Establishing International Chapters

The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society, with more than 160,000 Members around the world in more than 160 countries. The ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters are formed by Members outside of the United States to advance the ACS and chemical enterprise around the world. International chapters are keys to advancing the global chemistry enterprise by utilizing the convening power of the ACS programs and activities, including access to global experts. 

More than 39,000 ACS Members are located outside of the United States. International Chemical Sciences Chapters provide a means for these ACS Members to socialize, exchange technical information, access additional ACS resources including funding, and gain international recognition.

The first ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapter was established in Saudi Arabia on 01 April 1993. As of November 2023, there are 27 International Chemical Sciences Chapters representing 25 countries.

The ACS Governing Documents provide for the formation of International Chemical Sciences Chapters of the American Chemical Society.

How Does a Group of ACS Members in a Non U.S. Location Petition the ACS to Become a Chapter?

First, please review ACS Governing Documents, Standing Rule VII, Sec 3, that provides for the formation of International Chemical Sciences Chapters, and then send an inquiry to the ACS Office of Global Engagement at

A packet of information will be sent in response and includes:

  1. An application form
  2. A statement of criteria and procedures for establishing an International Chemical Sciences Chapters
  3. A copy of Charter Bylaws for Chapters
  4. A copy of the ACS Governing Documents

Criteria for Establishing a Chapter

All proposed chapters are encouraged to gain the approval of the relevant national chemical society, although it is not required to apply for establishment. ACS is committed to cooperating with its sister chemical societies in other nations on matters of membership.

The proposed chapter needs to define its territory, normally not smaller than a state, province, or similar geographical unit. For example, the defined territory for the ACS Hungary International Chemical Sciences Chapter is the entire country. This territory cannot overlap with any existing chapters.

At least 25 members of the Society in good standing with mailing addresses within the defined territory must sign the application for the international chapter. The ACS Office of Global Engagement will help you to form the petition to gather and verify the needed signatures.

The application must also specify:

  • Interim officers and a contact person
  • Activities planned for the chapter, including a tentative first-year schedule with locations
  • A statement of the chapter's mission and strategic plan
  • A draft first-year budget (income and expenses)
  • Draft chater bylaws for the chapter

Key Elements of Sucessful International Chapter Development

 A strong champion

Every efficient machine needs an engine to drive its parts. The chapter will benefit from the impetus of a leader to guide its prepatory work, keep membership informed and organized and, perhaps most importantly, to fuel their enthusiasm for the importance of developing and maintaining the chapter in a particular geograpgy.

  • Good knowledge of the ACS and International Chemical Sciences Chapters
  • Influencer in their field and the territory of the chapter
  • Vitality and energy to ignite the chapter
  • Great people skills
  • Dependability
  • Time to dedicate to the tasks of logistics coordination and membership growth
  • Good planning skills
  • Communication skills to clarify what must be done and how
  • Optimism and faith in the value of your chapter and its work

Critical mass of members

This varies according to the size of the chapter, the territory in which it resides, and the enthusiasm of members willing to commit time and energy to the chapter. It realistically ranges from 50 members for a small chapter to about 75 members for larger chapters.

The chapter champion can work with the ACS Office of Global Engagement to develop a plan to recruit the minimum number of ACS Members needed to form the chapter.

Potential for growth

The targeted territory for the chapter must possess a strong chemical enterprise. A strong, active chapter depends on continuing volunteers to launch new activities, and a healthy influx of new members to keep the programs, events, meetings, services, publications and other activities of the chapter operating at the highest possible level. Volunteers from the existing group will become exhausted without new members to assist them and take on the work they have begun. For a chapter to achieve long-term success, reach its goals and do a better job of representing the chemistry profession in various venues, it must continue to attract and engage new members. 

A Chapter’s Responsibilities to ACS

  • On 01 November of each year, the ACS Office of Global Engagement will request an annual report form from each international chapter.
  • Host elections for your international chapter in accordance with your bylaws. The results of officer elections must be reported in the Community Connection database by 01 December of each year.
  • Annual reports, including a financial form, must be submitted to the ACS Office of Global Engagement by 15 February of each year via the Community Connection database. Please note that submissions made in January and February are the annual report for the previous year. 
  • International chapters must maintain a membership of at least 25 members of the Society each year. International Chapters that fail to do so for three consecutive years will be dissolved. 
  • International chapters must keep detailed records of the receipt and uses of any funds received from the ACS; this includes annual allotments.
  • The Committee on International Activities (IAC) will review annual reports each year.
  • In accordance with the ACS Governing Documents, IAC will conduct an evaluation every five years of each international chapter, and make recommendations to the ACS Board of Directors on their continuation.