Chemistry master's student working in the lab

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 PhD program elsewhere. Villanova undergraduate students also can choose to accelerate their studies into a combined BS/MS program.

Students may pursue either a thesis or non-thesis option in the program and 30 credits are required. Classes are taught by full-time faculty or scientists working in industry.

Students may pursue either a full- or part-time schedule. Enrollment ranges from 5 to 20 students with an average class size of 12 students. Classes meet twice a week in the evening for an hour and 15 minutes. Some classes meet on Monday and Wednesday from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. or 7:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and other classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply and be considered for funding for the fall semester is March 1, although applications submitted after this date may still be considered for funding. While March 1 is the priority deadline for funding, applications are accepted on a rolling basis until August 1.

Masters of Science: Thesis Option

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




Four elective courses, for a total of twelve additional credits, are also required. Elective special topics courses in all areas of chemistry are regularly given. Recent topics have included Mass Spectrometry, Electrochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Polymers, Organic Synthesis, Metabolic Basis of Disease, Enzymes and Signal Transduction.

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 have time restrictions due to their employment. For these students, we provide an opportunity to earn a master's degree in chemistry without a research-based 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. Otherwise, the requirements for the non-thesis option are identical to the requirements for the thesis option.

All students must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA to stay in the program.


Ready for the Next Step?

Villanova University
Department of Chemistry
Mendal Hall, Room 215

Graduate Program Director
Dr. Deanna Zubris

Administrative Assistants
Valerie Marchesani and Melissa Steinman


Alex Reif stands in a lab at GlaxoSmithKline.


Alex serves as a Senior Scientist for GlaxoSmithKline — a career he began while obtaining his Master’s Degree in Chemistry from Villanova. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' flexible Master’s program allowed him to work full-time in the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical lab while taking classes. Alex says, “My work today is different than my research at Villanova, but I use the synthetic toolbox that I acquired at Villanova every day in the lab to design and synthesize small organic molecules.”

Learn more about our alumni's experiences and careers.