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The College of St. Scholastica

Students develop the ability to integrate advanced chemistry knowledge and critical-thinking skills to approach scientific problems grounded in chemistry effectively. Graduates can use their MS to teach high school, community college and at 4-year colleges and universities.

Chemistry was one of the College’s original majors, established in 1924. Professors Dr. Agatha Riehl, OSB and Sister Petra Lenta, OSB were pioneers in the cancer biology field in the 1950s. We are proud to carry on the vibrant chemistry intellectual tradition with this master’s program and our faculty are dedicated to the education and career preparation of their students.

Fast Facts

  • 100% online, six starts per year
  • Accelerated eight-week terms; complete in one year
  • Designed for industry professionals and educators
  • Courses taught by experienced faculty with advanced degrees
  • 30 total program credits; ten elective options
  • Elective courses range from analytical electrochemistry to organic synthesis
  • No thesis or GRE required

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Degree Details


Tuition: $800/credit*

* Tuition rates are for the 2021-22 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change.

Program Overview

The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for successful careers in industry or chemistry education. It is anchored by four core courses covering fundamental chemistry concepts in thermodynamics, bonding, effective scientific communication and spectroscopy. These core courses are supplemented by 10 elective courses spanning all sub-disciplines of chemistry, including chemistry education.

Program Strengths and Outcomes

  • Students will be able to articulate an understanding of complex concepts in several chemistry sub-disciplines, such as biochemistry, chemical education, analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry
  • Critically read and evaluate scientific literature to develop critical assessment of scientific ideas
  • Effectively communicate complex scientific concepts, consequences and the rationale underpinning conclusions, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously
  • Examine scientific ethical issues to properly identify ethical responsibility in science-related professions
  • Integrate advanced knowledge and critical thinking skills to evaluate scientific problems to gain new scientific insight

Advantages of an MS in Chemistry

  • Career advancement for industry professionals and educators
  • Compensation increases across career fields


Completion of the MS in Chemistry will consist of 4 core courses and a choice of 6 elective courses. Each course is 3 credits and delivered in 8 weeks. Courses can be completed in any order.

Required Courses

CHM 6001 – Bonding and Materials

An in-depth survey of different bonding models, including molecular orbital theory, band theory, and non-covalent interactions.  The course will then focus on how those theories apply to advanced materials such as porous solids, photovoltaics, and nanoparticles.

CHM 6002 – Topics in Thermodynamics

An array of thermodynamic concepts will be implemented to solve current challenges in research, environmental chemistry, and industry. Examine the mathematical framework, theory and applications. Construct solutions of relevant thermodynamic questions such as energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

CHM 6003 – Advanced Spectroscopy

Survey of analytical spectroscopy including fundamental physical principles, signal generation, data acquisition, and interpretation. The course will progress through the measurement of electronic transitions (atomic and molecular), vibrational molecular transitions, molecular scattering, mass (atomic and molecular), and molecular nuclear magnetic resonance.

CHM 6004 – Chemical Information and Communication

Designed to prepare graduate chemistry students to communicate proficiently. The focus is on strategies for reading critically, organizing and summarizing scientific ideas, drawing chemical structures, and communicating to diverse audiences about the field of chemistry. Ethics related to scientific communication will be discussed. Projects may include writing abstracts, literature reviews, grant proposal outlines, eposters, and oral presentations.

CHM 6005 – Topics in Kinetics

Acquire a molecular understanding of the fundamental theories underlying chemical reaction as well its implementation. The fundamentals of reaction rates, collision theory, activated complex and transport properties will be applied to a current kinetic problem. In addition, the kinetics framework will be compared to several practical cases and discussed.

Elective courses

CHM 6107 – Advanced Instrumentation and Analysis: A survey of the theory, scope and limitations of the most commonly applied instrumental techniques of chemical analysis. Theory and techniques of atomic and molecular spectroscopy, gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry and electrochemistry will be viewed through a lens of practical method development. Emphasis between these methods and factors such as noise, resolution, sensitivity, error and economic factors will be a common theme.

CHM 6112 – Advanced Organic Synthesis: Fundamental concepts of chemical synthesis, such as: retrosynthesis, reactions, reagents, structural/stereochemical issues and mechanistic skills. This can include the areas of organic, organometallic and inorganic synthetic chemistry. Examples: natural products, heterocycles, asymmetric synthesis, organometallic synthesis, inorganic synthesis, polymer chemistry and air and moisture free synthesis. Some topics may vary by year and instructor.

CHM 6110 – Advanced Pharmaceutical Chemistry: Students will understand the molecular basis of drug action. Chemical concepts developed in organic chemistry and biomolecular chemistry courses such as stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms, enzyme structure and function, and DNA structure and function will be extended to drug action.

