Abilene Christian University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Abilene Christian University
At ACU, students participate in academic studies, field experiences, research, and service projects that...

Abilene Christian University

Abilene, Texas

The ACU experience – whether on the Abilene campus, in Study Abroad programs, at education centers, or through an ACU virtual community – helps students develop intellect, grow closer to God, prepare for a meaningful career, and address global challenges with a Christian worldview.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
3,760 undergraduate students
95% of undergrad students are full time
41% male — 59% female
11% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
285 full-time faculty
62 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

48% of students live on campus.

School Location

ACU is in Abilene, Texas, an All-America city of 115,000 people 150 miles west of the Dallas and Fort Worth area.

Retention Fall 2015

79% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

61% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 4%
Hispanic/Latino 16%
Black or African American 9%
White 64%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 5%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


NCAA Division II, Lone Star Conference, 16 varsity sports (eight men’s, eight women’s), 22 intramural sports.

Other Information

Abilene Christian University is a four-year private, residential comprehensive university in the Christian tradition and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It is one of the largest private universities in the Southwest.

Academic Programs

Accounting, Actuarial Science, Advertising/Public Relations, Agribusiness, Animal Science, Art, Biblical Text, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Christian Ministry, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Computer Science, Electronic Media, English, Environmental Science, Exercise and Sport Science, Exercise Science, Family Studies, Financial Management, Graphic Design/Advertising, Health Professions, History, Human Communication, Information Systems, Information Technology, Instrumental Performance, Interdisciplinary Studies, Interior Design, International Studies, Journalism, Life-Science Teaching, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Ministry to Children and Families, Missions, Music, Nursing, Nutrition, Physical Education, Physical Science Teaching, Physics, Piano Performance, Political Science, Pre-Professional (Special advising available for Architecture, Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Medical Technology, Optometry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine), Psychology, Social Studies for Teachers, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish, Teaching (Early Childhood, Fourth Grade Through Eighth Grade, High School, All-Level Special Education), Theatre, Vocal Performance, Vocational Missions, Worship Ministry, Youth and Family Ministry.

More Distinctions

  • ACU has repeatedly been recognized as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by the U.S. News & World Report guidebook. In the 2010 edition, it ranked 20th among 123 master’s-level universities in the Western region. ACU has ranked in the top tier 11 of the last 12 years.

  • In the U.S. News & World Report guidebook, ACU also was named second in the Master’s Universities-West category of A Strong Commitment to Teaching, highlighting 80 schools with “an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching.” In the Great Schools, Great Prices category, ACU was listed 12th in the Master’s Universities-West region.

  • For the 12th consecutive year, ACU is included in "America’s 100 Best College Buys." To be included in the book, universities must provide “the highest quality in education at the lowest cost.” ACU is the only private university in Texas named to the list.

  • ACU is one of “America’s Best Colleges” as determined by Forbes magazine in a rankings list published in August 2009. Forbes joined with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity to rank 600 undergraduate institutions based on “the quality of the education they provide, the experience of the students and how much they achieve.” ACU placed in the top seven percent, ahead of several other Texas schools, including TCU and Baylor University. ACU and Pepperdine University were the only two schools on the list affiliated with Churches of Christ.

  • ACU was recently honored with one of Alcatel-Lucent’s first annual Dynamic Enterprise Awards. The Fortune 500 company’s Web site states that the four winning institutions “demonstrate how fully leveraging the interconnection of networks, people, process and knowledge using IP technology provides unique competitive advantages.” ACU was honored along with the Siam Commercial Bank of Thailand; Fluor Limited, part of the UK’s National Roads Telecommunications Service; and the Saudi Ministry of Culture & Information. Industry analysts attending this year’s Enterprise Forum selected ACU as the winner of the first Analyst Choice Award. The university has partnered with Alcatel-Lucent in developing its campus network.

  • ACU’s mobile-learning initiative has been recognized once again as an innovative approach to education through technology. ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, has awarded ACU its most prestigious honor, the award for Institutional Excellence in Information Communications Technology. This distinction, given annually to three universities, is awarded for innovative and exemplary endeavors, products or services in the field of higher education technology.

  • CIO magazine announced ACU as a recipient of its 2009 CIO 100 Award. The 22-year-old award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology. ACU was one of only six universities to receive the award. Other recipients include AT&T, Dell, GE Energy, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

  • For the second year, ACU has been nationally recognized for its commitment to service. The university was listed on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which recognizes colleges and universities supporting innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The Honor Roll is a part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is devoted to helping college students serve others while strengthening their academic and civic skills.

  • The Princeton Review named Abilene Christian University as one of the “Best in the West” for 2009. ACU is one of 120 schools receiving this distinction as “academically excellent institutions of higher learning” for the 15-state western region of the U.S.

