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Five Year B.S/M.S. Program

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The Department of Chemistry proposes a program in which high ability students could obtain a thesis-based M.S. as well as a B.S. degree in five years, saving a full year in their educational careers. We are not proposing to change the requirements for either degree, but to use advanced placement and/or heavier than average course loads to move the undergraduate students to the point where they could begin graduate courses and research in the senior (4th) year. Clearly students will need to be identified as early in their education at Clarkson as possible so that advising can lead them to be positioned properly with respect to the courses and also insure that they can carry the load without reducing their ability to succeed. The general approach would be to have the students take 12 to 18 hours of extra course work during the freshman through junior years, so that they could take graduate courses for graduate credit as well as begin their research programs in their senior year. These students would become involved in research as early in their undergraduate programs as possible such as the summer following their sophomore year. In this way, they will have the opportunity to complete both B.S. thesis and M.S. thesis projects and write and defend the M.S. thesis by the spring of their 5th year.

The Department of Chemistry will need to develop appropriate advertisement of the program with Admissions Office personnel so prospective freshmen have an opportunity to learn about and express their interest in it. The Department would interview potential incoming freshman to determine their suitability for the program. If a current student expresses a desire to enter the program, the advisor would need to know as soon as possible in order to help plan an appropriate sequence of courses. It would be difficult for a transfer student arriving as a junior without more than 60 hours of credit to be able to move into the program. However, it should be possible for a student to enter the program in the middle of the freshman or the beginning of the sophomore year.

A departmental review of the student's performance would occur in the middle of the junior year. Students having at least a GPA of 3.0 and showing other evidence of professionalism, including a letter of recommendation from the faculty member supervising his or her research, would be formally permitted to take graduate courses for graduate credit in the senior year. A review by a committee of three faculty members with thesis advisor as chair will be made at the end of their first semester of the senior year to be sure the student is still working up to departmental expectations. An average GPA of at least 3.0 must be obtained in all graduate courses. The students would also be given the opportunity to leave the program after four years with a B.S. degree if they change their minds. They would still have graduate credits that they could potentially transfer to some other institution.

Two curriculum options for students to have if they enter the proposed five-year B.S./M.S. are shown on the next pages. Option A differs from the current curriculum by having students take 18 credit hours instead of 15 credit hours during each semester of their first two years at Clarkson. The essential feature is to bring university foundation courses ordinarily taken in junior-senior years formed into the freshman-sophomore year. Four graduate courses would then be taken in a junior-senior year. Option B is somewhat less rigorous by two credit hours in the freshman year due to replacing traditional freshman chemistry major CM103-106 lectures plus labs by General Chemistry (CM131/132) ordinarily taken by all engineering majors.

Depending on which curriculum option is selected students will have accrued 132 credit hours (A) or 133 credit hours (B) by the end of their senior (fourth) year. Thus, a minimum of either 17 or 18 credit hours of graduate courses and thesis will be required in the 5th year in order to obtain an M.S. degree.


Option A

Freshman Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM103 Structure and Bonding 3 CM104 Chemical Equilibrium and Dynamics 3
CM105 Chemistry Lab I 2 CM106 Chemistry Lab II 2
LS195 Great Ideas I 3 LS196 Great Ideas II 3
MA131 Calculus I 3 MA132 Calculus II 3
PH131 Physics I 4 PH132 Physics 4
CS141 Intro to Computers 3   Foundation Liberal Studies 3
  Total 18   Total 18
Sophomore Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM221 Spectroscopy 3 CM242 Organic Chemistry I 3
CM223 Spectroscopy Lab 3 CM244 Organic Laboratory I 3
CM241 Organic Chemistry I 3 CM301 Chemical Information Retrieval 3
MA232 Elementary Diff. Eq. 3   Mathematics Elective 3
  Foundation Liberal Studies 3   Foundation Liberal Studies 3
  Foundation Liberal Studies 3   Foundation Liberal Studies 3
  Total 18   Total 18
Junior Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM320 Separations and Electrochemistry 3 CM300 Instrumental Laboratory 3
CM371 Physical Chemistry I 3 CM372/373 Physical Chemistry II 3
CM345 Advanced Laboratory 3 CM312 Inorganic Chemistry 3
  Foundation Management Course 3   Foundation Engineering Course 3
CM391 Independent Study 3 CM392 Independent Study 3
  Total 15   Total 15
Senior Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM491 B.S. Thesis 6 CM492 B.S. Thesis 6
  Technical Elective 3   Technical Elective 3
  Graduate Chemistry 3   Graduate Chemistry 3
  Graduate Chemistry 3   Graduate Chemistry 3
  Total 15   Total 15

Option B

Freshman Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM131 General Chemistry I 4 CM132 General Chemistry II 4
LS195 Great Ideas I 3 LS196 Great Ideas II 3
MA131 Calculus I 3 MA132 Calculus II 3
PH131 Physics I 4 PH132 Physics 4
CS141 Intro to Computers 3   Foundation Liberal Studies 3
  Total 17   Total 17
Sophomore Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM221 Spectroscopy 3 CM242 Organic Chemistry II 3
CM223 Spectroscopy Lab 3 CM244 Organic Laboratory I 3
CM241 Organic Chemistry I 3 CM301 Chemical Information Retrieval 3
MA232 Elementary Diff. Eq. 3   Mathematics Elective 3
  Foundation Liberal Studies 3   Foundation Liberal Studies 3
  Foundation Liberal Studies 3   Foundation Liberal Studies 3
  Total 18   Total 18
Junior Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM320 Separations and Electrochemistry 3 CM300 Instrumental Laboratory 3
CM371 Physical Chemistry I 3 CM372/373 Physical Chemistry II 3
CM345 Advanced Laboratory 3 CM312 Inorganic Chemistry 3
  Foundation Management Course 3   Foundation Engineering Course 3
CM391 Independent Study 3 CM392 Independent Study 3
  Elective 3      
  Total 18   Total 15
Senior Year
First Semester Second Semester
CM491 B.S. Thesis 6 CM492 B.S. Thesis 6
  Technical Elective 3   Technical Elective 3
  Graduate Chemistry 3   Graduate Chemistry 3
  Graduate Chemistry 3   Graduate Chemistry 3
  Total 15   Total 15