2017-2018 Catalog 
    Mar 30, 2020  
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Academic Information

The information provided in this catalog is subject to change without notice and does not constitute a contract between Abilene Christian University and a student or an applicant for admission. The information in this catalog is current as of July 2017.

For graduate programs, consult the Graduate Academic Information  section of this catalog.

Definitions and Policies

College Year

Abilene Christian University follows the college calendar set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The college year consists of two 16-week semesters (or terms) and one summer term with sessions of various lengths.

Enrollment Terms of a College Year

  • Fall - a 16-week term that is completed before the Christmas holidays
  • Spring - a 16-week term that is completed in early May
  • Summer - beginning mid-May and ending before the fall term begins
  • Intensive Courses - courses taught in an intense format within a term (e.g. January, weekends and other courses of variable length that are taught within one of the above terms)

Semester Hour (Credit Hour)

The semester hour (or credit hour) is the basic unit of college credit. The general rule is that a student receives one semester hour of credit for each class hour per week for a semester. However, two or three hours in laboratory, in studio work or in special activity classes may be required for one semester hour of credit.

Most classes meet three hours each week and give three semester hours of credit. Students should expect to spend an average of two hours of preparation outside of class for each hour of lecture or discussion in class.

Classification of Students

A student’s classification is determined by the number of semester hours successfully completed toward a degree program:

Classification Hours Earned
Freshman 0-29
Sophomore 30-59
Junior 60-89
Senior 90+

A graduate student is one who has completed a bachelor’s degree and is taking courses toward a graduate degree. A post-graduate student is one who has completed a bachelor’s degree and is not applying courses taken toward a degree. A special undergraduate student is one who is taking courses that do not apply toward an undergraduate degree program at ACU; such students may be taking courses for enrichment or for use toward a degree program at another institution.

Full-time and Part-time Status

An undergraduate student must be enrolled for at least 12 hours in a fall or spring semester to be considered a full-time student at ACU during that semester. Undergraduate students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours are classified as part-time unless they are enrolled in student teaching or completing final graduation requirements in fewer than 12 hours.

Academic Integrity

ACU expects its students to practice absolute academic integrity. Plagiarism, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty are not acceptable at ACU. Students should consult the university’s Academic Integrity Policy found at acu.edu/academic-integrity for a fuller description of the expectations of students and procedures for dealing with violations of the policy.

Check In

Each semester, all students will be required to check in to verify their attendance at ACU for that semester. This process occurs electronically through the my.acu.edu student portal during the first week of classes.

Students who fail to check in will be treated as non-attendees and administratively withdrawn for the semester to avoid incurring financial charges. A student who is administratively withdrawn is dropped from all classes, removed from housing and financial aid, and dropped from meal plans.

Students who successfully complete the check-in process are agreeing to the schedule for which they are registered. Thus, students who check-in but never attend a particular class on their schedule will not be eligible for a refund for that course because of non-attendance.

Class Attendance

ACU expects students to attend and participate in all class and laboratory meetings. Students must adhere to the policies published in each course syllabus. ACU normally offers classes in a series of regularly scheduled meetings. The most common patterns are Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Tuesday-Thursday, and once-per-week. Some classes have regularly scheduled laboratories (labs).

Students are responsible for initiating a Withdrawal from Class form for any class that they have never attended or have stopped attending. If students do not initiate a withdrawal form, one of the following actions may be taken:

  • The professor may initiate a withdrawal for a student who has violated the attendance policy as stated in the course syllabus. A “W” or “WF” grade will be assigned at the discretion of the professor; or
  • The professor may choose not to initiate a withdrawal form and simply assign a grade of “F” at the end of the semester.

Faculty who initiate Withdrawal from Class forms must designate whether the student is to receive a “W” or “WF” and provide the last date the student attended the course. After the 12th week of the semester, students may not withdraw from courses; however, a professor may withdraw a student for non-attendance up to the last day of class but only with a grade of “WF.”

Withdrawal from a Course

If it becomes necessary to withdraw from a course, the student should visit first with his or her academic advisor and the instructor of the course. The advisor will provide instruction on completing a Withdrawal from Class form. Full-time undergraduate students may not withdraw from BIBL 101  (or BIBL 103 ) or any required developmental course.

For the refund schedule for withdrawing from a class or from the university, please see the Financial Information  section in this catalog. A withdrawal fee is charged when a student withdraws from a course.

The last day to withdraw from a course is:

  • Friday of the 12th week of a long term;
  • The corresponding day when 80 percent of the course is completed for other short sessions (ex., Summer Session I).

Withdrawing from the University

Undergraduate and Residential Graduate students who must withdraw from the university or from their last course are required to complete a Withdrawal From the University form in Wildcat Central. This process must be completed prior to the beginning of final examinations.

