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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2014-11-05

Chemistry MS

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 Chemistry MS program offers both a thesis option and a nonthesis option. The thesis option requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including 16 credit hours of required courses, at least 6 credit hours of thesis research, and 8 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 16 credit hours of required courses, 14 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.

Qualifying Examinations

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—16 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 four times)

Elective Courses—8 Credit Hours

All students must take 8 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)

Equipment Fee

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.

Thesis Requirements

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

Graduate Research

Human Subjects

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: > Compliance > UCF IRB Webpage > UCF-IRB Principal Investigator’s Manual.

Animal Subjects

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: > 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:

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: > Policies > General Graduate Policies > Patent and Invention Policy.

Laboratory Safety

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Do not use mouth suction in filling pipettes with chemical reagents. Use a suction bulb.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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: 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.

Financial Support

Financial Support

For general 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

International Students

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: > 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:  

To be employed and to maintain employment in a graduate position, the student must be:

  • In good academic standing
  • Enrolled full time  

To be awarded and continue receipt of tuition remission, the student must be:

  • In good academic standing
  • Enrolled full time
  • Employed in a graduate assistantship position (GTA, GRA, GA) or receiving a University fellowship  

GTA Training Requirements

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. See Graduate Teaching for these training requirements and registration instructions. 

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

At 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

The 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 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 e-mail:    

American 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.

Professional Development

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 Florida Hospital.

Instructor Training and Development

The 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.

GTA Training

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 Program

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 students.

For more information, see > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544. 

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each 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:

Award for 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 activities.

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


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

Graduate Research 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

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their > Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources:

Job Search

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 at

For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor. 

The 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 Department website.



Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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