Hardin-Simmons University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Hardin-Simmons University
Hardin-Simmons encourages individuals to lead lives of service through active involvement in intellectual, cultural...

Hardin-Simmons University

Abilene, Texas

You were born for great things. Discover them at HSU.

Academic excellence continues as a priority at Hardin-Simmons University as it has for more than a century. Small classes taught by experienced scholars give the opportunity for interactive learning. The institution’s commitment to excellence is best illustrated through the lives of graduates who traditionally have excelled in any career they have chosen.

Student Profile

Fall 2017 Enrollment
1,671 undergraduate students
95% of undergrad students are full time
48% male — 52% female
3% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2017-2018 Academic Year
134 full-time faculty
94 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2017
84% of first-year students live on campus
49% of all students live on campus

School Location

Hardin-Simmons University is located on the north end of Abilene, Texas. Abilene is located 153 miles from Fort Worth and 186 miles from Dallas. Abilene is a midsize city with a rich history and many attractions, museums, and parks. Abilene is also known as the Storybook Capital of Texas. The Abilene Zoo is one particular attraction that is popular among HSU students.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices 

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research  
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2017

75% of students began in Fall 2016 and returned in Fall 2017 (full-time, first-time freshmen)


51% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 19%
Black or African American 8%
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 1%


NCAA Division III, American Southwest Conference; 16 varsity sports (8 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field and 8 women’s: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and volleyball).

Hardin-Simmons also has a co-ed cheerleading squad and a women’s competitive dance team, 3 club sports, 5 major intramural sports and a variety of minor intramural sports.

Other Information

Hardin Simmons is a private, coeducational university located in Abilene, Texas. It was established in 1891 and is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Hardin-Simmons University is accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees.

HSU’s specific programs have been accredited by Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas, Texas Board for Educator Certification, and many others.

To find more information about accreditations and other memberships that HSU possesses, please visit, https://www.hsutx.edu/about/accreditation/.

Academic Programs

Accounting*, Agriculture+*, Art – Graphic Design*, Art – Studio, Art Education, Athletic Training*, Bible, Biblical Languages**, Biochemistry**, Molecular Biology*, Biology, Business Administration**, Chemistry, Church Music*, Church Ministry – Concentrations in Missions, Music Ministry, Pastoral Ministry and Youth Ministry, Coaching**, Communications – Concentrations in Public Relations/Advertising*, Telecommunications* and Speech Communications, Computer Information Systems (Education), Computer Science, Criminal Justice – Concentrations in Corrections*, and Police Science and Administration*, Economics, Education, English, English Language Arts, Environmental Science, Exercise Science, Fitness & Sports Science, Finance*, French +, Generic Special Education+, General Science (Education), Geology, History, Honors*, Interdisciplinary Generalist (Education), Leadership Studies**, Legal Studies**, Life Sciences Composite (Education), Management, Marketing*, Mathematics, Music, Music with Elective Studies in Business, Music Education*, Music Performance*, Music Theory and Composition, Nursing++, Philosophy, Physical Education, Physics+, Political Science, Psychology, Religion**, Social Science Composite (Education), Social Work*, Sociology, Spanish, Sports, Fitness & Leisure Studies, Speech-Language Pathology, Theatre, Theology

Pre-Professional Programs:
Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Seminary

* Major Only
** Minor Only
+ Cooperative with Abilene Christian University
++ Cooperative with Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing

More Distinctions

  • Hardin-Simmons was cited as a “Best Western” university by Princeton Review in 2015. One of 126 in the western United States, 649 in the nation and one of only 23 so honored in the state of Texas.

  • Ranked #33 in “Regional Universities West” by US News & World Report in 2016.

  • Ranked in 2014 by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a "Great College to Work For."

  • Proudly listed as one of GI Jobs’ Military Friendly Schools

From the world famous Cowboy Band and Six White Horses to a vibrant campus ministry, students are constantly involved. When not partaking in their studies, they are sure to be involved in a number of extracurricular activities.