Medical Withdrawal

A student who is involuntarily withdrawn, or obtains a voluntary medical withdrawal, may not re-enroll or be readmitted to the university before the start of the next semester. In most cases, a Student Life hold may be placed barring the student from registering for future semesters until approval is obtained. The Dean of Students or designee, in collaboration with the University Readmission Committee, must approve the student’s re-enrollment or readmission. Approval may be granted only if the dean, after consulting appropriate university staff and/or the student’s physical or mental health professional, determines in his/her professional judgment that the conditions that caused the withdrawal do not pose a direct threat or harm to the student or others and will not significantly disrupt the ability of other students, faculty or staff to participate in university activities, academic programs, or employment. The dean may require any documentation or evaluation that he/she deems necessary in making this determination. The student must also meet all of the admission and enrollment requirements of the university and of the school or college in which he/she wishes to enroll.

Concurrent Enrollment Policy

ACU students are generally expected to take their courses at ACU. Only in exceptional circumstances may students petition, in advance, to receive credit for a course at another institution during a semester that they are enrolled for courses at ACU. Concurrent enrollment includes correspondence, distance, and on-line courses. Petitions for concurrent enrollment must be approved by the advisor, dean of the student’s major, and the provost.

By government regulations, only courses taken within the intercollegiate agreement (ACU, Hardin-Simmons, and McMurry) and other contracted programs that post grades to the ACU transcript can be accepted for financial aid eligibility. Generally, courses from other colleges or universities will not count as hours enrolled for financial aid eligibility.

Changing or Adding a Major

To officially add or change majors, a student must submit an approved Change of Program request to the Registrar’s Office. Change of Program forms are available in the Registrar’s Office or online at acu.edu/registrar under the “Forms” link.

Final Examinations

Final examinations are given during the last four days of each fall/spring term and the last day of each summer session or intensive course. Final examinations for a lab course may occur during the final week of the semester. A student with more than three final examinations on one day may petition the dean of his or her major to take a final after the scheduled time. Final examinations are never given in advance.


To order an official transcript contact:
Office of the Registrar
Web: www.acu.edu/transcript
Email: transcriptrequest@acu.edu
Fax: 325-674-2238

All requests for official transcripts must be in writing and bear the signature of the person whose record appears on the transcript.

  • Transcripts will be released to students who are in good standing with the university.
  • Transcripts will be processed only upon the signed request of the student and after all bills and “holds” have been cleared.
  • All students who have had a loan, upon leaving ACU, must complete a federally-required exit interview in Student Financial Services before transcripts can be released.

No changes will be made to a student’s transcript after the degree has been posted.

Students may review their academic history using Banner Web via my.acu.edu regardless of outstanding bills or holds.


Undergraduate Course Load

The minimum undergraduate graduation requirement, 128 credit hours, requires the equivalent of eight semesters with a 16-hour load. Intercollegiate courses are included in the semester course load. Students should consult with their academic advisor to help determine the appropriate course load for them.

No student may register for more than 21 hours in a fall or spring term. (January intensive courses are included in the spring term course load.)

Summer Term

An undergraduate may take no more than 18 hours during the summer term. It is recommended that students do not take more than one course per summer session due to the intensive nature of each course. It is recommended that a student have a GPA of at least 3.0 and a limited work load outside of class.

Academic Advising

Abilene Christian University considers competent academic advising a vital responsibility in educating its students.

Students who have declared a major are assigned two advisors:

  • An academic advisor who assists students with their degree plan, advising release codes, degree evaluations, the graduation process, and other technical aspects of completing a degree. Advisors also connect students to on-campus resources designed to support their success.
  • A faculty mentor who assists students with developmental goals, internship/research opportunities, and program/vocational decisions.

Students who have not yet declared a major are assigned one advisor:

  • Each student with an undeclared major is assigned an academic advisor who assists students in identifying potential majors as well as managing the technical aspects of registration. The advisor also connects students to on-campus resources designed to support their success.

Other advising requirements:

  • All students must meet with their academic advisor prior to registering for courses each semester.

For more information about advising, contact:

Wildcat Central
ACU Box 27940; Abilene, Texas 79699
McGlothlin Campus Center
Phone: 1-888-588-6083 (toll free) or 325-674-2300
Email: wildcatcentral@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/wildcatcentral

Enrollment Requirements

All new students (including all students matriculating from high school in 2017) must enroll in BIBL 101  and CORE 110  in their first semester. Transfer students (who matriculated from high school prior to 2017) with 24 or more hours accepted for credit must enroll in BIBL 103  in their first semester.

Full-time undergraduate students may not withdraw from BIBL 101  (or BIBL 103 ) or any required developmental course. Students who do not successfully complete CORE 110  in their first semester must be registered for the course in the following semester until the course is completed.

