MS Programs

MS Programs

Students earning an MS degree in chemistry or biochemistry in the School of Molecular Sciences are trained in the foundation disciplines of analytical, organic, physical, inorganic, and environmental chemistry and geochemistry. Most will also choose to learn by joining transdisciplinary research teams that work on larger, mission-based contemporary problems in areas such as:

  • energy and sustainability
  • frontiers of chemical measurement
  • fundamental molecular science
  • geologic and biospheric science
  • materials and nanoscience
  • medicine and health
  • structure function and dynamics

The master's degree program in chemistry or biochemistry provides students with the training they need to solve molecular scale problems and to contribute to research in current challenging societal issues.

Beginning in Fall 2023, the School of Molecular Sciences will offer course-work based MS degrees in addition to the thesis-based MS degrees. The course-work MS degree will become the standard offering. Students wanting to complete a thesis-based MS degree will be required to identify a research advisor and request a letter of recommendation from them as part of application.

Admission Information

Students interested in pursuing a MS degree program in chemistry or biochemistry should consult faculty with whom they are interested in working prior to applying. A letter of support will be required to ensure mutual interest. Applications open September 1 for admission in Fall of the following year. The application deadline is February 15. Applications received prior to the deadline will receive priority consideration, but applications received after the deadline may still receive consideration, pending available space. Applicants will receive final notice of decision by March 15.

All applicants must apply through the Graduate Admissions office. All application materials must be submitted through the application or to Graduate Admissions directly. Please do not mail any documents to the School of Molecular Sciences. 

The School of Molecular Sciences utilizes a two-part application process and both parts are required. The first part is the General Application through the ASU Graduate Admissions office. The second part is a supplemental application to the School of Molecular Sciences through SlideRoom.

Step 1: General Application

Apply Now

Step 2: Supplemental Application

The supplemental application can be completed immediately following submission of the General Application. You will need your Application Reference number in order to submit, but can begin the application without it. The Supplemental Application will close on the application deadline and no new applications will be allowed. Applications started by the deadline will be granted a 7-day grace period to complete the application.

Access the Supplemental Application

***GRE NOT required***

Minimum Requirements required for admission:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or closely related discipline with appropriate coursework
    • Applicants from Indian institutions (3-yr BSc) must have completed a Master's degree.
  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • International Applicants must satisfy university minimum requirements for English Proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, PTE)

You will need the following information to complete the general application:

  • Beginning/ending dates and location(s) of your academic degree(s);
  • Grade point average (GPA) - Information on calculating overall, junior-senior undergraduate and graduate GPA can found on the Graduate Admission website.
  • TOEFL scores (unofficial scores can be used in your initial application)
  • Arizona Residency information if you are a resident in the state of Arizona (general tax and employment history)
  • Unofficial transcripts, saved into one PDF file (must be less than 1MB)

You will need the following information to complete the supplemental application:

  •  Areas of research and faculty member interest
  • A brief Personal Statement that includes a narrative concerning your motivations for graduate study in chemistry or biochemistry, your long-term career goals, further information on research experience, and a list of all honors, awards and scholarships. It is particularly important to describe your research experience and list any publications.
  • Contact information (email address) for three (3) faculty members who will write letters of recommendation for you, and can comment on your suitability for advanced scholarly work. One of these must be your potential research supervisor. If you are employed full-time, only one of these letters can be from your employer. Faculty member letters are much more important than letters from employers.
  • Electronic copies of your unofficial transcripts.

Acceptance decisions may be extended on the basis of the unofficial information submitted as part of the application, although admission cannot be processed until all official transcripts and test scores have been received and added to the official graduate admission application.

The School of Molecular Sciences values a diverse student population and welcomes applications from international students. The University sets English proficiency requirements for admission for international students whose native language is not English, or for whom the official language of the country of origin is not English. 

The test of English proficiency must have been taken within two years of starting the program (i.e. for fall 2020 admission, the test must have been taken after August 1, 2018.) You will need to retake the test if your results are more than two years old. Official scores should be sent by the Education Testing Service (ETS) as soon as possible. When ordering a score report from ETS, use institution code 4007 (do not list a department code). Applications will not be considered without valid evidence of English proficiency.

Applicants who satisfy one of the following criteria through attendance at a regionally accredited college or university in the US are exempt from the English proficiency admission requirements:

  • Applicants who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
  • Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.
  • Applicants who have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country, and the country is on the ASU English Speaking Country and Territory List.
  • Applicants who have completed at least nine semester hours of graduate coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) or higher at a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S or from an international institution that is officially recognized in that country and is on the ASU English Speaking Country and Territory List.
  • Applicants who have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country, and the sole medium of instruction for the program was in English. Student should email to request exemption and include a letter from the institution on letterhead indicating language of instruction or provide information on the institution website to verify language of instruction.
  • Applicants who have completed at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) or higher at a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.
  • Four years of high school in the U.S. with four years of English.

NOTE: Exemption can only be obtained by providing proof through submission of official documentation, i.e. official graduate transcript. The requirement will remain on your account until the verification has been completed by the Graduate Admissions office.

All international academic records must be submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Translations must be literal and complete versions of original records, and the documents must be translated by a university, a government official, or an official translation service. Students who are applying from Indian institutions must send both their Certificate and Mark Sheets.