The Honors Program

The Hardin-Simmons University Honors Program, which serves as an integral part of the academic community, includes courses taught by selected faculty members interested in working with highly motivated students. The Honors Program expects participants to strive for excellence and assume personal accountability for their intellectual growth. The goal of Honors studies is to encourage students to engage more actively in pursuing knowledge, in discussing ideas, and in challenging themselves to grow intellectually and spiritually.

The Leadership Studies Program

The Leadership Studies Program at Hardin-Simmons University is a unique program devoted to the development of tomorrow’s Christian leaders. Working with nonprofit organizations, leadership students implement and practice the concepts that they study in the classroom by creating and performing service projects that meet real community needs. In the Leadership Studies Program, learning occurs both in and out of the classroom.

HSU International Studies

HSU International Studies supports international academic programs that foster an understanding of the global community, and serves students, faculty, and departments by facilitating the development and implementation of quality international academic experiences. Study abroad programs at HSU vary in length from a full academic year to four weeks during the summer. At the present HSU has study programs in London, England, Salzburg, Austria, Florence, Italy, and many other destinations.

International Students

HSU has welcomed international students from more than 40 countries. The International office helps to develop a global and diversified community of servant-scholars who are invested in engaging minds and nurturing spirits. The office strives to create Christian world leaders by introducing cultural diversity and enriching students, faculty and staff with a global mindset. International affairs helps to develop, engage, and empower international students to reach success.  


Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theatre X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band X
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theatre X
Opera X
Pep band  
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra X
Television station  
Yearbook X

Academic excellence continues as a priority at Hardin-Simmons University as it has for more than a century. The foundational curriculum involves students in a broad range of inquiry related general studies with requirements of the chosen major. Small classes taught by experienced scholars give the opportunity for interactive learning.

The Academic Advising Center

The Academic Advising Center at HSU serves the needs of undeclared undergraduate students, non-degree students, transfer students who do not have a major, and those individuals considering changing their field of study. The Center is prepared to make each student’s college career as smooth as possible by explaining the general core requirements, helping schedule classes, or clarifying goals and options. The Center provides one-on-one help for making decisions about changing majors in cooperation with the Office of Career Services.


HSU offers more than fifty majors through its Colleges of Liberal Arts and Business, Schools of Education, Music, Nursing, Sciences and Mathematics, and Theology. There are also several programs leading to one of eight master’s degrees through its Graduate School.

Inter-college Enrollment

A student enrolled at HSU may also enroll in courses nearby at Abilene Christian University and/or McMurry University.

First-Year Seminars

Designed especially for first-semester freshmen,  “First-Year Seminar: Gateway” is the academic gateway to HSU’s Christian liberal arts experience. The theme-based seminar offers incoming students the opportunity to dig into the topic of their choice while exploring their personal strengths and experiencing the intersection of faith and learning. Academic and social connections made here help students begin to build a support system for the entire HSU experience.


Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy X
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: Bible (2 semesters) & writing proficiency exam



2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 133 167 112 39 10 7 0 468

Founded in 1891, Hardin-Simmons is a place where relationships really matter. Complementing the warmth of family and community is the vitality of an academic program offering more than 50 major and minor programs.

Student Life

Student Life is a robust program that provides students with opportunities for meaningful engagement and transformation within the co-curricular context. HSU has a thriving student body that is highly involved within various clubs and organizations. Whether it is a special interest group, a Greek social club, an academic club, or an Intramural team, involvement in any group is what makes our students’ experiences the best they can be. It is great to see students get involved.

Stampede Week

Stampede Week is a week intended for new students and is designed to help make the transition to Hardin-Simmons University a smooth and comfortable one. This is a great opportunity to learn about HSU traditions, make life-long friendships, and participate in fun and exciting activities. It’s the perfect way for freshmen to start their memorable years at HSU. New students are placed in teams led by two upperclassmen who help them learn about Hardin-Simmons University’s policies, procedures, and traditions. By the time classes start, new students are part of life at HSU.