All students who are placed in ENGL 106 /ENGL 107  must begin the course sequence in their first semester. All students who are placed in ENGL 111  must enroll in the course in their first year. Students may wait until their sophomore year to begin literature requirements.

Each semester, students must register in required developmental (ENGL and MATW 0**) courses until all developmental requirements are completed. Students must complete these requirements before registering for upper-level courses in their major field. Students may not drop or withdraw from ENGL 003 , ENGL 004 , ENGL 106 /ENGL 006 , ENGL 107 /ENGL 007 , and MATW 019 .

Auditing Courses

Students who wish to audit a course should see the instructor for the course and the chair of the department (of the course) on the first day of class in order to request permission to audit the course. An approved request to audit a course must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by Friday of the second week of the long term or the equivalent date of a summer session or intensive course. Some courses are not available as audit courses. Once a student begins auditing a course, they may not choose to take that course for credit during the audit term.

The nonrefundable fee for auditing a course is $35. However, certain courses may have additional fees for auditors. Please check with the department of the course offered.

Add/Drop Policy

During the add/drop period there is no penalty for adding or dropping courses. Students may adjust their course schedule during the add/drop period with a full refund of tuition and fees. Courses dropped during this period will not appear on the student’s transcript. For students on the Annual Block Tuition plan, the courses for which the student is registered after the end of the add/drop period will be the hours counted against the Annual Block. Refer to the Academic Calendar on the Registrar’s Office web site for specific dates for each term.

Late Registration

Registration ends on Friday of the first week of classes of the fall and spring semesters. Students wishing to register for a class after the first week must complete a Late Add Petition, which must be signed by the course instructor, the student’s advisor, and the dean of the college in which the course is taught. A late fee of $10 per course will be assessed for students who add or change classes.

During the summer term, students wishing to register for classes after the class begins must complete a Late Add Petition. A late fee of $10 per course will be charged.

Students who were not enrolled at ACU during the first week of classes may not enroll after the last date of the add/drop period without special permission. A $50 late fee will be charged for students who register for all of their classes after the add/drop period.

Intercollegiate Enrollment

Office of the Registrar
ACU Box 29141; Abilene, Texas 79699-9141
Hardin Administration Building, Room 207

Phone: 325-674-2235
Fax: 325-674-2238
Email: registrar@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/registrar

Students enrolled at ACU may request to concurrently register for courses at Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University. The three universities have entered into an agreement whereby students who are matriculated in any one of the universities may be able to register for courses at the other universities. This is typically utilized when a required course is not available at the university where the student is pursuing his or her degree. Courses taken by ACU students through intercollegiate enrollment count toward degree requirements, provided approval has been secured in advance. It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that courses taken through this arrangement will satisfy his or her individual degree requirements. (Courses taken under the intercollegiate agreement are not considered transfer courses.)

ACU students may take no more than 9 hours of classes through the intercollegiate agreement each semester and must be enrolled in at least 3 hours at ACU for that term.

Students taking courses through intercollegiate registration will be charged ACU’s current tuition rate. Billing is handled by the institution in which the student is pursuing their degree. All intercollegiate enrollment requests must follow the procedure below:

  1. The student should obtain a Request for Intercollegiate Enrollment form from the Registrar’s Office.
  2. The student should secure approval and signatures from his or her academic advisor and the department chair of the course, then submit the form to the college dean of the course.
  3. The Dean’s Office will forward the form to the Provost’s Office. The student will receive communication from the Registrar’s Office whether the intercollegiate enrollment was approved.
  4. If the intercollegiate enrollment is approved, the Registrar’s Office will inform the student of the appropriate next steps.

Students from either Hardin-Simmons University or McMurry University who wish to enroll in ACU hours need to first see the Registrar’s Office at their institution. Students will receive a form granting permission to take courses at ACU. This form should be brought to the ACU Registrar’s Office, where the student will be processed and registered in the appropriate courses.

Transferring Credit

All course work from any institution will be evaluated according to the following policies or according to a specific transfer articulation agreement with the prior institution. How transfer credit is applied toward an ACU undergraduate degree depends on an evaluation of each course to determine its comparability in content and semester-hour credit to a corresponding ACU course or degree requirement.For information regarding course equivalencies based on the Texas Common Course Numbering System, utilize the Compare Schools option at www.tccns.org.