CHM 6109 – Advanced Separations: A deep dive into the molecular view of separations, via a quantitative approach to the basic principles of mass transport and phase transfer thermodynamics. Instrument design and quantification methods for gas and liquid chromatography as well as electrophoretic techniques will be discussed.

CHM 6108 – Analytical Electrochemistry: A deep dive into electroanalytical techniques and the physicochemical principles that drive each technique. This course will cover the thermodynamics and kinetics of electron and ion transfer, the electric double layer and mass transfer by diffusion and migration, as they apply to ion-selective potentiometry, chronoamperometry, chronocoulometry, cyclic voltammetry, pulse voltammetry, ion-transfer voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy.

CHM 6102 – Bioanalytical Chemistry: The goal of the course is to deepen student knowledge in the field of bioanalytical chemistry through the identification of complex bioanalytical challenges facing modern scientists and proposal of novel methodologies to solve them. To accomplish this goal, the course will explore the history of bioanalytical measurements, current bioanalytical assays, and emerging bioanalytical techniques and methodologies. Students will develop the skills to: i) critically evaluate the primary literature to identify current bioanalytical challenges, ii) think creatively to propose novel methods or techniques to overcome a challenge in their chosen sub-field (e.g. genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, bioinformatics, or single-cell analysis), and iii) clearly and persuasively communicate their ideas to the scientific community in written and oral formats.

CHM 6103 – Chemical Education: Provides students with the background and knowledge to apply the most current teaching theories and tactics in the chemistry classroom. Students will gain experience and confidence in utilizing multiple educational approaches to teach chemistry. Best practices for teaching will be explored and discussed, including an emphasis on inclusive and adaptive strategies for every classroom. Students will leave with practical and applicable resources, instructional methods, and hands-on approaches to sharing their knowledge of chemistry with others.

CHM 6111 – Chemistry of the Elements: A survey of the periodic table, its development and organization, in-depth looks at the behavior of the different elemental groups and the root of periodic trends. Environmental Chemistry — Development of a fundamental understanding of the behavior of natural and anthropogenic chemicals in the atmospheric, aquatic and geochemical spheres. Students will investigate the cycling and impact of chemicals in the environment through fundamental photochemical, kinetic and transport aspects.

CHM 6104 – Energy and Environment: Development of a fundamental understanding of the behavior of natural and anthropogenic chemicals in the atmospheric, aquatic and geochemical spheres. Students will investigate the cycling and impact of chemicals in the environment through via fundamental photochemical, kinetic and transport aspects.

CHM 6105 – Introduction to Computational Chemistry: Several of the basic computational techniques will be discussed. The fundamentals of molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo simulations, electronic calculations as well as applications in materials science, phase equilibria and some industrial applications will be covered.

CHM 6101 – Medical Biochemistry: Biochemically distinguish protein structure and function in relation to selected human diseases. Describe the biochemical consequences underlying disease such as sickle cell anemia, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Recognize that biochemistry integrates knowledge of the chemical processes in living cells with strategies to understand disease and identify potential therapies.

CHM 6113 – Organometallic Reaction and Structures: A study of the bonding and reactions that are common for organometallic compounds. The course will study both main-group and transition metal organometallic systems.


Career Outlook

Opportunities for those holding an MS in Chemistry exist in both the industrial and academic job markets. As reported by the American Chemical Society’s ChemCensus Survey (2015), chemists holding master’s degrees have steadily comprised about 20% of the industrial workforce since 1985. In addition, industrial chemists with advanced degrees (master’s vs. bachelor’s) also report a wider variety of potential career opportunities, such as applied research and development and management positions.

An MS in Chemistry will advance secondary education instructors interested in teaching concurrent enrollment classes or making salary scale lane changes. Based on the Higher Learning Commission guidelines for academic college program accreditation, all instructors teaching concurrent enrollment / bachelor’s level classes must possess either:

  • a master’s degree in their content area
  • a master’s degree in any area but have taken at least 18 credits of discipline-specific coursework

Other potential career opportunities:

  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Laboratory Managers
  • Increased preparation for pursuing a PhD degree in chemistry or a closely-related science

Admission Information

Visit our admissions page for information about transcripts, online application, international admissions and financing.

Application Deadlines

Applications accepted on a rolling basis, 6-starts per year.


New Students
  • Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or related field
  • A transcript evaluation will be required if related field
  • Letter of recommendation from a science-related mentor
  • 1-page personal statement describing the candidate’s interest in the field
  • Official undergraduate transcript from all institutions

Required prerequisites: 2 semesters of organic chemistry, 2 semesters of physics, 2 semesters of calculus

A science GPA of 2.8 is strongly suggested.

Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.
Returning Students

A returning student is a student who was admitted and enrolled in a program at St. Scholastica but has been absent from the program for at least three continuous semesters, including summer. To return to the same program at St. Scholastica, a returning student must be in good academic standing and must apply for readmission to the College.

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.