Master of Science in Applied Chemical Sciences (MSACS) Degree

Program Learning Outcomes for the MSACS Degree

Upon completing the MSACS Degree, students will be able to:

  1. Apply basic chemical knowledge and analytical skills to problem solving.
  2. Demonstrate in-depth understanding of chemical knowledge in one of the three areas of specialization.
  3. Use statistical analysis to evaluate data.
  4. Demonstrate written, oral, and visual communication strategies required to communicate effectively across science, business, and government.

Requirements for the MSACS Degree

The MSACS degree is a non-thesis master's degree. For general university requirements for non-thesis masters degrees, please see Non-Thesis Master's Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students pursuing the MSACS degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 14 courses (minimum of 39-40.5 credit hoursdepending on course selection) to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level study (graduate semester credit hours, coursework at the 500-level or above).
  • A minimum of 24 graduate semester credit hours must be taken at Rice University.
  • A minimum of 24 graduate semester credit hours must be taken in standard or traditional courses (with a course type of lecture, seminar, laboratory, lecture/laboratory). 
  • A minimum residency enrollment of one fall or spring semester of part-time graduate study at Rice University.
  • A maximum of 2 courses (6 graduate semester credit hours) from transfer credit. For additional departmental guidelines regarding transfer credit, see the Policies tab.
  • A 3-6 month full-time internship. Instead of a thesis, at the conclusion of their internship, students must present their internship project in both oral and written form as part of the Professional Master’s Project (NSCI 512). Part-time students who already work in their area of study may request approval to fulfill the internship requirement by working on a specific, pre-approved project with their current employer.
  • The requirements for one area of specialization (see below for areas of specialization). The MSACS degree program offers three areas of specialization:
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework.
  • A minimum program GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree.

Note: Some of the listed courses are not offered every year, and some may also have prerequisites or require instructor permission.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the program's academic advisor, or where applicable, the department or program's Director of Graduate Studies. Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the department or program's Official Certifier. Additionally, these must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MSACS Degree39-40.5

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Core Chemistry Courses
CHEM 590PROFESSIONAL MASTERS SEMINAR IN APPLIED CHEMISTRY3
CHEM 591RESEARCH LABORATORY EXPERIENCE3
CHEM 592STATISTICAL DATA ANALYSIS3
Cohort Courses
NSCI 501PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S SEMINAR (2 semesters required, 1st semester)1
NSCI 501PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S SEMINAR (2 semesters required, 2nd semester)1
NSCI 511SCIENCE POLICY, AND ETHICS3
NSCI 610 / ENGI 610MANAGEMENT FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
Area of Specialization
Select 1 of the following Areas of Specialization (see Areas of Specialization below)12-13.5
Bioorganic Chemistry
Computational Chemistry and Data Science
Petroleum Chemistry
Elective Requirements
Select 3 courses from approved management, business, analytics, or communication coursework (see course list below)9
Three to Six Month Full-Time Internship
A three to six month full-time internship is required 1
NSCI 512PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S PROJECT1
Total Credit Hours39-40.5

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Areas of Specialization 

Students must complete a minimum of 4 courses (minimum of 12-13.5 credit hours, depending on area of specialization) to satisfy the requirements for one area of specialization. 

Area of Specialization: Bioorganic Chemistry

Students must complete a minimum of 4 courses (minimum of 12-13.5 credit hours, depending on course selection) to satisfy the requirements for the MSACS degree program's Bioorganic Chemistry area of specialization. 

Select a minimum of 4 courses (minimum of 12 credit hours) from the following:12-13.5
ADVANCED ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
SPECTRAL METHODS IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY I
SUPRAMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY
PEPTIDE CHEMISTRY DESIGN, SYNTHESIS AND STRUCTURE
DRUG DISCOVERY AT THE INTERFACE OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGY
CHEMICAL BIOLOGY
Total Credit Hours12-13.5
Area of Specialization: Computational Chemistry and Data Science

Students must complete a minimum of 4 courses (minimum of 12-13.5 credit hours, depending on course selection) to satisfy the requirements for the MSACS degree program's Computational Chemistry and Data Science area of specialization. 

