Non-Thesis Master's Degree Program (1 YEAR)

The non-thesis Master’s (M.S.) degree program is designed for students who want an advanced degree but are not necessarily ready for or interested in the Ph.D. program. The M.S. degree provides a path to industrial jobs, professional schools, teaching careers, Ph.D. programs, and can be used as part of a multidisciplinary career portfolio. Noting that chemists often work astride multiple disciplines in their research and careers, our students may take relevant graduate coursework across the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Engineering & Applied Sciences, Education, and the Basic Science Departments of Medicine. This flexibility allows for efficient optimization of learning tailored to the student’s chosen research, career path, and goals. Students in the M.S. program are responsible for paying their own tuition, fees, and health insurance premiums (for more information, see the Tuition and Fees section below).

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at .

Graduation Requirements

Students pursuing the M.S. degree must complete a total of 30 credits. Six of these credits must be research (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, with opportunities to take graduate-level professional development courses. Successful completion of the M.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.

Graduate courses outside of Chemistry can be taken with approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. 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, Education, Computer Science, etc.).

Students wishing to use their M.S. degree as a stepping-stone to a Ph.D. degree may want to transfer their M.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, but it is important to emphasize that sometimes only limited graduate coursework can be transferred between different universities. 

Additional English Language and Culture Curriculum for International Students

International M.S. degree students whose first language is not English will take an intensive 6-week summer English for Academic Purposes (EAP program), provided by UVA's Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC) , to expand their academic English reading, writing, and speaking skills. . The Chemistry Department covers EAP tuition and fees, but students are responsible for their own living expenses and having their own health insurance plan at the time of arrival.

International M.S. students can also participate in free English language and culture courses, also provided by CAELC, during the fall and spring semesters at no additional cost. This instruction is designed to help smooth the student’s entry into American life and to rapidly build their academic English speaking and writing skills to help optimize their graduate experience.


Tuition and Fees

Students in Chemistry’s MS program are self-funded and responsible for paying their own living expenses, tuition, fees, and health insurance plan (by purchasing a UVA student health plan or demonstrating that they have another plan with the same standard of coverage). The tuition and fees include access to university facilities, such as fitness centers, and sporting events. Click on the following link to find the current cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance for in-state and out-of-state master’s level students: the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Tuition and Health Premiums.

Applicants who are U.S. citizens may complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine whether they are eligible for federal aid in the form of work-study and loans. For more information, please visit the UVA’s Financial Aid Basics: Graduate Students.

Qualifications for Admission

Applications for admission to the UVA Chemistry M.S. 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 M.S. degree program can consider international applicants with outstanding scientific and educational credentials but with TOEFL scores below the Graduate School's minimum score provided that the applicant is committed to working with CAELC to 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.

How to Apply 

Students are admitted to the MS program for the fall term of each year. Applications are accepted between October 1 to December 15. Prospective applicants interested in applying after December 15 should first email the Department ( to see if positions are available before applying.

Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted through the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences' (GSAS) online application portal. Technical questions related to the application system should be addressed to the Graduate Admissions Office, by email ( or phone (434-243-0209).The deadline for MS applications is December 15.

The following materials must accompany the application in order for it to be considered complete.

  • Statement of purpose
  • ​Transcripts (unofficial transcripts may be submitted for the application; students who accept an offer of admission must then have official transcripts sent directly from their previous university directly to the Graduate Admissions Office)
  • 2 confidential letters of recommendation (for current UVA undergraduates, at least one letter should be written by a faculty member in the UVA Chemistry Department); letter writers will upload their letters directly to the admissions portal.
  • An application fee of $85 (the fee is automatically waived for current UVA undergraduates; external applicants who believe they qualify for a fee waiver should review the our fee waiver policy below)

Additional Materials for International Applicants

  • Unless they have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree in the U.S. or at an international program whose instruction is entirely in English, international students whose first language is not English must submit self-reported TOEFL/IELTS scores (if they accept an offer of admission, students must have the testing agency send official scores directly to the Graduate Office of Admissions).
  • ​International students are strongly encouraged to submit GRE Chemistry (or a related subject) test scores.

Click here for the ONLINE APPLICATION.

Application Fee Waivers

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident seeking an application fee waiver, you should first submit a fee waiver application to UVA’s Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs - Diversity Programs. Applicants may qualify based on a variety of criteria:

  • participation in specified organizations and training programs
  • graduation from a Minority Serving Institution (MSI)
  • current or former membership in the United States Armed Forces
  • financial hardship 

Click here for detailed information on eligibility requirements and directions for submitting fee waiver applications.

If your application is denied, you may email the decision to the Chemistry’s Department's Graduate Coordinator ( and ask for further consideration.