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Master of Science in Chemistry

gloveboxThe Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in chemistry will give you the opportunity to obtain a highly marketable chemistry degree and prepare you for a career as an industrial chemist, for further study in professional schools or doctoral programs, or advancement in your current employment.   There are three paths to completing your degree described below.

Traditional M.S. in Chemistry
The degree requirements for this two-year program includes 30 hours of graduate coursework and an original research project, a thesis and an oral defense. Research projects cover the full range of chemistry subdisciplines including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry with applications in materials science, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, and biological systems. Teaching assistantships are available, and there are a limited number of in- and out-of-state tuition waivers. For current WCU undergraduates, another option for completing the traditional M.S. degree is the "4 + 1" program, which provides students earning their Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in chemistry a means to earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in chemistry in one additional year instead of two.

Professional Science Concentration in Natural Products Chemistry
The degree requirements for the two-year program includes 30 hours of graduate coursework composed of a mixture of chemistry courses focused on natural products, business courses, and  an internship or applied project. There are three professional tracks (executive, technology and financial) that share a common science core. This program is ideal for people interested in natural products who are currently employed in the private sector looking for career advancement. Although a baccalaureate degree is required, a degree in chemistry is not!

Environmental Chemistry Concentration
The degree requirements for this two-year program are similar to the traditional M.S. program except coursework and research are more focused on environmental chemistry. Several faculty have research focused on environmental remediation, food safety and natural products chemistry. See our Faculty Research page for a description of environmentally-focused research opportunities.

Application Process
Although a baccalaureate degree is required for the M.S. program, a degree in chemistry is not! We encourage applications from mathematics, computer science, physics, biology, environmental health, natural resources management, and clinical laboratory sciences undergraduates. Submit transcripts, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores (subject test not required!) and a short personal statement through our electronic application process. Students who are not US citizens and who have not completed the baccalaureate degree in an English-speaking curriculum will also need to submit TOEFL scores.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Carmen Huffman, Graduate Program Coordinator
212 Natural Sciences Building
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Phone: 828-227-3682
Fax: 828-227-7393
Or visit the Graduate School website:


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