Requirements for the M.S. Degree in Chemistry

There are three different options for completing the M.S. degree in Chemistry at Stony Brook. The standard M.S. degree is based on coursework and the writing of a term paper that presents a critical review of a current topic in chemistry. We also offer an M.S. degree with a concentration in Chemical Research. For this option, students need to complete less coursework, but must also carry out a minimum of 18 credits of research, and must write and defend an original research thesis. The third option, the M.S. in Chemistry with concentration in Professional Science, offers students the opportunity to combine chemistry training, including a full-year internship, with additional professional courses in business, management, and/or communication.

Requirements for the Standard M.S. Degree in Chemistry

A. Successful completion of an approved course of study comprising at least 30 credits of graduate coursework. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average in all courses taken at Stony Brook to receive a degree.

B. Successful completion of GRD 500, the CHE 582 seminar (B–), and 18 credits of formal scientific courses (B– = 2.67 average) selected from among chemistry graduate courses, and approved courses from other departments. The student must complete a minimum of 3 core 500-level chemistry courses, from among those numbered CHE 501 through 559. All course selections must be approved by the Master’s Advising Committee.

C. Successful completion of the CHE 590 term paper.

Requirements for the M.S. Degree with Concentration in Chemical Research

A. Successful completion of an approved course of study comprising at least 30 credits of graduate coursework. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average in all courses taken at Stony Brook to receive a degree.

B. Successful completion of CHE 581, GRD 500, the CHE 582 seminar (B–), and at least 12 credits of formal scientific courses (B– = 2.67 average) selected from among chemistry graduate courses, and approved courses from other departments. The student must complete a minimum of 3 core 500-level chemistry courses, from among those numbered CHE 501 through 559. All course selections must be approved by the Master’s Advising Committee.

C. Chemistry research, including a minimum of 18 research credits (18 credits of CHE 599 or 15 credits of CHE 599 plus 3 credits of the summer research course CHE 597), culminating in successful completion of a research thesis with public defense, describing a body of original research results. The thesis defense committee, assigned by the Graduate Program Director, will include the research advisor and two other Chemistry program faculty, one of whom will serve as committee Chair.  

Requirements for the M.S. Degree with Concentration in Professional Science

A. Successful completion of an approved course of study comprising at least 30 credits of graduate coursework. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average in all courses taken at Stony Brook to receive a degree.

B. Successful completion of GRD 500 and at least 12 credits of formal scientific courses (B– = 2.67 average) selected from among chemistry graduate courses, and approved courses from other departments. The student must complete a minimum of 3 core 500-level chemistry courses, from among those numbered CHE 501 through 559. All course selections must be approved by the Master’s Advising Committee.

C. Successful completion of 9 credits of additional professional coursework (“plus” courses) in areas such as business, management, writing, or journalism.

D. Successful completion of at least 18 credits of laboratory internship (CHE 598). Internship placements will be determined by the Master’s Advising Committee, in consultation with the student, typically at the end of the first academic year. The Professional Science concentration offers internships in a variety of laboratory settings, including government labs (BNL), industrial labs, and regional research consortiums.

D. Successful completion of the CHE 590 term paper.

 

Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Teaching Chemistry
The curriculum for a Master of Arts in Teaching Chemistry consists of 36 credits distributed among graduate-level course offerings in chemistry, other sciences and mathematics, teaching methods in both science and general education, and practice teaching in secondary schools. Individual programs are tailored to the background and interests of the student in consultation with an advisor.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree/Master of Science Degree Program
A student interested in this research-intensive graduate program, intended to prepare students for professional employ¬ment in the chemical or pharmaceutical industries, may apply for admission at the end of the junior year. The program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at the end of the fourth year and a Master of Science in Chemistry at the end of the fifth year. During the senior year, the student is expected to take two 500-level CHE courses and begin research in the senior research sequence. In the fifth year, the student works full-time on research, earning 24 credits in CHE 599.Current Stony Brook undergraduate students majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, or engineering chemistry are eligible to apply for admission to the Bachelor of Science Degree/Master of Science Degree Program.

 

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry

A. Courses
Successful completion (3.0 GPA) of eighteen credits in formal graduate courses (excluding seminars, teaching, directed study, etc.). At least nine of these credits must be from courses numbered CHE 501 through 559, and at least twelve credits must be from courses in Chemistry. Courses are designated among the following four concentration groups: Group I – Physical Chemistry: CHE 521, CHE 522, CHE 523, CHE 524, CHE 528, CHE 530; Group II – Inorganic Chemistry: CHE 511, CHE 514, CHE 515, CHE 516, CHE 517, CHE 518; Group III – Organic Chemistry: CHE 501, CHE 502, CHE 503, CHE 504, CHE 607; Group IV – Biological Chemistry: CHE 535, CHE 536, CHE 541, CHE 542, CHE 543.   Students are required to take at least one course outside their major concentration. Continuation in the Ph.D. program is based, in part, on achievement in at least four chemistry courses to be taken during the student’s first year. In addition, students are required to complete CHE 581; CHE 582 or CHE 619; GRD 500; and two semesters of Teaching Practicum (CHE 610, CHE 611). Initially, each student will be assigned an academic advisor to help the student select an appropriate course of study to prepare for research in the student's chosen area of chemistry. Once a student has joined a research group, the research advisor acts as academic advisor.

Students who have taken equivalent courses previously may be excused from individual course requirements with permission of the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the Graduate Advising Committee.

B. Advancement to Candidacy Committee
Each student selects a faculty research advisor during the first year. Students begin research during the first year or in the summer directly following. At the start of the second year, the Graduate Program Director will assign the student’s Advancement to Candidacy Committee (ACC). In addition to the research advisor, the ACC will also include at least two additional Chemistry program faculty, one of whom will serve as Chair of the committee.

