Chemistry Department

Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission to Classified Standing

In addition to the minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Division outlined in this catalog, a minimum of 40 semester units in undergraduate chemistry is required. This should include two semesters of organic chemistry with lab (equivalent to CHEM 112A, CHEM 112B, CHEM 113A and CHEM 113B), one semester of quantitative analysis (equivalent to CHEM 55), and one semester of physical chemistry (equivalent to CHEM 160). A minimum chemistry GPA of 2.5 is required, but 3.0 is preferred. Those wishing to concentrate in biochemistry must also have completed two semesters of biochemistry lecture (equivalent to CHEM 130A and CHEM 130B) and lab (equivalent to CHEM 131A and CHEM 131B). Scores from the general GRE and two letters of recommendation are also required for admission.

Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Conditional classification may be granted to students who meet minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Division but need additional course work to meet the minimum department entrance requirements outlined above, or for those with a chemistry GPA between 2.5 and 3.0. Transfer to classified standing is accomplished by petition after the deficiencies have been cleared.

Admission to Candidacy

Normally after about 20 units of course work are complete (including about 12 units of the 200-level chemistry lectures), the student can apply for Candidacy for the degree. In addition to the above, in order to apply for Candidacy the student must have Classified standing. The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at The 30 unit proposed program is written by the Graduate Advisor in consultation with the student and describes completed course work and course work planned for the future. This must include a minimum of 18 units of graded course work. The program must be approved by student's Research Advisor and Graduate Studies.

The student and the Graduate Advisor are notified in writing when the program is approved or denied. Students cannot enroll in CHEM 299 (Thesis) or apply for graduation until they officially are Candidates for a degree. Our department requires two units of CHEM 299 for Plan A. No excess 299 units are allowed.

Circumstances may arise that require a change in an approved program (e.g. the student wishes to substitute class for one on the approved program). Requests for such changes are made through the Graduate Advisor and must be approved by Graduate Studies.