Graduate Degree

The Department of Chemistry offers a program of advanced study that prepares graduate students for careers in research, teaching, or industry. Graduate training in the department is multifaceted and flexible, depending on the interests and needs of the student. The program includes coursework, seminars, teaching and/or research, experience, and writing of a thesis.

The following focus areas in chemistry are available:

Degree Requirements

It is recommended that students who plan to qualify for the M.S. Degree in Chemistry spend at least one year in residence and that those who plan to study during the summer periods plan to devote at least one summer to research. Below is a suggested outline of study for the various fields of chemistry. Each candidate is expected to successfully complete 24 credit hours (CH) of course work and 6 credit hours of research work. This would include 20 CH from graduate level chemistry core courses, and 4 CH of elective graduate level courses. Graduate students are required to conduct a research project under supervision of the faculty and write a thesis based on research results. Furthermore, candidates are expected to successfully defend the thesis work in a presentation and a final oral exam.

For official degree requirements and course description, please visit the Prairie View A&M University Catalog.

Core Courses
CHEM 5322 Instrumental Lab 2
CHEM 5323 Instrumental Analysis 3
CHEM 5402 Advanced Organic Chemistry 2
CHEM 5534 General Biochemistry 4
Electives 4
Select one from the following courses:
BIOL 5024 Microscopic Anatomy
CHEM 5414 Identification of Organic Compounds
CHEM 5442 Polymer Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 5443 Polymer Chemistry
Thesis 6
Select one concentration from below: 9
Chemistry Concentration
CHEM 5313 Advanced Analytical Chemistry 3
CHEM 5613 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHEM 5783 Advanced Physical Chemistry 3
Chemical Biology Concentration
BIOL 5013 Genomics 3
BIOL 5063 Micro Activ Toxico 3
BIOL 5123 Cell and Molecular Biology 3
Total Hours 30

Admission Requirements

Students who plan to work toward the M.S. degree in chemistry must fulfill the following undergraduate requirements: two semesters of inorganic chemistry, one semester of analytical chemistry, two semesters of organic chemistry, and two semesters of physical chemistry. It is expected that the average grades in these chemistry courses and in related courses will not be less than a grade of “C”. A student whose overall GPA in graduate coursework falls below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale will be required to demonstrate improvement during the next enrollment or be discontinued in the program. The Department reserves the right to administer a qualifying examination to these students and to advise them on courses they can take to successfully complete the graduate degree.

Students who wish to transfer graduate level credit from another school may transfer up to 20 credit hours of graduate level courses to PVAMU. Prior approval from the department must be obtained before transfer credit will be applied to the degree. Students whose undergraduate degrees are not in chemistry may be admitted to provisional status and may be required to complete some undergraduate chemistry courses before admission to candidacy.

For more information about admissions, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies’ Prospective Students webpage.

Advancement to Candidacy

The Application for Candidacy Form must be approved by the department head, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval. Research projects for the thesis will be assigned before the student is approved as a candidate.


The thesis in chemistry is a comprehensive report of a piece of original research done under the direction of a member of the faculty and representing not less than an academic year’s work. The thesis should include a comprehensive survey of the literature on the subject and should be written so as to be understandable without supplementary study by chemists not familiar with this special field.

The thesis examining committee is assigned by the research advisor and the completed thesis should be submitted to the examining committee no later than two weeks before the scheduled final examination; failure to do so may result in the examination having to be rescheduled, possibly to the following semester. The final examination for the M.S. degree is oral and is approximately one hour in length. The major portion of the examination is on the thesis, but general questions on both chemistry and subjects taken as related work are in order. The Master’s degree defense consists of a seminar followed by an oral exam. The seminar is open to the public, but the oral exam is closed, with the student and faculty committee members present only.