Department of Chemistry

USM Chemistry Degree Receives Accreditation

The University of Southern Maine (USM) is pleased to announce its undergraduate chemistry program has received approval from the American Chemical Society (ACS) to now offer an ACS-accredited bachelor of science degree in chemistry.

ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. A nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress, ACS promotes excellence in chemistry education for undergraduate students through approval of baccalaureate chemistry programs.

Dr. Hank Tracy, chair of USM’s Department of Chemistry, said the accreditation is the result of years of hard work by the department in developing a high quality chemistry curriculum.

“ACS accreditation serves as a validation of the department’s commitment to delivering excellence in chemistry education,” adds Dr. Tracy, “Chemistry faculty at USM have active research programs and encourage undergraduates at all levels to become involved in research opportunities. Students graduate from the chemistry program with strong research skills, allowing them to be better prepared for employment or graduate work after graduation.”

ACS accreditation certifies that USM’s chemistry degree is comparable to other top chemistry programs nationwide. ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and thorough chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals. The ACS’s Committee on Professional Training reviewed USM’s chemistry program and concluded that it “meets the spirit and intent of the ACS Guidelines for approved schools.”

Earlier this year, USM’s student chapter of ACS was selected to receive a Green Chemistry Award for its outreach activities conducted during the 2011-12 academic year. Dr. Tracy and faculty advisor Dr. Peter Woodruff were commended by the ACS for setting an outstanding example for other chapters and being exemplary green chemistry ambassadors.

USM’s Department of Chemistry is comprised of active and engaged faculty who provide students with a thorough and practical education that will be useful in secondary school teaching, academia, or industry. The department offers bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biochemistry as well as a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in secondary education for those students wishing to become certified to teach 7-12 chemistry in Maine. For more information, visit