical or other advanced degree programs.
  • Immersion into an intensive research experience to provide guidance on their ability and aptitude for pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree in chemistry.

Students are admitted following their junior year but are encouraged to begin undergraduate research (CHEM 4956 Undergraduate Research in Chemistry) during their junior year. Normally, a GPA of 2.75 in their Marquette University undergraduate science and math course work is required for admission. During the spring term of their fourth year, students are eligible to apply for a graduate assistantship for the fifth year, which would be awarded, if available, on the basis of merit as determined by the Graduate Committee (GC). Note that priority for academic year graduate assistantships is given to doctoral candidates.

Chemistry Doctoral Requirements

Specializations: Analytical Chemistry, Bioanalytical Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry

A program for the doctoral degree is determined by the student’s research adviser in consultation with the student’s dissertation committee.

A doctoral student must complete a program of study defined on an approved Doctoral Program Planning Form. Normally, the student will be required to complete 24 credit hours of course work and 12 credit hours of CHEM 8999 Doctoral Dissertation for a total of 36 post-bachelor’s degree credit hours. An intense program of laboratory instruction and research to begin no later than the second term of study is also required. Six credit hours of course work may be CHEM 6995 Independent Study in Chemistry. In addition, seminar course work (CHEM 6960 Departmental Seminar) is required for the program but earns no credit. A third year research meeting consisting of a written report and oral presentation constitutes a qualifying examination; in addition, advancement to doctoral candidacy is contingent upon maintaining a 3.000 grade point average at the end of the fourth term of study in at least 15 credit hours of formal (non-CHEM 6995) course work. The student must submit a dissertation describing a significant body of independent research carried out in concert with a faculty mentor. The dissertation must be of a caliber that would be publishable in the leading scientific journals. A public defense of the dissertation is required.

Courses

CHEM 5130. Characterization of Organic Compounds. 3 cr. hrs.

Fundamental theory of spectral methods used to identify organic compounds. Structure elucidation through application of nuclear magnetic resonance, ultraviolet, infrared, and mass spectroscopy. 3 hr. lecture.

CHEM 5330. Inorganic Chemistry. 3 cr. hrs.

Structure and bonding as related to physical and chemical properties; concepts relating to mechanisms; metal complexes; organometallic chemistry; molecular symmetry; catalysis; and descriptive chemistry to demonstrate applications of principles. Offered annually.

CHEM 5430. Introduction to Quantum Chemistry. 3 cr. hrs.

Elementary quantum theory and applications to atoms, molecules, and chemical bonding.

CHEM 5431. Physical Chemistry: Fundamentals with Applications in Biological Sciences. 3 cr. hrs.

Focuses on basic principles, using examples drawn from applications to biological systems. Covers macroscopic, statistical, and microscopic descriptions of matter. Emphasis on thermodynamics, chemical and physical equilibria, transport properties, and kinetics.

CHEM 5433. Physical Chemistry 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Atomic and molecular structure, states of matter, spectroscopy, laws of thermodynamics, phase and chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, transport properties, kinetics and macromolecules. Three hrs. lec.

CHEM 5434. Physical Chemistry 2. 3 cr. hrs.

Continuation of CHEM 5433. Three hrs. lec.

CHEM 5530. Introduction to Biochemistry. 3 cr. hrs.

Bioenergetics, glycolysis, oxidative degradation, enzymes, metabolic controls, metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids.

CHEM 5630. Introduction to Polymer Science. 3 cr. hrs.

Theory and practice of molecular weight determination for macromolecules. Characterization of polymers, including spectroscopic, chemical and mechanical procedures. Synthesis of polymers, including kinetics of reaction. Polymer additives and technology.

CHEM 5932. Advanced Topics in Chemistry. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Advanced topics of current interest in inorganic, organic, analytical, physical or biochemistry.

CHEM 6101. Modern Concepts of Organic Chemistry. 3 cr. hrs.

Stereochemistry, structure-reactivity, and linear free energy relationships. Chemistry of reaction intermediates and mechanistic approaches to problems. Offered fall term.

CHEM 6102. Organic Reactions. 3 cr. hrs.

Scope and limitations of modern techniques of synthesis utilizing addition, elimination, oxidation, reduction, substitution, rearrangement, and concerted reactions. Attention to mechanisms and stereochemistry. Prereq: CHEM 6101.

CHEM 6103. Mechanisms of Organic Reactions. 3 cr. hrs.

