Oct 01, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Catalog

Chemistry and Biochemistry, M.S.


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Contact: Christine Isborn, Graduate Chair, cisborn@ucmerced.edu

Research in the Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate group spans the traditional disciplines of chemistry and related interdisciplinary fields including biochemistry and molecular biophysics, organometallic and catalysis chemistry, materials chemistry, and computational chemistry. Our students are provided with both the rigorous training and the broad perspectives needed to address present-day scientific and technological challenges. Most students are admitted to the Chemistry and Biochemistry program to work toward a Ph.D. degree, but applications from students whose goal is a terminal M.S. degree will be considered in special cases. However, a student who has been in residence for at least two semesters, is in good academic standing, and has passed the proficiency exam may petition the Admissions Committee to pursue a terminal M.S. degree. The recipient of a M.S. degree is understood to possess knowledge of a broad field of learning that extends well beyond that attained at the undergraduate level, but is not necessarily expected to have made a significant original contribution to knowledge in that field.

The deadline for receipt of applications is January 15. Late applications are considered as space permits. Normally applications are accepted for Fall semester only. The minimum requirement admission to the Chemistry and Biochemistry program is a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a closely related field of science or engineering with a grade point average of at least 3.0. Admission decisions are based on undergraduate grades, performance on the GRE (submission of GRE score is optional), accomplishments in undergraduate research, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. 

Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration. Any applicant who spent the majority of their primary and secondary education in a nation/territory where English is not the primary language must take an approved English proficiency examination prior to admission. Proficiency in English may be demonstrated by passing one of two standardized, internationally administered tests: TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Passing scores are defined below. The applicant should take one of these tests at the earliest available date to ensure that the scores are reported in time to meet application deadlines. Applicants will not be admitted if they lack an acceptable proficiency score.

Program Requirements


The Chemistry and Biochemistry group has established the two plans leading to a M.S degree, with the following requirements:

Master’s Plan I


  • Complete at least two semesters of full-time academic residence (12 units minimum) at UC Merced;
  • Complete a minimum of 24 semester units, at least 20 of which must be earned in 200 series graduate-level courses;
  • Complete the required courses for one of the available emphasis tracks, with a letter grade of at least “B” in each course (“S” in seminar courses graded S/U);
  • Earn a passing grade in a course addressing scientific ethics, approved by the Educational Policy Committee;  
  • Pass the proficiency examination;
  • Present an open technical seminar or research poster at least once each academic year in residence;
  • Prepare an acceptable thesis describing original research in the field.

Master’s Plan II


  • Complete at least two semesters of full-time academic residence (12 units minimum) at UC Merced;
  • Complete a minimum of 24 semester units, at least 20 of which must be earned in 200 series graduate-level courses;
  • Complete the required courses for one of the available emphasis tracks, with a letter grade of at least “B” in each course (“S” in seminar courses graded S/U);
  • Earn a passing grade in a course addressing scientific ethics, approved by the Educational Policy Committee;  
  • Pass the proficiency examination; 
  • Present an open technical seminar or research poster at least once each academic year in residence;
  • Pass a comprehensive oral examination administered by the faculty committee that tests the student’s understanding of the main concepts in the field at the graduate level.

Program Learning Outcomes


Master’s Plan I Learning Outcomes


Graduates of the Chemistry and Biochemistry thesis M.S. program will:

  1. Possess the fundamental knowledge needed to understand and critically evaluate current research in their chosen subfield of chemistry.
  2. Communicate fundamental concepts in their field as well as their own research effectively, in both written and oral form.
  3. Conduct themselves ethically and responsibly in science-related professions.
  4. Be proficient in laboratory, theoretical, and/or computational techniques necessary to contribute to knowledge in their chosen subfield of chemistry.

Master’s Plan II Learning Outcomes


Graduates of the Chemistry and Biochemistry exam M.S. program will:

  1. Possess the fundamental knowledge needed to understand and critically evaluate current research in their chosen subfield of chemistry.
  2. Communicate fundamental concepts in their field as well as their own research effectively, in both written and oral form.
  3. Conduct themselves ethically and responsibly in science-related professions.

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