Jul 19, 2024  
Graduate Studies Catalog 2010-2011 
Graduate Studies Catalog 2010-2011 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry, Biochemistry, Clinical Chemistry

Click here to view the list of programs.

Dr. David E. Marx, Chair, Chemistry

Dr. Christopher Baumann, Director of Graduate Programs
570-941-6389 • cab302@scranton.edu

Department faculty: Professors – Christopher Baumann, Michael C. Cann, Trudy A. Dickneider, Joe A. Vinson; Associate Professors – John C. Deak, Timothy Foley, David E. Marx, David A. Rusak, Joan M. Wasilewski.


The Department of Chemistry offers Master of Arts and Master of Science degree programs in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Clinical Chemistry.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Programs

The Master of Arts program is a thesis-degree program that is directed toward subsequent work for the doctoral degree and an important preparation for research activity in industry or elsewhere. Its requirements include 30 credit hours of classroom courses and independent research under the direction of a faculty member. Usually six of the 30 credits are devoted to the thesis research.

Master of Science programs are offered in Chemistry and Biochemistry. The M.S. is usually a terminal degree intended to upgrade the student’s professional competency and capabilities for work in industry or secondary education. 30 credit hours of classroom work are required

Clinical Chemistry Program

The Clinical Chemistry program is designed to provide advanced scientific and management training to prepare participants for leadership positions in hospital, industrial, or other private analytical laboratories. The program has two tracks: Research and Administration. The Research track is designed for students who wish to emphasize development of research capabilities. This track requires completion of a research thesis and leads to the M.A. degree. The Administration track is designed for students who wish to combine their scientific training with some exposure to matters of administration in health/medical/laboratory environments; this track leads to the M.S. degree. Both tracks require a minimum of 36 graduate credits.

Admissions Requirements

Chemistry and Biochemistry Programs

Applicants for the Master of Arts or Master of Science programs in Chemistry or Biochemistry must possess, or be in close proximity to possessing, a baccalaureate degree which includes full-year courses in General and Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical or Biophysical Chemistry, General Physics, and Mathematics through Integral Calculus. A GPA of 2.75 is required both overall and in the science courses.

Certain of these requirements may be waived at the discretion of the department chair. Students with limited undergraduate course deficiencies may be admitted with the approval of the Chemistry faculty on condition that such deficiencies are corrected concurrently with their initial graduate course.

Clinical Chemistry Program

Applicants for the program will normally have a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, or Medical Technology. Other undergraduate degrees may be acceptable if appropriate background courses (including a two semester in organic chemistry) in the sciences have been taken. The undergraduate transcripts of all applicants will be examined to determine if there are any deficiencies in back-ground courses.

An undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75, for all courses combined as well as for science courses, is expected for admission to the program.

Capstone Experience

The capstone experience for students seeking the Master of Arts degree consists of a comprehensive examination and research which culminates in the writing and defense of a thesis. For students seeking the Master of Science degree, the capstone experience is the comprehensive examination. Both of these experiences are described below


M.A. candidates in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Clinical Chemistry are required to do independent research and write a thesis.

Early in the program, each student should choose a research director, decide with him/her on a project. Then two readers should be chosen and a proposal prepared for the research project. This proposal should be presented to the thesis committee consisting of the research director and the two readers. When the project proposal is approved the student should progressively carry out the necessary laboratory experimentation. When the work is complete, it must be reported in a thesis which is publicly defended before the Chemistry Department. The credits awarded for the thesis (CHEM 599) can vary from two to six, depending on the needs of the student.

Comprehensive Examination

Candidates for the M.A. or M.S. degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Clinical Chemistry must pass a comprehensive examination, based on the core courses required in the respective programs. The comprehensive examination is normally taken after the core courses have been completed. Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination on the first attempt will be allowed to take the entire examination a second time. Students failing the comprehensive examination for the second time will not be considered for the degree.

Graduate Assistantships

Each year approximately 20 students in the Chemistry programs hold graduate assistantships. Some of these are in the Chemistry Department, some are in other departments such as Biology). Graduate Teaching Assistants(GTA) in the Chemistry Department must be in the M.A. (thesis) program. They are responsible for conducting undergraduate laboratory sections during the two regular semesters. Responsibilities of GTAs assigned to other departments vary, depending on the level of the assistantship and department needs; and they may be in either the M.A. or M.S. program. A graduate assistant receives a stipend and is eligible for a tuition scholarship. Application for all assistantships must be made through the CGCE by March 1. Contact the CGCE for information about current stipend levels.