About the ACS Scholars Program

The American Chemical Society Scholars Program awards renewable scholarships of up to $5,000 to underrepresented minority students who want to enter the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields, such as environmental science, toxicology and chemical technology. High school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors are eligible to apply.

The ACS Scholars Program was established in 1994 to attract African American, Hispanic and American Indian students considered underrepresented in the chemical sciences by the National Science Foundation to pursue careers in the field.

The program also aims to help build awareness of the value and rewards associated with careers in chemistry and assist students in acquiring skills and credentials needed for success.

Selection Process

A selection committee reviews all scholarship applications. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic record, career objective, financial need, leadership ability, participation in school activities, and community service.

Award Amounts

The amount of each award depends upon the availability of funding, the number of scholarships awarded, and evidence of financial need. Scholarship recipients receive up to a maximum of $5,000 per year, and the awards are renewable.

Program Donors

Corporations, organizations and individual donors have contributed more than $8 million dollars to the Scholars Program. A growing number of corporate partners offer summer research opportunities to students.

Student Mentoring

To help scholarship winners achieve success, ACS seeks mentors from college and university faculty, industry, members, and volunteers associated with minority advocacy organizations, such as the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans (SACNAS) and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).

ACS also encourages awardees to participate in undergraduate research and internships, and attend professional scientific meetings.

Scholarship Winners

To date 2679 students have received a scholarship through the ACS Scholars Program. African Americans comprise 51% of the recipient pool, Hispanic/Latinos represent 43%, and American Indian students at 6%.

1,512 students have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in a chemical science. Of those students, 42%* are known to have gone on to graduate school, and 34%* are known to have entered the chemical science workforce.


*Demographics as of December 2014

Excellence Awards

The ACS Scholars Program is a distinguished winner of:

  • 2001 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring
  • 1997 American Society of Association Executives Award of Excellence