Select a minimum of 4 courses (minimum of 12 credit hours) from the following:12-13.5
CHEMICAL KINETICS AND DYNAMICS
ADVANCED ANALYSIS METHODS FOR MOLECULAR DYNAMICS FROM STATISTICAL MECHANICS TO MACHINE LEARNING
BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
BIOMOLECULAR CONCEPTS
ADVANCED NUMERICAL METHODS WITH ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS
COMPUTATIONAL AND DATA SCIENCE IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
SEM: PETROLEUM GEOCHEMISTRY - PRINCIPALS AND PRACTICE
FOUNDATIONS OF STATISTICAL INFERENCE I
FOUNDATIONS OF STATISTICAL INFERENCE II
DATA SCIENCE PROJECTS
Total Credit Hours12-13.5
Area of Specialization: Petroleum Chemistry

Students must complete a minimum of 4 courses (12 credit hours) to satisfy the requirements for the MSACS degree program's Petroleum Chemistry area of specialization. 

Select 4 courses from the following:12
SPECTRAL METHODS IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
CLASSICAL AND STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS
NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY I
SUPRAMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY
ADVANCED NUMERICAL METHODS WITH ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS
PETROLEUM PHASE BEHAVIOR AND FLOW ASSURANCE
Total Credit Hours12

Course List to Satisfy Requirements 

Elective Requirements

Select a minimum of 3 courses (minimum of 9 credit hours) from the following approved coursework in management, business, analytics or communication.                         

Select a minimum of 3 courses (minimum of 9 credit hours) from the following:9
COMPUTATIONAL AND DATA SCIENCE IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
SEM: PETROLEUM GEOCHEMISTRY - PRINCIPALS AND PRACTICE
LEADING TEAMS AND INNOVATION
LEARNING HOW TO INNOVATE?
FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
DESIGN THINKING
ROLES OF PHYSICIANS, SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS AND MBA’S IN HIGH-TECH STARTUPS
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
INTRODUCTION TO MARKETING RESEARCH
DECISION MODELS
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
BUSINESS LAW
REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS
DIGITAL MARKETING
FOUNDATIONS OF PROJECT AND PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
Total Credit Hours9

Policies for the MSACS Degree

Professional Science Master's Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, the Professional Science Master's Program publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: https://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2022_23/Natural_Sciences_Professional_Masters_Graduate_Handbook.pdf

Admission

Admission to graduate study in Applied Chemical Sciences is open to qualified students holding a bachelor’s degree in a related science or engineering program that included course work in general chemistry, physics, and advanced math. Scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE), good critical thinking and communication skills and strong quantitative abilities. Some lab experience, intro statistics, introductory economics and computer skills preferred. Department faculty evaluate the previous academic record and credentials of each applicant individually and make admission decisions.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the MSACS degree should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • No more than 2 courses (6 credit hours) of transfer credit from U.S. or international universities of similar standing as Rice may apply towards the degree.
  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Applied Chemical Sciences website: https://profms.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the MSACS Degree

Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students 

In certain situations and with some terminal master's degree programs, Rice students have an option to pursue a master’s degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four years of undergraduate studies.

Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing typically apply to the master’s degree program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking some required courses of the master's degree program. A plan of study will need to be approved by the student's undergraduate major advisor and the master’s degree program director.

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree and the master's degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware there could be financial aid implications if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).
  • more information on this Undergraduate - Graduate Concurrent Enrollment opportunity, including specific information on the registration process can be found here.

Rice undergraduate students completing studies in science may have the option to pursue the Master of Science in Applied Chemical Sciences (MSACS) degree. For additional information, students should contact their undergraduate major advisor, the faculty MSACS program director, and the Professional Science Master's (PSM) program director. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Applied Chemical Sciences website: https://profms.rice.edu/