• Upgraded instruments are part of the new $147 million science building
  • Assistantships and scholarships help students afford a master’s degree
  • State-of-the-art research facilities include organic chemistry labs
  • Chemistry grad students work on faculty research projects

Chemistry M.S.

At the graduate level, the Chemistry Department features a research-based Master of Science degree. After completion of core coursework in the major sub-disciplines, students in the Chemistry M.S. program have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of research experiences, including environmental, organic synthesis, natural product isolation, computational and theoretical, analytical, nanomaterials, catalysis, polymers, biochemistry, and chemical education. The research experience is considerably enhanced by MTSU’s new 250,000-square-foot science building and upgraded instrumentation. Talented undergraduates also have the opportunity to participate in a new Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) program which enables them to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. Graduates find employment in a wide range of areas as well as continuing their education in high-quality doctoral and/or professional programs. The department also participates in three interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs (Molecular Biosciences, Computational Science, and Math and Science Education).

Chusuei, students make advances in nanotechnology

Chusuei, students make advances in nanotechnology

Dr. Charles Chusuei and student researchers are getting a big boost with the new science building as they develop a technology that could transform patient care in emergency rooms and health centers worldwide. The MTSU professor and his team are working to produce nanotech-based sensors using cheaper, earth-abundant materials such as zinc oxide instead of employing precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum. “A common theme of nanotechnology is determining how material size and shape affects chemical reactivity,” says Chusuei, who has a patent pending. “Our research team has shown that zinc oxide (ZnO) shape selection in the nanocomposite formulation (involving carbon nanotubes) dramatically improves its biosensing properties.” The technology could impact such things as early cancer detection, monitoring food spoilage, oxidative stress, and cardiovascular disease management by monitoring hydrogen peroxide on a molecular level, or physical distress from anaerobic respiration with lactic acid as a marker. The $147 million science building offers better infrastructure for surface characterization instruments, such as an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, and new equipment that includes a physisorption and chemisorption surface area analyzer.

3D VizLab places MTSU at forefront as research university

3D VizLab places MTSU at forefront as research university

Technology at MTSU similar to what is seen in Avatar “brings science to life,” says Dr. Anatoliy Volkov, associate professor of chemistry. Student researchers say the advanced 3D visualization and GPU-based high-performance computing sets MTSU apart from other universities. The MT 3D VizLab, short for the Stereoscopic 3DVisualization Laboratory, can be used to perform high-level research in various scientific disciplines including chemistry, biology, economics, engineering, geoscience, and health care. The lab is equipped with NVIDIA’s 3D technology and includes a stereoscopic 3D projector, a 16-display 3D hyperwall, and 25 pairs of 3D shutter glasses. The wall can visualize a single image across all 16 monitors, or each monitor can have a programmable relationship to other images. Volkov and colleagues have applied for external funding for a much larger 3D tile wall and for another lab with a 3D projector and 50 3D glasses. MTSU chemistry professor Dr. Preston MacDougall, as a NASA Ames Research Center summer fellow, collaborated with the inventors of hyperwall technology to extend its application to molecular visualization and drug design. His grant proposal brought the 3D hyperwall to MTSU.

Jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are projected to grow 13 percent by 2022. Chemistry graduates with advanced degrees will particularly find better job opportunities with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. MTSU's state-of-the-art science building offers both large and small lab spaces so faculty can pursue research projects with both graduate and undergraduate students. A memorandum of understanding between the university and Oak Ridge National Laboratory also has been renewed three times. Some potential professional pursuits

  • Analytical chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Chemist
  • Chemistry teacher
  • Food scientist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) specialist
  • Materials scientist
  • Molecular informatics specialist
  • Organic chemist
  • Patent attorney
  • Product development/design
  • Professor/educator
  • Research assistant/associate
  • Researcher
  • Sales/marketing – scientific equipment/pharmaceuticals

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Abbott Pharmaceutical
  • Aegis
  • Albany Molecular Research
  • Bedford County School System
  • Belcher Pharmaceutical
  • California public school system
  • Commonwealth Technologies
  • Eli Lilly Inc.
  • Garratt Callahan
  • Google
  • Harcross Chemicals
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Kyzen Corp.
  • Lipscomb University
  • L. King High School
  • Mead Johnson
  • Merck Pharmaceutical
  • Metro-Nashville Public Schools
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Nissan
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Palm Corp.
  • Pellissippi State Community College
  • Purdue University
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals
  • Specialized Assays
  • Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Sylvan Learning
  • TBI Crime Laboratory
  • Tennessee Department of Health
  • Tennessee Dept. of Environment & Pollution Control
  • Tennessee Dept. of Health Lab Services
  • Test America
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Vanderbilt Drug Discovery Program
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Varian
  • Vi-Jon Laboratories
  • Williamson County Schools
  • Wilson County Schools

Doctoral/professional programs where alumni have been accepted include

  • Arizona State University
  • Colorado State University
  • Florida State University
  • Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago
  • Michigan State University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Niger Life University
  • Ohio State University
  • Rutgers University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Louisville
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • University of Tennessee-Memphis
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • University of Utah
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Wyoming
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wright State University


The Department of Chemistry offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a major in Chemistry.

A minor in chemistry is also available at the graduate level for other students.

The department also participates in all three Ph.D. programs administered through the College of Basic and Applied Sciences:

Applicants to the M.S. program in Chemistry must have

  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA
  • An undergraduate minor in chemistry or its equivalent
  • A satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination 

NOTE: All chemistry students must take or have taken Quantitative Analysis before graduation and as a prerequisite for CHEM 6230 Intermediate Analytical Chemistry.

A limited number of graduate teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships are available to students who show academic promise and potential as effective laboratory teachers. Graduate students pursuing an M.S. degree in Chemistry may also apply for a limited number of MTSU STEM Masters Scholarships, based on financial need and academic talent.

Students must earn a minimum of thirty hours of credit to graduate with an M.S. degree in chemistry. The thirty hours include a minimum of six lecture classes, plus chemistry seminar, chemistry research, and thesis research. Of the six lecture classes, four are required in the core areas of analytical/instrumental, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. 

A thesis is required.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above. 


Undergraduate students may pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Chemistry or with a concentration in Professional Chemistry. Other departmental majors leading to a B.S. include Biochemistry, Science, and Health Science, under which numerous pre-professional programs are coordinated. Undergraduate and graduate minors in Chemistry are available.

Contact and Student Information

Charles C. Chusuei, PhD

Charles C. Chusuei, PhD

Department of Chemistry
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 68
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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