Graduate Degree Requirements

This page is intended to help prospective students understand the requirements of graduate degrees. Current students should consult the departmental and university regulations. Some students may be required to complete additional or different requirements.

M.Sc. in Chemistry

What is an M.Sc?

A Master's degree is the most common postgraduate degree. Students typically enter this program after completing an Honours degree in chemistry. An M.Sc. provides students with a more advanced knowledge of chemistry and experience pursuing a research project in a laboratory.

Why do an M.Sc.?

A Master's degree, or M.Sc., is a means to enhance your knowledge of chemistry and achieve a higher qualification after an undergraduate degree in chemistry. Many careers in chemical research or post-secondary teaching now require an M.Sc. degree. Some students will complete an M.Sc. before continuing on to a Ph.D. program, or transitioning to a professional program, such as law or medicine. Students will have the opportunity to work as laboratory teaching assistants and gain teaching experience. An M.Sc. is typically the minimal qualification for teaching at the college or university level and is common for new teachers at the high school level.

M.Sc. Requirements

An M.Sc. degree is typically completed in 2 years, although many students choose to transfer to a Ph.D. program after their first year without completing their M.Sc. The typical requirements for an M.Sc. in chemistry are:

  • Performing research under the supervision of your advisor and completing a thesis based on the results.
  • Preparing and presenting a seminar on your research to the department.
  • Two graduate level courses.

Ph.D. in Chemistry

What is a Ph.D.?

A doctorate, or Ph.D., is the highest academic degree and students who complete this degree are considered experts in their field, capable of practising science independently. Students enter this program after completing an M.Sc. or transfer from an M.Sc. program, although exceptional candidates will be considered for direct entry to the Ph.D. program from a B.Sc. Graduate students in our Ph.D. program gain experience in teaching through teaching assistantships and engagement activities.

Why do a Ph.D.?

Leaders of industrial or academic research programs typically have a Ph.D. A Ph.D. level education is also typical for senior managers in technical divisions of government or business. A Ph.D. is the preferred qualification for teachers at the college or university level, but some exceptional high school teachers also have Ph.D.'s.

Ph.D. Requirements

Students typically complete a Ph.D. in 4 years and complete a diverse set of requirements:

  • Performing research under the supervision of their advisor and completing a thesis based on the results.
  • Four graduate level courses (only two if you already hold an M.Sc.).
  • Completion of a comprehensive examination where their knowledge of their specialization and general knowledge of chemistry is evaluated.
  • A departmental seminar on their own research.


Department of Chemistry

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000