Placement Examinations

FALL 2019

General Chemistry: Monday, August 19th, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Room 138 Chemistry

Area-Specific: Monday, August 19th, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Room 138 Chemistry

All incoming graduate students are required to take Placement Exams that are designed to evaluate their background in the traditional areas of Chemistry.  The information obtained from these exams will be used to design a coursework plan for each student, to make initial teaching assignments, and to measure the student's preparedness for research. Placement exams will normally be administered at the start of orientation week in the Fall semester.  For students entering our graduate program at off-times, the exams must be taken prior to their first enrollment as a chemistry graduate student at MSU. 

Two exams will be given:

  • (1) General Chemistry - the ACS DUCK (Diagnostic of Undergraduate Chemistry Knowledge)
  • (1) Area-specific (analytical, inorganic, organic & physical) ACS exam to evaluate knowledge in the student's chosen area of research. Students typically take the area specific exam that they listed on their application.
  • An evaluation of writing skills may also be included.


*Please bring a calculator, they are not provided. All cellphones MUST be turned off!


Helpful reference materials, by area, can be found below:

Analytical Chemistry.  An Introduction, 5th edition, by Skoog, Holler, and Nieman
Principles of Instrumental Analysis, Current edition, by Skoog and Leary.

Inorganic Chemistry by Cotton, Wilkinson, and Gaus
Inorganic Chemistry by Shriver and Atkins (3rd Edition)

Organic Chemistry, Current edition, by McMurry
Organic Chemistry, Current edition, by William Brown

Physical Chemistry, Current edition, by Atkins
Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach, Current edition, by McQuarrie and Simon.