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 2020.
For graduate programs, consult the Graduate Academic Information section of this catalog.
Definitions and Policies
ACU’s educational programs include its undergraduate majors toward the associate’s degree and bachelor’s degrees, graduate degree programs, and certificates. Minors and tracks or concentrations represent smaller curricular units that do not result in a credential.
A major is a cohesive curriculum that forms the primary field of a degree-seeking undergraduate student. The General Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees define a major as a minimum of 30 hours in addition to the University Requirements; at least 18 hours must be from upper-division courses, with at least 9 of those hours earned from ACU. The major requirements for an Associate’s Degree must include a minimum of 29 hours.
A minor is an optional, secondary field designed to allow undergraduate students to extend their knowledge to additional areas beyond the major. The General Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees specify that students may not complete a minor in the same field as their major. Students may not apply more than 6 hours counted within their major requirements to a set of minor requirements. A minor must have at least 18 hours; at least 6 hours must be from upper-division courses.
Graduate Degree Program
A graduate degree program is a cohesive curriculum that forms the area of specialization for a student pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree. A master’s degree requires a minimum of 30 hours, and a doctoral degree requires a minimum of 30 hours beyond the master’s degree.
Track or Concentration
Some majors or graduate degree programs allow students to select among nuanced areas of study within the field. While the number of required hours will vary, the hours will be counted inside the major or graduate degree program. The track or concentration will not be shown on the diploma but will be reflected on the transcript.
A certificate program allows students to complete work in a specialized area of focus. A certificate is a standalone program; students may pursue certificates without seeking a degree, but degree-seeking students may also pursue a certificate alongside a major or graduate degree program. Certificates are typically applied learning or professionally oriented, and they typically require 12-18 hours.
These hours may be applied toward master’s or doctoral degree requirements, whether the certificate and graduate degree are pursued concurrently or the student comes to the degree program after the certificate has been awarded. Students may apply no more than half of the hours earned in one certificate program to another certificate program.
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); assignments may be made before the first day of class, so last-minute registration may not be available.
The credit hour is the basic unit of measuring the work represented by academic engagement. Faculty set the number of credit hours available for a course based on the expectation that one credit hour is equivalent to 50 minutes of direct instruction and a minimum of 2 additional hours of work by the student for a period of 15 weeks, or an equivalent amount of cumulative work over a different time period.
Courses with laboratory, studio, or experiential learning components may require additional time to complete an equivalent amount of work.
Classification of Students
A student’s classification is determined by the number of credit hours successfully completed toward a degree program:
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.
Student Enrollment 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.
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 here for a fuller description of the expectations of students and procedures for dealing with violations of the policy.
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.
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. Students should continue to attend the course until receiving official notification from the Registrar’s Office that their withdrawal has been processed. 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
Residential 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.
Students in online programs who must withdraw from all courses for the semester are required to withdraw from the university. Send an email to the Student Services Advisor for your program to request a Withdrawal from the University Form. This process must be completed prior to the final week of the session. Online students may not withdraw from the university after completion of a Session 1 course.
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 fall or spring semester that they are enrolled for courses at ACU. Concurrent enrollment includes on-line, distance, and correspondence 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. 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, an approved Change of Program form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Students initiate a Change of Program request with their academic advisor or program director.
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
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 financial obligations and “holds” have been cleared.
- All students who have had a student loan, upon leaving ACU, must complete a federally-required exit interview through 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 financial obligations or holds.
Undergraduate Course Load
The minimum residential 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.)
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.
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:
ACU Box 27940; Abilene, Texas 79699
McGlothlin Campus Center
Phone: 1-888-588-6083 (toll free) or 325-674-2300
All new students (including all students matriculating from high school in 2020) must enroll in BIBL 101 and CORE 110 in their first semester. Transfer students (who matriculated from high school prior to 2020) 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 .
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 course audit form 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.
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 website for specific dates for each term.
