Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

BS/MS Chemistry Program

Current students should download a PDF copy of the BS/MS Roadmap (updated June 2020). Please note that this is an advisory document that is meant to assist your planning, rather than to define official university policy. For the authoritative version of all official policy definitions please see the ISU Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs.


What is the BS/MS Program?

The BS/MS in Chemistry is an intensive three-year program, beginning in the junior year that culminates in both Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in Chemistry. Each participant pursues a year-round research project throughout the course of the program, and is eligible to receive a tuition waiver and stipend if he or she also serves as a teaching assistant.


What are the advantages of entering the BS/MS Program?

BS/MS Students earn both degrees in a total of five years, as compared to the national average of over six and one half years required to attain the two degrees consecutively. Upon entering the program (from the junior year onward) students are eligible to receive complete tuition and fee scholarships, and additional stipends of ca. $8,800 per year if they serve as lab instructors and grading assistants.

More importantly, our BS/MS students gain outstanding educational preparation for jobs and for more advanced degree programs, rendering them extremely competitive candidates for both. Teaching duties allow students to reinforce their understanding of foundational concepts in chemistry and further build their communication skills. Conducting research alongside faculty hones problem-solving abilities, builds cutting-edge technical skills, and introduces students to the broader chemistry community when they present their work at regional and national conferences. Students enjoy access to extensive research instrumentation and to the expertise of our faculty in a mentoring program where the student to faculty ratio is approximately 1:1.


What can I do with my completed degrees?

Upon completion of B.S and M.S. degrees in Chemistry at ISU, students are qualified to enter at least 30 diverse areas of potential employment, the salaries and outlooks for which are regularly assessed by the American Chemical Society.

Every graduating BS/MS students who has sought employment has found it immediately, and most have had multiple offers from which to choose. Likewise, all graduates who have sought additional education have been accepted into Ph.D. programs in chemistry or into health-related professional schools.

Employment Venues of Recent Graduates:

  • Chemist; Melaleuca Inc.
  • Chemist; Portage Environmental Inc.
  • Research Associate; Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry
  • Biogeochemical Processes Laboratory Coordinator; University of Idaho at IF
  • Engineer/Scientist; INL
  • Postdoc U of Minnesota Cancer Center
  • Research Chemist; Merck Research Laboratories
  • Chemist; Apecks Engineering
  • Team Leader in the R & D Chemical & Physical Testing Group.; ATK Thiokol Propulsion
  • Engineer of Quality Control; AMI Semiconductor
  • Chemist; Bechtel Bettis Inc
  • Chemist II; ATK Thiokol Propulsion
  • Lab Technician; Monsanto Company
  • Chemist; G-Force Engineering Quality Assurance
  • Analyst; Intermountain Analytical
  • Engineer; Micron Semiconductors
  • Chemistry Professor; BYU Idaho
  • Chemistry Teacher; Highland and Mackay
  • Forensics; Idaho State Police
  • Luminous Medical; San Diego
  • Chemistry Professor; College of Southern Idaho

Further Educational Pursuits of Recent Graduates:

  • Ph.D. - Chemistry; University of Oregon (3 students)
  • Ph.D. - University of British Columbia
  • Ph.D. - Chemistry/Pharmaceutical Sciences; University of Utah
  • Ph.D. - Chemistry; Utah State University (3 students)
  • D.D.S. - Oregon Health & Science University
  • D.O. - Nova Southeastern University
  • M. D. - University of Washington Medical School
  • D.O. - Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Ph.D. - University of Arizona
  • Ph.D. - Washington University, St. Louis


Students Comments

"I have really enjoyed the BS/MS program so far. This program gives me great opportunities to gain experiences with teaching labs, doing research, and helping other students with their chemistry courses. The faculty and professors are very nice and helpful." - Christine Anh Nguyen

"The BS/MS program has been a great experience. You're able to interact more with the chemistry faculty, and they're all great. They all want to help you reach your highest potential in your courses, teaching labs, and doing research." - Chris Reed


How do I apply?

To qualify for admission, students should be scheduled to complete at least 64 credit hours by the beginning of the semester they will begin the program. (Students typically apply in the spring of the sophomore year to begin the program the following fall.) These credits must include the chemistry, math, and physics coursework listed below:

General Chemistry I & II with labs (CHEM 1111, 1112)
Organic Chemistry I & II with labs (CHEM 3301, 3302, 3303, 3304)
Engineering Physics I & II with labs (PHYS 2211, 2212, 2213, 2214)
Calculus I & II (MATH 1170, 1175)

Inorganic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and the associated labs (CHEM 2211, 2213, 2232, and 2234) are strongly recommended but not required.

The following application materials should be submitted by April 1st:

  1. A letter of intent describing your reasons for choosing our program and how your personal strengths and goals align with your expectations of the program.
  2. Official transcripts describing all post-secondary work.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from professionals in the sciences or mathematics attesting to your potential to succeed in a graduate program.
  4. A list of current courses and the grades you expect.

Application materials may be submitted by e-mail to, in person to the Chemistry Department Office on the ISU campus, Physical Science Complex room 145, or by mail to:

BS/MS Committee
Idaho State University
Department of Chemistry
921 S 8th Ave Stop 8023
Pocatello, ID 83209