With the addition of NEW coursework recently developed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, WPI’s online MS in Chemistry with an optional specialization in Medicinal Plant Chemistry is one of the few graduate programs available in the United States where one can receive an advanced degree specializing in plant-based chemistry. At a time when professionals with plant-based chemistry specializations are in high demand, this student-centric, non-thesis program offers participants the opportunity to devise an individualized course plan that will enable them to obtain the knowledge and skills they desire to excel in careers of modern, plant-based chemical industries.
The combination of convenient online programming in science and business, as well as optional on-site laboratory courses, will poise graduates to take on a wide range of leadership and entrepreneurial roles in the private sector, such as pharmaceuticals (e.g., medicinal cannabis), fragrances, and cosmetics.
Learning Outcomes for Master’s in Chemistry with a Medicinal Plant Chemistry Specialization Online
By the end of this program, students will be able to:
- Integrate fundamental, functional, and applied knowledge of plant-based medicinal compounds in their role as a professional scientist.
- Demonstrate expertise in modern techniques for natural product isolation, characterization, and analysis.
- Foster leadership and interpersonal skills required to excel in a diverse life science company.
Program Requirements for Master’s in Chemistry with a Medicinal Plant Chemistry Specialization Online
Graduate credits must consist of 4000-, 500- or 600-level courses. Credits should be distributed as follows:
- At least 15 credits in CBC courses.
- A maximum of 10 credits in electives in areas of engineering, science, management or mathematics.
- Students also may use up to 9 credits of CH 598 (Directed Research) toward credit hour requirements.
*Note: Online students will take additional CBC coursework to fulfill this requirement.
Courses for Master’s in Chemistry with a Medicinal Plant Chemistry Specialization Online
We recommend students choose at least four core courses from the list below:
- CH 538. Medicinal Chemistry
- CH 542. Drugs in the Brain
- This class will introduce the concepts of basic neuropharmacology and the action of major neurotransmitter families in the brain. The mechanisms of action of the major psychoactive drug families including cannabis, opioids, and psychedelics will be covered. The effects of pharmaceutical treatments for anxiety and depression on brain chemistry will be discussed as well.
- CH 545. Plant Natural Products
- This class will cover the chemistry of a number of families of plant-derived natural products, including, terpenoids, phenolic compounds, and alkaloids. The coverage of aspects of the chemistry involving these natural products may include biosynthesis, chemical synthesis, and medicinal chemistry applications. The historical and current roles of select natural products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol, taxol, heroin, and quinine, in society, may also be discussed.
- CH 546. Natural Product Isolation and Analysis*
- In this laboratory class, students will learn strategies to isolate and characterize natural products. Techniques used during this course will include solvent extraction, supercritical fluid extraction, NMR spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy, gas chromatography, and liquid chromatography. *Requires on-site participation in Worcester, MA as part of the hands-on laboratory portion of the course.
- CH 555 ST. Drug Regulations
- CH 555 ST. Cell Signaling and Physiology
Other technical coursework of interest may include:
- BB 505. Fermentation Biology
- CH 516. Spectroscopy (Not currently offered online)
- CH 536. Theory and Applications of NMR Spectroscopy (Not currently offered online)
- CH 538. Medicinal Chemistry
- CH 555 ST. Practical Applications of Molecular Modeling
- CHE 506. Chemical Engineering (Not currently offered online)
Course offerings are subject to change. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact us for the most up-to-date information.
In addition, due to the entrepreneurial nature of the industry, students may consider taking one or more of our business electives:
- MIS 576. Project Management
- OBC 505. Teaming and Organizing for Innovation
- OBC 506. The Heart of Leadership: Power, Reflection & Interpersonal Skills (not currently offered online)
Admissions Guidelines for the Master’s in Chemistry with a Medicinal Plant Chemistry Specialization Online
A B.S. degree with demonstrated proficiency in chemistry or biochemistry is required for entrance to Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate programs, or other relevant background or experience that provides students with the pre-requisite knowledge in general and organic chemistry, biochemistry and biology.
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