Department of Chemistry

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CHEMISTRY | The science of matter. 

Chemistry involves the composition, structure, and behavior of matter.

The Department of Chemistry at Tennessee State University is one of the major departments in the College of life and physical Sciences.

The Department is housed in the Boswell Science Complex, a new 60,000 square feet building equipped with:

  • state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities,
  • classrooms,
  • chemistry tutorial center,
  • computer rooms,
  • and library.

The students are currently served by 13 full-time faculty members and has approximately 100 undergraduate chemistry majors and close to 40 graduate students. The Chemistry BS Program at TSU is approved by the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Upper-division Admission

For admission into the upper-division programs of the Chemistry major, students must complete all of the requirements listed above under General Education Core. In addition, they must:

  • have removed all high school deficiencies,
  • passed all required remedial/developmental courses,
  • earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on college-level coursework,
  • and completed the Senior Exit Examination.

In addition, they must have earned a grade of C or better in CHEM 1110 or 1112, 1111 or 1113, 1120 or 1122, 1121 or 1123, 2100, 2101, 2010 or 2012, 2011 or 2013, 2020 or 2022, and 2021,or 2023. Honors sections of chemistry courses will also fulfill the degree requirements. Chemistry Majors are recommended to take honors courses.

Departmental Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Common Courses for all concentrations in Chemistry: A minimum of 32 semester hours including, CHEM 1110 or 1112, 1111 or 1113, 1120 or 1122, 1121 or 1123, 2010or 2012, 2011 or 2013, 2020 or 2022, 2021 or 2023, 2100, 2101, 3000, 3210, 3211, 3220, 3221, 3410, 4910.

GENERAL EDUCATION: 41 Semester Hours including:

Communications (9 hours): ENGL 1010, 1020 and COMM 2200

Humanities and/or Fine Arts (9 hours):

  • One Sophomore English Literature
  • Two courses from approved list.

Social and Behavioral Science (6 hours)

  • Two courses from approved list.

History (6 hours)

  • HIST 2010 American History I
  • HIST 2020 American History II
  • HIST 2030 Tennessee History


Natural Science (8 hours)

  • CHEM 1110, 1111 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 1120, 1121 General Chemistry II

Mathematics (3 hours)

  • MATH 1910


Departmental Requirements for Master of Science in Chemistry

Admission Requirements

Unconditional admission to the M.S. program requires the applicant to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university, an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better on a 4.0 scale, and a composite score of at least 289 (870 on old scale) on the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants have the option of taking the subject test in order to bring the combined score to 289 or higher. Applicants with less than a 2.5 undergraduate GPA must submit test scores at the time of application; applicants with a GPA of 2.5 or above may submit test scores in the first semester of attendance, but it is preferable that they submit test scores at the time of original application.

Conditional admission may be gained with a lower grade point average than 2.5, but the GRE score must be correspondingly higher. If the undergraduate GPA is between 2.25 and 2.49, the GRE score must be 293; if the GPA is between 2.0 and 2.24, the GRE score must be 296.

The student must remove the conditional status by earning at least a B (3.0) average in the first nine hours of graduate courses; failure to achieve this average will result in withdrawal from the program.

In addition, the applicant must have an undergraduate major in Chemistry, or the equivalent. In some instances, conditional admission may be granted prior to completion of the undergraduate course requirements, but a student must complete these courses before taking any graduate courses.

Degree Requirements

The Department offers both thesis and non-thesis options in the Master of Science degree program. A minimum of 30 semester hours of approved courses are required for the M.S. degree under the thesis option, and a minimum of 36 semester hours are required under the non-thesis option. Students who choose the non-thesis option must pass a comprehensive examination (passing score 70% or above) taken no earlier than the term in which they complete their course work. Students interested in pursuing research careers in the academia, government or industries are highly encouraged to take the thesis option.

Students are required to take at least one three-hour course each in inorganic, organic, physical and analytical chemistry. There is no foreign language reading requirement for the M.S. degree in Chemistry.

The M.S. (Thesis option) degree requires students to complete and defend a thesis based upon his or her research.

Program of Study

The degree candidate must file a program of study after completing at least nine semester hours of graduate study but no more than fifteen hours. The program of study lists the courses which will be used to satisfy degree requirements, as well as detailing how other requirements will be met. The student may later change the program of study with the written approval of the Department and the Graduate School.

Admission to Candidacy

The individual must file for admission to candidacy at the same time he or she submits the program of study. The candidate must have a grade point average of 3.0 or above to be eligible for admission to candidacy.


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