Master’s in Chemistry

Master of Science

WPI’s coursework-based master’s in chemistry can be either a part-time or full-time, thesis or non-thesis, program program designed for targeted, in-depth investigations in advanced topics in modern chemistry. Our flexible plan of study and individualized advising helps you tailor the program to your interests and career goals.

For a more robust program with additional research opportunities, consider WPI’s PhD degree program in Chemistry.



In collaboration with a program advisor, you will select courses from Chemistry and additional disciplines that give you what you need to succeed—from organic chemistry, to the life sciences, to materials research. Advanced chemistry topics to explore include medicinal chemistry, theory, and applications of NMR spectroscopy, molecular modeling, and chemical spectroscopy. You can also supplement your master’s in chemistry studies with high-level undergraduate courses.

You can choose a thesis option, consisting of high-level original research, or a non-thesis option with additional coursework. Hands-on research and lab work will also be an integral component of many of your courses.

WPI’s MS chemistry faculty researchers are known for fueling advances with the potential to change the way we live in areas such as health, nanotechnology, biomedical sensors, and clean energy.

You will have many opportunities to learn from and work alongside faculty and students conducting research in such areas as these:

At WPI, students’ work makes an immediate impact on some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Students work one-on-one with faculty members to develop a targeted curriculum—so they can combine their interests in science, engineering, and even entrepreneurship.

Whether your interests are in biotech or pharmaceutical fields, or in areas such as energy or rare resources, the opportunities at WPI prepare you for your next steps.

Research at WPI is invigorating, exciting, and innovative.

WPI’s high-tech lab bays are organized by research focus, not departments, and invite multidisciplinary collaboration.

The flexible degree program at WPI means your BCB degree offers a comprehensive plan tailored to your professional and personal goals.

  • Catalysis
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Drug Design and Synthesis
  • Enzyme Kinetics
  • Fluorescence Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Modeling
  • Optical and Electrochemical Sensors
  • Spectroscopy

Graduate Studies Series

Learn from our enrollment team members and other guests by attending quick and convenient 30-minute webinars we designed to highlight popular topics when starting grad school. Take a deep dive into specific areas of interest such as how to funding, how to ace your application, student services, and more!

Curious About What You Can Do With a Master’s in Chemistry?

Are you already a driven, aspiring chemist and curious about landing the best jobs with a master’s in chemistry? Maybe you’re asking what you can do with a master’s in chemistry, the salary, or industry requirements. Be sure to explore our career outlook for chemistry which showcases sample companies who have hired WPI grads, master’s in chemistry salary information, and more.

Earn a Master’s in Biochemistry or Medicinal Plant Chem Instead

Are you fascinated by genetic research, food science, or even treating diseases? Explore a master’s in biochemistry where you’ll conduct in-depth investigations and hands-on lab work that fuels advances in the biochemistry field. Maybe you have an interest in studying medicinal plant chemistry? Our master’s in medicinal plant-based chemistry is one of the few grad programs in the U.S. where students can earn an advance degree in plant chemistry. This student-centric program dives into courses like plant natural products, drugs in the brain, fermentation biology, and more.

Ready for a PhD? Explore Our Chemistry PhD Programs.

Do you want to expand your horizons and lead life-changing research alongside fellow chemists? Our PhD in chemistry brings students to the front and center of globally recognized work in chemical engineering as they conduct “research for a purpose.” Get ready to emerge as a leader who takes on challenges in areas like nanotechnology, biofuels, and more. Maybe you want to be on the forefront of  advances that impact human health and the environment in which we live. Explore a PhD in biochemistry where you will work on pressing challenges in biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, and even engineering.

Just Beginning Your Career? Consider a BS in Chemistry.

Whether you’re just starting to think about what you want to major in or have a true passion for chemistry, be sure to explore a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Emerge as a chemist while gaining hands-on experience using advanced scientific tools and techniques. Maybe you’re interested in studying the transformations that occur in living organisms? Explore our bachelor’s in biochemistry which enables students to investigate important discoveries in chemistry and biology.

Fascinated with Chemistry, but Majoring in a Different Discipline?

Even if you don’t plan to major in chemistry, you can gain enough experience to apply chemistry to your academic plan. Look into WPI’s minor in biochemistry if you want expertise in life processes, a broader foundation in your practical laboratory skills, or an understanding of how to apply biochemistry principles to a business path. You can also design a minor in chemistry that will match your goals— whether that is an overall understanding of chemistry or a minor that lets you delve into a focus on physical or medicinal chemistry.

Faculty Profiles

Shawn C Burdette

Chemistry research in the Burdette group occurs at the interface of synthesis, metal ion homeostasis & signaling, cell biology and photochemistry. The group is developing molecular tools that will facilitate efforts to map cellular metal ion signaling pathways, and understand the pathologies of neurodegenerative diseases. Of particular interest is the development of photocaged complexes that are capable of releasing zinc in a light-dependent manner in biological systems. These tools are designed and synthesized to optimize the temporal and spatial control of zinc release.

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Robert E. Dempski
Professor-Chemistry, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Our research integrates investigating the structure and function of targeted membrane proteins with development of mixed reality tools for workforce development. We combine biochemical and biophysical techniques to investigate the structure and function of two classes of membrane proteins. In the first instance, we are investigating the mechanism of a zinc transporter, hZIP4. This protein has been implicated in the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer. Despite the central role of this protein in cellular homeostasis, the mechanism of cation transport is not well understood.

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Ronald Grimm
Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

What makes a particular material efficient at converting sunlight to electrical or chemical energy? Conversely, what makes a material a poor energy converter? The Grimmgroup is motivated by quantifying and controlling the bulk and surface properties of solar energy conversion materials. As a research group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, we seek an atom- and bond-level understanding of material properties.

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George A. Kaminski
Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

I am a computational physical chemist. My research is in the areas of force field building and applications. Special attention is given to creating polarizable force fields for organic and biophysical systems, including proteins and protein-ligand complexes. I teach classes in physical, computational and general chemistry. Simulations of proteins is very important in biomedical research because proteins play crucial role in a large number of biological phenomena, both benign and harmful.

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Anita Elaine Mattson
Professor & Department Head-Chemistry & Biochemistry, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Research in the Mattson Group is a combination of catalyst design, methodology development, and complex molecule synthesis. Our catalyst design program is focused on the synthesis and study of new families of non-covalent catalysts, including boronate ureas and silanediols, that are able to promote new reactivity patterns. The catalyst design and associated reaction development programs are currently geared toward the synthesis of enantioenriched nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles that frequently appear in naturally occurring bioactive compounds.

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Carissa Lynn Olsen
Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Membranes are composed of hundreds of distinct kinds of phospholipids, and the types of lipids that are found within a membrane bilayer impact its biophysical properties including its fluidity, permeability and susceptibility to damage. Our primary interest is in understanding the mechanisms that control the phospholipid composition and that preserve the membrane over time. We use stable isotope tracing strategies and mass spectrometry to quantify phospholipid abundance and dynamics in the model organism, C. elegans.

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Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Suzanne Scarlata, Richard Whitcomb Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, joined the university faculty in 2016. She studies how small molecules in the bloodstream can change the behavior of cells. In particular, she is interested in how certain hormones and neurotransmitters can activate a family of organic molecules known as G proteins (guanine nucleotide-binding proteins), which are involved in transmitting signals from various stimuli from the exterior to the interior of cells.

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