Chemistry (M.S.)

Chemistry (M.S.)

Chemistry MS program for aesthetic purposes

Why get a Master of Science in chemistry? 

Our chemistry M.S. will provide you with the opportunity to participate in graduate education without the longer academic and research commitment of doctoral study. This master’s degree program allows students to participate in advanced coursework and develop a significant research program. 

Why study chemistry at UNH? 

You’ll engage in a program of study approved by the American Chemical Society that explores a dynamic, creative and practical discipline. You’ll find a program small enough to be personal but comprehensive enough to provide excellent opportunities for challenge and growth, like independent research, leadership, professional development and peer mentoring. You’ll have access to newly renovated laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment and faculty committed to transformative experiences for graduate students. Our graduates pursue careers in industry, go on to find success in environmental and health-related professions, and educate future generations of scientists.  

Potential career areas 

  • Agricultural and food products 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Chemical analysis and quality control 
  • Chemical/pharmaceutical sales and marketing 
  • Chemical research and development 
  • Chemistry teacher 
  • Health professions 
  • Patent law, intellectual property, and science policy 
  • Pharmaceuticals and pharmacology 
  • Plastics and coatings 
  • Science/technology writing 
  • Toxicology and forensic science


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Frequently Asked Questions

A B.A .or B.S. in Chemistry; strong GPA and transcripts; strong communication skills; strong letters of recommendation; potential for success

There is no minimum GPA requirement nor minimum GRE requirement, and no research experiences requirement. Acceptance is competitive and depends upon an overall strong application, expressed through unique combinations of accomplishments and experiences. 

All graduate students accepted into the Chemistry Department are awarded a full tuition scholarship, biweekly stipend and health insurance. Funding is guaranteed as long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward completion of their graduate degree.

Acceptance into our program is competitive.

Our application review process is rolling. Serious applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible, preferably no later than October 1 for a January start date and April 1 for a September start date.

Chemistry is a laboratory science and  our program requires a full-time in-person modality, in most cases.

Serious applicants are encouraged to contact the department directly and to plan a visit to meet faculty and current students, if possible.

Curriculum & Requirements

The M.S. program provides students with the opportunity to develop a high degree of proficiency in a specialized research area. The program serves as a stepping stone to jobs in industry, professional school, teaching careers, or for those who would like to strengthen their Chemistry knowledge. All students take coursework, carry out original research with a faculty mentor, and submit a thesis. The program has a focus on developing strong writing and oral communication skills. Financial support is typically available through a teaching assistantship.

M.S. Degree Requirements

  • Demonstration of a broad understanding of undergraduate chemistry by passing a series of basic examinations or satisfactory performance in approved courses.
  • Student must present a total of 30 credits for completion of the MS program. These 30 credits are as follows:
    • 20+ course credits, at least 8 credits of which must be in courses numbered 900 or above.
    • Satisfactory performance in at least three path-specific (analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical) courses, which is a portion of the 20+ course credits required.
    • 6 to 10 credits of CHEM 899 Thesis/Problems research credits.
  • Mandatory attendance at Department Seminars and Graduate Research Updates (GRU).
  • Satisfactory presentation of a Thesis Research Proposal (TRP) in the second year of residence.
  • Preparation, public presentation, and oral defense of a written thesis.
  • Student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 to graduate from the MS program.

Faculty Research Advisor and Thesis Committee

Students select a research advisor during the first semester in the program after interviewing at least three faculty members. During each semester thereafter, students conduct independent research under the supervision of the Faculty Research Advisor. In the second year of residence and before the Thesis Research Proposal, a thesis committee is selected. This committee evaluates the student's Thesis Research Proposal and the Thesis Defense.