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.
Office of the Registrar
ACU Box 29141; Abilene, Texas 79699-9141
Hardin Administration Building, Room 207
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:
- The student should obtain a Request for Intercollegiate Enrollment form from the Registrar’s Office.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. If approved, 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.
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:
- Credits will be posted when official transcripts reach the ACU Registrar’s Office from the issuing university and have been evaluated.
- 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.
ACU will accept transfer work for which students were graded pass, credit, or satisfactory in Spring and Summer 2020, regardless of the grades the originating institution includes in a grade of pass/credit/satisfactory. All other ACU policies related to transfer credit will still apply.
- Grades for transfer courses are not included in the student’s GPA at ACU.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 ).
- 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.
- After enrolling at ACU, students must take no more than one university required course in English at another institution.
- 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.)
- 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:
- No more than 66 credit hours from a community, junior or other two-year college may be applied toward an ACU degree.
- Courses taken at international institutions that are comparable to U.S. courses must be credited in college credit hours.
- 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. These courses will not count toward the student’s undergraduate degree. 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
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 credit hour.
|Grade Definitions and Points
||Inferior but passing
||Credit by Examination
||No Grade Recorded
The declaration by the university of a significant disruption includes the option for the university to use emergency grading. If authorized during a significant disruption, three emergency grades are available:
PE - reflects satisfactory performance during a significant disruption. PE represents a grade of C or better for undergraduate courses and a grade of B or better for graduate courses. A grade of PE carries course credit and is not counted toward the GPA.
NE - reflects unsatisfactory performance during a significant disruption. NE represents a grade of D or lower for undergraduate courses and a grade of C or lower for graduate courses. A grade of NE does not carry course credit and is not counted toward the GPA.
IE - reflects an Incomplete due to a significant disruption. IE indicates that a student has not completed all course requirements. A grade of IE does not carry course credit and is not counted toward the GPA.
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.
The university expects faculty to assign student grades equitably based on academic criteria, but it also acknowledges that grades can sometimes be incorrectly assigned. Students have the right to question grades, and the university encourages students to seek input from trusted mentors when evaluating the situation. Most grading questions can be resolved informally through conversation between student and faculty member, so the student should begin by talking with the instructor. If the informal conversation does not resolve the situation to the student’s satisfaction, the student may initiate the formal grade appeal procedure defined by the university. The student must begin a grade appeal before the conclusion of the next long semester.
Final course grades become a part of a student’s permanent academic history, and the student’s transcript provides the record of academic performance at ACU. Grades for a course become part of academic history and may not be changed after one long semester has passed except in extraordinary circumstances and by special permission granted by the Office of the Provost.
Only final course grades are eligible for the grade appeal process. Students may appeal grades that they believe were assigned in error, without proper consideration of course and university policies, or unfairly or inconsistently among students in a class. The original grade and its consequences — which may include prerequisite qualifications, academic standing, or scholarship eligibility — will stand until the conclusion of the appeals process.
Students may not pursue a grade appeal in cases where the final grade is the consequence of a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, which provides a separate opportunity for appeal.
Course instructors bear three responsibilities in the evaluation of coursework:
- Sharing a syllabus that provides the course requirements and explains how the final grade will be calculated.
- Evaluating the quality of students’ work equitably.
- Assigning grades that represent the quality of the work.
Students should engage the grade appeal process in good faith and have three responsibilities in the appeal process:
- Maintaining records of their academic work that are relevant to the dispute.
- Communicating professionally within the specified timeframes.
- Representing their own interests throughout the appeal by being the individual to communicate with the faculty member and decision-makers.
Decision-makers in the grade appeal process include the department chair or Dallas program director, dean or designee, and provost or designee. Each has three responsibilities in the appeal process:
- Ensuring that the student receives due process and that all previous steps have occurred before engaging in the procedure.
