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Department of Chemistry climbs to No. 13 in national rankings

    For the fourth time in five 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 No. 13 in the nation for the number of graduates who earned a certified
bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
    In addition, Georgia Southern is the highest-ranked institution in the state.
    “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.
    To compile the rankings, the ACS surveyed the more than 640 colleges and universities that have a bachelor’s degree program which has been certified by the ACS.
    The institutions are ranked based on the number of graduates they produce in a given academic year. Thirty-four Georgia Southern students earned certified degrees in 2005-2006, the year used by the ACS
for its most recent survey.
    The University was tied for No. 19 in the previous national rankings, which covered the 2004-2005 academic year. Georgia Southern was No. 22 in the 2003-2004 rankings, and also No. 22 in the 2001-2002
    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
    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.
    The latest ACS survey revealed that 12,120 students received their bachelor’s degrees during the 2005-2006 academic year from institutions that offer a certified degree program. However, only 4,252
of these graduates (35.1 percent) earned certified degrees. The study also showed that 6,291of the certified degrees (51.9 percent) were awarded to women.
    The top five institutions in the ACS rankings for certified bachelor’s degrees are, in order: the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
    The national rankings also include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (in a four-way tie at No. 16) and the U.S. Naval Academy (in a four-way tie at No. 21).
    The Georgia Institute of Technology - which is among the schools tied at No. 21 - is the only other Georgia university to appear in the national rankings for certified bachelor’s degrees.
    For more information on the Department of Chemistry at Georgia Southern, visit or call (912) 681-5681.

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