Chemistry, M.S.

Saint Louis University's Department of Chemistry offers master's students close mentoring relationships, small research groups and opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary research. 

Program Highlights

  • SLU's Master of Science in Chemistry offers specialization in analytical, inorganic, organic, physical or biological chemistry, with cross-disciplinary activity encouraged.
  • Graduate students in chemistry at SLU have access to a number of research tools, including:
    • Bruker 400 and 700 MHz NMR spectrometers
    • Bruker-EMX EPR, UV-Vis and FTIR spectrometers
    • Research-grade spectrofluorometers
    • GC-MS and LC-MS
    • Electrochemical analyzers
    • Gas chromatographs
    • A scanning electron micrograph
    • Computational facilities with modern molecular software
    • A Bruker CCD X-ray diffractometer facility
    • In addition to the M.S. in Chemistry, SLU's Department of Chemistry also offers an M.A. in Chemistry

Curriculum Overview

The requirements for the thesis-based M.S. degree include:

  • A minimum of 24 credits of post-baccalaureate coursework (exclusive of thesis research)
  • Six credits of thesis research (CHEM 5990 Thesis Research)
  • A thesis
  • A public oral presentation and a private oral examination

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree and are interested in completing the doctoral program in chemistry can transition into SLU's chemistry Ph.D. program after the master's requirements are completed. A total of 39 credits are required, including 12 credits from dissertation research credits. Students will develop an appropriate coursework track with a mentor that will be approved by the graduate program director or the department chair.

Graduate Handbook

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

SLU's chemistry graduate students are active in the research areas of analytical, physical, synthetic, materials, environmental and biological chemistry. Research groups regularly publish in top-ranked journals and present at national and international conferences.


Possible careers for chemistry graduates include pharmaceutical scientist, crime lab analyst, environmental chemist, fuels and materials scientist and academic researcher.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should possess sufficient GPA and TOEFL (if applicable) scores and a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Bachelor's degrees usually are in chemistry or biochemistry, although other science majors will be considered.

Admission typically requires a minimum of 18 semester credits (minimum 2.8 GPA) of upper-division undergraduate chemistry courses, including organic chemistry (two semesters), quantitative analysis (one semester) and physical chemistry (two semesters). Students who do not meet these criteria may complete these prerequisites as part of their graduate program, though not for graduate credit.

Students who have not completed equivalent coursework in upper-level undergraduate inorganic chemistry and instrumental analysis will also be required to complete these courses, but they can be taken for departmental graduate credit.

Application Requirements

  • Application form 
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Goal statement
  • Interview (desired)

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students, along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with priority review given to applications received by Dec. 15 for the fall semester and by Sept. 1 for the spring semester.

Review Process

The Chemistry Graduate Committee votes on whether to admit, deny or waitlist applicants. Applicants on the waitlist may be offered admission in a future semester.


Tuition Cost Per Credit
Graduate Tuition $1,370

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

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Information on Tuition and Fees

Miscellaneous Fees

Information on Summer Tuition

Scholarships, Assistantships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for a graduate assistantship, apply by the program admission deadlines listed. Fellowships and assistantships provide a stipend and may include health insurance and a tuition scholarship for the duration of the award. 

Explore Scholarships and Financial Aid Options

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate advanced-level knowledge in both
    1. synthesis and materials chemistry and
    2. analytical and physical chemistry methods, with a higher level of knowledge expected in the student’s area of research.
  2. Graduates will be able to use standard search tools and retrieval methods to obtain information about a topic, substance, technique or issue relating to chemistry and assess relevant studies from the chemical literature.
  3. Graduates will be able to communicate scientific findings from literature and original findings from the student's own advanced research in written publications and oral presentations.
  4. Graduates will acquire the basic tools, including chemical practices and theories, needed to conduct advanced chemical research. Students will become proficient in their specialized area of chemistry and complete an advanced research project.
  5. Graduates will be able to adhere to accepted ethical and professional standards in chemistry.
Graduate Chemistry Courses12
Required Research Courses
CHEM 5970Research Topics3
CHEM 5990Thesis Research6
Research Elective Courses3
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Analytical Research
Introduction to Physical Research
Introduction to Organic Research
Introduction to Inorganic Research
Chemistry Elective Courses6
Select two Graduate Chemistry courses below OR electives can also be fulfilled by taking 5000-level courses in other disciplines such as biology, math, computer science, engineering, and pharmacology with approval by Graduate Program Coordinator and student’s committee.
Total Credits30

Graduate Chemistry Courses

CHEM 5160Advanced Synthetic Chemistry3
CHEM 5200Analytical Chemistry II3
CHEM 5230Mass Spectrometry3
CHEM 5260Analytical Separations3
CHEM 5270Electroanalytical Chemistry3
CHEM 5300Mathematical Techniques in Chemistry3
CHEM 5370Computational Chemistry3
CHEM 5390Special Topics: Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 5400Organic Spectroscopy3
CHEM 5440Bioorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 5450Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 5460Synthetic Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 5470Medicinal Chemistry3
CHEM 5500Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 5550Organometallic Chemistry3
CHEM 5560Solid State Chemistry3
CHEM 5570Group Theory & Spectroscopy3
CHEM 5610Biochemistry 13
CHEM 5615Biochemistry 23
CHEM 5620Biophysical Chemistry3
CHEM 5630Introduction to Chemical Biology and Biotechnology3
CHEM 5800Fundamentals and Design of Nanomaterials3

Non-Course Requirements

A public oral presentation and a private oral examination.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Graduate Chemistry course 3
Graduate Chemistry course 3
CHEM 5X99Introduction to Research 3
Graduate Chemistry course 3
Graduate Chemistry course 3
CHEM 5970 Research Topics 3
Year Two
Chemistry elective 3
CHEM 5990 Thesis Research 3
Chemistry elective 3
CHEM 5990 Thesis Research (See information in Program Notes) * 3
 Total Credits30

Students are required to complete a minimum of 6 credits of Thesis Research. This requirement is typically completed in the second year. The number of credits can vary each semester, but a student cannot register for zero credits of research until the 6 credits have been completed.

Marvin Meyers, Ph.D.
Chemistry graduate program coordinator