Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s chemistry undergraduate programs in the IUP Madia Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Engineering have received American Chemical Society continued approval.

The ACS is a nonprofit organization chartered by the US Congress. Its mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions.

The ACS Approval Program promotes excellence in chemistry education for undergraduate students through approval of baccalaureate chemistry programs. ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals.

IUP’s chemistry program has held ACS approval for the past 50 years (since 1973). In order to maintain this recognition, the department is required to submit periodic reports about its programs and student success, including institutional support, instrumentation, depth and breadth of curriculum, student and faculty demographics, and research.

“ACS approval signifies a level of excellence and accountability on a global level,” dean of the IUP John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Steven Hovan said. “It’s one of the premiere groups in the field of chemistry, and IUP is very proud of the chemistry program’s continued recognition by ACS.

“I want to offer my sincere congratulations to the entire department, and my appreciation to all of the faculty involved in the approval process,” Hovan said.

The chemistry undergraduate program at IUP offers a bachelor of science degree, a bachelor of science degree pre-medical track and pre-pharmacy track, a secondary science education certificate, a chemistry minor, and a chemistry honors certificate.

The honors certificate in chemistry requires completing advanced coursework to achieve the degree and a public presentation of a student’s research. An ACS-certified chemistry degree also requires a minimum of two credits of independent study on a research project under the direction of a faculty member.

“The research opportunities and mentorship we provide to our undergraduates contribute greatly to their post-IUP success in the workforce or in graduate or professional schools,” said Nate McElroy, IUP alumnus and chair of the department. “Our students have the chance to co-author presentations and publications as undergrads, achievements that are frequently limited to graduate students at larger research universities.”   

Students who meet the requirements of the chemistry honors certificate complete the required courses for the guaranteed admission agreements IUP has with various PhD programs. Unique in the State System, the Madia Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Engineering has guaranteed PhD admission agreements with West Virginia University, Old Dominion University, and University of Cork in Ireland for students who meet the criteria.

The Madia Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Engineering is named in honor of IUP graduates Bill and Audrey DeLaquil Madia. The Madias, cochairs of the National Campaign Cabinet of IUP’s Imagine Unlimited comprehensive campaign, have been long-time supporters of science and mathematics initiatives at the university.

Bill Madia, originally from Swissvale, earned his undergraduate chemistry degree from IUP in 1969 and his master's degree in physics from IUP in 1971. Audrey Madia, originally from McKees Rocks, is a 1970 home economics graduate. The couple now make their home in Montara, California.

The IUP Council of Trustees approved the naming in 2019, recognizing the Madias for their “firm respect for the power of education, particularly in the sciences and social sciences; their generosity; and their service to the Imagine Unlimited campaign and to the Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.”