Earning a Master's degree can increase one's career options and earnings potential in the marketplace.  For WPI undergraduates who are on their way towards a Bachelors of Science in either chemistry or in biochemistry, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers the opportunity to earn a combined B.S./M.S. degree in four or five years.

Students interested in the program should read the page below.  Any additional questions should be directed to Prof. Grimm within the department.

Basic four-year model

Per university requirements, a coursework-based Masters degree constitutes a minimum 30 credit hours subject to the following stipulations:

  • 18 credits must be graduate level coursework or projects, 15 credits of which must be in one's area of study
  • Maximum of 10 credits of elective (non-CBC) coursework (e.g. eng, math, manag.)
  • May use up to 9 credits of CH 598 (directed research) towards requirements
  • Advanced level undergraduate courses may be used for electives (e.g. 4000 level)
  • A typical 1/3 unit undergraduate course is equivalent to 2 graduate credits
  • Double counting of credits towards the masters degree is limited to 40% of the total graduate credits for the masters (computed using graduate credits where 1/6 of an undergraduate unit is equal to 1 graduate credit)

Example Schedule for a combined Chemistry B.S./M.S.

  • Six free elective courses worth of space
  • Six graduate courses at 3 credits each = 18 credits
  • Six double-counted, 1/3-ungraduate-unit courses at the 4000 level at 2 credits each = 12 credits.
  • Total = 30 credits
Year Term A Term B Term C Term D
First CH1010
SS
MA
CH1020
HU
MA
CH1030
HU
MA
CH1040
HU
MA
Second CH 3510
CH 2640
HU
CH 2310
CH 2650
HU
CH 2320
CH 2660
PH
CH 2330
CH 2670
PH
Third CH 4110
MA
CH 516
CH 3550
SS
IQP
CH 3410
CH 3530
IQP
CH 4420
HU
IQP
Fourth

MQP
CH 554
BB 5xx
BB 40xx

MQP
CH 4330
CH 538
MQP
CH 4520
CH 4150
MQP
CH 598
CH 536

Example schedule for a Biochemistry B.S./M.S.

  • Six free elective courses worth of space
  • Six graduate courses at 3 credits each = 18 credits
  • Six double-counted, 1/3-ungraduate-unit courses at the 4000 level at 2 credits each = 12 credits.
  • Total = 30 credits
Year Term A Term B Term C Term D
First CH1010
BB 2550
MA
CH1020
HU
MA
CH1030
BB 2920
MA
CH1040
HU
MA
Second CH 3510
CH 2640
HU
CH 2310
SS
HU
CH 2320
HU
PH
CH 2330
HU
PH
Third CH 4110
BB
CH 516
CH 4120
Sci. elect.
IQP
CH 4130
CH 4150
IQP
CH 4170
BB
IQP
Fourth

MQP
SS
BB 565
CH 554

MQP
CH 538
BB 565

MQP
CH 3410
BB 575
MQP
CH 4190
CH 598

Requirements and and process for application

Students interested in pursuing a combined B.S./M.S. degree must apply to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in their third or fourth year of matriculation. Only applicants with a departmental (i.e. CH #### classes) GPA of 3.7 or higher will be considered.  However, in exceptional circumstances candidates with a lower departmental GPA may petition the graduate committee by contacting Prof. Grimm prior to submitting an application.  The department will only consider applicants to the combined BS/MS program that are pursuing an undergraduate degree in chemistry or biochemistry.  

For a combined four-year B.S./M.S. degree, students should apply in the spring of their third year of matriculation.  The department does not have a strict cut-off date, however applications received prior to these start of D-term will receive the strongest consideration and preference.

Applicants need not solicit recommendation letters concurrently with the submission of an application, but rather should include in their personal statement the names of three WPI professors from whom the graduate committee may request such letters.  Letter writers should be WPI (or WPI-affilliated) professors who can speak positively towards the applicant's scholarship, work ethic, and ability to handle the rigors of a four-year combined B.S./M.S. degree.

Students wishing to initiate an application should apply here and make sure that you select "BSMS application" in that process.