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Department of Chemistry

Dr. David Sammeth,
Department Chair
Ivan Hilton Science Center, Room 232
Phone: 505-454-3244
FAX: 505.4540.3202

Mission of the Chemistry Master’s Program

The master of science in chemistry provides training for those who wish to advance their careers in research, industry, government service or teaching. The master of science degree permits the graduate to enter the work force at a level higher than that of a BS graduate. It also prepares students for the rigors of a more advanced professional PhD program of study. Course preparation and advisement are available for students who choose to enter professional schools to study for careers in medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, pharmacy, etc. The Chemistry Program includes the study of inorganic, analytical, physical, organic chemistry, and biochemistry, with applied emphases in medicinal and materials chemistry, reaction mechanisms, and environmental chemistry. This program requires a research project culminating in an original thesis for each student. The chemistry concentration prepares candidates for entry into the chemistry profession or for PhD work. Resources and Facilities The department is housed in the new Ivan Hilton Science Center. Modern laboratory research spaces with state-of-the-art safety and teaching features provide students with hands-on, student-centered learning environments. Chemical instrumentation includes: high-field nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (nmr), X-ray diffraction equipment, gas and liquid chromatographs, mass spectrometer, IR/UV-visible spectrophotometer, and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). Students who major in chemistry are expected to become fully competent in the use of the instruments by the time they graduate. Students gain a practical perspective on chemistry through involvement with research projects. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue exciting careers in industry and government, or advance to doctoral studies.


Jiao Chen, Ph.D. (analytical, environmental, nanotechnology) 
David Sammeth, Ph.D. (physical chemistry, spectroscopy) 
Jan Shepherd, Ph.D. (organic, biochemistry) 
Christopher Stead, Ph.D. (biochemistry) 
Tatiana Timofeeva, Ph.D. (physical, crystallography) 


Degree requirements:

Master of Science in Chemistry (MS)  

Required courses: 28 credit hours
CHEM 519 Chemistry Lab 7 (3)
CHEM 541 Reaction Mechanisms (3)
CHEM 621 Advanced Analytical Chemistry (3)
CHEM 671 Chemical Thermodynamics (3)
CHEM 672 Quantum Chemistry (3)
CHEM 691 Chemistry Colloquium* (1/1)

*Taken for two semesters to equal a total of two credit hours

CHEM 699 Thesis* (8)

*A minimum of eight credits is required; students must register for a least one credit hour per term until the thesis is completed, which may exceed the eight-credit hour minimum.

Choose one of the following:

CHEM561 Inorganic Chemistry 1 (3)

CHEM581 Biochemistry 1 (3)


Electives: 6 credit hours

Choose at least six credits in graduate courses from biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, physics, or other appropriate disciplines with approval of a graduate adviser.
Degree Total: 34 credit hours


Chemistry (CHEM), Courses in

CHEM 519. Chemistry Laboratory 7 (3); 0, 6 Alt, Sp
Chemical instrumentation laboratory uses modern separation, purification, and instrumental analysis techniques including such techniques as NMR, GC-MS, FT-IR, fluorescence, HPLC, capillary electrophoresis (CE), X-ray diffraction (powder and single crystal XRD) and electrochemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 321 or 322 are required; CHEM 317 and CHEM 372 are recommended.

CHEM 535 – 635. Selected Topic in Chemistry (3); Var
Course in topic or topics in chemistry. May be repeated with change of content.

CHEM 541. Reaction Mechanisms (3); Var
This course covers theoretical organic chemistry including molecular orbital theory, photochemistry, orbital symmetry, and reaction mechanisms. Prerequisites: CHEM 317, CHEM 342, and CHEM 372.

CHEM 542. Synthetic Chemistry (3); Var
This course is an advanced treatment of synthetic organic and in- organic chemistry and reaction mechanisms. Prerequisites: CHEM 317, 342, and 372.

CHEM 550-650. Seminar in Chemistry (1 – 3 VC); Fa, Sp
Seminar course in a topic or topics in chemistry. Prerequisites: CHEM 317, CHEM 342, and CHEM 372.

CHEM 555. Chemistry Research Seminar (1); Fa, Sp
Graduate students participating in a chemical research project will make one or two 30- minute presentations on their project to faculty members and other graduate and undergraduate students registered in the course. In addition, the students will participate in the discussion evolving from other students’ presentations.

CHEM 559. Fundamental Principles of Laboratory Safety (1); Fa
This course is an introduction to the principles of laboratory safety including the proper use of emergency safety equipment and personal protective equipment, instructions for the safe handling, labeling, storage and disposal of chemicals, and safety in the biology and physics labs. Emphasis will be placed on preparing science educators in safety procedures. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

CHEM 561. Inorganic Chemistry 1 (3); Alt, Fa
This course covers quantum mechanical approach to chemical bonding, crystal and ligand field theory, acid/base theories, and transition metal chemistry. Prerequisites: CHEM 317 and CHEM 372.

CHEM 562. Inorganic Chemistry 2 (3); Alt, Sp
This course is a continuation of CHEM 561. Topics include metal, transition metal, and non-metal inorganic topics and symmetry as related to spectroscopy and reaction mechanisms. Prerequisite: CHEM 561.

CHEM 573. Chemical Kinetics (3); Var
This course is an in-depth study of chemical reaction kinetics. Pre- requisites: CHEM 317 and CHEM 372.

CHEM 581. Biochemistry 1 (3); Fa
An introduction to the chemistry of biologically important molecules, including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids; physical properties, mechanisms of action, and enzyme kinetics. Prerequisites or corequisites: CHEM 342.

CHEM 582. Biochemistry 2 (3); Sp
This course is a continuation of CHEM 581. Prerequisite: CHEM 581.

CHEM 621. Advanced Analytical Chemistry (3); Var
This course is an in-depth treatment of chemical equilibria involving topics in acid/base, solubility, electro-chemistry, complexion reactions, and the theory of separations.

CHEM 671. Chemical Thermodynamics (3); Alt, Fa
This course is an in-depth study of chemical thermodynamics.

CHEM 672. Quantum Chemistry (3); Alt, Sp
This course is an in-depth study of spectroscopy and quantum mechanics.

CHEM 690. Independent Study in Chemistry (1-4 VC); Fa, Sp, Su
Independent study arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Per- mission of instructor.

CHEM 691. Chemistry Colloquium (1); Fa, Sp
Students and faculty discuss current research problems. May be repeated for credit. Course must be taken twice to fulfill program requirement.

CHEM 692. Independent Research in Chemistry (1-4 VC); Fa, Sp, Su
Independent research arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

CHEM 699. Thesis (1 – 8 VC); Fa, Sp, Su
Individual research and writing in preparation of a graduate thesis. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.