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Chemistry (MSc)

Course Description

Graduate Programs

The University academic year begins the first week of September, and the academic year is divided into a 13 week first term - September, October, November - and a 14 week (including reading week in mid-February) second term - January, February, March. There is a formal examination period scheduled at the end of each term. The four month summer term is devoted to research. The usual period for completing an MSc is two to two and one half years while that for a PhD is about five years. All students accepted for the MSc or PhD will be offered a package of funding which includes a research assistantship and a teaching assistant ship - two years guaranteed for the MSc, five years guaranteed for the PhD.

The normal times for a student to begin their programme of study are September 1 or January 1. It is also possible to begin May 1 upon Departmental approval and agreed supervisor selection.

The Department offers MSc and PhD degrees - each degree requires graduate courses and research work reported in a thesis. Each degree requires 12 credits of course work, unless the candidate already holds an approved MSc. Most courses are worth 3 credits.

Students are generally encouraged to complete all their course requirements in their first year if possible in order to allow a more efficient use of time for their research projects. A one credit pass/fail seminar course is part of the requirements. An individual programme is designed by consultation between the graduate advisor, the student's supervisor (if known), and the student at the time of his or her arrival. There are no entrance or cumulative examinations.

Students accepted into the MSc program may transfer directly to a PhD degree program after one year without completing their MSc, provided they have completed in the first year a minimum of 12 credits of course work with an overall average of at least 80%, 9 credits of 80% standing, and one of the seminar courses CHEM 540A, 540B or 540C.

The progress of each PhD student is evaluated once a year at a meeting of the faculty. A supervisory committee is formed for each student; this committee normally consists of the research supervisor and three other faculty members, one of whom is chosen by the student. In their second year, PhD students are required to pass a comprehensive examination. This exam consists of an oral report of their research progress and questioning on their work and the background related to it - this meeting is normally the last requirement before the thesis and must be passed in one or two attempts to achieve candidacy.

At the completion of the thesis, both MSc and PhD students must defend their results and thesis at a formal oral defense. In the case of PhD students an external examiner, chosen in consultation with the supervisor and the graduate advisor, is also asked by the Faculty of Graduate Studies to review the thesis.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Chemistry
- Subject: Science
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

Research focus

Biological & Medicinal Chemistry, Catalytic Processes, Chemical Physics, Chemical Synthesis, Environmental Chemistry, Interfacial and Surface Chemistry, Materials & Polymer Chemistry, Molecular Spectroscopy, Nuclear and Radiochemistry

Visit the Chemistry (MSc) page on the University of British Columbia website for more details!

Student Profiles

International Tuition Award - No. of awards TBC

International Tuition Awards assist international graduate students with their tuition fees if they are registered full-time in research-oriented master’s and doctoral programs.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to $3,200 per annum


Students must hold a valid Student Authorization (Study Permit).

Application Procedure

Students do not need to apply, as all international students who are eligible are automatically considered for this scholarship. Awards are assigned on the Student Information System, and, once assigned, can be viewed by logging onto the Student Service Centre.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The Department welcomes applications from students with undergraduate or Master's degrees with high standing. In most cases, students enter graduate study with chemistry degrees but applicants with other backgrounds, such as physics, biology, or mathematics, are also given consideration.

Course Fees

Tuition per year: Canadian $4,615.35, International $8,108.40

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of British Columbia
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