Certification by the American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society, with its more than 160,000 members, is the major professional society in the United States for practicing chemists. The ACS sponsors major professional meetings and publishes a large number of scientific journals. Through its Committee on Professional Training, the ACS evaluates undergraduate professional education in chemistry throughout the U.S. Students who successfully complete an undergraduate curriculum which meets the ACS guidelines receive certification by the Society. These guidelines are lengthy but basically require 400 clock hours of traditional classwork in chemistry courses covering the fundamental areas of the discipline, and 500 clock hours of formal laboratory experience in chemistry. Math and physics courses are also specified.
Complete details of the ACS guidelines for degree certification may be found at CPT/ACS Certification Guidelines
All Chemistry majors who complete the B.S. curriculum will be nominated by the Department to receive certification by the ACS.
B.A. majors who desire to qualify for American Chemical Society certification for their degree must complete the following additional Chemistry courses:
- CHEM 311, Inorganic Chemistry I (3 credits), and
- CHEM 328, Introductory Biochemistry (3) or BIOC 307, General Biochemistry I (4 credits) or CHEM 329, Chemical Aspects of Living Systems (3 credits)
- Complete 5 credit hours* of CHEM 397, Undergraduate Research or CHEM 398, Undergraduate Research/Senior Capstone Project. The research project must culminate in a written report. Students who carry out chemistry-based research in other departments may petition the Undergraduate Committee to count this research toward ACS accreditation. * Students who have completed CHEM 114, Chemistry Frontiers Laboratory need only take 4 credit hours of CHEM 397 or CHEM 398.
Certification by the ACS is viewed favorably for admission to graduate or professional programs. Certified graduates are eligible to become Members of the Society after graduation; other chemistry graduates may become Associate Members after graduation, and Members after three years of professional experience in chemistry or chemical engineering.
Alpha Chi Sigma is a co-ed professional fraternity for students interested in chemistry. Membership is open to those studying chemistry, biochemistry, or chemical engineering; as well as related subjects such as molecular biology, ceramic engineering, nutritional science, and many others. Undergraduates, graduate students, and professors may all join. CWRU is home to the Gamma Chapter of ΑΧΣ.