Graduate Program

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provides students with a broad foundation in all areas of chemistry and advanced specialized training in the options: 1) Physical and Analytical Chemistry , 2) Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, 3) Biochemistry, or 4) Chemical Education, leading to the culminating project of a Thesis or Comprehensive Exam.

From the beginning of their program, graduate students will be immersed and stimulated in student research to identify, investigate, and effectively demonstrate their scientific curiosities. Our faculty provides robust research mentorship using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and are additionally supported by external research grants from the NSF, NIH, DEO, and CSUPERB.

Admissions to the program requires a baccaulaureate in chemistry or biochemistry from an accredited college or university or a baccalaureate in a related field with a strong background in chemistry. Applicants interested in the biochemistry option should have a preparation equivalent to that required for the Cal State LA baccalaureate in biochemistry, which includes, among other requirements, 10 semester units of introductory biology and 2 semester units of upper division biology or microbiology. 

All applicants are required to have a 2.5 grade point average in their last 60 semester units attempted. 

To learn more about graduate student application and admission to Cal State LA, visit Admissions and Recruitment.

Plan ahead for your application by reviewing Fall 2024 Admissions Deadlines- Graduate:

  • Domestic Application Deadline - applies to U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, Undocumented Students currently in the U.S. (including TPS, DACA, asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile, etc.), and T and U Visa Holders: April 15, 2024.
  • International Application Deadline - applies to applicants who will require a F-1 Visa or I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) to study in the United States: February 15, 2024.
Join us by submitting an application through Cal State Apply.
Applications for Fall 2024 will open on Oct. 1, 2023.

 

A total of 30-31 units are required for the degree, of which are 16 units for the core requirements and 14-15 units for the option-based requirement with a minimum of 15 units in 5000-level courses. The option-based requirement includes 12-13 units of elective requirements and 2 units of thesis work, or 14-15 units of elective requirements and comprehensive examination. Each student's program is designed with the assistance of a faculty advisor and the student's advisory committee. All students must establish a Thesis or Comprehensive Exam Committee of four faculty members and pass the prospectus. 

  • All students with Thesis culminating experience must meet the following requirements: submit a thesis approved by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as part of the program, and
  • Pass a final oral examination, primarily about the thesis, administered by the department.

All students with Comprehensive Examination cumulating experience must pass comprehensive examinations on the subjects of the required courses.

See Recommended Course Sequence: Master of Science in Chemistry.

Requirements for Option 1: Physical and Analytical Chemistry (30-31 units)

Core Requirements (16 units)

  • Core Courses (9 units)
    CHEM 5000- Interdisciplinary Discoveries in Chemistry and Biochemistry (3)
    CHEM 5100- Introduction to Research (3)
    CHEM 5110- Graduate Seminar: Chemistry I (2)
    CHEM 5120- Graduate Semianr: Chemistry II (1)
  • Research Requirements (7 units)
    CHEM 5910- Advanced Laboratory (1) (complete 2 units)
    CHEM 5970- Graduate Research (1-3) (complete 5 units)

Option Requirements (12-15 units)

  • Directed Elective within Option (8-10 units) (NOTE: Comprehensive Exam (CHEM 5960) students select 8 or 9 units. Thesis (CHEM 5990) select 9 or 10 units).
    CHEM 4450- Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry (3)
    CHEM 4460- Drug Delivery (3)
    CHEM 4510- Advanced Analytical Chemistry: Optical Spectroscopy (2)
    CHEM 4520- Advanced Analytical Chemistry: Analytical Separations and Mass Spectroscopy (2)
    CHEM 4530- Advanced Analytical Chemistry: Electrochemistry and Surface Techniques (2)
    CHEM 5400- Quantum Chemistry (3)
    CHEM 5410- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (3)
    CHEM 5510- Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials (3)
  • Electives outside Option (3 or 6 units)
    Select courses from the directed electives in Options II and III. Comprehensive examination students (CHEM 5960) must complete 6 units. Thesis students (CHEM 5990) complete 3 units.

Culminating Experience (0 or 2 units)

  • Select one course:
    CHEM 5960- Comprehensive Examination (0)
    CHEM 5990- Thesis (1-3) (complete 2 units)

Requirements for Option II: Inorganic and Organic Chemistry (30-31 units)

Core Requirements (16 units) 

  • Core Courses (9 units)
    CHEM 5000- Interdisciplinary Discoveries in Chemistry and Biochemistry (3)
    CHEM 5100- Introduction to Research (3)
    CHEM 5110- Graduate Seminar: Chemistry I (2)
    CHEM 5120- Graduate Seminar: Chemistry II (1)
  • Research Requirements (7 units)
    CHEM 5910- Advanced Laboratory (1) (complete 2 units)
    CHEM 5970- Graduate Research (1-3) (complete 5 units)

Option Requirements (12-15 units)

  • Directed Elective within Option (9 units)
    CHEM 4200- Advanced Organic Chemistry I (3)
    CHEM 4210- Polymer Chemistry (3)
    CHEM 4840- Drug Discovery and Development (3)
    CHEM 4850- Bioinorganic and Bioorganic Chemistry (3)
    CHEM 5200- Synthetic Organic Chemistry: Analysis, Design, and Methodology (3)
    CHEM 5210- Organic Structure Determination (3)
    CHEM 5600- Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (3)
  • Electives outside Option (3 or 6 units)
    Select courses from the directed electives in Options I and III. Comprehensive Exam (CHEM 5960) students must complete 6 units. Thesis (CHEM 5990) students complete 3 units.

