On-Campus Experiences

Rising Scholars

Held on our beautiful campus in Abilene, Texas, students enroll in one course during their Rising Scholars on Campus experience. This program will showcase what college life is like as a Wildcat. You’ll live in the dorm, eat in the campus center, study in the library, worship together and make memories in our charming town of Abilene.

Apply On-Campus Experience

Held on our beautiful campus in Abilene, Texas, students enroll in one course during their Rising Scholars on Campus experience. This program will showcase what college life is like as a Wildcat. You’ll live in the dorm, eat in the campus center, study in the library, worship together and make memories in our charming town of Abilene.

Apply On-Campus Experience

Main Content


February 15, 2024

Early Application Deadline

May 15, 2024

Regular Application Deadline

When: July 14-20, 2024

Cost: $1,000 – includes course fees for one hour credit, lodging, all meals, group excursions and activities. 

“ACU is the only school we have visited that has offered our senior a chance to “test drive” the college experience.  Most decisions are made on a one time campus tour, but this program allowed my daughter to truly experience what classes would be like, dorm life, how easy it is to connect with like minded people and explore the local atmosphere.” – 2023 Rising Scholar Parent



The Book was Better (Honors)

Dr. Todd Womble
Department of English

In this course, we read a handful of texts (a short story, a young adult novel and a graphic novel) and then watch their film adaptations, all for the purpose of investigating the complicated process of adaptation. What is the relationship between a text and its adaptation? How does one impact the other, and how do we approach each as a reader and a viewer? And, finally, why is the book almost always better than the film?

In collaboration with the ACU Honors College, The Book was Better is an Honors section of Rising Scholars and enrollment in this course can count as an Honors Colloquia. Students in the ACU Honors College are required to take two colloquia courses to graduate with honors. 

Exploring Healthcare Professions: Integrating Practice and Faith

Corissa Parris, MSN, RN
School of Nursing

When it comes to healthcare, where do you start? Which career field is best for you? How do you live out your mission? This course will explore various healthcare professions (nurses, physicians, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, etc.) through case studies, specific job descriptions and content, and first-hand healthcare experience in our simulation lab. Integrating Christian principles into a field of service will teach us all how to make a difference in healthcare.

Evan Babb, senior biology major from Lubbock, working in the NEXT Lab.

Introduction to Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing

Dr. Robert Brown
Department of Engineering and Physics

Allie Mae Berry
NEXT Lab Research Chemist

The Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Lab at ACU invites advanced STEM students to join the NEXT team for a week of instruction and hands-on experience in our research facilities. The mission of ACU’s NEXT Lab is to provide global solutions to the world’s need for energy, water and medical isotopes by advancing the technology of molten salt reactors while educating future leaders in nuclear science and engineering.

Virtual Reality Game Development 

Dr. Brian Burton
School of Information Technology and Computing

Rich Tanner
School of Information Technology and Computing

Step into a realm of limitless possibilities with Virtual Reality Game Development. In this exhilarating class, you’ll unlock the secrets of crafting your very own immersive virtual worlds. With the powerful Unity game engine as your ally, you’ll master the art of creating stunning 3D games and delve into the exciting realm of coding to breathe life into your original VR experiences. No prior art or programming experience is needed – just bring your imagination and passion for gaming, and let us guide you towards becoming a virtuoso VR game developer of tomorrow!

It’s More than a Game: What You Didn’t Know About American Sports 

Dr. Melissa Long
Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition

What do you think you know about American sports? In this course you will explore five popular American sports including football, basketball, baseball, volleyball and tennis. You will learn about their history, the venues they are played in and current governance. In addition, you will tour ACU’s NCAA Division I athletic facilities and hear from our coaches. It’s a slam dunk!

Sports Media in the Studio

Hutton Harris
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

This course will offer a combination of sports media production and relevant hands-on experience with ACUTV, our state-of-the-art studio. Students will be challenged to create, produce and edit stories that will be inserted in a live news broadcast each day. Our goal is to give students a professional experience with cutting edge technology and supply them with confidence for the world of production.  

Marketing the Taylor Swift Way 

Dr. Jennifer Golden
College of Business Administration

Calling all students with a love for Taylor Swift and a curiosity about entrepreneurship and marketing. In this course, you will learn the marketing tactics behind Taylor’s success. From launching new albums to her social media skills, you will learn how she has mastered the industry. We will cover other topics like branding, audience engagement, merchandising and storytelling, using Taylor Swift as a case study.  Don’t miss this chance to connect with other Swifties and to blend music and marketing. Enroll today and discover your marketing and entrepreneurship superstar 💫potential! 

Important Dates

  • February 15 – Early application deadline 
    • March 15 – student contract and $500 non-refundable payment due to early admits to guarantee spot 
  • May 15 – Regular deadline 
    • Applications will be accepted until May 15 as space is available
  • June 10 – student contract and $500 non-refundable payment due for later admits
  • June 20 – Waitlist notified if space is available

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Submit the online application.
  • Students must be a current high school sophomore or junior.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation completed by a current high school teacher or administrator.
  • Rising Scholars on campus is competitive and limited spots are available.

Students who enroll in Rising Scholars are enrolling as an ACU student for a one hour course. Students are expected to go to class and complete all assignments related to the course. 

Rising Scholars stay on campus in Bullock Hall. Men and women are housed separately in the dorm.

The program begins on Sunday evening and concludes on Saturday morning. Students will go to class Monday through Friday for approximately 3 hours each day. Outside of class, students will live the ACU experience. Activities include spiritual development, intramurals, small groups, games, experiences around Abilene and free time.

Yes, students can choose to bring a vehicle to campus. If given permission by their parents, students can leave campus during free time.

Yes, curfew will be enforced by residence life staff at 11 p.m. each evening

American Airlines flies into Abilene Regional Airport. ACU will provide transportation from ABI airport to campus.