The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at SDSU offers the following degrees:
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with Emphasis in Biochemistry
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemical Physics
- Master of Arts (M.A.) (see also Earning the M.S.)
- Master of Science (M.S.) (see also Earning the M.A.)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
(Joint Doctoral Program with UCSD)
Graduate Programs of Study
SDSU provides excellent opportunities for graduate work in chemistry at the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degree levels. All major areas of chemistry are represented: analytical, inorganic, physical, and organic chemistry as well as biochemistry. Whether you are a student who has definite degree objectives or a student who is not entirely sure about your degree objectives, we offer a program that may be right for you!
The chemistry graduate program at SDSU is large enough to offer a variety of course and research options, yet small enough that you will not get lost in the crowd. Each of our graduate students is important to us and we strive to give each student the personal attention needed to make sure his or her graduate career at SDSU is both successful and rewarding.
UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program
The Ph.D. degree is offered jointly with the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry through the Joint Doctoral Program (JDP). Students in the JDP are admitted into the graduate programs of both institutions, and spend one year in full-time residence at UCSD, in which they take courses and serve as teaching assistants for one quarter. The remainder of the coursework and research for the Ph.D. degree are carried out under the direction of a faculty member at SDSU. Students in the JDP are required to pass a qualifying examination in order to advance to candidacy for the degree. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree then complete a dissertation based on their research, which must be successfully defended to a joint committee consisting of faculty members from both UCSD and SDSU. Please also see UCSDs description of this program. There are two ways to enter the JDP program, one directly, and the other by way of one year in the masters program; details appear below.
SDSU M.S. Degree Program
We offer a strong Masters of Science program with both coursework and research requirements. The M.S. degree at SDSU is a respected degree, not merely a consolation prize for those students who dont succeed in the Ph.D. program. Graduates from our M.S. degree program have been very successful in obtaining jobs, particularly in the Southern California area. Requirements for the M.S. degree include the completion of 30 units of graduate credit and the successful oral defense of a research thesis. This program is ideal for students who want essential research experience but do not wish to advance or wish to postpone advancement toward the Ph.D. degree.
SDSU M.A. Degree Program
Students in this program are required to complete 30 units of graduate credit, at least 24 of which are in chemistry. The student is free to take any course listed as acceptable in the Graduate Bulletin; however, the student must take courses in areas in which he or she is deficient (as demonstrated by the orientation exams). The final requirement is to write a paper approved by the departmental graduate advisor or take a written comprehensive exam. This program is ideal for students who do not feel that they need research experience. Many people employed in local industries choose this route. To accommodate these people, we try to offer graduate courses in the evening whenever possible.
All graduate students are admitted into our M.S. and M.A. graduate programs with unclassified status. Although the requirements for advancement to classified status can vary, all students are required to show competency in four of the five general areas of chemistry either by passing orientation exams or by taking courses in the appropriate areas of chemistry. The orientation exams are given 12 weeks before classes begin in both the Fall and Spring semesters.
Application to the Graduate Program
NOTE: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the requirements outlined below that applicants for graduate study at SDSU submit scores for the GRE or GMAT are suspended for the Spring and Fall 2021 admissions cycles
No matter what Chemistry graduate degree program you choose, you will first apply through Cal State Apply and then fill out a Program Application (a second part of your application that goes directly to the Department) in Interfolio.
First: Cal State Apply for application to university
- Cal State Apply is the application to the university -- all applicants must use this system to apply.
- Cal State Apply is managed through the Admissions department.
- Applicant questions about the application can be directed to the Cal State Apply FAQs website.
- Applicant questions specific to applying to the university can be directed to the Graduate Admissions.
Second: Interfolio for secondary application to Department
- Interfolio is used by our department to collect program-specific application materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, personal statements, etc.)
- Interfolio is managed by the Division of Research and Innovation IT team (