Chemistry Graduate Degrees

Discussed on this page are the requirements for admission to the chemistry department's graduate program and the requirements for completion of the master's and doctoral degrees. Detailed guidelines for completion of a degree are described in the documents linked on the right.

Admission Requirements

For general information on Florida Tech admission requirements and procedures, visit Florida Tech's graduate admissions website or see "Graduate Information and Regulations" section of the University Catalog. Admission requirements for chemistry master's and doctoral programs are discussed below.

Master's Program

Applicants for admission to the master's program should have an undergraduate degree in chemistry or a related field. The undergraduate program should involve a total of at least eight semester courses (12 quarter courses) covering four of the five major fields of chemistry: organic, analytical, physical and either inorganic or biochemistry. There should also be appropriate courses in mathematics and physics. Applicants having most but not all of this background may be admitted provisionally, with the requirement that undergraduate deficiencies be corrected during the first year of graduate study. Proficiency examinations are administered to new students the week before classes start, as an aid in planning individual programs.

Doctoral Program

Candidates for the doctoral program will typically have a bachelor's or master's degree in chemistry with outstanding performance. For the undergraduate background needed, see the previous section on "Master's Program." Students enrolled in the master's program may apply to change status and work directly toward the Ph.D. degree after completion of 14 credits of graduate course work at Florida Tech and a sufficient level of performance.

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral degree is primarily a research degree and will therefore be conferred primarily in recognition of research accomplishments. Each student must fulfill the following requirements: 1) complete an approved program of course work; 2) write an acceptable research proposal; 3) pass a series of written cumulative examinations; 4) pass an oral examination; 5) complete a significant original research study; and 6) prepare and defend a dissertation on the research. The dissertation research is expected to be of such high quality that it will be publishable in peer-previewed national or international journals.

All doctoral students must have a program of study approved by the student's Doctoral Committee and the department head by the end of the second semester in residence. The course program for the doctoral degree will depend strongly on both research interests and background (in particular, on the prior possession or lack of a master's degree). For specific guidelines and a current list of graduate courses in chemistry, see the University Catalog.

The proposal presents the research plan to be followed in the dissertation work. It is developed under the close supervision of the advisor. Areas of specialization are included under research activities. The proposal is presented to and improved by the student's committee and the department head.

Each doctoral student must pass six cumulative examinations. At least four must be in the chosen area of concentration and up to two can be in an additional area. Students must begin these exams in their second semester in residence. Four exams are offered each semester. A maximum of 11 attempts is allowed.

The oral examination consists of the presentation and defense of an original proposal in an area unrelated to the student's dissertation research.

After the research project is completed and approved by the advisor, the dissertation is submitted to the Advisory Committee for critical evaluation. The student then orally defends the dissertation.

A link to a more detailed description of the requirements for completing a doctoral degree can be found at the top of this page on the right side.

Master of Science

The master's degree is based on successful completion of an approved program plan containing appropriate course work, a research proposal, thesis, and an oral examination in defense of the thesis. The course program will include core courses in the four areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical), additional chemistry courses, and electives. For specific guidelines and a current list of graduate courses in chemistry, refer to the University Catalog.

The thesis must be based on research conducted in residence at Florida Tech under the direction of a member of the chemistry department graduate faculty. During the first academic semester, the student selects a faculty member to serve as a research advisor. During the same semester and with the assistance of the advisor, the student selects an Advisory Committee, prepares a program plan, and defines a research topic. The student then presents the research proposal, carries out the thesis research, writes the thesis, and undergoes the oral examination. The Advisory Committee provides assistance and direction throughout and serves as the review board for the proposal, thesis, and oral examination.

A link to a more detailed description of the requirements for completing a Master's degree can be found at the top of this page on the right side.