Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Bucknell offers a master of science as well as a master of arts in chemistry.

The master of science in chemistry prepares students to continue their graduate education elsewhere or to obtain attractive employment in industry, government or education.

The master of arts in chemistry is a summer program intended for high school chemistry teachers who want to earn an advanced degree while experiencing chemistry in practice.

Master of Science in Chemistry

The degree of master of science in chemistry is designed to ensure students a thorough foundation in their field and to prepare them to continue their graduate education elsewhere or to obtain attractive employment in industry, government or education. Graduate-level courses are offered in analytical, biochemical, environmental, inorganic materials, organic, physical and polymer chemistry.

Courses and Requirements

The program normally requires two full years to complete.

Graduate students must complete at least seven courses for graduate credit, including research, a thesis, and a graduate seminar in which they are expected to participate each semester.

There is no uniform set of course requirements; the courses recommended to students depend on their backgrounds and interests.

Candidates for the master of science degree must satisfactorily pass a written examination in their area of specialization and must either pass a comprehensive examination or obtain a satisfactory passing grade in an approved graduate credit course in each of three additional areas. In all, the candidate must in some way show proficiency in at least three of the four traditional areas of analytical, inorganic, organic or physical chemistry. Students must present and orally defend a master's thesis summarizing the results of their research.

Financial Aid

Graduate teaching assistantships are awarded to nearly all chemistry M.S. candidates to support graduate study. In addition, summer research stipends are normally available for focused laboratory research during the summer months.

Master of Arts in Chemistry

The master of arts in chemistry degree program is intended for high school teachers of chemistry. It is designed to allow high school teachers to experience chemistry in practice. A goal of the department is to help the teachers see themselves as chemists as well as teachers.

Courses and Requirements

The program normally consists of three summers of work; a fourth summer might be needed depending on the background of the individual teacher. Candidates must complete seven graduate credits, including research and thesis. A graduate class open only to M.A. candidates is offered each summer. Coursework for graduate credit at Bucknell during the regular academic year can be counted toward the seven credits needed. Transfer of credit from other institutions may be accepted at the discretion of the department.

In addition to coursework, each student will choose a research adviser before starting the first summer of work. The student will normally conduct research with that adviser for the duration of the program. This research will culminate in a written thesis. Students will present and orally defend a master's thesis summarizing the results of their research.

Admission Requirements

Students must be full-time high school teachers. Two letters of recommendation and an official transcript are required. One of these letters needs to be from the principal of your current school. An undergraduate degree in chemistry is not required; if the applicant's degree is not in chemistry, a significant number of chemistry courses must have been completed. For an application, please email Graduate Studies at

Financial Aid

Bucknell will provide free housing during the summer for all M.A. candidates. In addition, by applying to the Office of Finance, M.A. students who are teachers in service may obtain a substantial discount in tuition. Forms are available at the Graduate Studies Office. Research assistantships are awarded to M.A. students based on the availability of funds and seniority in the program.


Research in the well-equipped laboratories of the Rooke Chemistry Building is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

Professor Michael Krout, graduate coordinator

Contact Details