Master of Science in Chemistry

The program offers graduate work in the fields of biochemistry, inorganic, organic, physical, and analytical chemistry and is designed for the student who intends to work as a professional chemist, to study for the PhD, or to seek further training (e.g., in business or engineering).

Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate broad knowledge in areas of chemistry relevant to research interests
  • become safe and proficient in laboratory practice and instrumental techniques necessary for research
  • communicate the subject of chemistry in written and oral forms including: correspondence, reports and short presentations that may utilize multi-media tools
  • develop critical thinking skills with the ability to judge scientific arguments and make arguments based on experiments conducted during research project
  • prepared to pursue further graduate studies or employment in chemistry or related scientific fields


Applicants should have a minimum "B-" (2.7) overall average in their upper-division courses and a "B" (3.0) average in upper-division courses taken in the field of chemistry.

Any applicant whose undergraduate preparation does not include a complete foundation for graduate work in the field of chemistry will be required to devote time to specified undergraduate courses.


Upon acceptance the graduate director will, with the student's research advisor as chair, supervise the student's program.

Evaluative Examinations

Students take two evaluative examinations in selected subject areas of chemistry. The areas available for selection by the student are biochemistry, analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. If the entering student should fail to pass one or both of these examinations, he/she will meet with the graduate director and the student's research advisor to determine a means of remediation. This will usually involve taking an undergraduate course in the appropriate subject(s) (grade of B or better required) or possibly undertaking independent study followed by another evaluative examination in the area(s) in which deficiency was found. In either case, any deficiencies must be removed by the start of the second semester of residence. Otherwise the student will be subject to disqualification from the graduate program.

Program of Study

During the first semester of a student's residence in good academic standing, the student, the research advisor and graduate director will decide on the program of study.

Course Work

A total of 24 units, including a thesis, is required. The courses taken must be graduate courses or upper-division courses approved by the Department of Chemistry. At least 12 of the required units must be CHEM 698 and 699.

Contact Info

MS in Chemistry

Ryan West, Graduate Director

Harney Science Center 353, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 (415) 422-6157 (415) 422-5157