glass-walled skybridge with trees through the windows

Student Success, Cutting-Edge Research

Program Information

The Master of Science in Chemistry program provides an exciting and dynamic environment where students can thrive doing cutting-edge research. Our program emphasizes the professional development of graduate students through close one-on-one mentoring by a faculty advisor. Graduate students complete a thesis or opt for professional experience through an industrial internship. It is an ideal program for advanced training that will lead to industrial employment, community college instruction, or further study in a doctoral program.

Some aspects of our program include:

  • Access to state of the art instrumentation and equipment to accomplish research goals.
  • Opportunities to publish your work in top journals and to present your research at national or international conferences.
  • Opportunities to develop teaching skills through Teaching Assistantships.


Our graduate students:

  • Conduct and publish cutting-edge research in a variety of subdisciplines of chemistry.
  • Complete rigorous graduate-level courses in their areas of interest.
  • Gain a competitive advantage in pursuing employment or seeking admission to Ph.D. programs.

Chemistry Graduate Student Research

Application Requirements

  • All applicants must complete the Graduate School's ApplyWeb application and pay the $100 application fee.
  • Within the application you will be prompted to upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended. If admitted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • Additional application materials are specified below. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until all required materials have been received by the Graduate School.
  • International Applicants: Please review the requirements for information regarding Degree Equivalency, English Language Proficiency and student VISA requirements.

Applicants who wish to be considered for a Teaching Assistant (TA) position must meet the fall quarter application deadline.

Additional Application Requirements

  • Three (3) Letters of Reference
  • Statement of Purpose: Submit a written statement of 1‐2 pages in length describing your motivation for graduate study and research interests. Make sure the statement addresses the following: Why are you pursuing a M.S. (as opposed to a Ph.D.)? What are your professional plans after completing your M.S.? Why do you think the WWU M.S. program in chemistry suits you in particular? Finally, identify three potential faculty research advisors and justify your choices.



Mayra Delgado in purple shirt and dark brown hair, in a lab, holding equipment

A Community of Learners, Teachers, and Researchers

While Mayra Delgado earned her master’s degree in chemistry at Western, she enjoyed many roles: researcher and author, student and teacher, and mentor and mentee. She published five articles on her research studying the secondary coordination sphere of metalloenzyme mimics, including three as the first author. She was also able to pass along her knowledge as a teaching assistant and mentor to undergraduate students in her lab. Now, she’s preparing to launch a career as a chemist in the cosmetics industry.

Mayra Delgado M.S. Chemistry 2017
Ian Smith in doctor's white coat, next to a model of the spine

A Change of Careers

After studying biochemistry and psychology as an undergraduate at Western, Ian Smith worked in quality assurance in the beverage industry. But his dream was to be a doctor and biomedical researcher. Drawn by the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors, he returned to Western for graduate school. In Professor Clint Spiegel’s lab, he used X-ray crystallography to study the molecular structure of an engineered human/porcine blood coagulation factor that can play a role in improving treatment for hemophilia A. After finishing his M.S., Smith attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.

Ian Smith M.S. Chemistry (Biochemistry) 2018