Committee on Professional Training

The Committee on Professional Training (CPT) promotes excellence in postsecondary chemistry education and provides leadership to the ACS in the professional training of chemists.

Statements on the changing educational landscape due to COVID-19

Virtual Labs: Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society and as such the health and well-being of students and faculty members in our community is paramount.  Many of you have reached out to the ACS Committee on Professional Training to inquire about virtual labs, lab hours, and concerns about your status as an approved institution.  The use of virtual labs will be allowed for institutions that have chosen to move all instruction online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and will not affect the approval status of a program.Once institutions revert back to face-to-face instructions, all laboratory experiences must be performed face-to-face as well.

Certification: Department chairs can still certify students who were on the path to completing the approved curriculum even if those students were not able to complete the coursework due to the move to virtual instruction.

Pass/Fail Grading: Because there isn’t a stipulation in the ACS guidelines about systems used for grading, we encourage institutions to make the best decision for their students.  Students currently on that path to completing the approved curriculum who graduate with pass/fail grades can still be certified by the department chairperson.  The department’s ACS approval will not be affected.

Our concern is for the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty at approved institutions.We understand that this is a stressful time for faculty and students and want to do what we can to assist during this time of uncertainty. Please feel free to reach out to us at

Announcing the Chemistry Program Approval & Review System (CPARS)

  • UPDATE: Instructions for accessing CPARS are now available. 
  • To access CPARS, users will need an ACS ID and password. Each user will need a unique log in.  Create an ACS ID. Please note that you do not have to be an ACS member to get an ACS ID.
  • Periodic reports for 2020 will be available on April 15 and due on December 15. Virtual training sessions will be available in April. 

Upcoming Events

  • Focus Group in Philadelphia (to be rescheduled for San Francisco)
    We invite you to attend and participate in a Focus Group on the pedagogy in undergraduate chemistry education at the Fall 2020 National Meeting & Expo.  This will be an opportunity to exchange ideas about effective teaching practices and discuss how chemical education research is influencing the training of chemistry majors.
  • Town Hall Meeting in Philadelphia (cancelled, virtual town hall tba)
    Please join us for a virtual Town Hall Meeting, coming soon in 2020 . We will be discussing themes central to the revision of the Guidelines for ACS Approval of Chemistry Bachelor Degrees. Such topics include new guidelines format, faculty workloads, chemical safety, pedagogical practices, and the role of diversity, equity, and respect in chemical education.   

News & Announcements

  • Certificates Available for ACS-Certified Graduates
    The head or chair of ACS-approved chemistry programs presents ACS certificates to students that receive a baccalaureate degree and complete a curriculum consistent with the ACS Guidelines.  If you would like to have certificates available for presentation to your certified graduates, please contact us at
  • Free 3-Year Membership for Certified Chemistry Graduates To take advantage of this offer, students should contact their department chairperson.  Department chairs can get more information on this offer by contacting us at


  • Survey on Graduate Education
    67% of Ph.D. granting instititutions responded to the CPT Graduate Education Survey.  Results from this survey will be reported during the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia, This survey focused on the ways in which graduate education has evolved and, in particular, how it aligns with the competencies as described in the National Academies report on Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century.

  • Survey on Faculty Status
    We are planning on continuing our longitudinal study on the role of non-tenure track faculty and instructors in chemistry departments as well as the benefits and support they receive. For conveinence, we're providing this Faculty Status Survey worksheet to assist you while filling out the survey. 



ACS Guidelines for Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Contact Us


Office of Professional Training
American Chemical Society
1155 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Guidelines Revisions Feedback

Watch this space for short (1-3 question) surveys and polls focusing on the upcoming guidelines revisions.

Current polls include (click on the links):

If we haven't covered a topic that you'd like to discuss, please email us at

Focus Group Feedback

During the fall ACS meeting, CPT hosted two focus groups.  The first discussed the Lab Hour requirement in the Guidelines.  The second, co-hosted by the ACS Committee on Minority Affairs, discussed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) climate at undergraduate institutions.