The following policies are in effect for all incoming transfer work from regionally accredited institutions, whether that work is done prior to attending ACU or after ACU enrollment has begun:

  1. Credits will be posted when official transcripts reach the ACU Registrar’s Office from the issuing university and have been evaluated.
  2. Transfer courses with a grade of “C” or higher from regionally accredited institutions will be posted to the student’s ACU record and may count toward hours in a degree if the credits are appropriate. Courses taken as pass/fail or credit/non-credit from other institutions will not be accepted unless the college specifically states that the credit for the course is the equivalent of “C” work or better.
  3. Grades for transfer courses are not included in the student’s GPA at ACU.
  4. Transfer courses will be posted at the same level they were taken at a previous institution. When an accredited course does not have a comparable equivalent at ACU, the accredited course is counted as an elective. Accredited transfer courses may be grouped to meet comparable requirements at ACU.
  5. ACU will transfer a course from another institution for the same number of credit hours as the comparable ACU course. Additional hours from a course, such as when a course is listed as 4 hours elsewhere, but only 3 hours at ACU, are posted as general elective credit. ACU transfers four hours of physical training from military transcripts as three hours of the University PEAC Requirement and one hour of general elective credit.
  6. ACU does not offer nor accept college credit for vocational/technical training or for work force education courses. Courses which are considered Freshman Orientation courses or other types of University Seminar courses are not accepted. Courses which are repeated over multiple semesters with the same number and/or course description are transferred into ACU only once; i.e., PEAC activity courses, varsity sports participation, music lessons, etc.
  7. Evaluation of transfer work intended to meet specific ACU degree requirements is the responsibility of the chair of the department offering the comparable course at ACU.
  8. Matriculated students who do not bring in a math course that meets the university requirements at another accredited institution as part of their pre-enrollment credit (e.g., Dual Credit, AP, accredited transfer courses) must take MATH 120  or higher at ACU or transfer a course equivalent to MATH 120  or higher from an accredited institution. Additional math course requirements may be necessary in degrees that require courses greater than MATH 120  (e.g., MATH 123 , MATH 124 , MATH 130 , and MATH 185 ).
  9. Students may only satisfy ACU’s Communication requirement through transfer credit from Speech or Communication courses that meet the university requirements at another accredited institution. Courses such as English composition or foreign language will not satisfy ACU’s Communication requirement but may be applied to other portions of ACU’s university requirements.
  10. After enrolling at ACU, students must take no more than one university required course in English at another institution.
  11. The university’s policy for awarding credit for Advanced Placement (AP) scores will supersede AP credit awarded by another institution and included on transcripts sent to ACU. AP scores must be provided to ACU for the awarding of credit. Credit by exam listed on another institution’s transcript is not sufficient. All aspects of the Credit by Exam procedure will apply. (Example: If ACU requires a 4 on the AP test to receive credit for a two-semester sequence of courses (6 credits) and another university awards those six credits with a 3 on the AP test, the student will only get credit for the first of the sequence of courses (3 credits) at ACU.)
  12. Once a student enrolls as a degree-seeking student at ACU, the number of hours that can be taken at other higher education institutions is limited.
    Number of transferred hours at start of ACU enrollment: Maximum number of hours that can be transferred after ACU enrollment:
    0-29 hours 15 hours
    (no more than 9 of which can be lower-division courses)
    30-59 hours 12 hours
    (no more than 6 of which can be lower-division courses)
    60-88 hours 9 hours
    (no more than 6 of which can be lower-division courses)
  13. No more than 66 semester hours of credit from a community, junior or other two-year college may be applied toward an ACU degree and a student may only take up to 6 hours from a community, junior, or other two-year college after the student has more than 60 earned hours.
  14. Courses taken at international institutions that are comparable to U.S. courses must be credited in college credit hours.
  15. To be eligible to graduate with honors (summa, magna, cum laude), students must have completed 64 hours of course work at ACU.

Graduate Work for Undergraduate Students

Students within 9 hours of graduation may petition to take up to 6 hours of graduate level course work at ACU for graduate credit. Before registering for graduate courses, written approval must be obtained from:

  • the student’s academic advisor
  • chair of the department in which the course is offered
  • college dean of the graduate program

Integrated Programs

An integrated or accelerated program shortens the time it takes to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at ACU by allowing high-performing undergraduate students to count a specified number of graduate courses toward both degrees. Students must earn a total of 150 or more required hours to earn both degrees. For details regarding available integrated programs, refer to catalog sections indicated below:


Grade Definitions and Points

The following grades are used at ACU. The grade point values shown are per semester hour of credit.

Grade Definitions and Points
Grade Marks Grade Meaning Grade Points
A Excellent 4.0
B Good 3.0
C Average 2.0
D Inferior but passing 1.0
F Failing 0.0
I Incomplete 0.0
IP In-Progress Not counted
P Passing Not counted
CE Credit by Examination Not counted
CR Credit Not counted
NC No Credit Not counted
NG No Grade Recorded Not counted
W Withdrawn Not counted
WF Withdrawn Failing 0.0

Students may view their grades by accessing Banner Web via my.acu.edu. Students who have signed and submitted an Education Record Information Release form have authorized ACU personnel to release academic information, on request, to the person(s) designated on the form by the student. Education Record Information Release forms are on file in the Registrar’s Office.

