Gas chromatography is a chemical process that separates chemical compounds in order to test for purity or to identify mixtures. Students in some master's programs can specialize in analytical chemistry. Most master's programs emphasize research and lab work. Doctoral programs are similar in scope, with most coursework focusing on research methodology and hands-on lab training, and culminate in comprehensive exams. A doctoral degree is often the standard credential for prospective postsecondary chemistry instructors.
Master's programs in chemistry are designed for students with a strong undergraduate background in the sciences. Prior coursework in the natural sciences is needed for a doctorate program. Both programs call for Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores and reference letters.
Master's Degrees in Chemistry
Master of Science (M.S.) programs in chemistry focus on the categorization of elements, compounds, and mixtures. Students learn the theories that motivate current research in chemistry. Programs also cover the technologies and methodologies that are used in chemical research. Students also learn about the discipline's history. A few schools offer M.S. programs that emphasize analytical chemistry, providing ample opportunities to study gas chromatography. People interested in learning about gas chromatography often take classes on the following topics:
- Analytical chemistry methods
- Chemical separation science
- Liquid gas chromatography
- Pharmaceutical analytical chemistry
- Current issues in analytical chemistry
Doctorate Degree in Analytical Chemistry
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in analytical chemistry teach students the methodology and technology used to separate and study chemical compounds. Students learn to identify and analyze the chemical and structural aspects of natural and synthesized compounds. Programs offer substantial hands-on and theoretical training. Students dedicate much of their time to research assignments. Courses in the subjects noted below are usually offered:
- Chemistry statistics
- Mass spectrometry
- Trace analysis
Popular Career Options
Chemistry M.S. program graduates often work in private research facilities or universities. The programs usually give students a wide knowledge base applicable to several careers in the field. Graduates often choose one of the careers below:
- Pharmaceutical research and development assistant
- Industrial research assistant
- Chemical quality control specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
People who earn a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry qualify for most jobs in the field. They can work in the private, public, or academic sectors in a variety of capacities. From 2014-2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that post-secondary teachers in general would see a 13% growth in employment, which is about average for all occupations; post-secondary chemistry teachers were projected to see 15% growth. In May 2015, the BLS stated that chemistry professors earned an average annual wage of $86,070.
Students interested in gas chromatography can pursue a master's or doctorate degree to further their study of chemistry. Graduates can become researchers or educators.