Start or Reactivate a Student Community

Chartering or reactivating an ACS student chapter or graduate student organization (GSO) is easy, as long as you meet the entry requirements. Just complete and submit the application, and you're on your way.

Requirements to Start a Student Community

  1. Minimum of 6 members who are student members of the American Chemical Society (ACS)*
    Having trouble finding potential recruits? Email us! We might be able to help you find ACS members at your school.
  2. A faculty member who will serve as your advisor
    Your faculty advisor must be an ACS member at the Premium package level. Learn more about the role of a faculty advisor on our faculty advisor resource page.
  3. Bylaws
    Bylaws lay out how you will manage your student community.
    - Sample Student Chapter Bylaws (DOC)
    - Sample GSO Bylaws (DOC)

* Community Associates are welcome to join student chapters but are not eligible to be included in the count toward the membership requirement.

Once ACS approves your application, your community will be granted a charter. A certificate will be mailed to your faculty advisor or the chair of the nearest ACS local section. They will present your new community with its official charter certificate.

TIP! Recruit with Starter Grants
For New Student Communities: Apply for a one-time starter grant from ACS to help pay for your first 6 student members.

Benefits of Maintaining an Active, Healthy Student Community

Keeping your community active and "healthy" helps to maximize the opportunities available to you and your fellow members.

  • Communities that stay active can apply for grants and other funding.
  • Active communities may be eligible for ACS awards.
  • For student chapters, the chapter report is an opportunity to tell ACS about your activities and successes, voice any concerns you have from the academic year, and provide suggestions for future activities.
  • The GSO program is new and still blossoming. Engaged members will take part in cultivating this community and shaping its direction for the future.

Requirements for Keeping Your Chapter Active (does not apply to GSOs)

To remain active, your student chapter must:

  • Submit a chapter report at least once every three years
    - optional for chapters outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico
  • Maintain at least 6 ACS student members  

TIP! Making those Chapter Reports Easy as Pie
Designate a member of your chapter as the official record keeper for the year. Have them take notes of all meetings and events to allow for easy write-ups in the chapter report.

Student Community Toolkit

Successfully start and manage your student chapter or GSO with these resources. If you have any questions, email ACS Student Chapters at, ACS International Student Chapters at, or GSO at

Tips for Faculty Advisors

Faculty advisor responsibilities, tips for building a successful group, and other essential information

Contact Us

ACS Student Chapters

ACS Student International Chapters

Graduate Student Organization