Apply for Approval

The ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) establishes guidelines and sets standards for the approval of bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry. Staff in the ACS Approval Program Office are responsible for administering the ACS approval process.

To learn more about the requirements for ACS approval, see the 2023 ACS Guidelines for Bachelor's Degree Programs (PDF).


Programs interested in applying for ACS approval begin the process by completing a pre-application.  

Instructions for accessing the Chemistry Program Approval and Review System (CPARS) and completing the pre-application can be found on the CPARS training page.

Pre-Application Availability

  • May 1 - May 31
  • October 1 - October 31


Each pre-application is reviewed by three members of the CPT.


Within one month of the closing deadline, reviews will be available in CPARS. Department chairs will receive an automated email from the ACS Approval Program when the decision and comments have been posted. There are two possible outcomes:

  • The program meets the requirements covered in the pre-application and will be invited to submit a full application package. The department has 12 months to complete and submit the full application package after receiving the invitation to do so.
  • The program does not meet the requirements. The program may reapply after addressing the areas in which the guidelines were not met. 

Full Application

Programs whose preapplication meets the guidelines are invited to complete a full application.  The application is available in CPARS and is prepopulated with data from the pre-application.  Programs typically have a year to complete the full application.


The full application is immediately available to programs that have met the requirements in the pre-application.


The application is reviewed by two members of CPT; one acts as the chairperson of the application review team, the other as the vice chairperson.


After the reviews are complete, a virtual conference is convened that includes representatives from the institution that is applying for approval, the chair and vice-chair of the review team, and 3-4 additional members of CPT.  The conference usually lasts for 1-2 hours and includes the following:

  • Introductions
  • A brief overview of the program including why they are applying for ACS Approval.
  • Questions from the committee members on any aspects of the application that were unclear.  Additional questions that may include queries on infrastructure, institutional support, curriculum, research, faculty workload, and student success.
  • The program then has an opportunity to ask additional questions.


There are three possible outcomes from the application review:

  • Site Visit:  The application meets the ACS Guidelines and the program is ready for a site visit.
  • More information is required: There are still ambiguities that were not cleared up during the conference.  Staff from the Approval Program will reach out for additional information.  There is usually a quick turnaround for this outcome (1-2 weeks).
  • Approval is withheld:  The program does not meet the guidelines



Contact icon

Contact the ACS Approval Program

Phone: 202-872-4589 | Fax: 202-872-6066
Mail: Office of Professional Training
American Chemical Society, 1155 16th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20036