Welcome to the Master of Science Programs in
Chemistry & Biochemistry
This page contains basic information about our MS programs. For the most current official information about degree requirements and regulations concerning graduate study, please consult the current University Catalog or the program pages for the Masters of Science in Chemistry or Masters of Science in Biochemistry. If you have questions about our MS programs that are not answered below, please don't hesitate to write or call Dr. Li (Chemistry Graduate Adviser) or Dr. Weers (Biochemistry Graduate Adviser) for more information. We also urge prospective students to make an appointment to visit our department and speak with our graduate advisers in person.
Why Pursue Master's Degree Studies in Chemistry or Biochemistry?
An individual holding a master of science degree usually enjoys the following advantages over a chemist with a bachelor's degree:
- The job entry level and starting salary are higher.
- Improved opportunities for advancement for those with greater knowledge and skills.
- Real life experience in scientific research for students considering PhD studies who are considering research as a career but lack hands-on experience.
- Improved chances of admission into PhD and professional programs for students with strong records as master's students.
Why Pursue Your Graduate Study at Long Beach?
Since the inception of the CSU Long Beach master's programs, approximately half have gone on to Ph.D. programs in chemistry or biochemistry, roughly half of which are now college and university professors. In addition, many of our MS graduates go on to pursue careers in industrial settings or pursue professional school studies in the medical sciences. We offer a strong program and have an excellent record of success among our former students. The objectives of the master's programs in Chemistry & Biochemistry are:
- To enhance professional credentials in order to improve employability in industry or teaching.
- To offer students an opportunity to develop research skills and independence in the laboratory.
- To provide an opportunity for those with bachelor's degrees in the life sciences to achieve competence at the master's level in biochemistry.
- To "retool" those who have left the chemical sciences for a prolonged period and wish to re-enter active professions in the chemical sciences.
- To provide a strong background in the chemical sciences for able students who have the desire but lack the confidence or qualifications to enter a PhD or professional program directly.
- organic, inorganic, and bioinorganic synthesis and characterization of biomimetics, drug candidates, and other novel compounds;
- experimental and computational biophysics and biophysical chemistry, including protein chemistry and enzyme inhibition;
- spectroscopic approaches to environmental chemistry, gas phase reactions, and human carcinogens;
- electrochemical and nanochemical approaches to analytical and bioanalytical methods; and
- metabolism, cell regulation, gene expression, immunology, and toxicology as related to human health;
- as well as our numerous highly interdisciplinary research programs that combine these and other novel areas.
The department offers several teaching associate positions and graduate and research assistantships each semester for students pursuing a graduate degree in chemistry or biochemistry. Partial tuition scholarships are available for out-of-state students.
- Teaching Associateships: A teaching associate's primary duties are preparing for and instructing
laboratory and quiz sections. Inasmuch as a teaching associate is solely
responsible for giving instruction in either the classroom or laboratory, he
or she is considered a member of the instructional staff. The stipend depends on the fractional time for which the
associate is employed. The salary is paid in 6 equal monthly payments for each academic
semester employed. Teaching associateships are selected from among the graduate assistants
who have proven their academic ability and have promise as teachers.
- Graduate Assistantships: A number of positions are available for students to
work grading papers for lower-division lecture courses or to assist in the preparation of
reagents for laboratory courses. The salary is paid in 5 equal monthly payments for each
academic semester employed.
- Research Assistantships: A number of research assistantships are available. These
are supported through grants to faculty for carrying out a specific research program.
Consequently, the research assistant is selected by the faculty member holding the grant.
Normally a first semester graduate student will not receive this type of
- Outside Employment: A graduate student who is receiving financial assistance from the University is not expected to maintain an outside job either part-time or full-time. He or she may take an occasional job, such as tutoring.
Applying for Admission to the Graduate Program
For the most current official information about degree requirements and regulations concerning graduate study, please consult the current University Catalog. If you have any questions about our program, do not hesitate to write or call one of the Graduate Advisers, Dr. Li or Dr. Weers, for more information. We also welcome you to make an appointment to visit our department and to speak to one of the graduate advisers in person. All MS applicants must apply to BOTH the University and to our department, as follows:
1. To apply to University Enrollment Services, complete the following steps:
- Fill out the online University Admission Application at CSUMentor and send in the required processing fee. Be careful to select the correct major (Chemistry MS or Biochemistry MS). If you think that your financial situation may make you eligible for a fee waver, you may complete a request to waive the fee. Fee waiver and other forms are available at the Enrollment Services website.
- Have your undergraduate transcript(s) sent directly to CSULB Enrollment Services.
2. To apply to Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and to be considered for a Dr. Gregory Whitaker Fellowship, complete the following steps:
- Fill out the downloadable pdf application, which also serves as an application for teaching associate and graduate assistant positions, and submit it via email or in person to the appropriate advisor listed below with a set of official academic transcripts. Applications can also be faxed to 562-985-8557 or sent via US Mail to the Department address at the bottom of this page.
- Letters of recommendations must be submitted using the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Recommendation Letter for Graduate Applicant, which is available for download in the following formats:
[ MicroSoft Word .doc format ] [ Adobe Acrobat .pdf format ] [ Rich Text File .rtf format ]
Provide this recommendation form to at least three academic and/or professional references in the formats they prefer and ask them to complete this form in its entirety. Formal letters of recommendation may be attached by those providing references, who should then return the completed forms to the appropriate Graduate Adviser listed below.
- Applicants for either the MS Chemistry or MS Biochemistry program must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE standard test) and have the results reported to the appropriate Graduate Advisor listed below.
- Applicants for the MS Biochemistry program must receive a minimum combined score (quantitative and verbal) of at least 285 on the GRE for consideration.
Deadlines for application submission are June 1 for fall semester admission (April 1 for international students) and November 1 for spring semester admission (October 1 for international students). There may be earlier deadlines for international students; please consult with the Office of International Admissions. Those who wish to be considered for financial support by our department have the best chance if they apply by March 1 (for entry in the fall) or November 1 (for entry in the spring).
Biochemistry Graduate Advisor: Dr. Paul Weers firstname.lastname@example.org 562-985-4948
Chemistry Graduate Advisor: Dr. Lijuan Li email@example.com 562-985-5068