Living Learning Communities

While living on-campus is one of the best decisions you can make coming to HSU, the Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) are “communities within a community” and are a great way to get to know people faster! Living Learning Communities (LLCs) have been shown nationally and at HSU to assist students academically and socially, leading to higher GPAs, more connections to the larger campus community, and higher retention rates than their peers.They are an ideal way to connect life on-campus with the academic experience.

A Dynamic Place to Be

As a leading education center, Hardin-Simmons is often described as “an oasis” with lush grounds, a duck-filled pond, and stately red brick buildings. HSU is a place of higher learning that warmly opens its doors to students seeking a Christian, liberal arts education within a supportive and spiritual community.

Blend an old West town and a modern, medium-sized city, then throw in a good dose of hospitality as well as a large helping of recreation, and one has Abilene, Texas. Abilene, listed as a top 10 tourist destination in Texas, is located near the geographic center of Texas and offers many things to see and do including:

  • The Abilene Country Club
  • Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Abilene State Park
  • Abilene Zoo and Discovery Center
  • Buffalo Gap Historic Village
  • Center for Contemporary Arts
  • Century Theaters
  • Dyess Linear Air Park
  • Fort Phantom Hill
  • Grace Museum Cultural Center
  • Mall of Abilene
  • Frontier Texas Museum
  • National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature
  • The historic Paramount Theater.


Coed dorms  
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students X
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options X


Other: Single & duplex housing, with priority given to families

Hardin-Simmons’ commitment to excellence is best illustrated through the lives of graduates who traditionally have excelled in a wide variety of fields.

Career Services

Career Services at HSU provides students and alumni with services, activities, and an environment which will enhance the opportunities to choose, prepare adequately for, and enter career fields in which they can serve as Christian leaders. HSU Career Services assists students with obtaining internships, fine-tuning resumes, and assisting students with finding jobs.

Range Rider

Mailed two times per year, the Range Rider alumni magazine is edited, produced, and distributed by the Alumni and Marketing departments. Each issue includes various feature stories, University updates, and the ever-popular “Folks & Facts” alumni update section.

Producing World-ready People

Many students from Hardin-Simmons have gone on to become leading doctors, scientists, business leaders, actors, and athletes, and include:

  • Conrad Lam (pioneer in heart bypass surgery)
  • Willis Whitfield (inventor of the clean room concept, making modern microelectronics possible)
  • Dr. Cristel V. Camacho (cancer research scientist)
  • Dean Nolen (drama desk award winner, TV show Law and Order)
  • Dan Blocker (TV show Bonanza)
  • Fess Parker (played Daniel Boone on TV)
  • Ms. Tina M. (Hendrix) Schiel (marketing business executive)
  • Stedman Graham (founder of Athletes Against Drugs)
  • Clyde “Bulldog” Turner (Pro Football Hall of Fame player for the Chicago Bears)


Admissions Fall 2017

 1,673 total applicants
1,368 total admissions
457 total freshman enrollment

81.77% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2018-19 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Standardized test scores 

Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank Academic
GPA Recommendation(s)
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
First generation
Volunteer work
Work experience

Freshman Profile Fall 2017

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 500 590
SAT Math 500 580
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 18 24
ACT Math 17 24
ACT English 17 23
ACT Writing    

Admission Information

The Hardin-Simmons University admissions staff is available to assist incoming students throughout the admissions process to answer any questions potential students may have regarding their application to the university, student life, financial aid and scholarship availability, and any general information about HSU. To find out more about Hardin-Simmons University’s admissions process, please visit http://www.hsutx.edu/admission/undergraduate/.



Tuition $27,290
Fees $1,700
Total $28,990
Room and Board (on campus) $8,080
Estimated Total On Campus $37,070



Hardin-Simmons offers many institutional and other scholarship awards. Students are considered for scholarships based on a combination of the following criteria: academic preparation and performance, standardized testing, co-curricular involvement, enrollment status, and anticipated major.
One unique scholarship available at HSU is the Texas Big Country Scholarship. The Texas Big Country Scholarship is available to students graduating from public or private high schools or homeschools in Texas Big Country counties. They may receive a $40,000 scholarship ($10,000 per year for 4 years) to HSU.There is a plethora of other scholarships available to incoming students.