Last Updated 2014-11-05
Together, the Graduate Student Handbook
and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.
The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.
Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:
The thesis option in the Chemistry MS program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including 14 credit hours of required courses, at least 6 credit hours of thesis research, and 10 credit hours of electives that must be approved by the student’s advisory committee. The nonthesis option requires a minimum of 31 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, including 14 credit hours of required courses, 16 credit hours of electives that must be approved by the student's advisory committee, and 1 credit hour of independent study that culminates in a research report.
All students must satisfy qualifying (proficiency) requirements in four of the five areas (analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry) during the first year by taking exams in four of these five subjects. Additional course work may be required if one or more of the qualifying exams are not satisfied. Satisfaction of this requirement will help ensure that all students are adequately prepared for the core courses. If students do not satisfy the proficiency exam requirements within the first year, they may be subject to dismissal from the program.
Required Courses—14 Credit Hours
Students must take four of the following courses. If a student successfully completes all five required courses, one course will count toward fulfilling the electives requirement.
- CHM 6710 Applied Analytical Chemistry (3 credit hours)
- CHS 6240 Chemical Thermodynamics (3 credit hours)
- CHS 6251 Applied Organic Synthesis (3 credit hours)
- CHM 6440 Kinetics and Catalysis (3 credit hours)
- BCH 6740 Applied Biochemistry (3 credit hours)
In addition, students must complete the following seminar.
- CHM 6936 Graduate Chemistry Seminar (1 credit hour, taken twice)
Elective Courses—10 Credit Hours
All students must take 10 credit hours of electives from the following list. All elective courses must be approved by the student’s advisory committee.
- CHM 5225 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 credit hours)
- CHM 5235 Applied Molecular Spectroscopy (3 credit hours)
- CHM 5305 Applied Biological Chemistry (3 credit hours)
- CHM 5450 Polymer Chemistry (3 credit hours)
- CHM 5451C Techniques in Polymer Science (3 credit hours)
- CHM 5580 Advanced Physical Chemistry (3 credit hours)
- CHM 6134 Advanced Instrumental Analysis (3 credit hours)
- CHM 6711 Chemistry of Materials (3 credit hours)
- CHS 6260 Chemical Unit Operations and Separations (3 credit hours)
- CHS 6261 Chemical Process and Product Development (2 credit hours)
- CHS 6613 Current Topics in Environmental Chemistry (3 credit hours)
- CHM/CHS Special topics courses
Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours
- CHM 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)
The grounding in scientific research methodology provided by the thesis requirement is a central focus of the thesis option in the Chemistry MS program. Students will conduct research either on site or at the professional laboratories where they work. In either case, a member of the UCF Chemistry Department faculty will act as research adviser and approve the research topic. This research culminates in the writing and presentation of the thesis. The student will present his/her thesis for final examination (oral defense of thesis) by a committee consisting of three members including the research adviser. The committee has to be approved by the Graduate Coordinator of the Chemistry program. The thesis must be judged worthy of publication by the review committee and may not be submitted for examination until so deemed. For nonresident students, the thesis adviser will visit the student’s laboratory, where their research is to be performed, before the research begins and on a regular basis until the work is complete.
Nonthesis Option—7 Credit Hours
Nonthesis students take an additional 7 credit hours of courses, including 6 credit hours of electives from the list above and 1 credit hour of independent study, resulting in a required research report of independent learning experience.
- Electives (6 credit hours)
- CHM 6908 Independent Study (1 credit hour)
Full-time students in the Chemistry MS program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 per semester.
University Thesis Requirements
A thesis is optional for this program; the following information is intended for those choosing to complete a thesis.
The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.
All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.
The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:
- Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
- Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
- Defend by the defense deadline
- Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
- Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
- Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline
Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.
The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.
The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the student chooses to conduct research that involves human subjects (i.e. surveys, interviews, etc.), he or she must gain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval prior to beginning the study. For access to the IRB submission form and sample consent forms, please visit the Office of Research website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance > UCF IRB Webpage > UCF-IRB Principal Investigator’s Manual.
If the student chooses to conduct research that involves animal subjects, he or she must gain Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval prior to beginning the study. For access to the IACUC submission forms, please visit the Office or Research website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance > UCF IACUC Webpage > Animal Use Approval Form.
If you have questions regarding human or animal subjects, please contact Ms. Barbara Ward, IRB Coordinator at 407-823-2901.
Ethics in Research
Researchers in every discipline have a responsibility for ethical awareness as the status of the profession rests with each individual researcher. It is important to be honest and ethical in conducting research as well as in taking classes. The ethical collection and use of information includes, but is by no means limited to, the following: confidentiality, accuracy, relevance, self-responsibility, honesty, and awareness of conflict of interest. The University of Arizona’s Code of Research Ethics provides our students with guidelines for responsible practice in research. This code of ethics can be found here: www.as.arizona.edu/research-conduct.
Patent and Invention Policy
UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and to (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate students as inventor will, according to this policy, share in the proceeds of the invention.
The full policy is available online from the Graduate Catalog: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu > Policies > General Graduate Policies > Patent and Invention Policy.
- Approved eye protection is required to be worn in the laboratory continuously. This means eye covering which will protect against both impact and splashes. Safety glasses or goggles must be rated Z87 in order to be approved protective eyewear for lab use. Approved eyewear is available through the campus bookstore, Home Depot or Lowes. If you should get a chemical in your eye, wash with flowing water for a minimum of 15 minutes and inform the instructor.
