Interpretation of Mass Spectra


User Licence
  • 1 Individual user
  • Unlimited course access for a 6-month (180-day) period
  • 12 Modules
  • Self-paced Validated Learning

Note: ‘Interpretation of Mass Spectra’ is a self-paced, 12-module course, with technology expert David Sparkman. The course is not run on the Analytical Training Solutions website, but via modules available on the Chromatography Forum.

All courses are broken down into manageable modules and presented in a logical manner for effective learning. We would recommend that users run through each course in the module order provided for the best learning experience.

Course Description

In this course, you will learn the principles of how mass spectra are produced and how to analyse the spectra to derive valuable structural information about the molecules you are studying.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Get an idea of the elemental composition of an unknown
  • Understand what peaks in a mass spectrum are significant
  • Estimate the molecular weight of many different types of compound
  • Determine the presence and absence of various substructures of organic
molecules from mass spectral data

To accomplish these objectives, we will use several instructional tools, including:

  • Online syllabus and resources
  • Live Webcast lectures and discussions
  • Asynchronous online discussion forums
  • Homework assignments in which you solve a variety of sample problems
  • Online tests to assess your understanding
Course Presenter

O. David Sparkman is currently an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California; Contractor to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Mass Spectrometry Data Center; President of; and a former American Chemical Society Instructor (1978–2006) and American Society for Mass Spectrometry Member-at-large for Education (2004–2006). Over the past 28 years, he has developed and taught five different ACS courses in mass spectrometry. He is the author of Mass Spectrometry Desk Reference (Global View Publishing: Pittsburgh, PA, 1st ed. 2000; 2nd ed. 2006). Along with J. Throck Watson, he developed the Mass Spectral Interpretation Quick Reference Guide. He also provides general consulting services in mass spectrometry for a number of instrument manufacturers, manufacturing companies, and government agencies.


Do check out our full FAQ to answer commonly asked questions and always feel free to contact us.

What are the course payment options?

Online payment for the course(s) is via our shop using a credit card (Stripe). Alternatively, if you would like to be billed directly, please contact us.

How and when do I get my username and password to access the course?

Once you purchase the ‘Interpretation of Mass Spectra’ course you will be contacted to help you set up your access and to be mailed your course manual and reference guide. Do expect 4-6 weeks before you have access to the course and printed materials.

Course Enquiry