MS/PhD Dual Degree in Chemistry

Jul 13, 2019

If you are considering an MS/PhD dual degree in chemistry and related fields, you can see if you have the background necessary to apply. Learn about some general courses you can expect to take in this type of graduate program.

A dual degree MS/PhD in chemistry provides you with the opportunity to earn both a Master of Science and a doctoral degree. These degree programs can prepare you to work in fields such as research, higher education, or medicine.

Coursework for Dual MS/PhD Chemistry Programs

The curriculum for dual MS/PhD chemistry programs typically cover various chemistry and biology topics. Since many programs require a thesis and/or dissertation, programs often include a focus on research skills. Learn more about common course requirements, in the following:

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry or Biology

Courses in molecular and cellular biochemistry or biology often focus on the eukaryotic part of cell development. You can learn various methods for isolating and analyzing human proteins or gene strands. Other programs will delve into how RNA and DNA develop and the role they play in illnesses such as cancer.

Macromolecular Topics

Classes that cover macromolecular topics may provide you with a foundation in physical chemistry. Possible topics of study can include how proteins interact with each other, the purpose of nucleic acids, and the relationship between protein, RNA and DNA. Programs with a specialization in medicinal chemistry may offer courses that explore how macromolecules function as drugs.

Research Skills

A dual degree program in chemistry may offer courses designed to promote ethically and legally sound research. You will likely learn about federal and industry regulations that govern your particular field of chemistry. Other topics covered can include effective collaboration with colleagues, how to deal with ethical issues, and utilizing resources for conducting ethical research.

Genetic Material Topics

Courses that deal with genetic material topics can range from genomes to the role genetics plays in illness. Those that deal with genomes may focus on genetic screening techniques and tools such as the CRISPR-Cas9. Courses dealing with genetics might explore various hereditary diseases and electronic genomic records.

Statistical Analysis

You are apt to need solid analytical skills in order to successfully evaluate research results. Such classes will train you to formulate research questions, select the best sampling process, and effectively assess the results. Topics of study may include parallel computing and inferential statistics.

Dual MS/PhD Chemistry Program Admittance Requirements

You will usually need a bachelor's degree to apply for a dual MS/PhD program in chemistry. Some programs may require you to have a minimum grade point average, such as a 3.0. Most graduate programs have an online application that may require a non-refundable processing fee. The admissions process for your program of interest may not require all of these documents; however, below is a list of items you may be asked to submit:

  • Unofficial or official transcripts
  • Recommendation letters
  • GRE scores: You may be required to submit both general test scores (quantitative, analytical, and verbal) and advanced test scores in areas such as chemistry or biochemistry.
  • Personal essay or a statement of purpose that details your interest in the program and professional goals

Most dual MS/PhD programs in chemistry and related fields require bachelor's degrees for acceptance. You may pursue a graduate degree program in general chemistry, and some schools offer programs with specializations such as medicinal chemistry or science education.

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