- Full protection for the body must be provided by a full length lab coat with long sleeves, long pants or a long skirt, and shoes. Shoes must be closed toe; no sandals are allowed. Keep long hair confined while in the laboratory. If you wear contacts, please wear your glasses instead with safety glasses that will cover them, unless medically not advised. Both latex and nitrile gloves are available in the bookstore for your use.
- Perform no unauthorized experiments. No horseplay in laboratories. No smoking allowed. No food and drink in the laboratories. Wash your hands before leaving the laboratory.
- Do not taste anything in the laboratory. This applies to food as well as chemicals. Do not use the laboratory as an eating place, and do not eat or drink from laboratory glassware.
- Exercise great care in noting the odor of fumes and avoid breathing fumes of any kind. Use fume hoods as required with blower on and the vertical safety glass down at the appropriate level.
- Do not use mouth suction in filling pipettes with chemical reagents. Use a suction bulb.
- In case of fire or accident, call the instructor at once. Note location of the fire extinguisher, safety shower, and eyewash now, so that you can use it if needed. Wet towels are very efficient for smothering fires. When the alarm sounds evacuate the building.
- For treatment of cuts, burns, or inhalation of fumes you must go to The Health Center, located behind the Chemistry building. Your instructor will arrange for transportation or an escort if needed.
- Do not force glass tubing into rubber stopper without protection for hands. Lubricate the tubing with water and use a towel to cover. Fire-polish the ends of all glass tubing.
Extensive information about UCF's research and the Chemistry Department's research, in particular, can be found at the UCF Office of Research and Commercialization website: www.research.ucf.edu. Additional details including a list of research specializations and projects as well as current funding resources and research centers, visit the Research webpage on the Chemistry Department website.
information about graduate fellowships, assistantships, tuition For general
information about graduate fellowships, assistantships, tuition waivers and
payments, health insurance and other financial aid for students, see funding.graduate.ucf.edu.
Several types of
employment are available to international students, including on-campus
employment. For more information about the types of employment available to
international students, and the requirements and restrictions based in
visa-type, please see the International Affairs and Global Strategies' website: www.intl.ucf.edu >
Current Students > Employment.
Assistantships, Tuition Remission,
and Health Insurance
For complete information about university
assistantships, tuition remission, and health insurance, please see the UCF
Graduate Catalog: funding.graduate.ucf.edu.
To be employed and to maintain employment in a graduate position, the student
- In good academic standing
- Enrolled full
To be awarded and continue receipt of tuition remission,
the student must be:
- In good academic standing
- Employed in a graduate assistantship position (GTA, GRA, GA)
or receiving a University fellowship
If the student is hired in the position of Graduate
Teaching Associate, Assistant or Grader, there are training requirements that
must be met in order for the student's Assistantship Agreement to be processed.
Teaching for these training requirements and registration
International students who will be hired in GTA positions
must be proficient at speaking English. This is determined by successfully
passing the SPEAK test with a score of 55 or better. Please see the GTA
Information webpage for details.
GTA Performance Assessment
the completion of each semester the student is employed as a GTA, the student’s
performance will be evaluated by the faculty advisor. These assessments will be
used to review strengths and weaknesses in the student’s performance in
preparation for future employment.
Graduate Student Associations
Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to
enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To
learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department
or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.
Chemistry Graduate Student Association - This organization was formed
by the Chemistry Graduate students to welcome incoming students and help with
housing, transportation, academics, etc. To contact the organization please
Chemical Society (ACS) fosters a cohesive community among students that
promotes a positive image of Chemistry and to bring chemistry awareness to the
general public through appreciation and understanding.
The Chemistry Department at UCF has developed an
extensive network of partnerships with Central Florida business and industry.
These alliances enrich the learning experience and provide unique opportunities
both during and after the advanced degree programs. Companies recently offering
partnership programs for UCF Chemistry students include Lucent Technologies,
NASA, Lockheed-Martin Corporation, MBI International, Cirent Corporation,
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, M. D. Andersen Cancer Center of the
Orlando Regional Medical Center, and the Walt Disney Cancer Institute at
Instructor Training and Development
Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all
levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. To that end, they
offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching
Assistants at UCF.
This training provides
information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day
workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development,
learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in
additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally
follows the mandatory training.
Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty
This certificate program (12 weeks for domestic students, 16
weeks for international students) consists of group and individualized
instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks
and materials are provided, and a stipend is offered to current UCF students
who complete the certificate. International students are provided the same
training as well as information regarding language immersion and tricks and
cultural awareness as a way of knowing what to expect from American
For more information, see www.fctl.ucf.edu > Events > GTA
Programs or call 407-823-3544.
Graduate Excellence Awards
year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for
academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their
work. The award categories include the following:
Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant - For students who provide
teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This
award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the
student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for
students who are instructor of record)
Award for Excellence in
Graduate Student Teaching - For students who serve as instructors of record
and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on
the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those
Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It
recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus
of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis
research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence
such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and
recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members
and other colleagues in the field.
For the nomination process and
eligibility criteria, see www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.
Pathways to Success - Coordinated
by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free
development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic
Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development,
Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to
register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.
Forum - Sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies, the Research Forum is
an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects
and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster
and best oral presentation in each category will be given and all participants
will receive recognition. For more information visit www.graduate.ucf.edu/researchforum.
For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis
and dissertation awards, see their website:www.csgs.org > Awards.
grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.cah.ucf.edu/.
UCF’s Career Services department offers
a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students.
These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation
for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website
For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please
contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.
University has several nationally and internationally recognized research
institutes devoted to research and development. For a list of research
institutes at UCF offering research opportunities, as well as a listing of
other organizations please visit the Research
Centers webpage on the Chemistry