Graduate Programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry

About Graduate Study

To become successful as a chemist, one must not only be broadly based in the fundamental facts, theories and techniques of chemistry but also be able to apply these capabilities imaginatively to new chemical problems.

The graduate program in chemistry at The University of Montana is built on the philosophy that students can best achieve these important goals by interacting closely with faculty who are practicing chemists as well as good teachers. For a typical student, this interaction begins in the classroom. Class sizes are generally small (3-8 students) allowing for lively discussion. Faculty are accessible to students for consultation. The range of course offerings in chemistry educates students well in the fundamentals of all major areas of chemistry as well as in highly specialized research areas close to the frontiers of knowledge.

The crux of graduate education, however, is participation in research, where a student further develops fundamental skills while learning to apply them to solving chemical problems. The close interaction between faculty and students begun during course work continues in research groups. Faculty and students often work side by side in the laboratory. Formal and informal group meetings are frequent. However, students are expected to become increasingly independent in their research as their skills and confidence develop.

Graduate Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy

Ph.D. Requirements and Guidelines

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is offered in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry and analytical/environmental chemistry.

The Ph.D, a research degree, is the highest offered by American universities. It is never awarded simply upon the completion of a prescribed course of study but only when a student has demonstrated mastery of the fundamentals of chemistry, and the ability to make original contributions to his/her field.

The precise requirements for the Ph.D. degree at the University of Montana are tailored to the student's particular background, needs and interest by an advisory committee. Interdisciplinary programs are encouraged.

Master of Science

M.S. Requirements and Guidelines

The Master of Science degree is also offered in inorganic, organic, physical chemistry and analytical/environmental chemistry. The course program consists of a broad core program plus electives approved by an advisory committee. Thesis and non-thesis options are available, although the thesis option is usually preferred.

Master of Science for Teachers

The Master of Science for Teachers degree is designed to be a flexible opportunity for certified teachers of chemistry to improve command of their subject matter. Work in related areas, including education, is possible under some options. Students design their own course of study in collaboration with a faculty advisor. Students attending summer session may work for credit in a faculty research program. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. Two semesters and a summer are usually required for completion of the degree.

Master of Arts

M.A. Requirements and Guidelines

The Master of Arts degree is designed for students who have interests in applying advanced knowledge in chemistry to careers in education, marketing, business, laboratory management, scientific journalism, or public policy