For additional information, please visit the Graduate Admission Services page dedicated to International Students.

There is no guarantee of funding for the MS Programs and MS students are not eligible for TA positions. It is possible some student hourly positions may be available to support the teaching responsibilities. Research advisors do have the ability to hire MS students in a RA role, but most will prioritize PhD students for these positions.

Students are encouraged to apply for eligible scholarships. The Graduate College maintains a page of funding opportunities and includes both internal and external scholarship/fellowship opportunities.

Students seeking to transfer from another graduate program are accepted only under exceptional circumstances. If you are currently, or have been in another graduate program in chemistry or biochemistry in the United States, you must supply three letters of recommendation from your current institution (i.e. the one that you are transferring from, or the one you previously attended). Do not have letters sent from earlier (undergraduate) institutions. Specifically, we will need a letter from your current research advisor (or prior graduate research advisor) stating explicitly why you want to transfer to ASU. Without a letter from your research advisor, we will NOT be able to review your application.


Your application status can be checked in two places:

For your general application, please check your MyASU portal, specifically your Priority Tasks panel for any required items that need to be submitted. If your application status is “In Review” your official application is complete and nothing further is required for the official application.

For the Supplemental Application, please log in and click the "Check Documents Status" bar at the top of the application. All information that has been submitted is live and can be seen by the committee, there is no final submit button.

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the reduction in test availability, the GRE requirement has been waived and will not be required for the fall 2021 application cycle. If you have taken the GRE, please include the scores as our committee finds them to be a useful metric in evaluating the entirety of the application. The subject GRE is not required.

Yes. The application fee is paid with the general graduate application. The fee is $70 for domestic students and $115 for international students.

We receive many inquiries and applications; therefore, we are not able to preview your scores to determine your eligibility to apply or make suggestions on your credentials. 

Applications received after the Feb. 15 deadline may be reviewed and considered for admission if space permits. International students must consider important dates for the issuance of immigration documents. Applications are only accepted for the fall semester. We do not admit students to begin study in the spring semester.

Supporting documents may be submitted after the deadline; however, preference is given to applicants whose files are complete by the application due date. Incomplete applications may not receive full consideration until completed and considered on a space available basis. 

Students applying to the PhD programs must have completed a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or a related discipline by the semester in which they want to begin their graduate program. A Master’s degree is not required, with one exception. Due to differences in the educational system in India, applicants who have received their degree from an institution in India must have also completed a Master's degree. (4-year degrees, usually Biotechnology degrees, from India are considered equivalent to a 4-year BS degree and do not require an accompanying Master’s degree.)

You will need an ASURITE ID from Graduate Admission Services before you can access this page. Graduate Admission Services will not send your ASURITE ID until you have completed and submitted the general application, i.e. you must click the "submit" button at the end of their application. Please also make sure that the email containing your ASURITE ID has not been caught in your SPAM filter.

If you have received your ASURITE ID and you still cannot access the application, please wait 1-2 days to allow for our supplemental application database to sync with the Graduate Admission Services database (due to the schedule, this can take up to 48 hours). If after 48 hours you still cannot access the application, please check your MyASU to confirm that you have an application on file. If when accessing the application you encounter a page requesting that you log out, please follow the log out instructions, close your internet browser, and then try the link again. You may also need to log out of MyASU directly, since many browsers allow for MyASU to remain logged in, which can cause an authentication time-out error for the supplemental application. After logging out of MyASU, close your browser and then attempt to access the supplemental application again.

The School of Molecular Sciences Admissions Committee will begin their review of applications close to the deadline. Every effort will be made to provide final decisions by March 15.

The Financial Guarantee form can be submitted at any time, but only needs to be submitted if you are accepted to a graduate program. 

The size of the incoming class will depend on the applicant quality and faculty demand to ensure we are able to match students with research advisors.

Professors' group requirements change constantly and we are not able to provide a list of actively recruiting faculty. You should reach out to faculty with whom you have an interest in working and determine if they are taking MS students and if they would consider supporting your admission.

There is no form for recommendation letters; they are submitted electronically. Within the Supplemental Application you will provide email addresses for your recommendation writers and an email will be sent to each recommender with instructions on how to submit a letter in support of your application. We can only accept letters of recommendation that are submitted electronically using our system.

If sending by U.S. Mail, use this address:

Admission Services Applicant Processing
Arizona State University
PO Box 871004
Tempe AZ 85287-1004

If sending by FedEx, DHL or UPS, use this address:

Arizona State University
Admission Services Applicant Processing
1150 East University Drive Building C, Room 226
Tempe, AZ 85281

Do not mail any documents, including official transcripts or copies of test scores to the School of Molecular Sciences.

Applicants are asked to submit an electronic copy of their unofficial transcripts as part of the Supplemental Application to the School of Molecular Sciences. SMS will use the unofficial transcripts for their review. Official transcripts must be sent to Graduate Admission Services for evaluation for you to be eligible for admission (unofficial transcripts can be submitted when completing the general application, but cannot be added after submission). Please do not mail your official transcript or any documents to the School of Molecular Sciences.

Information on the Graduate Admission Services application can be found on their website or you can contact them by email or by calling 480-965-6113. Additional information can be found on their Contact page.