Culminating Experience (0 or 2 units)

  • Select one course:
    CHEM 5960- Comprehensive Examination (0 units)
    CHEM 5990- Thesis (1-3) (complete 2 units)

Requirements for Option in Biochemistry (30-31 units):

Core Requirements (16 units)

  • Core Courses (9 units)
    CHEM 5000- Interdisciplinary Discoveries in Chemistry and Biochemistry (3)
    CHEM 5100- Introduction to Research (3) 
    CHEM 5110- Graduate Seminar: Chemistry I (2)
    CHEM 5120- Graduate Seminar: Chemistry II (1)
  • Research Requirements (7 units)
    CHEM 5910- Advanced Laboratory (1) (complete 2 units)
    CHEM 5970- Graduate Research (1-3) (complete 5 units)

Option Requirements (12-15 units)

  • Directed Elective within Option (9 units)
    CHEM 4860- Bioinformatics (3)
    CHEM 5320- Protein Structure (3)
    CHEM 5330- Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression (3)
    CHEM 5340- Signal Transduction (3)
    CHEM 5350- RNA Structure and Function (3)
    CHEM 5360- Post-translational Modifications of Proteins 
  • Electives outside Option (3 or 6 units)
    Select courses from the directed electives in Option I and II. Comprehensive Exam (CHEM 5960) students must complete 6 units. Thesis (CHEM 5990) students complete 3 units.

Culminating Experience (0 or 2 units)

  • Select one course:
    CHEM 5960- Comprehensive Examination (0)
    CHEM 5990- Thesis (1-3) (complete 2 units)

Requirements for Option IV: Chemical Education (30-31 units):

Core Requirements (16 units)

  • Core Courses (9 units)
    CHEM 5000- Interdisciplinary Discoveries in Chemistry and Biochemistry (3)
    CHEM 5100- Introduction to Research (3)
    CHEM 5110- Graduate Seminar: Chemistry I (2)
    CHEM 5120- Graduate Seminar: Chemistry II (1)
  • Research Requirements (7 units)
    CHEM 5910- Advanced Laboratory (1) (complete 2 units)
    CHEM 5970- Graduate Research (1-3) (complete 5 units)

Option requirements (12-15 units)

  • Directed Elective from Options (9 units)
    Select the directed elective courses from either Option I, II, or III. Comprehensive Exam (CHEM 5960) students select 8 or 9 units of directed elective courses within Option I, II, or III.
    Thesis (CHEM 5990) students select 9 or 10 units of directed elective courses within Option I, II, or III. Electives outside option (3 or 6 units).
  • Electives outside Department (3 or 6 units)
    With approval from the principal graduate advisor, select 4000-5000 level courses offered by the Department of Psychology, Department of Sociology, or the Charter College of Education. Selected courses should focus on topics pertinent to education theory, curriculum design, and assessment, or education research methods. 
    Thesis (CHEM 5990) students complete 3 units.

Culminating Experience (0 or 2 units) 

  • Select one course:
    CHEM 5960- Comprehensive Examination (0)
    CHEM 5990- Thesis (1-3) (complete 2 units)

Graduate Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Guidelines as provided by the Graduate Resource Center

 

Typical Course Offerings (updated March 2023)

Advising

Chemistry and Biochemistry's graduate advisor is Dr. Robert Vellanoweth.
Email: [email protected]
Office: ASCL 272
Phone: 323.343.2148
Fall 2023 advisement Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am-11:30am

Research and funding

students

The Office of Graduate Studies offers support toward a graduate student's completion of thesis, creative activitiess, or dissertation; graduate equity fellowship program; graduate student non-resident tuition waiver program; travel support for conferences and professional development, and more! Learn more by visiting Student Support Programs and Funding Opportunities.

LABB-PhD Graduate Research Assistantship at California State University, Los Angeles, is accepting applications for two-year graduate research assistantship positions in the new Los Angeles Basin Bridges to the Ph.D. Program. To learn more, visit Bridges to the Ph.D. Research Assistantship Program.

Cal State LA and Molecular Software Sciences Institute (MolSSI) at Virginia Tech collaborate to incorporate machine learning techniques in molecular simulatioin research and develop pedagogical materials in computational science. Cal State LA undergraduate and graduate students participate in year-round mentored research and attend annual MolSSI workshop. Read more and apply at Cal State LA- MolSSI Prec.

For additional information about research and funding opportunities, visit Awards and ScholarshipStudent Resources, Student Research and Facilities, and Cal State LA's Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Seminar Series

students learning

Join the department's Graduate Seminar Series on Tuesdays, 12 pm at King Hall B2005, to learn more about advances in research within the molecular sciences.

Seminars are presented by graduate students and guest speakers who share their research within the chemistry and biochemistry fields. Stay tuned for the Spring 2024 Graduate Seminar Schedule.