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BS/MS Accelerated Program

Photo of a student in a labratory setting working with an enclosed glove box.

The BS/MS Program 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 they also serve as a teaching assistant. This degree can be obtained with either a Chemistry or Biochemistry focus and is recommended to ambitious students eager to increase their competitiveness in the job market or Ph.D. admissions relative to BS-only degree holders.

Application Requirements

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:

General Chemistry I (CHEM1111) & General Chemistry II (CHEM 1112) with associated lab courses
Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 3301) & Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 3302) with associated lab courses
Engineering Physics I (PHYS 2211) & Engineering Physics II (PHYS 2212) with associated lab courses
Calculus I (MATH 1170) & Calculus II (MATH 1175)

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

The following list of application materials need to be submitted:

  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 chem@isu.edu, 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

Applications are typically due around the 1st of April and must be submitted for each year the student wishes to be active in the program.

Advantages of 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, fee scholarships, and additional stipends. These stipends range between $11,000 to $13,000 per year if students 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

Additional Information

These charts are for planning purposes only and should not be considered official dictations on how to navigate the program. Please talk with your advisor if you are interested in becoming a BS/MS student to make sure that all necessary University requirements are being met.