Admission to the Program
Admission to the program requires a baccalaureate in chemistry or biochemistry from an accredited college or university or a baccalaureate in a related field with a strong background in chemistry. Applicants interested in the biochemistry option should have a preparation equivalent to that required for the Cal State L.A. baccalaureate in biochemistry, which includes, among other requirements, 10 semester units of introductory biology and 2 semester units of upper division biology or microbiology.
All applicants are required to have a 2.5 grade point average in their last 60 semester units attempted. In addition to the application to the University’s graduate program through www.calstateapply.edu prospective students are required to submit a separate application to the department through a form available at http://www.calstatela.edu/dept/chem/gradprograms.htm. As part of the departmental application, the candidate submits a recent resume, a personal statement, and arranges for three letters of recommendation to be written on his/her behalf.
All new graduate students must take placement examinations administered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry prior to registration. The department offers five examinations: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Entering students must take three examinations. The time and location of the examinations will be announced by the department.
Prior to taking the examinations, students must declare a specialization in one of the following: analytical, biochemistry, chemical education, inorganic, organic, or physical. Students entering the program must take the placement examination appropriate to their specialization and two other examinations of their choice. Students in chemical education must declare a content specialization from among analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical for their placement examination. Students must pass the examination in their specialization. The other two examinations will be used primarily for advisement purposes.
If students do not take or pass an examination, it is presumed that they are not proficient in that particular area of specialization, and they may be required to take the complete undergraduate sequence for that area as co-requisite or qualifying courses. Students who do not take or do not pass an examination may, upon approval by the principal graduate advisor, be allowed to retake the examination the next time it is given.
Requirements for the Degree (30-31 units)
A total of 30-31 units are required for the degree, depending on the specialization. Both the Thesis option and the Biochemistry option consist of basic, core specialization, elective, research (CHEM 5910, CHEM 5970) and thesis (CHEM 5990) course requirements. A minimum of 15 of the total units must be in 5000-level courses, including CHEM 5910, CHEM 5970 and CHEM 5990.
The comprehensive examination option in chemistry consists of required courses, including advanced laboratory (CHEM 5910) courses and elective courses, with a minimum of 15 units in 5000-level courses. Students must comply with college and departmental requirements.
Each student’s program is designed with the assistance of a faculty advisor and the student’s advisory committee.
Thesis Option and Biochemistry Option candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Submit a thesis approved by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as a part of the program.
- Pass a final oral examination, primarily about the thesis, administered by the department.
Comprehensive examination option candidates must pass written comprehensive examinations on the subjects of the required courses.
Thesis Option (30-31 units)
Basic Requirements (5 units)
Courses required of all students (5 units):
Core Requirements (9-10 units):
A total of 9-10 units of advisor-approved core coursework is required, depending on the specialization. Other 4000 or higher level courses can be used as core courses on approval of the faculty advisor and the Department’s principal graduate advisor.
Core courses (9-10 units)
Analytical and Physical Specialization (9-10 units)
Biochemistry Specialization (9-10 units)
Inorganic and Organic Specialization (9-10 units)
Chemical Education Specialization
Students specializing in chemical education must choose one of the specializations listed above and select core courses from this list.
Electives Requirements (6 units)
Three elective units must be from courses not in the list of core courses for the student’s specialization. Three additional units may be taken from either within or outside the area of specialization. Elective courses in the chemical education specialization may include courses that focus on topics pertinent to chemical or science education, including courses offered by the Charter College of Education, selected in consultation with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry principal graduate advisor.
Research and Thesis Requirements (10 units)
Combined units of CHEM 5910, 5970 and 5990 may not exceed 10.
Biochemistry Option (30 units)
Students in this option must declare upon entrance into the graduate program that they wish to pursue the Biochemistry option. They will adhere to all of the requirements for the biochemistry specialization within the Thesis option.
Comprehensive Examination Option (30 units)
Basic Requirements (5 units)
Courses required of all students:
Core Requirements (9 units minimum)
A total of 9 units of faculty advisor-approved core specialization courses are required. Please see the Thesis option section above for details on types of specializations, and lists of approved courses.
Elective Requirements (9 units)
Six elective units must be from courses not in the list of core courses for the student’s specialization. Three additional units may be taken from either within or outside the area of specialization. Elective courses in the chemical education specialization may include courses that focus on topics pertinent to chemical or science education, including courses offered by the Charter College of Education, selected in consultation with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry principle graduate advisor.
Research Requirement (7 units)
Combined units of CHEM 5910 and 5970 may not exceed 7.
Comprehensive Examination (0 units)
Students who select the comprehensive examination (CHEM 5960) should expect to take it the semester they complete all course work on their program and must comply with college and departmental requirements.