Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

The Graduate Program in Chemistry

The Master of Science degree program in chemistry provides students having an undergraduate foundation in chemistry the opportunity to engage in advanced course work, in-depth study and independent research to acquire the skills of assimilating new information and generating new knowledge. The Department of Chemistry is one of 16 departments within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the graduate program in chemistry are required to submit the following to the Graduate School:

An official application for graduate admission
Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate)
Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative and analytical only)
Three recommendations by individuals in professionally relevant fields
Non-native English speaking students must also submit official TOFEL scores
An acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination is expected. A bachelor's' degree with a concentration in chemistry from an accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent in a foreign institution based on a four-year program is required for admissions, along with a "B" average or better in chemistry courses. Admission decisions are based upon several factors, and where other indicators of success warrant, individuals who fall below the established criteria in one of the areas may be considered for admission.

Degree Requirements

Programs leading to the Master of Science degree require a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate study. "A minimum of 9 semester hours (3 courses) must be taken from the following core courses: Advanced Organic Chemistry (CHM516), Advanced Physical Chemistry (CHM 521), Advanced Analytical Chemistry (CHM 536), Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (CHM 546) and Advanced Biochemistry (CHM 568)". Up to eight credit hours of graduate courses in other natural and mathematical sciences may be approved by the student's advisory committee. A maximum of six semester hours of credit may be transferred from another accredited institution. Grades earned on transfer work must be equivalent to a "B" or better, and courses must be acceptable to the student's advisory committee. A minimum of 24 semester hours of graduate study must be completed in residence.

Each student must successfully complete a written and oral comprehensive exam.

  • Each student must demonstrate computer proficiency.
  • Each student must submit a thesis reporting the results of an original research project that has been approved by the student's advisory committee. An oral defense of the thesis is required. Each student will present a seminar on his or her research project.
  • The program must be completed within five years of the date of first registration for graduate study.

On-line Master of Science Degree

Employees from participating companies can complete their Masters degree by taking graduate courses on line and working on research projects that are supervised by UNCW and industrial scientists and carried out at the company. Learn more about the Corporate MS Chemistry Program.

Chemistry Facilities

Graduate classes in chemistry are taught in a new 100,000 square foot laboratory science facility (Dobo Hall) which features contemporary classrooms, laboratories, offices, a biohazard lab, a clean room, cold rooms and instrument rooms, all with modern computer capabilities. High end instrumentation includes 400 and 600 MHz NMRs and low resolution ion trap and high resolution time of flight mass spectrometers, both coupled to uHPLC systems, as well as an ion trap GC/MS ( The university has an excellent library with over 350,000 volumes, almost 5,000 serial titles and more than 80 journals related to chemistry.

Chemistry Graduate School Manual Handbook 2007

This handbook is intended to supplement, not displace, policies and practices described in the UNCW Graduate Catalogue. The UNCW University Graduate Catalogue for the year of enrollment is the final authority. View the Chemistry Graduate School Manual in Microsoft Word format.

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