Graduate Catalog : 2005-2007
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The graduate program in Chemistry is designed to train chemists for careers in business, industry or academics. This degree is also appropriate for those students planning to continue their training in Ph.D. programs at other institutions.


Students seeking admission to the Master of Science program in Chemistry must submit the Graduate Studies Application for Admission with the one-time application fee to the Office of Graduate Studies, official transcripts of all college-level work (including the transcript that shows the date the undergraduate degree was conferred), official GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. The Chemistry Department requirements are as follow:

  1. A major or minor in Chemistry or commensurate industrial experience,
  2. A GPA of at least 2.5 in undergraduate Chemistry courses,
  3. A recommended score of 1000 on the Graduate Record Exam. For a final admissions decision, GRE scores do not constitute the sole criterion for consideration of the applicant, nor do GRE scores constitute the primary criterion to end consideration of an applicant.

Degree requirements

Master of Science, 30 Semester Hours with Minor and Thesis

12 semester hours of Chemistry from 4 of the 5 areas (Analytical, Biochemistry, Physical, Inorganic, or Organic)
6 semester hours of research and thesis
12 semester hours in a minor field that logically supports the major (Computing Science, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, etc.).

Master of Science, 30 Semester Hours without minor and with Thesis

12 semester hours of Chemistry from 4 of the 5 areas (Analytical, Biochemistry, Physical, Inorganic, or Organic)
6 semester hours of research and thesis
12 semester hours of graduate Chemistry electives

When it is deemed appropriate by the advisory committee, 12 additional semester hours of course work in Chemistry may be substituted for 6 semester hours of thesis. This will result in a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit for those students.

Master of Science, 48 Semester Hours with minor, Non-Thesis

24 semester hours of Chemistry from at least 4 of the 5 areas (Analytical, Biochemistry, Physical, Inorganic, or Organic)
12 semester hours in a minor field that logically supports the major (Computing Science, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, etc.)
12 semester hours (undergraduate) in French or German

Master of Education in Secondary Education

This degree plan is designed primarily for the secondary teacher. All such degrees originate in the College of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and require the completion of a minimum of thirty-six hours of graduate credit, thirty of which must be in courses numbered 500 or above. Twelve to twenty-four hours of professional education course work are required (twelve hours minimum for minor and 6 hours minimum for a second minor). A comprehensive examination is required. Based on review of a student’s undergraduate transcript, the Department of Chemistry may require completion of undergraduate stem courses. The degree requires 36 hours of graduate credit as described below:

12-24 semester hours of graduate credit in Chemistry
12-24 semester hours of professional education courses

Other information

Advisory Committee: For students completing a thesis, a thesis research project will begin in the second semester of graduate work. The student and the thesis director, with approval from the chair, will select two additional faculty members to serve as the thesis committee. Once enrolled in a thesis class, a student must be continually enrolled until graduation.

Period of Study: Students taking 9 semester hours of course work each long semester and 3 semester hours each summer session will be expected to finish their graduate program within two years. A minimum of three long semesters and two summer sessions is required.

Comprehensive exam and oral thesis defense: All graduate students are required to pass a comprehensive exam based on their course work. The nature of this exam, which may be written and/or oral, will be determined by the faculty in consultation with the student’s thesis director. An oral presentation of the thesis to the faculty in a seminar format is required, and the thesis must be defended before the student’s thesis committee MS students will be tested on three of five areas (Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Biochemistry). Students must be enrolled the semester that they take comprehensive examinations.

Master of Science in Forensic Science. This interdisciplinary degree is designed to produce graduate level forensic scientists. Formal graduate course work will come from the Departments of Chemistry, Biological Sciences and the College of Criminal Justice. Summer practicum and internships will provide experiences in the collection, preservation, analysis and presentation of forensic evidence. The Master of Science in Forensic Science program requires completion of 42 graduate semester hours and can be completed in two years. Coursework will focus on the collection, preservation, analysis, and presentation of forensic evidence. Graduates of this scientist-practitioner program will be prepared to consult with various agencies within the criminal justice system. In order to receive a MS degree in Forensic Science, all graduate students are required to pass a comprehensive examination. This unique program is the first of its kind in Texas and one of only a handful of such programs in North America.

