Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Programs


Admissions questions 
Steven Briggs 

Program questions
Dr. Yuegang Zuo
Graduate Programs Director

Telephone: 508.999.8959

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Admission requirements


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UMass Dartmouth offers a Master of Science in Chemistry and a PhD 
in Chemistry/Biochemistry.

The graduate programs provide individualized attention and unique research opportunities for students.

Classes are typically small, affording superb 
opportunities for interaction with the faculty and access to state-of-the art equipment and computational resources.

Areas of specialization at UMassD

Students gain broad knowledge of the field and UMass Dartmouth has particular expertise in biotechnology and environmental chemistry. You may choose to specialize in:

  • analytical chemistry
  • biochemistry
  • computational chemistry
  • inorganic chemistry
  • marine chemistry
  • organic chemistry
  • physical chemistry

MS in Chemistry

You have three tracks to pursue your Master’s degree. You must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on a scale of 4.00.

  • The Research Thesis (plan A) option is designed for full-time students who wish to continue their PhD graduate education, or who want to pursue an R&D or secondary education career. Graduate assistantships are available for students in this track. The thesis program requires at least 18 credits of formal lecture or lecture/laboratory courses, with the remaining 12 credits dedicated to research leading to a written thesis. Students also must register for a graduate seminar each semester they are in residence, and present a seminar to the department each year. At the end of the student’s studies, the thesis is defended in an oral examination.
  • The Research Project (plan B) is a non-thesis option intended primarily for working students pursuing the master’s degree part time. Students complete at least 30 credits of formal course work and a short project (5 hours) in the laboratory. A graduate seminar is required. These students are not eligible for assistantships.
  • Library Research Project (plan C) is a non-thesis option intended primarily for working students pursuing the master’s degree part time. Students complete at least 30 hours of formal course work and a short project (5 hours) in the library. A graduate seminar is required. These students are not eligible for assistantships.

PhD in Chemistry/Biochemistry

You can directly apply to the PhD program at UMass Dartmouth. The program provides both breadth and depth through a flexible structure of formal course work, independent study, and research.

This full-time program takes approximately five years to complete. You will be eligible for graduate assistantships for research and/or teaching activities.

A minimum of 55 course credits is required beyond the BS, including at least 24 credits of formal courses, at least 27 credits of doctoral dissertation research, and 4 credits of Graduate Seminar. Download the Curriculum Outline.

A GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 grading scale is required to satisfy the course requirements throughout the program.

Doctoral students must also successfully pass written qualifying examinations, and the original research proposal-doctoral candidacy examination.

The final part of the program is devoted principally to research leading to the doctoral dissertation. Doctoral students are required to successfully defend the dissertation research proposal and pass the dissertation defense, and complete a written dissertation.

Requirements for Students with a Master's Degree

If you enter the program with an earned master's degree in chemistry or biochemistry you may be eligible to receive Advanced Standing in the doctoral program. 

You will complete a minimum of 8 credits from formal courses. The total number of formal course credits required will be determined during individual advisement with the Graduate Programs Director and must be approved by the Graduate Programs Committee. All other program requirements, including the qualifying examinations, remain unchanged. 

UMassD research opportunities

Graduate students may participate on research projects in biotechnology-related areas 

  • bioanalytical chemistry
  • bio-organic chemistry
  • protein biochemistry
  • bioactive natural products
  • medicinal chemistry
  • computer modeling of biological molecules

The department also is a major center for cranberry health research.

Research in environmental chemistry focuses on

  • analytical chemistry
  • marine chemistry
  • natural products and phytochemistry

Research opportunities also exist in

  • energy and materials
  • organometallic chemistry
  • x-ray crystallography/structural analysis

UMassD technology resources

  • Bruker AVANCE III 400 MHz NMR spectrometer
  • Bruker D8 Quest x-ray diffractometer
  • Waters XevoQ-TOF UPLC-MS system
  • Thermofisher FOCUS/ITQ-700 GC-MS
  • a wide range of chemical instrumentation
  • access to UMass Dartmouth Confocal Microscope facility
  • access to UMass Dartmouth Scientific Computing Cluster

Graduate career opportunities

Graduates of our MS program are prepared for careers in industrial, government, or university laboratories and in secondary schools as teachers of chemistry, as well as entry into a PhD or MD program.

Graduates of our PhD program are prepared to teach and research in academia as well as enter careers in pharmaceuticals, industry, government, or other types of laboratories.