To serve the needs of the large population of cosmetic science professionals in the New York metropolitan area, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics offers a Master of Science in Cosmetic Science.

The first of its kind in New Jersey, the MS in Cosmetic Science, introduced in 1982, continues to fulfill the needs of those responsible for creating commercial products in the cosmetics, toiletries, and fragrance industries. It enables practitioners to learn the latest advances in their field and helps students to develop the skills necessary for senior assignments in the cosmetics industry. It is also geared to technologists aspiring to supervisory roles in the laboratory or plant. For those without industrial experience, the degree can launch a career in the cosmetic industry.

The majority of students entering this program have already completed an undergraduate BS degree in an allied science; preferably Chemistry or Biology. We have a diverse mixture of part-time, full-time domestic, and full-time international students.

Admission requirements

The credentials required for admission to the Master of Science degree program in Cosmetic Science as a matriculated student include the following:

  • A graduate application for admission.
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a degree in Allied Science — Biology, Chemistry, Bio-Chemistry, or Pharmacy — including a two-semester sequence of Organic Chemistry.
  • Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing scores. The Advanced Chemistry GRE is not required.
  • Three letters of recommendation (i.e. current or former professors, work supervisors, or industry professionals).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. Applicants who are unable to provide official documents at the time of enrollment may register as non-matriculated students with a graduate faculty advisor.

Applications for this program are processed on a rolling admissions basis.

For applicants whose native language is not English, a minimum of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent is required.

Program Outcomes

Students completing a Master’s degree in Cosmetic Science at the Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University shall acquire the ability to:

  • Demonstrate solid foundation in Cosmetic Sciences, including: vocabulary, concepts, methods, and procedures.
  • Develop skills to work independently and with others.
  • Develop skills in oral and written modes of communication (including mathematical and graphical).
  • Develop a solid foundation for future independent study (lifelong learning).
  • Demonstrate qualitative and quantitative critical reasoning skills.
  • Exhibit the ability to use information resources including primary and secondary literature in the field, including web-based resources.

Degree Plan

Required courses, 20 credits

  • COSC6547 Skin Care Raw Materials & Formulations
  • COSC6543 Hair Care Raw Materials & Formulations
  • COSC6548 Cosmetic Science Laboratory
  • PHYS6753 Applied Colloid & Surface Science
  • CHEM6526 Product Development
  • CHEM6529 Microtoxicity and Biochemistry
  • BIOL6756 Dermal Pharmacology & Immunology

Cosmetic science electives, 6 credits

Graduate electives, 6 credits

Take 6 additional credits from a 5000 level or higher CHEM, BIOL, MKTG, PHAR, MGMT, COMM, COSC, or CCOM.

Students must earn a total of 32 credits with a grade point average of at least 2.75.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When are the deadlines for applying to the program?

We have rolling admissions so you can apply any time; however, you cannot matriculate (i.e. be accepted) into the program until all registration materials have been submitted and evaluated.

Q: My undergraduate degree is not in chemistry. Can I still get into this program?

Admission requirements include graduation from an accredited college or university with a baccalaureate degree in an allied science. This generally includes biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmacy. Regardless of which subject your degree is in, your background must include a two-semester sequence of Organic Chemistry along with the associated labs.

Q: Can I start taking Cosmetic Science classes before being accepted into the program?

We are no longer accepting students on a non-matriculated basis.

Q: What are the minimum GRE score and minimum undergraduate GPA requirements?

There are no published minimum scores or grades. Each application is evaluated individually and a decision is made based on the entire application packet, which includes GRE scores, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.

Q: I’ve been out of school for a number of years. Do my letters of recommendation have to come from former professors?

No. Letters of recommendation may also be from industry.

Q: I’ve already taken my GMAT’s. Can I submit these scores in place of the GRE’s?

No. You are required to submit GRE scores. Visit for scheduling.

Q: Do you require the Advanced Chemistry GRE?

No only the general GRE exam is required.

Q: Who are the instructors and what are their qualifications?

Most of the classes in the Cosmetic Science program are taught by adjunct faculty who are experts in their field and actively employed within the cosmetic science industries. This allows our program to maintain an industry focus and remain current.

Q. How long does it take to complete the program?

Students typically complete the program within five semesters, but there are great variances. Students are unlikely to finish this program in less than five semesters mainly due to the course scheduling and availability.

Q: I work full time during the day. Can I complete this program on a part-time basis taking only evening classes?

Many of our students work full time, live within commuting distance, and take classes only part-time. For this reason, Cosmetic Sciences classes run only in the evening. Furthermore, most of the instructors in this program are adjunct faculty who also work full time within the industry and are only available in the evening. Thus, even full time students become evening students by default.

Q: Does FDU offer any graduate research assistantship (RA), teaching assistantships (TA) positions, and/or job placement assistance?

The School of Natural Sciences does not have research or teaching assistantships and we do not provide job placement assistance. Full time students, however, will find that your classmates and adjunct faculty working in the Cosmetic Science industry will provide you a network of industry contacts. We have also recently instituted an Internship/Work Experience elective to assist students with no industrial experience. Students are also encouraged to visit FDU’s Career Development center.

Q: Are there any courses available during the summer?

Cosmetic science courses and cosmetic science electives are generally not offered during the summer. Note that the program also includes 6 credits of Free Electives. Students wishing to take summer classes should search FDU’s Self-Service for availability of approved free electives. Summer is also the best time to find internships.