Many backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities are represented at ACU, where students from nearly every state and 40 countries live and learn together. This global community creates an opportunity for students to expand their worldview and to understand the global nature of their lives as Christians and future leaders alike. Students are stretched intellectually and are highly involved in learning through undergraduate research, the Honors College, internships, and team projects…

Student Activities

As a residential campus, ACU is alive with activities, from concerts and weeknight devotionals to poetry readings. Many students participate in intramural sports, men’s and women’s social clubs, Spring Break mission campaigns, and the annual Sing Song performance event. More than 100 campus organizations give students many venues for involvement and leadership.

Community life at ACU is energized by a variety of campus activities born out of a century of university tradition. Student government, weekend and Spring Break campaigns, volunteer work, Habitat for Humanity, and a variety of student organizations all provide significant opportunities for further education and the development of leadership skills.


As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Lone Star Conference, ACU competes in football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s softball and women’s soccer. ACU is an annual contender for the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, recognizing the best all-around sports program in NCAA Division II.

U.S. News & World Report has honored ACU for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and its mobile-learning technology. Small classes taught by talented, caring faculty members provide an advantage to students who are searching for jobs or graduate schools. Because ACU professors know their students well and often serve as mentors, they are able to provide excellent references to medical schools, law schools, graduate programs, and future employers…

Engaged Professors

Abilene Christian greatly values the dynamic relationship that should exist between professors and their students. Many institutions rely extensively on graduate assistants. At ACU, however, nearly all courses are taught by qualified faculty members. And when professors work on research projects, they often receive assistance from their undergraduate students.

Innovative Study

ACU students are served by more than 230 faculty members who focus on high-quality teaching, scholarship and service. More than 97 percent of tenure-track faculty hold terminal degrees. The student/faculty ratio is 16:1. Faculty members and administrators are actively involved as leaders and presenters in many national professional associations, and ACU is an active member of both the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. ACU was the first university to give iPhones and iPod touches to freshmen, and it continues to be a world leader in the study of mobile-learning technology for use in higher education.

Undergraduate Study

At ACU, students experience rare opportunities to prepare for their future careers. In the physics program, undergraduate students regularly participate with faculty members at national nuclear physics laboratories and make national and international presentations. Most universities only allow graduate students to participate in this high-level work. Journalism students produce a twice-weekly newspaper, The Optimist, that has received All-American honors every year since 1975.

ACU’s community life is energized by a variety of campus activities and more than 100 student organizations. ACU is a close-knit, Christian community that values individual talents and encourages students to be actively involved both on campus and in the community…

A Diverse Community

The university is located in Abilene, Texas, an all-American city of 115,000 people with a wide variety of social, religious, athletic, and cultural activities. Abilene is a safe, fun place to live, containing all the amenities without the hassles of a large urban environment.

Approximately 4,800 students, including about 900 graduate students, come to ACU from 49 states and provinces and 40 nations. The university has a diverse environment that enriches student learning.

Each year, some of the nation’s top businesses come to campus to interview ACU students due to their fantastic reputation of success. Outstanding faculty, great facilities, and successful postgraduate jobs are all the result of ACU’s uncommon commitment to teaching and learning. ACU prepares its graduates for Christian service and leadership throughout the world…

Successful Alumni

For more than 100 years, ACU has challenged students academically, providing them with a strong liberal arts education and an environment in which Christ is front and center. Because of this powerful combination, ACU graduates are in high demand by employers and graduate schools all over the world. They are accepted into medical school at twice the rate of the national average, and their acceptance rate into law school tops 80 percent.

Graduates of ACU have become big-name professionals in nearly every field imaginable. Its 86,000 alumni make a difference in the world every day.


Admissions Fall 2015

10,804 Total Applicants 
5,393 Total Admissions 
1,072 Total Freshman Enrollment

49.92% of applicants admitted

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 470 590
SAT Math 480 590
SAT Writing 450 570
ACT Composite 22 27
ACT Math 20 26
ACT English 21 27
ACT Writing 6 8


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $30,780
Fees $50
Total $30,830
Room and Board (on campus) $9,310
Room Only $4,390
Board Only $4,920
Estimated Total On Campus $40,140


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
60% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$18,356 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$10,456 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


Steps to Enroll:

  1. Complete an Application for Admission online at http://www.acu.edu/apply. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Complete two required personal essays (included on application).
  3. Send your official high school and/or college transcripts to the Office of Admissions.
  4. Request your ACT and/or SAT scores be sent to ACU or take the ACT on campus. For test dates, visit http://www.acu.edu/testing.
  5. Once we receive the above items, you will be considered for admission to ACU.
  6. You will be notified of your admissions status according to when your application was completed (Early Action Deadline on November 1, notification by December 1; Scholarship Consideration Deadline on January 15, notification by February 1; Regular Admission Deadline on February 15, notification by March 15; National Candidates Reply Date, May 1).
  7. Should you be granted admission, you will be asked to confirm your admission by submitting a $250 enrollment deposit and a signed intent to enroll form.
  8. Submit a Housing Preference Form to reserve your housing (if applicable).
  9. Other items may be required after admission. Check http://www.my.acu.edu for details.
  10. Admission Application Deadline
    The priority deadline for fall admission is August 1.


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