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Specialty Chemistry Forums => Chemical Education and Careers => Topic started by: Cactusguy on May 31, 2018, 01:49:42 PM

Title: Undegrad, should I get ACS certification?
Post by: Cactusguy on May 31, 2018, 01:49:42 PM
I'm an undergrad student in Chemistry, I plan to go on to get my M.S. and maybe my Phd, and I wanted to ask about the ACS certification. My university offers two paths, a non-certified B.S. and a certified B.S. I have enough space in my schedule to take the extra classes for the ACS, but it seems to me that it would be far more beneficial to my education to simply take some graduate classes during that span, since my school allows undergrads to take up to 9 graduate credits per semester, and I plan to stay here for graduate school anyway. I guess I just feel like I would learn more from extra grad classes.

These are the extra ACS courses:
1. Differential equations (a math course I don't even have to take for a math major)
2. Graduate Thesis (idk what this even is, we already have to do an undergrad research project over the course of 3 semesters to graduate for just the regular B.S.)
3. Structure and Mechanism in Biological Chemistry
4. Any undergrad Chem Elective

Am I making an incorrect assumption? Is the ACS Bachelor's degree really that important? I'm already taking a math double major (plus a statistics minor) to try to stand out (and I also love math, in addition to chem), but would not having the ACS kill my chances at getting a job? It seems kinda useless as well since I know I'm going to go for at least a Master's degree, so who really cares whether or not my B.S. is ACS certified, right?

Also sorry if this is the wrong forum, I'm new here.
Title: Re: Undegrad, should I get ACS certification?
Post by: Arkcon on June 01, 2018, 03:22:04 PM
I think its been mentioned before on this forum, try to search for it, but briefly -- ACS certification is nice, but really isn't that important.  If you can take some grad level courses early, you might be better of with those.
Title: Re: Undegrad, should I get ACS certification?
Post by: Corribus on June 01, 2018, 03:50:49 PM
As I understand, a lot of undergraduate programs are ditching ACS certification anyway, because it's expensive to be certified by ACS and in many cases the University name speaks for itself. I.e., if you go to a school with a good reputation for chemistry, the certification doesn't really add anything, because people know you'll have a quality degree anyway.

If you are planning on applying to graduate schools, though, be aware that many of the top programs will expect applicants to have some exposure to independent research and writing during undergraduate, so the thesis is probably something you'd want to do if you really want to be competitive at the top programs.