ACS Guidelines for Bachelor’s Degree Programs

About the Guidelines

The ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) establishes guidelines for the approval of bachelor degree programs in chemistry. The requirements for program approval and student certification are described in the newly approved 2023 ACS Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures for Bachelor’s Degree Programs (PDF).

ACS recognizes the changing landscape of higher education as well as the diversity of institutions and students that embody the chemical enterprise. Thus, these guidelines provide approved programs with opportunities to develop chemistry degree tracks that are appropriate to the educational missions of their institutions.

The guidelines are organized into sections. Each section groups the guidelines into three categories: critical requirements for approval, normal expectations, and markers of excellence. These indicators are not meant to be prescriptive or an all-inclusive checklist but represent the values of the American Chemical Society and its vision for continued excellence in chemistry education. 

  • Critical Requirements: Departments/programs must meet these requirements to obtain or maintain ACS approval. 
  • Normal Expectations: Guidelines in this category reflect the expected values and activities of an ACS approved program. 
  • Markers of Excellence: The guidelines in this category reflect departmental and institutional practices characteristic of an exemplary chemistry program that supports innovation and inclusive education. 

Certifying Students

Once a program has been approved by ACS, the department has the authority to certify that students have completed the approved curriculum.  It is the responsibility of the department chairperson to determine which of their graduates have met the requirements for certification.  Certified students must take a course of study that provides

The goal of certification is to provide students a competitive advantage for their future employment with an externally validated course of study that is standardized across a wide variety of institutions and programs.  

Certified students receive both a certificate and electronic credentials from ACS.  To request these items, please email of list of certified students and their email addresses to us at

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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