ACS-Certified Chemistry Major

The American Chemical Society (ACS) certified major is recommended for those whose career goals include employment as a professional chemist or graduate school in chemistry. Students earning this degree will receive certification from the ACS which, for those students proceeding directly from college to employment, often results in higher salaries than those for non-certified majors. In addition, graduate schools and fellowship selection committees may view certified majors more favorably than non-certified ones. Courses leading to a certified major include undergraduate research, which offers the student an opportunity to work closely with members of the research faculty in the department.


Requirements - Foundation: Chemistry 1 or 11 or 16 and 2 or 12; Physics 1 or 11 and 2 or 12; Mathematics 32 and 34. Core: Chemistry 31/33, 32/34, 42, 51/53, 52/54, 61/63, 171, and one additional course in intermediate or advanced chemistry that has one of the following courses as a prerequisite: Chemistry 32, 42, 52, 61, or 171. Research: Chemistry 81 and 82 (or Chemistry 195 and 199, Senior Thesis).

ACS-Certified Chemistry Majors with a premedical focus should also take Biology 13 and 14 with labs.

Suggested Course Sequence for Professional Chemistry Majors

CHEM UL = intermediate or upper level chemistry course.

Year Fall Spring
1 Chem 1 or 11
Math 32
Chem 2 or 12
Math 34
Phys 11
2 Chem 51/53
Phys 12
Chem 52/54
Chem 42
3 Chem 31/33
Chem 61/63
Chem 32/34
Chem 171
4 Chem UL
Chem 81*
Chem 82*

* Undergraduates are encouraged to pursue research (Chem 81/82) earlier if possible. These course sequences are intended to illustrate only one of the possible course sequences involving undergraduate research (Chem 81/82).