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.