Chemistry provides the opportunity for Bachelor of Science (B.S.) graduates to continue their study at the master’s level. The Master of Science (M.S.) curriculum is part of a five-year program in which a student typically earns the B.S. after four years. The student may receive graduate credit for certain courses completed during the fourth year, but must earn a B.S. before formal admission to the graduate program, normally at the beginning of the fifth year.
All M.S. degree candidates must present a thesis based on approved research.
The program is intended to extend the broad introductory curriculum which constitutes the B.S. requirements to the master’s level and help undergraduates get involved earlier and more extensively in research. At the graduate level, formal courses are kept to a minimum. The emphases on the research experience and the development of facility with current literature are structured to prepare students for participation in doctoral programs.
Although the program has been organized to specifically benefit students who earn the B.S. degree at Furman, students from other institutions with strong undergraduate credentials may be considered for admission.
Admission to Graduate Level Courses
A senior enrolled in the B.S. program at Furman may elect to enroll in certain courses that may contribute to the graduate degree. The student must present credentials that would qualify him or her for admission to a quality graduate program.
Students not enrolled at Furman must present acceptable undergraduate credentials in chemistry courses completed during their senior year.
Admission to Graduate Program
Furman seniors may apply for admission upon successful completion of the B.S. degree. Favorable recommendation will be contingent upon satisfactory performance in chemistry courses numbered 400 or greater.
All other students may apply for admission by presenting acceptable preparation in their undergraduate programs and satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination.
Once admitted, the student will be assigned to a graduate committee that will approve a course of study, research problem and thesis. This committee will include a faculty member who will direct the student’s research problem and at least one additional faculty member appointed by the department chair.
Admission to Candidacy for the M.S. Degree
The departmental committee will recommend that the student be admitted to candidacy for the M.S. degree at the end of the first term as a degree-seeking graduate student, based on:
- satisfactory performance in all courses
- satisfactory progress on a research problem
- review examinations and the cumulative examination series
A student not making satisfactory progress toward candidacy may be asked to terminate graduate studies.
Students must have at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average in all graduate work for the master’s degree.
Research and Thesis
CHM-705 must be enrolled in the term immediately preceding completion of the degree program. Credit for CHM-702 and CHM-705 is earned when the student thesis and its defense has been approved.
Students are required to show satisfactory performance in the following examinations:
- Undergraduate review examinations are periodic examinations in analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry.
- Cumulative examinations conducted monthly during the academic year are based on departmental seminars and literature readings. Students must pass only a limited number of these examinations, but must complete all examinations during a given year until the requirement is satisfied.
- The final examination requires candidates to pass an oral examination consisting of a defense of thesis.
- Special examinations may be required of any candidate who fails to achieve a satisfactory overall performance in the graduate program. The requirement is to be specified by the student’s graduate committee and the chair of the department. The student will be informed of the nature and reasons for the examination and will be permitted adequate time to prepare.
All graduate students are required to participate in the departmental seminar and literature reading. Students will formally enroll in CHM-675 at least twice. However, they are expected to continue to participate in the seminar program until the cumulative examination requirement is completed.
A minimum residence of one academic year of graduate study is required and all work for the M.S. degree must be completed within a period of no more than six calendar years.
Typically, only credit earned through Furman can contribute to the award of the M.S. degree. Courses completed elsewhere cannot normally be considered for transfer to the graduate program.
Students must complete assigned assistantship duties in a satisfactory manner to remain enrolled.