- Deciding whether to uphold the assigned grade. Decision-makers may take a variety of factors into account, including course and university policies, evidence of consistent application of criteria and policies, norms within the discipline and professional judgment of the faculty member, accuracy of the arguments of involved parties, and the remedies recommended by previous decision-makers.
- Assigning an appropriate grade or remedy if they overturn the assigned grade. Decision-makers may instead identify a process and timeline to evaluate any work involved in the dispute rather than assessing it themselves (e.g., re-grading by the faculty member, department chair, or a neutral faculty member). If the proposed change is agreeable to the student, the decision-maker should initiate the process to apply the proposed change.
- The student must discuss the grade informally with the faculty member. If this does not resolve the matter or the faculty member does not respond within five business days of the student’s request to discuss the issue, the student should complete a Grade Appeal form. The student should attach to the form copies of any relevant assignments, communication between student and faculty member, or other documentation related to the dispute.
- The student must submit the form and documentation to the chair of the department that offers the course within five business days of receiving the faculty member’s decision in the informal grade discussion process (or at least five business days after the student’s initial attempt to discuss the issue with the faculty member if the faculty member does not respond to the request).
If the course instructor is the department chair, the student should submit the appeal to the dean of the college overseeing the department. In these cases, the dean will facilitate the first stage of the appeal, and the student skips steps 4 and 5 if the dean’s response does not resolve the question to the student’s satisfaction.
- The department chair must provide a written decision to the appeal within 10 business days. During that time, the following must occur:
- The department chair should share the student’s written statement and documentation with the faculty member.
- The faculty member must write a response to the appeal and send it to the department chair with any relevant documentation.
- The department chair must schedule time to meet with the student, either in person or by a synchronous call. The department chair may choose to invite the faculty member to the meeting.
- After the student meeting, the department chair must write a response to the appeal. The department chair must send the faculty member’s response and the chair’s written decision to the student.
- The student has five business days to act in response to the department chair’s decision. If the chair’s response satisfies the student, the student should respond to the chair so the chair can initiate any proposed remedy. This will end the appeal process.
If the chair’s response does not resolve the situation to the student’s satisfaction, the student may appeal to the dean of the college that oversees the department. The student should send the following materials to the dean of the relevant college: the appeal form and documentation, written response from the faculty member, and written decision from the department chair.
- The dean’s office must provide the student and department chair a decision in writing within five business days of receiving the appeal. The dean may choose to make a decision based on the written materials provided or seek additional context from involved parties.
- The student has five business days to act in response to the dean’s decision. If the dean’s response satisfies the student, the student should respond to the dean so the dean can initiate any proposed remedy. This will end the appeal process.
If the dean’s response does not resolve the situation to the student’s satisfaction, the student may appeal to the provost. The student should send the following materials to the provost: the appeal form and documentation, written response from the faculty member, and the written decisions from the department chair and dean.
- The provost’s office must provide the student and dean a decision in writing within five days of receiving the appeal. The provost may choose to make a decision based on the written materials provided or seek additional context from involved parties. The decision of the provost is final.
Records of the appeal include the appeal form, student’s documentation, and written responses from the faculty member and designated decision-makers. Records will be retained at the highest level to which the appeal rises according to that unit’s records management schedule.
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. The Incomplete Grade Contract must be signed by the instructor, the student, and the department chair and should reflect the assignments and deadlines necessary to resolve the incomplete grade. 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:
- The Petition to Take a Course Credit/No-Credit must be submitted 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. Students will initiate the petition with their academic advisor. 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 the Petition to Take a Course Pass/Fail 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.
During the fall and spring semesters, residential 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 prior to the semester of the ceremony, 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.
- Quality points are hours attempted multiplied by grade points awarded. (Refer to the Table of Grade Definitions and Points.)
- GPA hours are all hours graded (including grades of “F” and “WF”), minus ungraded hours (“CR” or “P”).
Deans’ Honor Roll
During any term in which undergraduate students achieve a current term 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.
