Charge to the ACS Commission on Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences

The main charge to the Commission from ACS President Bassam Shakhashiri is to address two major questions:

In preparing its report and actionable recommendations, the Commission will address additional questions including but not
limited to the following:

  1. Is the current structure of different types of departments in the chemical sciences (chemistry, chemical engineering,
    chemistry and biochemistry, chemistry and chemical biology, chemical and biomolecular engineering, materials
    science, etc.) a strength or a weakness with respect to graduate education?
  2. What are the employment issues for graduate students in both industrial and academic settings? Are we providing
    the right educational opportunities?
  3. What are the financial support mechanisms for graduate education in the chemical sciences? Is the current mix the
    best one?
  4. Is the current profile of our graduates the correct one, not only in terms of domestic vs. international, but in terms of
    diversity along other axes as well? Do they have the proper background for the type of graduate education we want
    them to attain?
  5. What are the expectations of graduate students, are our educational institutions meeting them, and what promises do
    they make to students, both explicitly and implicitly? In particular, what should be the lengths of the graduate
    student program and any subsequent postdoctoral training? And why is the attrition rate for Ph.D. students in the
    chemical sciences as high as it is (only 62% finish within ten years.)