The Chemistry Graduate Program at Fisk University has two tracks (MS and MA)

  1. The Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program, a thesis-based MS degree program exclusively for students who are committed to pursuing a PhD and a career in research. The Masters phase of the Bridge Program is research-intensive and is unique in that you take classes at both Fisk and Vanderbilt and receive mentoring and support from faculty and staff at both institutions. Your thesis committee will have faculty members from Fisk and from Vanderbilt, and we will encourage you and help you to make connections with Vanderbilt programs. During your first two years, you will carry out your thesis research in a lab at Fisk University. We have faculty members engaged in physical chemistry, polymer and materials chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, analytical chemistry, computational chemistry and cheminformatics research. You are not “locked in” to attending Vanderbilt for the PhD; many students opt to continue to Vanderbilt for their PhD, but we also have had students continue on to PhD Programs at Yale, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, and Meharry Medical College. Unfortunately, the way this program is structured and supported by federal grants, we cannot support students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

    For more information, visit: https://www.fisk-vanderbilt-bridge.org

  2. The Fisk University non-thesis-based Master of Arts in Chemistry Program. A non-thesis MA degree program for students wanting additional training before pursuing industry careers, medical school, pharmacy, dental, or other professional schools, transitions from other fields into chemistry and materials careers, and those currently in teaching and industry professions seeking personal development and advancement. This degree is based on coursework at Fisk in a broad array of areas, including organic and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry, and physical chemistry, and related fields, and does not require a thesis. This program is open to U.S. and international students regardless of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.

    For more information, visit: https://www.fisk.edu/academics/school-of-graduate-studies

Admissions Criteria

Admission to the Fisk University Master’s in Chemistry Graduate Program is open to persons who have graduated from an accredited college and earned a B.A. or B.S. degree in chemistry or in a related field. Students should have a chemistry background equivalent to at least 25 hours of undergraduate coursework.

When students lack a background perceived to be adequate in chemistry, they may be admitted conditionally and required to take certain undergraduate courses before formally entering the Master of Arts program.

Acceptance of Transfer Credit in the Graduate Program

Transfer of Credits follows the general rules provided in Section I of this Handbook.


Graduation Requirements

A minimum total 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required. At least 21 semester hours must be in chemistry courses. Courses in chemistry-related fields must recommended by the student’s thesis advisor and be approved by the Director of Graduate studies and should be relevant to the research program of the student.

An overall GPA of 3.0 must be maintained.


Course Requirements

Completion of at least 30 semester hours of coursework is required. This coursework should include at least 6 hours, and no more than 9 hours, of chemistry research and at least 21-24 hours in courses intended principally for graduate students (numbered 500 or above).

A Chemistry Graduate Student Checklist and Balance Sheet is provided at the end of this section to assist students in tracking their coursework and other required elements of the Chemistry Graduate Program.

Students must identify their research advisor for their Master’s work by the end of the first Fall Semester of Graduate School, although that selection often is made before a trainee matriculates in the graduate program at Fisk University. In consultation with this research advisor, and approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry, a graduate student will choose a minimum of four graduate lecture courses (other than the above mentioned courses) from at least two of five different areas (Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry). Selection of remaining courses to complete the 30 hours required will take into consideration requirements to supplement research efforts and/or courses required for specialized study.

It is expected that students will earn a grade of “B” in each class, but a minimum grade of “C” may be earned in any one course. An “A” in another lecture course will be required to offset the “C” grade. Students may only balance two C grades with an A grade, and those courses must be didactic courses, not thesis research or Research Colloquium hours.