Professional Development Courses
CHEM 800Introduction to Chemistry Teaching and Research Practices1
CHEM 801Modern Tools for Researchers in the Chemical Sciences1
CHEM 802Critical Thinking for Chemists1
CHEM 991Graduate Presentation Portfolio1
CHEM 992Graduate Writing Portfolio1
CHEM 997Seminar1
Program Courses
CHEM 808Spectroscopic Investigations of Organic Molecules3
CHEM 840Chemical Biology3
CHEM 855Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 862Advanced Chemical Analysis Instrumentation3
CHEM 902Theoretical Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 903Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I3
CHEM 904Advanced Inorganic Chemistry II3
CHEM #905Advanced Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 911Synthetic Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 925Surface Chemistry3
CHEM 927Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics3
CHEM 930Advanced Optical Methods3
CHEM #933Chemical Separations3
CHEM 934Chemical Equilibria3
CHEM 935Advanced Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 995Colloquium (Course options: A) Inorganic Chemistry; B) Organic Chemistry; C) Theoretical Organic Chemistry; D) Physical Chemistry; E) Analytical Chemistry; F) Chemical Education.)1-4
CHEM 899Thesis/Problems1-10

This graduate program is approved to be taken on an accelerated basis in articulation with certain undergraduate degree programs.

General Accelerated Master's policy, note that some programs have additional requirements (e.g. higher grade expectations) compared to the policy.

Please see the Graduate School website and contact the department directly for more information.

All Chemistry graduate students will be able to:

Display a comprehensive knowledge of chemistry, with greater depth demonstrated in at least one subdiscipline.

  • Chemistry students in the Ph.D. and the M.S. program should have a basic knowledge of the field, with that knowledge being at least the level of the material taught in first-year chemistry and the initial courses in undergraduate sub-disciplinary classes (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical chemistry, and biochemistry).

Ph.D. students should demonstrate focused and deep expertise in their area of scholarly exploration, including an understanding of the current status of the topic. M.S. students should also demonstrate clear focus in scholarly pursuits.

  • In the area of specialization, a Ph.D. student’s knowledge of the field should, at a minimum, be comparable to special topics classes at the graduate level.
  • Students should demonstrate capabilities of searching the literature to become familiar with the current state of the field.

Apply critical thinking skills in the evaluation of scientific work, by analyzing, organizing, and evaluating scientific data and knowledge.

  • Careful attention to and critical evaluation of material encountered in the literature, in seminars, and research activity is evidence of scientific maturation.

Generate hypotheses, design strategies, perform studies, and interpret results that lead to new knowledge in the field, including the

  • Application of central methods and techniques, including laboratory skills, statistical and computational methods, data gathering, and record-keeping to deliver detailed information and reproducible results.
  • Demonstration of an understanding of the scientific method through the Original Research Proposal and through laboratory research (dissertation).
  • Conduct of consequential scientific inquiry that advances a scientific field as required for a dissertation and peer-reviewed publications.

Communicate scientific information with effectiveness to both experts and novices in oral and written form, including methods, results, and conclusions.

  • Demonstration of the ability to engage in communication appropriate for the audience.
  • Present scientific material with clarity, accuracy, and precision.

Perform research in a professional, ethical, and safe manner.

  • Students must participate in and apply knowledge from required training in laboratory safety and the responsible conduct of research; additional specialized training in these areas is encouraged.
  • Students should develop skills in applicable professional areas, such as pedagogy, teamwork and team building, and leadership, through mentoring, instructional activity, and workshops.
  • Safety and ethical behavior should be demonstrated in all activities, including both instructional and research activity.


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (for funding); April 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but carefully crafted statement that includes: 1) Research experience. State the goals of your previous research and accomplishments to date. Including a list of publications, presentations, and awards within the Experience and Background section of the application is encouraged; however, please do not send actual publications or presentations. 2) A clear indication of your area of research interest(s). You may choose from analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, or physical chemistry. Indicating more than one interest is perfectly acceptable. Provide a clear rationale as to why you wish to perform graduate work in these areas and include your immediate and long-range objectives. 3) Those UNH Chemistry faculty whose research interests you and why. 4) Additional information that will enhance the selection committee’s understanding of your personal background and life experiences, including educational (e.g. teaching and leadership experience), cultural, familial, or other opportunities or challenges.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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