The Ph.D. program in Chemistry at Michigan State University is designed to provide sufficient experience in the performance of original research in a supervised setting to produce graduates who can carry out research independently and who can judge worthwhile research in a field. Such students have been a partner in the advancement of knowledge and can be expected to have a deep understanding of that extraordinarily important human activity. As a by-product, the training received is essential for a career in higher education and is required for many research positions in industry or government.
Performance of original research in Chemistry requires substantial background knowledge in Chemistry and in related scientific disciplines such as mathematics, physics, and biology. Therefore, the Ph.D. program in Chemistry at MSU includes course work in addition to that normally expected in the typical 4-year bachelor’s degree course program in Chemistry. The program also includes examination procedures to insure that sufficient background is available to carry out the intended research. In addition to written examinations, these procedures include oral presentations of descriptions of previous work and a proposal for future research.
An essential component of original research is communication of the results of the research to the scientific community and to the world at large. Therefore, the Ph.D. program in Chemistry at MSU includes requirements for the writing of a dissertation that is a detailed description of the research performed and for the presentation of one or more manuscripts suitable for publication in refereed scientific journals.
The Plan A M.S. program in Chemistry is designed to strengthen the knowledge and research competence of students entering after completion of the equivalent of the typical 4-year bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. The program includes written examinations to determine whether the student has the knowledge necessary for enrollment in graduate courses and also has sufficient background to engage successfully in original research. In addition to the written examinations, a final oral examination is designed to test the student’s understanding of the research performed. A written thesis is required to communicate the results of the research to the scientific community.
The Plan B M.S. program in Chemistry is an all-course program that is designed to strengthen the knowledge base of students who have completed the equivalent of the typical 4-year bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Courses are selected to improve understanding in the areas of weakness and to increase knowledge in the areas of interest of the student.