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California Institute Of Technology (Caltech) Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Dec 
International :15 Dec 

MS Chemistry

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

75345 USD
75345 USD

Application fee

International 100 USD
National 100 USD
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Scores accepted

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About this course

Students are not ordinarily admitted to graduate work leading to an M.S. degree. Under special circumstances, and with prior approval of the Graduate Study Committee, a master's degree can be obtained.

Learning Outcomes. Students who obtain the Master's Degree in Chemistry will have gained advanced knowledge in modern chemistry through a program of graduate-level courses, and an introduction to chemical research through participation in a project under the direction of a member of the professorial faculty. These outcomes are demonstrated by completion of coursework and by submission of a satisfactory Master's Thesis.

Requirements. All master's programs for the degree in chemistry must include at least 45 units of chemical research and must satisfy the Course Program described above. The remaining electives may be satisfied by advanced work in any area of mathematics, science or engineering, or by chemical research. Two copies of a satisfactory thesis describing this research, including a one-page digest or summary of the main results obtained, must be submitted to the divisional graduate secretary at least 10 days before the degree is to be conferred.

In addition, the fulfillment of the thesis requirement must be signed off by a designated faculty member on the M.S. candidacy form and a final copy of the thesis submitted to the Graduate Office no later than two weeks before the degree is to be conferred. The copies of the thesis should be prepared according to the directions formulated by the dean of graduate studies and should be accompanied by a statement of approval of the thesis, signed by the advisor directing the research and by the chair of the Chemistry Graduate Study Committee.

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Eligibility Criteria

Required tests

Caltech requires the verbal, quantitative, and analytical components of the Graduate Records Examination (GREs). Chemistry also requires applicants take either the Chemistry, Physics, or Biochemistry Subject Exam as part of the application.

There are no minimum score requirements for GREs.

The Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing components of the General Graduate Record Examination are required by all graduate options, and advanced GRE Subject scores are required or strongly recommended by several options. There are no minimum score requirements for admission. Testing schedules and information on the GRE may be obtained at www.gre.org. Caltech's institution code is 4034. A subject code is not required since all scores are delivered to the Graduate Studies Office.

For a list of the departments requiring or strongly recommending the subject exam, please refer to Required Tests.

Test scores are only one aspect of the application package.

Students coming from non-English speaking countries are required to take an English proficiency exam. However, students who have studied in the U.S. for 2 or more years, or who obtained a degree from a school whose primary instruction is in English are exempt from this requirement.

Caltech does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, most successful applicants have a US GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and/or are in the top 5 to 10% of their class.

GPA's should only be reported for those schools attended in the United States. International GPA's or rankings do not need to be converted to the standard US grade point average.

More information on the TOEFL, TSE, TWE, and IELTS tests are available at the Office of Graduate Studies Checklist.

Applicants whose first or native language is not English are required to take a test of English proficiency as part of the application procedure. Caltech recognizes scores from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) (www.toefl.org), Pearson's Test of English Academic (PTE) (www.pearsonvue.com/pte), and from the Cambridge Examinations and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (www.ielts.org). Applicants should arrange for the results of these tests to be sent to Caltech's Graduate Studies Office. Caltech's institution code is 4034.

The following exemptions apply: 

  • Applicants who have studied in the US for two or more years
  • Applicants with a degree from a school whose primary instruction is in English

Please note that regardless of whether or not the English proficiency exams are exempt during the admissions process, all non-native English speakers will be screened prior to enrollment and may be required to take additional English as a Second Language (ESL) training.

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Course Modules

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How to Apply


The Admissions Committees will take several components of the application into consideration including letters of recommendation, grades in college particularly those in chemistry, biochemistry, and related subjects, any research experience including resulting publications or presentations, GRE scores, and the statement of purpose.

All documents related to the application must be submitted to the Graduate office on or before the December 15th deadline.

Three letters of recommendation are required.

The online application currently accepts three letters maximum, so keep in mind that it's important to submit three strong letters from individuals most familiar with you.

Letters should be requested from those individuals who know you best and can attest to your academic capabilities or training. While faculty members and research supervisors can provide the strongest academic recommendations, we recognize that some applicants may also have work experience that relates to their abilities and training. Keep in mind that those individuals writing recommendation letters should be able to address the following information:

  • How well the applicant is known and in what capacity
  • If the applicant has the intellectual capability, experimental ability, fundamental training, creativity, and motivation to be successful as a student at Caltech
  • Whether the applicant would be encouraged to do doctoral research under the recommender's supervision
  • If English is not the native language, how well does the applicant read, write, and converse in English?
  • How does the applicant compare to any previous students who have come to Caltech for their graduate work?

 Individuals unable to submit materials electronically may fax, mail or email materials to:

Graduate Studies Office
Mail Code 230-87
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
FAX (626) 577-9246   
Email [email protected]

Be sure that the applicant's name is clearly indicated on any supporting documents not uploaded with the application.

For the purpose of applying, official, sealed copies of your transcripts are not required and scanned copies of an original transcript or university generated web printouts are accepted. Please note, however, that any electronic submissions must be official records from the university or college attended. Hand-typed listings of courses prepared by the applicant will not be considered. Official transcripts documenting attendance and the degree awarded at each college and university will be required prior to enrollment in the graduate program at Caltech.Please note that very few departments admit for the Master of Science degree. Currently, only applicants to Aeronautics, Electrical Engineering, and Space Engineering may apply for a terminal Master's degree. All other departments admit for the PhD degree only.

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