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Masters Program Overview

MS Student2015 Commencement

Designed for students who wish to earn a Masters in Chemistry. These programs serve as a stepping stone to jobs in industry, graduate school, professional school, teaching careers, or for those who would like to strengthen their Chemistry & Biochemistry knowledge.

Program of Study

We offer students the choice of the Thesis (Research) or the Comprehensive Exam (Coursework). Full-time students in the Comprehensive Exam Plan normally complete the degree in three quarters and those in the Thesis Plan may need four to six quarters, depending on the nature of their research project. Minimum progress in an academic year (three quarters) is considered 36 units for full-time study and 20 units for part-time study; students must petition to study part-time.

Typically, all students entering the MS program are considered Coursework MS students. If interested in switching to the Thesis MS, students must join a lab. Before students will be approved for the Thesis MS track, they must successfully complete a CHEM 297 Form (Experimental Methods in Chemistry), and then submit an MS Thesis Agreement Form signed by the selected Faculty Advisor, which must be reviewed/approved by our Vice Chair.

Research Opportunities

Research opportunities for graduate students are comprehensive and interdisciplinary, spanning biochemistry; biophysics; inorganic, organic, physical, analytical, computational, and theoretical chemistry: surface and materials chemistry: and atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Please refer to the faculty pages for full descriptions of the on-going research in our department. State-of-the-art facilities and laboratories support these research programs.

At UCSD, chemists and biochemists are part of a thriving community that stretches across campus and out into research arch institutions throughout the La Jolla and San Diego area, uniting researchers in substantive interactions and collaborations.

Tuition/Fees and Financial Support

All students must pay tuition and fees each quarter. Those who are not CA residents must pay out-of-state tuition/fees. The cost of tuition/fees are significantly reduced for students employed at a 25% or greater appointment as a TA (Teaching Assistantship).

There is no support guarantee with the MS program. Students are paid on TA funds during quarters that they TA. For students in the Thesis (Research) Plan, any potential research assistantships will depend on their advisors. Students may opt to apply for financial aid.

Health and Dental Plan

A primary health care program, major medical plan, and dental plan are among the benefits provided by the University's registration fee which includes the Graduate Student Health Insurance Program. Minor illnesses and injuries can usually be treated at the Student Health Center. Counseling is provided free of charge through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Professional Conduct and Responsibility

Professional conduct and responsibility is expected of all students. Don't forget about UCSD's Principles of Community! Most students enter the graduate program with a solid grounding in these areas. However, they are often faced with new situations. The Department and University realize that professional growth is a part of graduate training, and they have developed written materials and informational forums to educate students about guidelines and policies. This training begins during orientation and continues throughout a student’s residency. Some of the most relevant Web sites are listed below.

If a student is ever in doubt about policies or appropriate behavior, the first step is to ask for guidance from an advisor, the Vice Chair for Education, the Graduate Affairs Committee, or the Dean’s Office. Cases of misconduct are reviewed by the Graduate Affairs Committee, and possibly also by the Dean’s Office, for action that may include up to dismissal from the University.

One of the expectations of professional conduct and responsibility is that students are prompt, reliable, and prepared for meetings, examinations, TA sections, and all other activities required as part of the graduate program. The only person authorized to approve an absence is the person in charge of the activity, such as the course instructor for TA duties. They should be contacted as far in advance as possible for approval of the absence and for making alternative plans to fulfill the requirement.