Graduate students in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBC) experience immediate immersion in laboratory research and lots of individual attention from faculty.
SBC has an outstanding faculty and research environment that supports a strong emphasis in research-based graduate degrees. The school offers a low faculty to student ratio and encourages interdisciplinary research across multiple laboratories. SBC provides our graduate students with a broad spectrum of biological and chemical research disciplines.

Biology Graduate Degrees

The M.A. degree in biology is a one-year pre-professional degree to provide students with the broad, general knowledge of human anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and physiology that is necessary for successful admission to professional health care schools (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary).

The M.S. degree in cell and molecular biology is offered as either a research or a non-research (coursework) degree. Both the research and non-research degrees may be earned with a bioinformatics emphasis. The non-research degree may be done on a part-time basis. 

The doctoral programs in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences are part of UMKC's Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. SBC's biological disciplines are Cell Biology and Biophysics and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Chemistry Graduate Degrees

Students who earn their M.S. in Chemistry from UMKC receive the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct specialized research and are prepared for competitive careers in industry, business or academia. 

The M.S. in Chemistry program is designed both for students who wish to remain in their current positions while taking classes as well as those pursuing a full-time, research-intensive path. The department has a small research mentor/graduate student ratio that facilitates close interaction between students and faculty.

We currently offer both a thesis and non-thesis option for obtaining an M.S. in Chemistry.

Thesis Option

Full-time students are expected to choose the thesis option, which has an emphasis on coursework and research. It requires a minimum of 31 hours of coursework in chemistry and the presentation of a thesis.

With this option, students must choose a research advisor within the Chemistry department.

Students must choose a thesis subject in conjunction with their research advisor. A candidate's thesis must meet all the requirements set forth by the UMKC School of Graduate Studies.

More information on the precise coursework and thesis requirements can be found in the UMKC Catalog.

Non-thesis Option

Students pursuing the non-thesis option for the Master of Science in Chemistry are expected to have an emphasis on coursework. This option requires a minimum of 31 hours of coursework.

More information on course requirements can be found in the UMKC Catalog.


Students choosing to pursue an IPh.D. in Chemistry will choose an area of research that is represented by chemistry and another co-discipline and outline a course of study with their research advisory committee.

Typical co-disciplines include pharmaceutical sciences, physics, geosciences, molecular biology or biochemistry.

Chemistry as Primary Discipline

By choosing chemistry as the primary discipline of study, your program will be designed with your research advisory committee to accommodate you in pursuit of a future career in either an academic, government or industrial sector.

Our departmental faculty have a wide range of expertise ranging from traditional chemistry topics, such as inorganic and organic synthesis, to multidisciplinary subjects such as pharmaceutical chemistry, materials science and catalysis.

Typical requirements for chemistry as the primary discipline:

  • 31 hours of didactic coursework
  • At least 15 hours of dissertation research

More information on coursework requirements for chemistry as the primary discipline can be found in the UMKC catalog.

Chemistry as Co-Discipline

Chemistry can be defined as the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. Undoubtedly, this definition illustrates the wide role chemistry can play in other disciplines from engineering to geosciences, and from physics to biology.

Chemistry is therefore a natural fit as a co-discipline to graduate students in pursuit of the IPh.D. from various primary disciplines, such as pharmaceutical science, physics, geosciences, etc.

The typical requirements for chemistry as the co-discipline:

  • Three courses (9 credit hours) at the 400-level or above in the department
  • At least one course at the 5500+ level

More information on coursework requirements for chemistry as a co-discipline can be found in the UMKC catalog.