M.S. in Chemistry

The master’s degree program in chemistry is designed to meet the needs of students with diverse goals. It is ideal for working professionals who wish to augment their career, and for students who are considering pursuing Ph.D. program elsewhere after successfully completing their master’s degree at Villanova. Courses are offered in the evening and students may pursue either a full- or part-time schedule. Classes are taught by full-time faculty or scientists working in industry. 30 credits are required and students may pursue either a thesis or non-thesis option in the program.

Enrollment in our courses ranges from four to 15 students with an average class size of approximately 12 students. Classes meet twice a week in the evening for an hour and 20 minutes, either on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

Masters of Science: Thesis Option

A student must take three of the following five core courses (three credits each):

Three elective courses, for a total of nine additional credits, are also required. Elective special topics courses in all areas of chemistry are given on a regular basis. Recent topics have included Mass Spectroscopy, Environmental Chemistry, Synthesis, and Biochemical Toxicology. Written comprehensive examinations are also required, and passing grades obtained, in two of the five major areas of chemistry.

While carrying out research for the thesis, the student must take three research courses (three credits each). During a student's final semester, a thesis preparation course is taken (three credits). The student will write a thesis based upon independent research carried out under the direction of a Villanova chemistry faculty member. A public presentation of the thesis is required for graduation.

Masters of Science: Non-Thesis Option

The graduate program in chemistry recognizes the fact that chemists with their bachelor degrees who are employed in local industries would like the opportunity to earn a master's degree, but have time restrictions due to their employment. For these students, we provide an opportunity to earn a master's degree in chemistry by substituting work experience for the graduate thesis.

In the non-thesis option, the research and thesis courses are replaced by one additional graduate core course and three additional graduate electives. In lieu of the thesis presentation, the student must present a seminar describing research the student must present a seminar describing
research performed at their place of employment. With the exception of replacing the thesis courses and presentation with elective courses and an alternate seminar, the requirements for the non-thesis option are identical to the requirements for the thesis option.

Program Requirements

A minimum total of 30 credits are required for the Masters Degree in Chemistry. There are two different tracks depending upon whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Full-time students must be in the Masters with Thesis option, while part-time students are usually in the Masters with Non-Thesis option. The requirements for each track are outlined below.