Fundamental principles of physical organic chemistry. Mechanisms of common organic reactions with emphasis on polar mechanisms. Introduction to Huckel and extended Huckel molecular orbital calculations. Prereq: CHEM 6101.

CHEM 6201. Physical Methods of Analysis. 3 cr. hrs.

Review of equilibria, principles and practice of spectrophotometry, electroanalysis and separation methods.

CHEM 6202. Spectrochemical Methods of Analysis. 3 cr. hrs.

Discussion of modern instrumentation for spectrochemical analysis including conventional sources, lasers, monochromators and detection systems. Review and comparison of methods and applications of various spectrochemical techniques for the analysis of atomic and molecular species.

CHEM 6203. Electroanalytical Methods. 3 cr. hrs.

Electroanalytical methods for analysis and as a probe of homogeneous and heterogeneous redox processes with major emphasis on voltammetric, coulometric, potentiostatic and potentiometric methods. Also the redox chemistry of important organic, inorganic and organometallic compounds.

CHEM 6204. Analytical Separations. 3 cr. hrs.

Emphasis on gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. Also included: other forms of chromatography, electrophoresis and related techniques, distillation, extraction, dialysis.

CHEM 6301. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Atomic and molecular structure, chemistry of the compounds of metals, transition metals and nonmetals, introduction to symmetry, ligand field theory, mechanisms, acids and bases, non-aqueous solvents, organometallic compounds, and applications of spectroscopy.

CHEM 6302. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 2. 3 cr. hrs.

Special emphasis on such topics as non-aqueous solvents, mechanisms of inorganic reactions, inorganic polymers, descriptive chemistry, coordination chemistry, organometallic chemistry, point group classification, spectroscopy as applied to inorganic compounds, inorganic biochemistry, and current inorganic literature.

CHEM 6401. Computational Chemistry. 3 cr. hrs.

Survey of the theories, models, and methods of modern computational chemistry. Topics include: molecular mechanics, semiempirical and ab initio molecular orbital theory, and Density Functional theory. Emphasizes applications in vibrational and electronic spectroscopy, thermodynamics, reaction dynamics, and condensed phase phenomena. Prereq: CHEM 5434.

CHEM 6402. Introduction to Spectroscopy. 3 cr. hrs.

Basic theory of chemical spectroscopy. Time-dependent Schrvdinger wave equation, and the emission and absorption of radiation. Group theory and selection rules. Electronic spectra and structure of atoms and molecules. Rotations and vibrations of molecules. Spin resonance spectroscopy. Prereq: CHEM 6405.

CHEM 6403. Statistical Thermodynamics. 3 cr. hrs.

Applications of statistical methods to chemical systems at equilibrium, including the calculations of thermodynamic functions, the properties of gases, and the theories of the liquid state. Introduction to non-equilibrium statistics and quantum statistics.

CHEM 6404. Chemical Kinetics. 3 cr. hrs.

Mathematical and phenomenological description of chemical rate processes and application to the solution of chemical problems.

CHEM 6405. Advanced Physical Chemistry. 3 cr. hrs.

Atomic and molecular structure and chemical bonding from the point of view of quantum mechanics; illustrations from spectroscopy.

CHEM 6406. Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy. 3 cr. hrs.

General theories of molecular vibrations and applications of infrared and Raman spectroscopy to chemical problems.

CHEM 6407. Advanced Quantum Chemistry. 3 cr. hrs.

The application of advanced topics and methods of quantum mechanics to chemistry. Prereq: CHEM 6405.

CHEM 6931. Topics in Chemistry. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Topics of current interest in biochemistry.

CHEM 6960. Departmental Seminar. 0 cr. hrs.

Papers and discussions as a means of interpreting present trends in chemical research. Required of all full-time graduate students in chemistry. SNC/UNC grade assessment.

CHEM 6995. Independent Study in Chemistry. 1-4 cr. hrs.

Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 6999. Master's Thesis. 1-6 cr. hrs.

S/U grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 8999. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-9 cr. hrs.

S/U grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9970. Graduate Standing Continuation: Less than Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9974. Graduate Fellowship: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9975. Graduate Assistant Teaching: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9976. Graduate Assistant Research: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9994. Master's Thesis Continuation: Less than Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9995. Master's Thesis Continuation: Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9996. Master's Thesis Continuation: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9997. Doctoral Dissertation Continuation: Less than Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9998. Doctoral Dissertation Continuation: Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

CHEM 9999. Doctoral Dissertation Continuation: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.