ACU Online

Corey Patterson, Managing Director of Online Programs
ACU Box 29140; Abilene, TX 79699-9140     
217A Hardin Administration Building

Phone: 1-800-460-6228 

Online Program Design   

ACU Online provides students with the convenience of online education and the quality of ACU instruction. The online programs are designed for working professionals. The format allows students to concentrate on one course at a time and complete it before beginning the next.

Each academic year has three semesters; each online semester consists of two sessions, there are six sessions per year. Students may begin in any of the six sessions. The dates of these sessions and other important dates regarding course enrollment are included in the ACU Online 2010-11 Academic Calendar. Most graduate students begin with an 8-week introductory course. All remaining courses are 7 weeks in duration. The online program courses are not self-paced, but are designed to allow for flexibility in meeting the scheduling needs of busy professionals.

PLEASE NOTE: Students must have access to a computer with an Internet connection (high speed Internet access recommended). Students also need a DVD player and sufficient technical proficiency for the online environment. Students must be able to open and send documents with MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats, and have email capabilities.

ACU Online Programs

  • Master of Arts
    • Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation
  • Master of Education
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Leadership of Learning
    • Higher Education
  • Master of Science
    • Organizational and Human Resource Development
  • Certificate of Graduate Study
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Conflict Resolution for Educators
    • Leadership of Digital Learning
    • Superintendency

Students enrolled in the online programs are expected to maintain continuous enrollment for the duration of the program. This allows students to build relationships within the online community. To register for courses, contact the Student Services Advisor for your degree program (See ACU Online Programs for contact information).

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Admission Requirements   

ACU is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students without regard to race, color, sex, creed, handicap, genetic information or national origin. As a private educational institution, however, ACU reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant whose academic preparation, character or personal conduct is determined to be inconsistent with the purposes and objectives of the University.

Admission Criteria
All admission criteria, procedures and forms are available at An application fee of $100 is required before the file is reviewed for admission.

International student admission for the online programs will not require the submission of international admission forms since no student visa will be issued. A TOEFL score will be required in addition to the regular admission materials.

Accuracy of Material
All application material submitted must be accurate. Any erroneous, misleading or incomplete information may be grounds for termination.

Students taking any graduate or undergraduate coursework between the date of acceptance and the date of first course enrollment at ACU must submit official transcripts for that work before beginning their program at ACU.

Delayed Admission
Students who receive an official letter of acceptance will be informed that the acceptance is available only for the semester indicated. Students who wish to change their entry date must request a later start date in writing before the beginning of the semester of original admission. Application files are only maintained for one year past original admission date. Applicants who delay their start date for more than one year without notification should expect to begin the application process again, including fees and all required materials. Contact the Student Services advisor for your degree program.

Readmission Policy
If a student drops out of an online program for more than one calendar year, the student will need to apply as if they are a new student entering the program, meeting all requirements and fees.

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Academic Information     

This section includes policies specific for students in ACU online programs. For complete academic information (i.e. GPA requirements, transfer credits, graduation, probation, suspension, degree time limit, etc), see the Graduate School Section of this catalog.

Students will be governed by the catalog in effect when they actually begin coursework at ACU. The time limit for completing the degree will begin with the first enrollment in the graduate program.

Glossary of Terms    

Add/Drop PeriodBegins with pre-registration until the day before the course is scheduled to begin.
DropRemoval of course registration (registration does not show on transcript).
WithdrawStudent stops course work after the course begins. The student must submit a request to withdraw from the course and a grade of "W" shows on the transcript.
Withdraw from
the University
After course work begins, a student withdraws from all courses for the semester. If a student is not returning the next semester, this initiates a process to end university student services.
Semester/TermACU credits are based on the semester system. The academic semester (term) is 15 weeks plus one week for final examinations. The online program schedule is set-up to host two sessions per semester. One course is completed during each 7-week period.
SessionThe 7-8 week period for the online course to be completed. Each semester will have two sessions: Session 1 is the first half of the semester; Session 2 is the last half of the semester. A 3-hour course may be completed during the 7-8 week session.
Residency SessionA face-to-face session on the ACU campus or other designated location. Individuals are responsible for all costs to attend, including travel, meals and housing. Residency fees may apply.


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Add/Drop Policy
Students may drop or add courses during the add/drop period for a full refund.

Before the course start date100% Refund
First day of the courseNo refund for withdrawal after course starts

A full refund is only given if a course is dropped prior to the course start date. Contact the Student Services Advisor for your degree program for help with dropping a course.

NOTE: Dropping a Session 2 course may affect financial aid eligibility and result in disbursed aid needing to be returned. For more information, contact the student account coordinator.

Withdrawal from a Course
If it becomes necessary to withdraw from a course, the student should first visit with his or her Student Services advisor and facilitator of the course. The last day to withdraw from an online course is the corresponding day with 80 percent of the course is completed (See the ACU Online Calendar for dates). There is no tuition refund once a session begins.

Withdrawal from the University
Students who must withdraw from all courses for the semester are required to withdraw from the university. Contact the Student Services advisor for your program for information on withdrawing from the university. This process must be completed prior to the final week of the session. Students may not withdraw from the university after completion of a Session 1 course.

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 for a full description of the expectations of students and procedures for dealing with violations of the policy (located in the policies section of the Student Guide at

Changing/Adding a Major
Contact your Student Services advisor to request a change or addition of your degree or major. Changes are effective the next long semester of enrollment.

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Due to the interactive nature and fixed duration of the online courses, students may not receive "I" (Incomplete) or "IP" (In Progress) grades for online courses. Students unable to complete course requirements must withdraw or receive the grade they have earned without completing the course requirements. Contact the course facilitator and Student Services Advisor if an exceptional circumstance occurs after the withdraw date before the end of the course that prevents successful completion.

For more information concerning grades, see the following information located in the Graduate School section of this catalog: 

     • Grades

     • Low Grades Academic Probation 

     • Suspension

     • Degree Time Limit

     • Dismissal

     • Exception Requests

     • Grade Appeals and Grievances


Capstone Project/Practicum Continuation Policy
Students needing to extend the time to complete practicum or capstone projects must request an extension. Upon approval by the program director, students will be enrolled in GRAD 696 Capstone Project/Practicum Continuation and be charged a continuation fee. The continuation course is zero credit hours and the fee is equivalent to half-hour of tuition for each session of the extension (maximum of one-hour of tuition per semester).

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 online 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), the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, 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.

Other Information
For more information, please see the following:

     • Graduation 

     • About This Catalog 

     • Legal Notices 

     • Financial Information 

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