American Chemical Society Certification

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a 164,000 member scientific society that monitors and accredits over 600 academic chemistry departments in the U.S. The Department of Chemistry provides a diversified ACS approved curriculum, which in essence means that if you graduate with an ACS certified degree, you have met the minimum curricular requirements that the ACS considers necessary to be a qualified B.S. Chemist. Graduating with an ACS certified degree can provide some advantages. Prospective employers, graduate and medical schools, and other professional agencies view the certification as a rigorous program for obtaining a B.S. degree relative to non-certified degrees. The certified degree implies that advanced laboratory training through independent research has put you a step above those with no training for developing independence and self-obtained laboratory skills.

Requirements for an ACS certified degree are slightly more stringent than departmental requirements for graduation; however, ACS guidelines and additions to our program have made the ability to obtain an ACS certified degree more flexible and to a certain extent tailored to student interests. 

An ACS certified degree in chemistry from William and Mary is awarded if a student’s academic program meets additional course criteria within the minimum 38 credit hours required for a chemistry major plus a minimum of 3 credits of independent research through CHEM 409 or 6 credits in CHEM 495/496. The department currently offers four concentrations leading to ACS certification: chemistry, biochemistry, polymer chemistry, and chemical physics.  ACS certification is automatically provided for chemistry graduates who qualify.

Chemistry: Chem 414, and two additional 400 level courses
Biochemistry: Chem 414, 415, 420 and one additional 400 Chem level course. One upper level biology course selected from Biol 306, 310, 437, or 442
Chemical Physics: Chem 401, 414, and one additional 400 level Chem course; Phys 201 and 208; one additional course selected  from Math 302, 413, or Phys 303, 313, 314, 401, 402, 251-252
Polymer Chemistry:  Chem 411, 412, 414, and 421