Chemistry program gains American Chemical Society stamp of approval

Published 8:06 am Thursday, April 28, 2022

Longwood’s chemistry program has been granted approval from the American Chemical Society (ACS), which sets the standards for undergraduate chemistry curriculums. This means that chemistry majors graduating this spring will be the university’s first to have the distinction of earning a degree that officially meets ACS standards.

ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental and communication skills that prepare them for a multitude of professional roles. Institutions with an ACS-approved chemistry program attract top high- school students who are looking for well-established, high-quality programs.

“We’ve always known that our chemistry program was rigorous and of high quality, and this is an external validation of our curriculum,” said Dr. Sarah Porter, professor of analytical chemistry and coordinator of the chemistry program. “ACS approval communicates the quality of our program to employers and to graduate programs and it means the students who complete our program will be prepared for most anything.”

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The ACS Committee on Professional Training voted earlier this year to include Longwood on the list of institutions approved by ACS. The process to get ACS approval took three years and included hiring an additional faculty member and making adaptations to the chemistry curriculum. In addition to offering a breadth and depth of courses, an ACS-approved curriculum requires a significant component of hands-on experiences and internships.

The chemistry community values the ACS approval process, and the ACS stamp of approval ensures that students are well-prepared for a wide variety of careers after college, no matter which path they might take.

“We are excited that we can now offer this to our students,” Porter said. “Employers find that graduates of ACS- approved programs are better -prepared for employment or graduate school.”