The College of Liberal and Professional Studies is starting a master’s degree program in Chemical Sciences.

Applications for the Fall semester opened on April 1 and can be submitted until June 1.  

"Most schools, including Penn, only offer a PhD in Chemistry," Nora Lewis, Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education, said. The chemistry department  saw a "gap in the field." "

"This new master’s degree is mainly for two types of audience," Lewis said.

One group with potential interest is professionals working in local chemical companies or research and development labs who do not need a PhD but can benefit from taking advanced courses.“They will have a deeper understanding of the field and contribute more to the company,” Lewis said.

Another audience who would benefit from the program is students who plan to pursue a PhD in chemistry. “They can do the master’s degree first ... to be exposed to the research experience,” she said.

James Tarver , Executive Director of the Department of Chemistry, added that the program might appeal to students who are "interested in a scientific research career but not in a PhD ." 

The new master’s program is an opportunity to learn “technically based core fundamental chemistry,” he added.

Both Lewis and Tarver expect a small class for the first semester with about five to seven students.

The program was approved by the University Trustees at the end of February and is to be reviewed by the faculty and trustees as it matriculates its first students.

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