Academic History and Grading Appeals

The grade of the student becomes a part of that student’s permanent academic history. The transcript is the document that provides a record of the student’s academic performance at ACU. Because of the necessity of the permanency of these records, grades for a course become part of academic history after one long semester has passed and may not be changed except in extraordinary circumstances and by special permission granted by the Office of the Provost.

The procedure for grade dispute resolution is as follows: The student is to begin at the initial level of the dispute. Thus, the student should attempt to resolve the dispute with the professor in question. The student may then go to the department chair who normally resolves all disputes within the department. The student, however, may appeal the department chair’s decision to the college dean, then to the provost whose decision is final. As stated above, after one long semester has passed, no appeals will be considered.

Incomplete Grades

Professors may assign a grade of “I” (Incomplete) only when illness or some significant reason beyond the control of the student prevents the student from completing the course by the end of the semester. A grade of “I” (Incomplete) must be resolved no later than the end of the next long term; otherwise, it becomes an “F”on the student’s record. The student is responsible for requesting and resolving an “I.” A student who is graduating should finish any incomplete courses prior to the semester in which he or she is graduating. Students must complete all courses graded as “I” in order to participate in commencement.

Credit/No-Credit Grades (CR/NC)

Undergraduate students who have sophomore standing and a GPA of at least 2.0 may take a limited number of courses on a Credit/No-Credit basis. The purpose of this option is to allow students to take courses that will broaden their educational experiences, with less emphasis on grades and grade points.

The following rules apply:

  • A student may request the Credit/No-Credit option in the Registrar’s Office within the first two weeks of the fall or spring semester or within the first two days of a summer session or on the first day of an intensive course (advisor’s signature required). The teacher will assign a letter grade at the end of the semester, but a grade of “D” or above will be recorded as “CR.” Incomplete grades (I or IP) are not appropriate and may not be assigned for a CR/NC course.
  • The student receives earned credit hours for a “CR” grade, but the hours are not counted in computing the GPA.
  • A maximum of 12 hours may be taken Credit/No-Credit. These must be courses that are electives in the student’s degree plan and are outside the major field of study.
  • No course in which a student has received a letter grade may be repeated on the Credit/No-Credit basis. Courses offered as “CR/NC” in the course description are not included in the maximum hours a student may elect under this option.

Pass/Fail Grades (P/F)

Students may take PEAC activity courses Pass/Fail, except for PEAC 100 . Any student who wishes to do so must complete a petition in the Registrar’s Office within the first two weeks of a long term or within the first two days of a summer session. A “Pass” grade is not figured into the GPA. A “Fail” grade counts as an “F.” Other courses may be designated Pass/Fail in the Course Descriptions  section of this catalog. Students should be aware that some graduate schools will not accept Pass/Fail grades and/or will automatically count them as a grade of “C.” Some schools will not transfer Pass/Fail grades.

Midterm Grades

During the fall and spring semesters, undergraduate students receive a midterm grade for each course. Midterm grades and their definitions are listed below. Students who receive “Unsatisfactory” or “Not Passing” midterm grades are encouraged to discuss their course problems with the instructor and their academic advisor as appropriate.

  • S = Satisfactory progress
  • U= Unsatisfactory progress (assigned to students who in the instructor’s estimation are not doing work equal to their potential)
  • NP = Not Passing

Repeating a Course

If an undergraduate student repeats a course at ACU, a record of all occurrences of the course will appear on the transcript but only the most recent grade will be counted in his or her GPA.

No course in which the student has received a letter grade may be repeated on a Pass/Fail or Credit/No-Credit basis.

Grade Point Average

A student’s grade point average (GPA) is based on courses taken at ACU. It is determined by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of hours attempted (not including hours where grade points are not counted). “Current GPA” is a student’s GPA for a single term; “cumulative GPA” is the overall GPA for all the terms a student has been enrolled in ACU.

To qualify for Latin honors at commencement, a student must have completed 64 hours at ACU in addition to having the required GPA. Honors are based on the current GPA at the time of commencement. If the final semester’s grades alter the student’s standing, the correct honor will be noted on the diploma.

Calculating Grade Point Average

Quality (Grade) Points ÷ GPA Hours = GPA

A grade point average (GPA) is calculated by using the formula above.

  1. Quality points are hours attempted multiplied by grade points awarded. (Refer to the Table of Grade Definitions and Points.)
  2. GPA hours are all hours graded (including grades of “F,” “WF” and “I”), minus ungraded hours (“CR” or “P”).

Deans’ Honor Roll

During any term in which undergraduate students achieve a term current GPA of 3.6 or above and are registered for 12 or more hours with no “F” or “WF” grades, they will be included in the Deans’ Honor Roll for that term.

