Program Overview:

The Departmental Scholars Program is designed for exceptionally promising undergraduate students in the Chemistry and Biochemistry major. It allows undergraduate students to earn their Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees simultaneously after completing one additional year of graduate level coursework and research. Only students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry major will be considered for eligibility into the program. Departmental Scholars maintain undergraduate status even though they are taking graduate level courses.

To qualify for the Departmental Scholars Program, you must be conducting research for a faculty member in the department.

Application Requirements:

Complete applications (including letters of recommendation) must be received by December 15th of the academic year you are planning to graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate with your bachelor’s degree in Spring 2024, your application must be received by December 15, 2023.

  • Your application should include the following:
    • Nomination form
    • Statement of purpose (1-2 pages long, PDF format)
    • Research Abstract (1-2 pages long, PDF format)
    • Unofficial transcript (the PDF version of your Degree Audit Report and/or an unofficial transcript downloaded from MyUCLA)
    • Two letters of recommendation (these can be submitted directly by the faculty member to the Student Affairs Office)
      • One letter from your faculty advisor
      • One letter from a tenure-track faculty member
  • Please submit your application materials to the Student Affairs Office ( Advisors are located in the Student Affairs Office, Young Hall 4009. Applications will be reviewed by area advisors. Once your application has been approved by the university, an email notification will be sent to you and your faculty mentor.


  • 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • 3.5 major GPA, AND 3.5 upper division major GPA (you can check this on your Degree Audit Report under the “Major Upper Division Courses GPA Requirement” heading)*
  • Completion of 24 courses (96 units) at UCLA or a similar institution. If any of these courses are from another institution, a copy of the transcript from the other institution must also be submitted in your application.
  • Completion of preparation for the major
  • Research with a Chemistry/Biochemistry faculty member

Please note: if you are double majoring, your GPA for each major must meet these requirements. However, please reach out to the Graduate Office to discuss your options if you do not meet the requirements for your non-Chemistry department major.

For a full overview of the program, click here. Please direct any questions to the Student Affairs Office (

Our Departmental Scholars Program features two graduate MS programs: the Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology Graduate Program (BMSB) and the Chemistry Graduate Program.

Departmental Scholars must declare a specialization from one of the following research areas:

  • Analytical/Instrumentation
  • Biophysics
  • Chemical Biology
  • Inorganic
  • Materials
  • Organic
  • Physical
  • Theory and Computation

  • BMSB (Biochemistry)

For a full overview of our offered specializations, click here.

Enrolling into Courses:

Once your enrollment window is active, please email Mark Banderas ( your requested courses along with your full name and UID number.

Graduation Paperwork:

Students must submit the following forms prior to completing the Departmental Scholars Program:

  • Nomination of Master’s Committee Form
    • The thesis committee must be appointed at the beginning of the spring quarter. Your faculty advisor will serve as your committee chair, and you’ll also need to select a minimum of two additional faculty members. It is important that you review the committee requirements and regulations (detailed on the form) to ensure that your committee meets all of the requirements set by the Division of Graduate Education (DGE). Please submit this form to the Student Affairs Office.
  • Petition for Advancement to Candidacy Form
    • Once your committee has been appointed by DGE, you must complete a “Petition for Advancement to Candidacy” form. This must be completed by the second week of the Spring quarter. To allow sufficient processing time, it is recommended that you turn in the form to the Student Affairs Office by Week One of your intended graduating quarter.
  • The Master’s committee has the responsibility of approving your Master’s Thesis online using ET(online filing) by the required deadline.