Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination. —Bertrand Russell

Chemistry—MS, PhD

Fast Facts

  • Chemistry students have coauthored over thirty publications in the past two years.
  • Research funding has more than tripled in three years.
  • Many students (close to one-third in recent years) present their research at national meetings.
  • Departmental research is supported by diverse agencies, including NSF, NIH, USDA,and EPA.
  • Nobel laureate Melvin Calvin was an alumnus of Michigan Tech’s Department of Chemistry.

Learn more about the Chemistry programs.

Graduate Programs in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry offers research-based programs leading to Master of Science and PhD degrees in Chemistry, giving talented, motivated students the chance to make discoveries in chemical science and related disciplines. Current Michigan Tech undergraduate students can earn a MS degree with just a single year of study beyond the BS through the Accelerated Master's Program.

The chemistry department maintains modern analytical instruments, including a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, and an electrospray mass spectrometer. Gas, liquid, and supercritical fluid chromatographs, and UV-Vis, atomic absorption, fluorescence, and FTIR spectrometers are also available.

Our students conduct breakthrough research in areas as diverse as molecular probes in medicinal chemistry; design of chiral ligands and synthesis of combinatorial libraries; bio-organic projects; mutational analysis of proteins and chemical synthesis of inhibitors; synthesis and analysis of ultrasensitive fluorescent probes; polymer synthesis and testing related to nanoparticles, nanofibers, and bio-composites; vibrational spectroscopy of solid-state structure; theoretical/ computational chemistry projects on nanoscale materials and phase equilibria in complex systems; and the development of quantum chemistry methods.

Learn more about the Chemistry programs.

Master's Degree: Thesis Option

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor.  The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Course work (minimum) 20 credits
Thesis research 6–10 credits
Total (minimum) 30 credits
Distribution of course work credit  
5000–6000 series (minimum) 12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum) 12 credits


Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

PhD Requirements

To complete a doctoral degree, students must complete the following milestones:

  • Complete all course work and research credits (see credit requirements below)
  • Pass Qualifying Examination
  • Pass Research Proposal Examination
  • Prepare and Submit Approved Dissertation
  • Pass Final Oral Defense

The minimum credit requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements  
MS–PhD (minimum) 30 credits
BS–PhD (minimum) 60 credits


Individual programs may have higher standards and students are expected to know their program's requirements. See the Doctor of Philosophy Requirements website for more information about PhD milestones and related timelines.