The competitive admissions process is based on a holistic approach taking all of the required materials into consideration. The desired profile includes an average GRE score of at least 1100 and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants with unique qualifications who do not meet all of the foregoing qualifications may be accepted into the program on probationary status at the discretion of the admissions committee and appropriate academic dean. The program will encourage diversity related to gender and ethnicity.

The Program of Study**

Required courses:
BIO 474 Biostatistics
* BIO 534 Electron Microscopy
BIO 595 Special topics: Forensic Analysis of Biological Evidence
CHM 568 Analytical Spectroscopy
CHM 585 Special Topics: Drug Chemistry/Toxicology
CJ 531 Techniques for Crime Scene Investigation
CJ 537 Law and Forensic Science
CJ 560 Forensic Analysis of Pattern Evidence
CJ 561 Principles of Quality Assurance
CJ 562 Seminar in Forensic Science
CJ 670 Internship

After consultation with appropriate advisors, students will establish a focus in Biological Sciences, Chemistry or Criminal Justice with an additional 9 hours of coursework in that area including:

BIO, CHM or CJ Elective
BIO, CHM or CJ 698 Graduate Research/Thesis/Thesis Practicum
BIO, CHM or CJ 699 Thesis

*Subject to action by the Board of Regents, The Texas State University System, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

**Please Note: Curriculum may be adapted to meet AAFS (American Academy of Forensic Science) program accreditation standards.


CHM 440 Instrumental Analytical Chemistry (Credit 4)
CHM 441 Methods for Environmental and Industrial Analyses (Credit 4)
CHM 442 Air Quality (Credit 4)
CHM 448 Physical Chemistry I (Credit 4)
CHM 467 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (Credit 3)
CHM 449 Physical Chemistry II (Credit 4)


CHM 510 CHEMICAL LITERATURE AND SEMINAR. Students will participate in the departmental seminar program. This participation will require the preparation and presentation of current research material in a format acceptable to the American Chemical Society. Credit 1.

CHM 561 PHYSICAL ORGANIC CHEMISTRY. This course consists of a study of the effect of structure upon reactivity of organic compounds. The qualitative and quantita tive relationship of structure to acidity and basicity in organic chemistry is developed. In addition, reactive intermediates (carbocations, carbanions and free radicals) are studied. Prerequisite: CHM 239/219. Credit 3.

CHM 562 ORGANIC REACTION MECHANISMS. Theoretical principles of ionic and free radical reactions are discussed. The methods of determining reaction mechanisms are surveyed along with applications to individual reactions. Prerequisite: CHM 239/219. Credit 3.

CHM 568 ANALYTICAL SPECTROSCOPY. Theory and application of selected areas of spectroscopy commonly used in qualitative and quantitative analysis are covered. Topics include atomic and molecular spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, laser analytical methods, fluorescence, phosphorescence, and chemiluminescence and their application to environmental, atmospheric, and bioanalytical problems. Prerequisite: CHM 440. Credit 3.

CHM 572 ADVANCED BIOCHEMISTRY I. The chemical structure and the biological functions and controls of proteins are reviewed. Proteins to be considered include enzymes, transport proteins and structural proteins. Protein biosynthesis and recombinant DNA technology are also discussed. Credit 3.

CHM 574 CHEMISTRY OF COORDINATION COMPOUNDS. The chemistry of compounds containing metal ions is discussed. Emphasis is placed on the complex transition of metal compounds. The electronic configurations of these ions in various bonding environments are considered in interpreting their chemical and physical properties. Prerequisites: CHM 467 and 448. Credit 3.

CHM 581 ADVANCED PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY: THERMODYNAMICS. Principles are stressed including the three laws of thermodynamics, thermochemistry and statistical thermodynamics. Applications of the principles to gases, solution, mixtures, solids and interfaces are given. Prerequisites: CHM 448. Credit 3.

CHM 585 SELECTED TOPICS IN ADVANCED CHEMISTRY. This course is adaptable to the needs and interests of the individual graduate student majoring in Chemistry. Modern developments in specific subdivisions of the field of chemistry are considered. It may be repeated for credit, provided the repetition is not in the same subdivisional field. The subdivisional fields offered are: analytical, biochemistry, environmental, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Chemistry. Credit 3.


CHM 699 THESIS. Credit 3.