The Villanova University chemistry department has been authorized to certify that specific students have completed an undergraduate program that meets the professional standards established by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Our ability to offer an ACS certified curriculum shows that the ACS regards our program and facilities as being high quality. (Both are subject to periodic review and adherence to standards set by the Society's Committee on Professional Training). A certified degree in chemistry is a valuable personal credential that serves as national-level recognition for successfully completing a rigorous academic chemistry curriculum in an ACS-approved department. In many college and university chemistry departments more than one path is offered for a chemistry, biochemistry or related major. The program that results in an ACS-certified degree invariably is the more demanding one. Potential employers and graduate schools alike value the extra rigor and additional requirements of the certified degree.
In order to acquire ACS certification, a student must complete all of the courses that the department has determined are necessary to meet the current ACS criteria. Certification is by no means mandatory. Neither graduate schools nor employers require it, although the set of courses required for certification is a reasonable guide to what a good undergraduate program in chemistry should include.
Successful completion of the undergraduate chemistry curriculum results in the award of a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in chemistry that is certified by the American Chemical Society. Chemistry majors need to complete 138 credit hours covering both science and liberal arts requirements for the B.S. degree in chemistry. In addition to chemistry, the science requirements specify two semesters of calculus and two semesters of physics. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). Students can opt for a concentration in biochemistry. The first two years are the same for both programs, while the programs differ in the number of biochemistry and biology courses taken during the junior and senior years. Seniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 can opt to take graduate courses, which allow them to learn advanced material in a more specialized area.