Academic Standing

Good Standing

Students are in good standing if their term and cumulative GPAs are at least 2.0. A higher GPA is required by some majors for their students. These requirements are specified in the departmental sections of this catalog. Good standing is not noted on the student’s transcript.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation following any semester in which their semester GPA is below 2.0 or after which their cumulative GPA is between 1.0 and 1.999. In addition, students who are successful in the appeal of their academic suspension are automatically placed on academic probation.

All freshmen who are placed on academic probation and new students who are admitted with a Learning Strategies requirement must enroll in UNIV 011 , which does not count toward degree requirements.

Students on academic probation are not permitted to be candidates for or to hold any elected or appointed office, or participate in Study Abroad. There may be other extracurricular opportunities which are limited for students who are on academic probation.

When students are placed on academic probation, the number of hours for which they may register is determined by their probation contract. Probation contracts are developed and managed by the student’s college dean or, in certain cases, the Academic Development Center (ADC).

The general guidelines for determining course load are based on GPA. Nineteen hours is the maximum load that a first-semester student is allowed to carry. After the first semester, the maximum recommended course load, for a regular term, based on GPA is as follows:

GPA Course Load
2.00 15 hours
2.01 - 2.49 16 hours
2.50 - 3.49 17-18 hours
3.50 or above 19-21 hours

Academic Suspension

Students are suspended after any term (fall, spring, summer) in which they meet any of the following conditions:

  • Enrolled in 12 hours or more AND cumulative GPA below 1.0
  • Enrolled in 12 hours or more AND on academic probation the previous term AND term GPA below 2.0
  • Enrolled in 12 hours or more AND on academic probation the previous term AND term GPA below 2.5 AND cumulative GPA below 2.0

Students who are suspended after the spring term, due to the schedules for summer classes, may remain in any previously enrolled courses for the first summer session. All other summer and fall classes will be dropped as a result of the suspension.

The following chart defines the process of academic probation and suspension and what criteria determine placement of the student into the appropriate academic standing. In the chart, “Previous Term Status” refers to the academic standing at the end of the last semester that the student attended (or at admission). The GPA columns and the “New Term Status” refer to the GPAs and status of the student at the end of the current term.

Previous Term Status Term GPA Cumulative GPA New Term Status
Good Standing 2.0 or greater 2.0 or greater Good Standing
Good Standing 1.99 or less 2.0 or greater Academic Probation
Good Standing Any 1.99 or less Academic Probation
Good Standing Any .99 or less Academic Suspension
Academic Probation 2.0 or greater 2.0 or greater Good Standing
Academic Probation 1.99 or less 2.0 or greater Academic Suspension
Academic Probation 2.49 or less 1.99 or less Academic Suspension
Academic Probation 2.5 or greater 1.99 or less Academic Probation

Students who have been suspended for academic reasons may apply for readmission after being out of school for at least one long term. In all cases of academic suspension, the University Readmission Committee will decide if the student should be readmitted, and if so, whether special conditions should be required for readmission. It is strongly recommended that students on academic suspension take a full-time academic load (12 hours or more) at another institution and achieve a 2.5 or above GPA on those hours. Failure to take classes away from ACU may result in being denied readmission when you reapply. When students are readmitted after suspension, they are placed on probation for one semester and may not be eligible for some forms of financial aid. (See information about readmission ).

NOTE: Federal regulations governing student financial aid may differ from ACU policy. A student may be eligible to attend ACU on academic probation but be ineligible to receive federal, state or institutional financial aid based upon a lack of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The Student Financial Services Office should be consulted for more information.

Degree Requirements

Student Responsibility

This catalog is designed to make planning and scheduling a degree program as simple as possible. Each student at Abilene Christian University should keep in mind, however, that he or she alone is ultimately responsible for understanding and fulfilling all degree requirements. Students are responsible for their own degree plans and for the completion of all requirements for the degrees which they seek.

Catalog Year

Each student will be assigned a catalog year, which indicates the set of requirements the student must meet in order to graduate from ACU. A student may use any catalog year that falls within the time the student attended ACU, from the initial year of enrollment until the year of graduation. However, a student may not use a catalog that is more than six years old at the time of graduation. Thus, this catalog expires in August 2023.

Note that each degree-seeking student must fulfill certain requirement areas:

  1. University Requirements (including additional requirements based on high school foreign language, if necessary)
  2. Major requirements (including supplements and minors, if applicable)
  3. Electives (to achieve minimum upper level and total hour requirements)

Admission to Major

  1. Teacher Education majors should apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program with the Department of Teacher Education during the second semester of their sophomore year, or near the end of their first semester at ACU if they are transfer students. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 for admission into this program.
  2. Social work, nursing, communication sciences and disorders, kinesiology, and all business majors must also apply for formal admission to upper-level programs. (See departmental sections of this catalog.)
  3. See the appropriate departmental section for information on admission to a specific major.

