Georgia Southern University

Department of Chemistry appears in national rankings

For the third time in four years, the Department of Chemistry at Georgia Southern University boasts one of the most productive degree programs in the United States.

According to the latest rankings by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on Professional Training, Georgia Southern is tied for No. 19 in the nation in terms of the number of graduates who earned a certified bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

To compile the annual rankings, the ACS conducts a survey of the 634 colleges and universities which have a bachelor’s degree program that has been certified by the organization.

The institutions are ranked based on the number of graduates they produce in a given academic year. Twenty-four Georgia Southern students earned certified degrees in 2004-2005, which was the year used by the ACS for its most recent survey.

The University was No. 22 in the previous national rankings, which covered the 2003-2004 academic year. Georgia Southern was also No. 22 in the 2001-2002 rankings.

‘I am delighted that we continue to be recognized at a national level for our outstanding undergraduate program as well as our commitment to the profession,” said Mary Boyd, the chair of the Department of Chemistry.

The ACS is comprised of more than 158,000 individual members at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry. The organization provides a broad range of opportunities for peer interaction and career development.

The ACS Committee on Professional Training has been assessing, approving and monitoring undergraduate chemistry programs since 1941. Students in approved programs can earn certified degrees by completing a rigorous curriculum that satisfies ACS requirements.

According to the ACS, some employers offer higher starting salaries to graduates who have certified degrees. Also, a certified degree can be beneficial in obtaining admission to graduate school.

‘Our graduates typically attend graduate, dental or medical school, or find employment in the chemical industry,” Boyd said.

Nationally, only 36 percent of students who earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry obtain their degree from a certified program.

The ACS survey revealed that 10,947 students received a certified bachelor’s degree during the 2004-2005 academic year. Almost 52 percent of those graduates were women.

The top five institutions in the latest ACS rankings are the University of Texas-Austin, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the College of William and Mary.

The rankings also include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is the only other Georgia university to appear in the national rankings.

For more information on the Department of Chemistry at Georgia Southern, visit or call (912) 681-5681.

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