C. Qualification to Degree
In the third semester, each student holds the first formal meeting with his or her ACC. At the end of this First Meeting, the ACC makes a recommendation to the faculty of whether the student should be qualified to the Direct Ph.D. track or the MS Thesis track, or needs to leave the program. This recommendation will be based on the student's research performance, knowledge and understanding as demonstrated during the First Meeting, and course grades. Qualification is determined by the faculty as a whole. Students must have satisfactory performance in research and coursework in order to qualify to either track and remain in the Ph.D. program.

The ACC will also consider whether the student has gaps in knowledge or understanding that should be addressed by further coursework. The student may be directed to take additional courses, beyond the 6-course minimum requirement.

Direct Ph.D. Track

Students with satisfactory research performance and science course GPA above 3.0 will generally be qualified to the Ph.D. Direct Track. These students can continue with research and complete the other requirements for the Ph.D., without needing to complete a MS thesis first.

M.S. Thesis Track

Students with science course GPA below 3.0 or deficiencies in understanding or research progress, as determined during the ACC First Meeting, may be qualified to the MS Thesis Track. A student in the MS Thesis track must complete a master's thesis as a first step in the Ph.D. program. Upon completion and defense of the MS thesis, such a student must petition the faculty to continue in the Ph.D. program. If the petition is approved, the student will then join the Direct Ph.D. track and will need to fulfill all requirements of that track in order to earn the Ph.D.

D. Second ACC Meeting

During the fourth semester, students will complete the requirement for a Second Meeting with the ACC. This requirement can be met in several ways. Students in physical, inorganic, or materials chemistry or in chemical physics will generally follow Option 1. Students carrying out research in organic chemistry will generally follow Option 2, while students in biological chemistry will generally follow Option 3.

Option 1

The second meeting shall consist of an oral report on one or two papers from the recent literature. This report should demonstrate a mastery of the problems and methodology covered in the material. The role of the Advancement to Candidacy Committee is to assess the quality of the report and also to assess the student's intellectual growth. Further study may be recommended at this time.

Option 2

The student will enroll in the organic chemistry section of CHE 619 Critical Readings of Current Topics in Chemistry, and will make a presentation in the class during the second year. This presentation will be in addition to any presentation the student makes in CHE 582 or CHE 619 during the first year.

Option 3

The student will enroll in the biological chemistry section of CHE 619 Critical Readings of Current Topics in Chemistry, and will make a presentation in the class during the second year. This presentation will be in addition to any presentation the student makes in CHE 582 or CHE 619 during the first year.

E. Advancement to Candidacy

Once a student in the Direct Track has successfully completed his or her coursework and First and Second Meetings with the ACC, the student will be advanced to candidacy. From that point forward, the student will focus on research.

F. Department Seminar

Every Ph.D. student in the Direct Track will present a departmental seminar in the third year, describing his or her research. Starting in the third year, students in organic chemistry will be expected to present their research annually in CHE 696, while biological chemistry students in years three through five will present their research annually in CHE 694.   All other students will present a single research seminar in the fall of the third year, in CHE 693.

G. Research Proposition and Third ACC Meeting

At least one year before the anticipated thesis defense, the student will prepare an original research proposition and defend the proposition in a closed meeting with the ACC. The proposition is a research proposal based on the literature rather than on the student's own research. At the Third Meeting, the student and committee will also discuss the student's research progress and exit plan for completing the dissertation. A target date for the defense will be set at the conclusion of the Third Meeting. The Third Meeting report may also be used in place of a CHE 590 term paper for any student who wishes to obtain a Master's degree.

H. Dissertation Defense

The ACC serves as the basis for the dissertation defense committee, with the addition of one new member from outside the department. The dissertation and defense must adhere to all policies of the Graduate School. The defense will be a public lecture, followed by private examination by the defense committee.

 

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree with Concentration in Chemical Physics

A. Courses
CHE 581, 582, GRD 500, and two semesters of CHE 610/611 plus six formal graduate courses are required including the following:

1. CHE 523, Chemical Thermodynamics

2. Either CHE 521 (Quantum Chemistry I) or PHY 511 (Quantum Mechanics I)

3. Three courses from a set approved by the Graduate Advisement Committee. This set consists of CHE 522, 524, 525, 528, and 530; and PHY 501, 503, 505, 540, 551, 555, and 565. Other graduate courses can be substituted only with prior permission of the Graduate Program Director.

4. One additional course from outside of Group I.

A prerequisite for the Chemical Physics program is undergraduate training in Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetic Theory at or above the level of PHY 301 (Electromagnetic Theory) and PHY 303 (Mechanics). Students in the Chemical Physics program must take these courses unless they receive waivers from the Graduate Program Director.

B. Additional Requirements

Other than coursework, the requirements for the Ph.D. in Chemical Physics are the same as those for the Ph.D. in Chemistry.

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree with Concentration in Biological Chemistry

A. Courses
CHE 581, GRD 500, and two semesters of CHE 610/611 plus 18 credits of formal graduate courses, including

1. A minimum of two graduate biology/biochemistry oriented courses (e.g., BMO 520, CHE 541, CHE 542, etc.) as approved by the student's Academic Advisor or ACC. Students will normally take CHE 541, CHE 542, and CHE 543.

2. At least one course from outside of Group IV.

3. Registration for CHE 619 and CHE 694 (one unit each) in the Spring semester of each year in the program. Students in their first and second year will present a research paper from the literature. Students in their third and fourth year (and fifth year if still in residence) will present a seminar on their thesis research.

B. Additional Requirements

Other than coursework, the requirements for the Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry are the same as those for the Ph.D. in Chemistry.