ACS Certified Degree

The American Chemical Society (ACS) promotes excellence in chemistry education for undergraduate students through a detailed approval process for baccalaureate chemistry programs. The HMC Chemistry department has a long history of meeting these standards and being designated as an ACS-approved program.  When you complete your chemistry major or joint chem-bio major at Harvey Mudd College, you have the opportunity to earn a degree that is also certified by the American Chemical Society.  Earning an American Chemical Society certified chemistry degree means that Harvey Mudd has prepared you for a wide variety of careers relying on chemistry knowledge and skills.  On your resume, you can specify that you earned an ACS certified degree from an ACS-approved Chemistry department, and employers will know you have both completed a broad-based and rigorous chemistry major (i.e., the certified degree) and graduated from a Chemistry department that meets high standards (i.e., the approved program).  The American Chemical Society provides some more detail with this brief letter.  The American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training (CPT) oversees the approval of chemistry programs and certification of Chemistry degrees and provides even more information here

Here is a checklist of items required to complete the ACS certified degree at Harvey Mudd College.

IF I AM A CHEMISTRY MAJOR, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO RECEIVE AN ACS CERTIFIED DEGREE?
The course requirements for graduation with the chemistry major satisfy the ACS certified degree requirements, so no additional coursework is necessary.  It is important, however, that when you take the in-depth courses for your major that you register for the chemistry course number of any cross-listed course and have satisfied the prerequisite for the in-depth course with the specified chemistry course(s).   If you are unsure about this requirement, please consult with your advisor or the department chair.  No additional paperwork is necessary and you will receive your ACS certificate upon graduation.  

IF I AM A JOINT CHEMISTRY-BIOLOGY MAJOR, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO RECEIVE AN ACS CERTIFIED DEGREE?
In as few as two additional classes, you can earn an ACS certified degree.  In addition to the graduation requirements for your joint major, you will need to take one additional foundation course.  Specifically, instead of taking either Chem103 or Chem104, you will need to take both of these classes.  In addition, you will need to take at least 3 additional credits of in-depth chemistry course(s) (e.g. 1 full (three-credit) class or 2 in-depth half-courses (two-credit classes).  In-depth courses are non-lab, advanced chemistry courses that have foundational chemistry courses as a prerequisite or that have another in-depth course as a prerequisite.  It is recommended that you talk with your chemistry advisor or the department chair about your plans to complete the requirements for the ACS certified degree.  No additional paperwork is necessary and you will receive your ACS certificate upon graduation.

If you have any questions about ACS certification, please feel free to reach out to the chemistry department chair.