The non-thesis Master’s (M.S.) degree program is designed for students wanting an advanced degree based primarily on coursework with access to research opportunities and development of advanced research skills. This degree conveys an M.S. degree after one year of coursework and includes opportunities for research experience in one of our research groups. The program provides a path to industrial jobs, professional schools, teaching careers, Ph.D. programs, or can be used as part of an interdisciplinary career portfolio. For international students, important parallel components of the non-thesis M.S. program are activities and classes designed to improve their English fluency provided through the Center for American English Language and Culture. These courses are offered to international students in our non-thesis M.S. program at no additional cost beyond the standard tuition and fees. The non-thesis Master’s degree program, comprised of ten graduate courses in Chemistry or related disciplines, is normally completed in one academic year.
Success of the Program
Over the past eight years, thirty-eight students have enrolled in our non-thesis Master’s program, including twenty-two international students. The graduation rate for the non-thesis Master’s program is > 90%. For the international students, 85% have matriculated into Ph.D. programs with the remaining students electing to directly enter the workforce. Many Master's students in our program have transitioned into our Ph.D. program (UVa Chemistry), and examples of other Ph.D. programs that have admitted our non-thesis Master’s graduates include Iowa State University, Johns Hopkins University, Notre Dame University, Rutgers University, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Tech, University of Illinois at Chicago,the University of Maryland, the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of Texas. For international students, average English language proficiency scores on TOEFL and UVa Speak exams improved over the course of their time in our program.
Current UVA undergraduate students
For current UVa undergraduates who wish to pursue the one year non-thesis M.S. degree, the application process is straightforward. Please submit to Ms. Susie Marshall (email@example.com) your unofficial UVA transcripts and a statement of purpose and have two recommendation letters submitted to Ms. Marshall. One of the recommendation letters should be written by a faculty member in the UVA Chemistry Department. The statement of purpose should indicate your reason for pursuing a Master’s degree and any additional information that you believe would be useful for the admission committee to consider. You can apply at any time prior to the desired Fall semester start, but the ideal application time period is November through February of the year prior to the Fall of your desired start in the Master’s program. There is no application fee for current UVA undergraduate students to be considered for our non-thesis M.S. program.
Students pursuing a non-thesis M.S. degree must complete a total of 30 credits. Six of these credits can be research for credit (three credits per semester are permitted). Thus, while a thesis is not required for the M.S. degree, the program offers the opportunity for substantial research experience. The remaining 24 credits are comprised of graduate courses, including opportunities for graduate professional development courses. Further, graduate courses outside of Chemistry can be taken with approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Successful completion of the non-thesis Master’s degree requires a B cumulative average (3.0 GPA), and the minimum passing grade in any graduate course is B- (B minus). Specific coursework selection varies with student interest and goals.
Depending on career interests, students may be allowed to substitute one or two graduate courses per semester from disciplines other than Chemistry (e.g., Biology, Pharmacology, Physics, Materials Science Engineering, Computer Science, etc.).
Students wishing to use their non-thesis M.S. degree as a stepping-stone to a Ph.D. may want to transfer their non-thesis Master’s degree course credits to a Ph.D. program. This can certainly be done in its entirety after successful admission to the UVA Ph.D. program (sometimes there can be only limited graduate coursework transfer across different universities).
Additional English Language and Culture Curriculum for International Students
International students whose first language is not English will participate in English language and culture instruction provided by UVA's Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC). This instruction is designed to help smooth the student’s entry into American life and to rapidly build their English speaking and writing skills to help optimize their graduate experience. International non-thesis Master’s degree students will begin by taking an intensive 6-week summer CAELC program dedicated to the needs of Chemistry non-thesis Master’s degree students (i.e., an expanded EAP curriculum). Through mid-Fall, non-thesis Master’s degree students will receive weekly tutoring in oral English. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as prescribed by CAELC on an individualized basis. A TOEFL iBT test will be administered in mid-November to assess student progress. Evidence of English proficiency gains has been found to expand the career prospects of our graduates. There are no additional costs to an non-thesis Master’s degree student for these CAELC services.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees are currently $39,000 for out-of-state students and $24,000 for in-state students and include access to University facilities such as fitness centers and sporting events. Health insurance is required for all students.
Information on Student Financial Aid for graduate students can be found here: http://sfs.virginia.edu/current/grads
How to Apply
Applicants from outside UVA Applications for admission to the UVA Chemistry Graduate Program are reviewed by the Department Graduate Admissions Committee, which is composed of department faculty. Admission decisions are based on the review of the applicant’s undergraduate transcript, personal statement describing experiences and interests, letters of recommendation, and in some instances, TOEFL scores.”
Given the integrated CAELC services available, the Chemistry non-thesis M.S. degree program can consider international applicants with outstanding scientific and educational credentials but with relatively low TOEFL scores provided that the applicant is committed to working with CAELC to rapidly improve their English proficiency.
In addition to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry, the Chemistry Department also accepts students with training in biology, chemical engineering, physics, and other disciplines, who may not have completed study in all of these core areas, but who have completed a rigorous program in an allied discipline and have sufficiently strong training in chemistry. Students are encouraged to submit complete applications for review before December; however, applications will be accepted online until December 15. After December 15, please contact Susie Marshall (434-924-7014; firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to apply.
For a complete application you will need:
- Unofficial copy of transcript uploaded to application
- Two letters of recommendation
- TOEFL exam scores (for international applicants only)
- A statement of purpose
Current UVA Undergraduate Students
"For current UVa undergraduates who wish to pursue the one year non-thesis M.S. degree, the application process is straightforward. Please submit to Ms. Susie Marshall (email@example.com) your unofficial UVa transcripts, a statement of purpose, and have two recommendation letters submit to Ms. Marshall. One of the recommendation letters should be written by a faculty member in the UVA Chemistry Department. The statement of purpose should indicate why you wish to pursue a Master’s degree and any additional information that you believe would be useful for the admission committee to consider. You can apply at any time, even the summer prior to the desired Fall semester start, but the ideal application time period is November through February of the year prior to your desired start in the Master’s program. There is no application fee for current UVa undergraduate students."
International Student Resources