Students are in good standing if their term and cumulative GPAs are both 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.
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 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:
|2.00 or below
|2.01 - 2.49
|2.50 - 3.49
|3.50 or above
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 may 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
||New Term Status
||2.0 or greater
||2.0 or greater
||1.99 or less
||2.0 or greater
||1.99 or less
||.99 or less
||2.0 or greater
||2.0 or greater
||1.99 or less
||2.0 or greater
||2.49 or less
||1.99 or less
||2.5 or greater
||1.99 or less
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.
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.
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 2026.
Admission to Major
- 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.
- Social work, nursing, communication sciences and disorders, kinesiology, and all business majors must complete an application process for admission to the program. (For information about the specific requirements, see the appropriate departmental section of this catalog.)
- See the appropriate departmental section for information on admission to a specific major.
General Requirements for the Associate’s Degree
- The Associate’s degree requires a minimum of 64 credit hours applicable to that degree.
- A cumulative grade point (GPA) of at least 2.0 in courses from ACU is required.
- A minimum of 32 credit hours applicable to the degree must be completed at ACU.
- Latin honors are not awarded for the associate’s degree.
- 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.
- The faculty of each ACU campus determine the minimum number of credit hours required to earn an ACU Bachelor’s degree for their respective campus. The main campus (Abilene) faculty require a minimum of 128 semester hours applicable to that degree. The Dallas campus faculty require a minimum of 120 semester hours applicable to that degree. Teacher certification and certain other degrees may require more. (See specific degree requirements.)
- Each degree requires a major of at least 30 hours in addition to the University Requirements.
- 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.
- The University Requirements consist of 56 hours for all degrees other than the BFA, BSN, and cooperative degrees. For the BFA and BSN, see the University Requirements for ACU section; for cooperative degrees, see the major section for details.
- Certain courses that are required by each major may also count as University Requirements. See the individual degree plan for details.
- 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. Students may not apply more than 6 hours counted within their major requirements to a set of minor requirements.
- Most degree plans include a minimum of 6 credit hours of electives.
- 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.
- 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.
- A student must earn at least 40 hours from ACU to earn a degree, including the last 24, which must be earned from ACU.
- A minimum of 33 hours of upper level, i.e. advanced (300-499) work, is required, 24 of which must be earned from ACU, including 9 in the major field.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No changes, including majors, minors, concentrations, or changes to coursework, will be made to a student’s transcript after the degree has been awarded.
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.
Foreign Language Bachelor of Arts Requirement for Non-Native Speakers of English
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 to design the degree plan, which will include the appropriate University Requirements (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 program, 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
A minor is an optional, secondary field designed to allow undergraduate students to extend their knowledge to additional areas beyond the major. The General Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees specify that students may not complete a minor in the same field as their major. Students may not apply more than 6 hours counted within their major requirements to a set of minor requirements. A minor must have at least 18 hours; at least 6 hours must be from upper-division courses. 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
Bible, Missions, and Ministry
Child and Family Services
Digital Entertainment Technology
European Cultural Studies
Gender and Multicultural Studies
Latin American Studies
Peace and Social Justice
Psychology, Child Emphasis
Public Service (Pope Fellows only)
Preparing to Graduate
- Each fall, students who have completed more than 90 hours will receive an email with a link to the Application for Graduation. 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 review their 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 in which they intended to graduate must declare a new graduation date with the Registrar’s Office.
- Students with 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.
- “Hooding the graduate” is a long-standing tradition in the ACU Commencement ceremony for undergraduate students. A parent or special person selected by the graduate serves as an escort and during the ceremony places the hood on the graduate. The escort will process in with the graduate and remain seated with the graduate for the duration of the ceremony (up to two and one-half hours). The minimum age to participate in this role is thirteen years of age.
- 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.
- Any student who does not complete graduation requirements during the semester for which he or she has filed must re-apply for a later graduation date.
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.
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.