Section 4

A modern and comprehensive infrastructure is essential to a vigorous undergraduate program.  Infrastructure includes physical laboratory spaces for teaching and research consistent with safety guidelines outlined in Section 7 - Creating a Safety Culture, state of the art instrumentation, access to appropriate information resources including journal access, databases, and computational software. Modern laboratories and infrastructure ensure that students can be properly trained across the spectrum of chemical sciences, and that such training can occur safely and with minimal environmental impact.

Critical Requirements


  • Research and instructional laboratories are suitable for their purposes, safe, properly maintained, and meet all applicable government regulations.
  • Fume hoods are present and regularly tested/inspected.
  • Provides sufficient space and management for hazardous waste storage and disposal.

Instrumentation & Computational Resources

  • A functioning NMR (or reliable access to a functioning NMR that students use). 
  • Instrumentation from four out of five of the following:
    • Optical Molecular Spectroscopy
    • Optical Atomic Spectroscopy
    • Mass Spectrometry
    • Chromatography and Separations
    • Electrochemistry
  • The program must maintain an additional complement of instruments adequate to support the curriculum and undergraduate research.
  • The institution must maintain the instrumentation in good working order.
  • The program must have access to computational chemistry software.

Journal and Information Access

  • Immediate access to a minimum of 9 peer reviewed journals in the chemical sciences. 
    • At least 3 of general focus  
    • At least one in each area ABIOP 
    • At least one chemical education
  • The library must provide timely access to publications not immediately available through a mechanism such as Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
  • Access available to technical databases including structure-based searching.

Normal Expectations

Laboratories & Classrooms

  • Classroom, teaching, laboratory, dedicated research, office, and common space that is modern and well-equipped.
  • Dedicated facilities for research and teaching should exist, which are appropriate for the work conducted in them.
  • Chemistry classrooms, labs, storage areas, and faculty offices should be in close proximity.
  • The facilities should permit experiments to be maintained for extended periods of time.
  • The program should have access to support facilities needed for their research efforts, including machine, electronic, and glass fabrication.
  • Classrooms adhere to modern standards for lighting, ventilation, comfort with proper demo facilities, projection capabilities, internet access.
  • Ensure that laboratory courses are scheduled such that sufficient time is available to address chemical preparation, chemical waste, and equipment needs.

Instrumentation & Computational Resources

  • The field strength and capabilities of NMR should support the instructional and research needs of the program.
  • The program should have access to computing facilities.

Support and Resources for Transfer Students

  • The program should be aware of educational backgrounds and challenges facing transfer students.
  • A curricular framework for transfer student success should be provided.

Journal and Information Access

  • Immediate access to a minimum of 14 peer reviewed journals in the chemical sciences. 
    • At least 3 of general focus
    • At least one in each area ABIOP
    • At least one chemical education
  • Access is available to multiple technical databases including structure-based searching.

Markers of Excellence

  • Programs have functioning instrumentation from all 5 categories noted in Critical Requirements.
  • Programs have a plan and institutional support for regular replacement of instrumentation.
  • Teaching and research spaces are continuously reviewed and improved, with capital funding available for upgrades.
  • Availability of collaborative student workspaces and/or study spaces.

Journal and Information Access

  • Access that reflects substantial depth in multiple subdisciplines.