Topic: College of Sciences and Humanities

February 12, 2009

The top school in the state and one of the best in the nation for graduating students with degrees in chemistry certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) is Ball State University.
In its latest report for 2006-07, ACS lists Ball State's chemistry department as producing a total of 44 graduates with bachelor's degrees in chemistry, with 21 being certified by the organization, which counts 648 member institutions in the United States.
Overall, Ball State ranks 57th nationally for total number of students receiving undergraduate chemistry degrees and 38th in producing students with ACS-certified degrees.
The impressive results are no accident or coincidence, said Patricia Lang, chemistry department chair, who explained that faculty in the department have worked diligently over the last decade to increase the number of ACS-certified graduates.
They also reflect an emerging trend toward more students in science. According to ACS, the number of bachelor's degrees conferred by all U.S. colleges and universities certified by the organization rose to 12,888 for 2006-07, a 6.3 percent over the previous year.

"Ball State has taken a leadership role attracting high-ability students as well as developing relationships with many of the top corporations in our field throughout the Midwest," Lang said. "The ACS-certified degree helps ready our students for graduate school, research and positions in the industry."

An ACS-certified degree signifies that a student has completed an integrated, rigorous program that includes introductory and foundational course work in chemistry and in-depth course work in chemistry or chemistry-related fields. The certified degree also emphasizes laboratory experience and the development of professional skills needed to be an effective chemist.

Lang said certification also clearly labels a student as a serious scientist, assisting in the transition from undergraduate preparation to professional studies or employment.
"We feel our mission as educators is critical in development of future technologies that will have a positive impact on our state's economy," she said. "We believe we are producing students who are highly marketable and will immediately contribute to Indiana's economy."