Master's Degree in Cosmetic Chemistry

Jul 31, 2018

A degree program in cosmetic chemistry teaches students how to apply the principles of chemistry to the creation of cosmetics. Within this article, you will find information on admission requirements and detailed descriptions of core courses found in many graduate programs.

By obtaining a master's degree in cosmetic chemistry, students learn how to create cosmetics for the average consumer that are safe and effective. They gain a better understanding of how various raw materials react when they make contact with one another and with the human body. We'll take a look at general degree requirements and some core courses found within these graduate programs.

Master's in Cosmetic Chemistry Degree Program Information

The study of cosmetic chemistry is most commonly available through master's degree programs in cosmetic science or personal care science, some of which might be offered through a university's pharmacy school. The length of time required to earn a degree can vary from one program to the next, but on average, it will take around two years. Within this period of time students take around thirty credit hours' worth of courses, with some degree programs requiring a capstone project or thesis at the end.

While there may be a slight deviation in the types of courses offered within any given master's program, there are some core courses that remain the same throughout. Below you'll find information related to five such courses.

Skin Care Formulations

This topic of study might be introduced in one of two required formulations courses. Students explore the process of creating skin care products, learn how products are formulated and gain insight into their properties, composition, and structure. Furthermore, students go over information related to various raw materials and gain an understanding of their use within skincare.

Hair Care Formulations

Hair care formulations is another topic covered in a series of formulation courses. Students are introduced to the processes and considerations involved in formulating shampoos and conditioners. Students also learn how to test hair products to ensure that customer needs are being met. Topics of study can include various preservatives, proteins, and polymers that are used in the creation of shampoos and conditioners.

Fragrance Applications

Students who take this course might first be introduced to the history and classifications of fragrances as well as the benefits and drawbacks of natural versus synthetic when it comes to chemicals and fragrances. They then learn about the business structure associated with fragrance suppliers and how these same suppliers go about creating their fragrances. In addition, they learn about various ingredients regularly used in perfumes and how they are created.

Product Development

Students who take this course go over the ways in which a safe and legal product can be produced along with the hazards and difficulties associated with products. They gain better insight into how raw materials and chemicals react with one another, both during the development process and during storage and transport. Additionally, students go over the laws related to product development.


Within this course students learn about skin structure and function and get an in-depth look at its biochemistry. They gain a better understanding of how skin absorbs various minerals and substances. Furthermore, they are given information on clinical testing as it applies to the formulation of such products as sunscreens, anti-aging products, and moisturizers.

Master's in Cosmetic Chemistry Admission Requirements

Students looking to earn a master's degree in cosmetic chemistry will need to have a bachelor's degree in chemistry or other related science and have achieved a 3.0 GPA. Some programs allow students to enter with a non-science related degree, but applicants are required to have completed courses in calculus and organic chemistry. In addition, they will need to take a GRE exam and have earned an acceptable score. The GRE requirement might be waived if a student has previously completed another graduate program.

Through coursework within their cosmetic chemistry graduate program, students gain a deeper understanding of how to properly mix chemicals and raw materials to create safe and effective cosmetics. They acquire the knowledge necessary to ensure the quality of the products they create and have the ability to present them in a way that is attractive to consumers.

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