General Requirements for the Associate’s Degree

  1. The Associate’s degree requires a minimum of 64 semester hours applicable to that degree.
  2. A cumulative grade point (GPA) of at least 2.0 in courses from ACU is required.
  3. A minimum of 32 semester hours applicable to the degree must be completed at ACU.
  4. Admitted students who have not earned at least two high school units of the same foreign language will have an admission deficiency. Admission deficiencies may be removed as prescribed in the section on University Requirements.
  5. Latin honors are not awarded for the associate’s degree.
  6. Students must meet the specific course requirements for any degrees that ACU offers. Satisfactory completion of 64 hours and the ACU University Requirements for a major leading to a Bachelor’s degree are not sufficient to award an AA degree.

General Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees

Graduation requirements include University Requirements, major requirements (departmental requirements) and electives. To determine the number of hours required for a given degree in any major, add the University Requirements, the major requirements and the electives, which may be adjusted to reach the minimum number of hours required for the degree sought.

  1. All Bachelor’s degrees from ACU require a minimum of at least 128 semester hours applicable to that degree. Teacher certification and certain other degrees may require more. (See specific degree requirements.)
  2. Each degree requires a major of at least 30 hours in addition to the University Requirements.
  3. A minimum of 18 hours in the major field must be upper level hours, and at least 9 of these upper level hours must be taken at ACU.
  4. The University Requirements consist of 56 hours for all degrees other than the BFA, BM, BSN, teacher certification and cooperative degrees. See each major section for details.
  5. Certain courses that are required by each major may also count as University Requirements. See the individual degree plan for details.
  6. No minor is required by the university. However, the major field may require a minor or supporting courses outside the major. Many departments offer minors of at least 18 hours, and a student may elect to add a minor to any degree. Minors have specific requirements (see the appropriate departmental section of this catalog or the departmental advisor for approved minors). Students may not complete a minor in the same field as their major.
  7. Admitted students who have not earned at least two high school units of the same foreign language will have an admission deficiency. Admission deficiencies may be removed as prescribed in the section on University Requirements.
  8. Most degree plans include a minimum of 6 semester hours of electives. However, courses taken to satisfy a deficiency in entrance requirements in foreign language may count as elective hours. Such courses may count toward the hours required for the degree.
  9. All courses numbered 0**, including but not limited to UNIV 011 , UNIV 012 , ENGL 003 /ENGL 004 , MATW 019 , and English as Second Language (FLEN) courses, will not count toward hours required for a degree.
  10. No more than 5 hours of PEAC activity courses may count toward graduation. An unlimited number of kinesiology lecture courses may count toward general electives.
  11. A student must take at least 40 hours in residence at ACU to earn a degree, including the last 24, which must be taken in residence at ACU.
  12. A minimum of 33 hours of upper level, i.e. advanced (300-499) work, is required, 24 of which must be taken in residence, including 9 in the major field.
  13. An overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 on courses from ACU is required for the BA and BS. An overall GPA of at least 2.25 is required for the BFA, BM, and BSN. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 is required for all teacher certification programs. Specific majors and colleges may have GPA requirements above these stated minimums.
  14. Each student will be required to take a course designated as “Writing-Intensive” in his or her major field. Writing-Intensive courses integrate instruction and practice in writing into upper-level content courses to assist students in becoming effective writers in a specific discipline. Students should contact their academic advisor to determine the correct Writing-Intensive course for their major.
  15. Each student will participate in a senior year integrative Capstone experience. This requirement will challenge the student to critically analyze, reflect, and write about the major discipline from the perspective of a Christian worldview. Capstone experiences may take the form of a single course or a cluster of courses designed to meet the Capstone goals.
  16. No changes, including majors, minors, concentrations, or changes to coursework, will be made to a student’s transcript after the degree has been awarded.

Double Major

Sometimes it is possible to meet the requirements for two majors in one degree (BS, BA, BBA, etc.). To complete a double major, a student must meet the degree requirements for both majors. To do so may require more than 128 credit hours.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

  • Current students who wish to complete majors in two different degrees (e.g. BS and BA, etc.) must complete at least 24 credit hours beyond requirements for the first degree (at least 152 hours) and must meet all university and major field requirements for the second degree.
  • Previously degreed students who have been awarded a previous baccalaureate degree and pursue a second baccalaureate degree must complete at least 24 credit hours beyond requirements for the first degree (at least 152 hours) and must meet all university and major field requirements for the second degree. This applies to students who received their first degree from ACU as well as those who received degrees from other schools.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

For all Bachelor of Arts degree programs having a requirement for “foreign language - sophomore level - 6 hours,” that requirement will be satisfied upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts requirement for English - composition: ENGL 112  (3 hours) and a second Literature course (3 hours) for students who qualify as non-native speakers of English.

