Masters of Professional Studies

The Masters in Professional Studies is designed as a broad coursework-based program intended for students who need additional courses in Chemistry, but who are not planning on pursuing a research career in the field. M.P.S. students must take at least one course in three out of the four subject areas of the department: Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Natural Products/Organic Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry. The curriculum is sufficiently flexible to allow a student interested in specializing in one of these areas to take the core sequence in that area, although this is not strictly required. Students who have taken any of these courses as undergraduates may not repeat them for graduate credit.

All students entering graduate programs at ESF are expected to be proficient in communication skills, including technical writing and library skills. This applies to M.P.S. students also and they are required to have completed at least one course in technical writing and one course in library usage, either as an undergraduate or as a graduate student. Alternatively, graduate students can meet the requirement by demonstrating the equivalent in experience in writing and library skills, as determined by the steering committee.

In addition to the formal coursework, the M.P.S. program also requires an integrative experience that allows one to synthesize one's knowledge. This can be a detailed analysis of one particular area of chemistry, an independent study, internship with industry, or work in a research laboratory. The integrative experience should be approved by the student’s steering committee prior to starting and the student will be expected to present a written final report on the integrative experience.

M.P.S. Program Requirements

The Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) degree requires a total of 33 credits (minimum) in the following configuration:



Chemistry, including at least 9 credits distributed among 3 of the areas of Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Natural Products Chemistry or Polymer Chemistry.


Other sciences, engineering and mathematics




Integrative experience (internship or independent study)


Elective coursework, seminars, internships or research experience


Total (minimum)


  • 15 credits of advanced chemistry courses, including three credits of coursework in three of the focal areas of study. Additional graduate chemistry courses are available at ESF and Syracuse University.
  • 6 credits of graduate coursework in Science, Mathematics or Engineering. These may include graduate courses offered at ESF or Syracuse University in physical or biological sciences, mathematics (including statistical analysis), or any area of engineering. Courses must be approved by the student's steering committee.
  • 3 credits of seminar: Either of following, one-credit courses may be repeated, or students may choose seminars offered in other departments with approval of the advisor.
    • FCH 997 Seminar (all students)
    • FCH 797 Graduate Seminar
  • 3 credits for an integrative experience in FCH 796 Special Topics in Chemistry or FCH 798 Research in Chemistry.
  • 6 credits of additional graduate coursework: These remaining six credits may be drawn from additional graduate level coursework, seminars, internships and research experience as approved by the student’s steering committee.


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