The American Chemical Society (ACS) maintains a certification program in which a student graduating with a specified minimum program is certified to the society upon graduation.

To be certified, a student majoring in only Chemistry must satisfy requirements in addition to the minimum for graduation. An American Chemical Society certified degree adds the following requirements to the chemistry major:

Course Name Hours
CHEM 4021 Inorganic Lab 3
CHEM 4611 or CHEM 4700 Biochemistry 3
4000 level or above science or math elective   3

*Those who major in both Biochemistry and Chemistry automatically earn an ACS certified degree without additional coursework beyond the courses required for the two majors.

The other course can be a 4000 or 5000 level course in chemistry or related fields: molecular biology, chemical engineering, computing science, geochemistry, mathematics, or physics. Independent Study (CHEM 4901) will count as an advanced course for this purpose if (a) it is preceded by at least one semester of physical chemistry, and (b) if the student prepares a well-written summary describing her/his/there work. The student should submit a copy of the summary to their undergraduate advisor.

The formality of the ACS certification is of most value to students intending to find jobs in industry. This certification has less significance for students entering graduate studies in chemistry and the biological, biochemical, or health science fields. To meet the certification criteria, the ACS requires a more thorough background in undergraduate chemistry than that provided by the minimum requirements for the B.A. Chemistry degree at CU. Students should recognize that a thorough preparation in chemistry is of value to all students, whatever their future plans. Students at CU Boulder, have many options for advanced study beyond the minimum requirements.