Under this special provision, college credit will be granted for the English courses, but not for any ESL (English as a Second Language) course. Students will still need to complete the prescribed number of hours for particular degree programs (usually this will mean that a Bachelor of Arts degree student will need an additional 6 hours of electives to replace the 6 hours of foreign language that were satisfied by the alternative means outlined above).

Composite Interdisciplinary Degree

An individualized composite interdisciplinary major (CIND) may be approved for a student whose life and career goals will be served by such a major. The student must work with the appropriate academic advisor(s) and the Registrar’s Office to design the degree plan, which will include the appropriate University Requirements. The Registrar will then assign a primary advisor to work with the student (see Composite Interdisciplinary Degree Program  for additional details).

Pre-Professional and Cooperative Degree Programs

Abilene Christian University offers several pre-professional programs. (For more information, see the appropriate departmental sections of this catalog.)

Pre-law may also be considered a pre-professional degree, but there is no mandatory course of study for pre-law students. The Association of American Law Schools suggests the following basic skills and insights be developed by pre-legal education: comprehension and expression in words, critical understanding of the human institutions and values with which the law deals, and creative power in thinking. The self-discipline and study habits required in law school should be developed in undergraduate courses. Students are urged to consult the pre-law advisor for more specific information.

Cooperative degree programs require students to do part of their work at ACU and part at a professional school, and the students may receive a degree from ACU and from the other school. For example, the health professions cooperative degree permits a student to spend three years at ACU and then to receive a bachelor’s degree from ACU after completing the first year in medical school.

For more information about any of these degree programs, see the relevant section of this catalog or contact the appropriate academic advisor.

Minors at ACU

For most majors at ACU a minor is optional. The minimum requirements for a minor are 18 credit hours with a minimum of 6 advanced hours. Students may not complete a minor in the same field as their major. See the appropriate section of the catalog for specific details on a particular minor.

The following minors are offered at ACU and can be added to most majors.

Advertising and Public Relations  
Aging Studies  
Agricultural Sciences  
Art Therapy  
Bible, Missions, and Ministry  
Business Administration  
Child and Family Services  
Computer Science  
Convergence Journalism  
Criminal Justice  
Digital Entertainment Technology  
Digital Media  
Engineering Science  
Environmental Science  
Ethnic and Women’s Studies  
Global Studies  
Graphic Design  
Information Technology  
Interior Design  
Leadership Studies  
Media Studies  
Peace and Social Justice  
Political Science  
Professional Writing  
Psychology, General  
Psychology, Child Emphasis  
Psychology, Counseling  
Psychology, Research  
Public Service (Pope Fellows only)  

Undergraduate Graduation

Email: graduation@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/graduation

Preparing to Graduate

  • Each fall, students with more than 90 hours will receive an email with a link to the Commencement Information Form. This form will allow the student to communicate their expected date of graduation to the Registrar’s Office.
  • During the semester before graduation, students should run an online DegreeWorks audit and visit with their academic advisor about the schedule for their last semester.
  • Students should submit all CLEP tests and transcripts for transfer work before their last semester.
  • Students who do not complete graduation requirements in the semester for which they intended to graduate must declare a new graduation date with the Registrar’s Office.
  • Students with outstanding incomplete grades will not be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony.
  • All holds on a student’s account must be removed before the student may purchase academic regalia, participate in commencement, or receive their diploma.
  • Students may only participate in one commencement ceremony for each level of degree earned.
  • Participation in the Commencement ceremony does not confirm that a degree has been earned. The degree will only be awarded after all degree requirements have been completed.

Graduation with Latin Honors

Latin honors designated at commencement are based on the student’s cumulative GPA and the number of hours earned at ACU by the end of the previous semester and are subject to change. In order to qualify for Latin honors, baccalaureate students must have completed at least 64 hours at ACU. Earned hours must have been completed and graded prior to commencement to be included in the determination of eligibility. Students whose averages are at least 3.6 graduate cum laude (with honor), 3.75 graduate magna cum laude (with high honor), and 3.9 graduate summa cum laude (with highest honor) will have the appropriate designation noted at commencement. Courses taken Credit/No-Credit, Pass/Fail, or any Credit by Exam do not count toward GPA requirements for honors. If a student’s qualification changes after their final semester, then their diploma and transcript will reflect the correct honors.

Class Rank

ACU does not rank students within the graduating classes, nor does the university provide information about where students fall by quartile within a graduating class. With multiple graduations per academic year, and because students graduating in the same academic year are meeting requirements from different catalog years (and thus, different curricula), the class rank or quartile rank is an invalid assessment of comparative ability for individual students.