Inclusion of Synthetic Polymers within the Curriculum of the ACS Certified Undergraduate Degree
The 2015 Guidelines approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society require that the curriculum for the certified undergraduate degree include the principles that govern macromolecular, supramolecular, mesoscale, and nanoscale systems. The rationale for this new requirement recognizes that the synthesis, analysis, and physical properties of small molecules give an incomplete picture of the higher-order interactions that occur in these systems. Programs can satisfy this requirement through an in-depth course on these systems or distributed coverage over two or more required courses. It is anticipated that the majority of undergraduate degree programs will include at least some coverage of synthetic polymers, but there may be concerns in many departments on how best to implement such coverage. Suggested topics that illustrate important aspects of the chemistry and properties of synthetic polymers in the curriculum are described.