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Frequently Asked Questions about the Academic Common Market

 What is the Academic Common Market (ACM)?

The Academic Common Market (ACM) is a tuition savings program for college students from selected states in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) who want to pursue degrees that are not offered by their home state institutions. If approved, students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree programs and pay only the in-state tuition rates. The ACM program is not competitive or merit-based, but applicants must meet home state residency requirements and college program admissions requirements. To qualify for the Academic Common Market, a student must be a resident of an SREB member state, be admitted unconditionally into the institution and program that is approved by the home state, and be certified by the home state to participate. It is the responsibility of the student to contact their respective ACM coordinator to determine if the desired degree program qualifies within their state

Students must be fully admitted into an eligible degree program to submit documents to their respective state representative. Students who are accepted to the University but admitted into Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science, or Theatre Arts (BFA - all concentrations) with a "pre-major" status are not eligible for participation in the Academic Common Market until they are granted full admission into the respective degree program.

What degree programs has Coastal Carolina University made available through the ACM?

  • Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies (MS) - The Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies graduate program consists of 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of either thesis research or an internship. Courses are taught primarily by faculty members from the departments of biology and marine science, and the School of Coastal and Marine Systems Science. The coursework involves three core courses stressing coastal physical processes, ecology, and environmental policy. Various electives provide students with skills in conservation biology, geographic information systems, statistics, wetland delineation, geophysical surveying as well as the theoretical background in specific areas of organism biology and ecology.
  • Digital Culture and Design (BA) - is a cross-disciplinary and multi- modal approach to the production, distribution, management, and critical analysis of digital culture as well as the application of digital solutions to research projects in the humanities disciplines. Benefiting from an array of pedagogies that take advantage of contemporary instructional technologies, students will acquire the knowledge base and skills necessary to create, market, organize, evaluate, and disseminate digital content informed by the humanities.
  • Hospitality, Resort, and Tourism Management (BS) - Hospitality, Resort and Tourism Management (HRTM) students focus on developing the skills necessary for managing hospitality or tourism service organizations in the context of a resort destination area.  In addition to the standard business curriculum, the HRTM curriculum includes internships and specialized coursework in the areas of quality process management and resort planning.
  • Intelligence and National Security Studies Major (BA) - The intelligence and national security studies major is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in security-related career fields that involve research, analysis, planning and evaluation of policies and programs. The program works to this objective by utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach that emphasizes the liberal arts and communication skills. The structure of the curriculum also prepares a student for graduate work in related areas of study. Specific admission requirements exist for this major.
  • Marine Science (BS) - Marine Science at Coastal Carolina is an interdisciplinary field that employs aspects of biology, chemistry, geology, and physics toward the study of the ocean environment. Lecture, laboratory, and field experiences are integrated to provide an outstanding and well-rounded academic program. Students may choose to concentrate their studies in one of the following areas: marine biology, coastal geology, marine chemistry, atmosphere/ocean dynamics or marine analytical technology. Specific admission requirements exist for this major.
  • Middle Level Education (BA) - Content specializations available in mathematics/science/social studies or English/language arts. Middle Level Education is a program of study that leads to initial South Carolina teacher licensure for grades five through eight in two content areas. This program includes: 1) foundation courses that provide the framework for teaching adolescents in the 21st century, 2) major requirement courses that focus on the art and science of teaching in the middle grades, and 3) content specialization courses that are defined according to two chosen areas.
  • Recreation and Sport Management (BS) - The Recreation and Sport Management program prepares students for professional employment in a variety of public, nonprofit, and private recreation and sport settings or graduate studies in the recreation and/or sport disciplines. Through coursework, practicum, internship, research, and scholarly activities, students are provided opportunities to study, analyze, evaluate, and successfully lead and implement programs in the fields of recreation and sport management. The program culminates in a semester-long internship in the field.
  • Theatre (BA) - The Bachelor of Arts program is designed for students whose goals require the study of more than one area of theatre or who desire a program with more flexibility than the B.F.A. All theatre students are expected to develop the knowledge, skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to the life of the theatre professional. In any of many possible roles, the theatre professional must exhibit not only technical competence, but also broad knowledge of theatre, sensitivity to artistic style, and an insight into the role of theatre in the life of humankind.
  • Theatre Arts (BFA)- Concentrations are available in Acting, Musical Theatre, Design and Production and Physical Theatre (Specific admission requirements exist for this major):
    • Acting - The B.F.A in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Acting prepares future actors for the professional theatre, the program focuses on developing the skills and professionalism required by a career in the theatre. The program attracts students who are willing to commit to structured, intensive, studio-based training and are searching to become a part of a company of actors, singers, designers, directors and technicians.

    • Musical Theatre - The B.F.A in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre is designed for students willing to commit to structured, intensive, studio-based training and are searching for a degree that prepares them to function in the professional theatre as actor-singers. The program defines the term "musical theatre" in a way that embraces the richness and diversity of this challenging interdisciplinary art form that includes musical comedy, the musical play, new and alternative music theatre, "Broadway opera", cabaret, and revue. Students receive technique training in acting complemented by training in vocal technique, musicianship, dance, and the study of the repertoire of the musical theatre in print and recordings.

    • Physical Theatre - The B.F.A in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Physical Theatre instructs students in a large variety of applied physical performance methods, including instruction in classic clowning, circus skills, acrobatics, mime, dance, character development, professionalism, and the creation of original material. The program will attract students from a national base interested in further exploring the intersection of clowning, theatre, activism and experimentation in performance. The structured, intensive, studio-based training will prepare them to function in the professional entertainment world.

    • Design and Production - The B.F.A in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Design and Production prepares students for professional careers as designers, technical directors, costume directors and technicians in professional entertainment or for continued study in graduate school. This concentration is designed for students seeking professional training and who desire an intensive program of theatre studies with a high degree of specialized training. It provides a balance of performance, management and technology class work and gives the student a complete overview of the production process.

Note: Hospitality, Resort, and Tourism Management (BS) has been made available to SREB participating states but is not currently offered by any state. Please contact your state representative to learn more about adding an available program to your state’s ACM inventory.

How do I apply for the Academic Common Market for an available degree program?

  1. Apply to Coastal Carolina University and be granted full admission* into one of the available academic programs listed above,
  2. confirm that the desired degree program is not offered by a college or university within your home state,
  3. complete and submit an ACM certification application to your state's designated agency,
  4. submit the required documentation to verify state residency, and
  5. be certified by your home state to participate in the ACM through Coastal Carolina University.

* Full Admission Requirements for Select Programs

Students must be fully admitted into an eligible degree program to submit documents to their respective state representative. Students who are accepted to the University but admitted into Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science, or Theatre Arts (BFA - all concentrations) with a "pre-major" status are not eligible for participation in the Academic Common Market until they are granted full admission into the respective degree program.

Freshman Students

  • To be admitted as a Marine Science degree candidate, a first-time freshman must meet the general admissions requirements and have a score of 470 or higher on the Math subtest of the SAT exam (for test dates prior to March 2016), or a score of 510 or higher on the Math subtest of the SAT exam (for test dates of March 2016 and later), or a score of 20 or higher on the math subtest of the ACT exam. If you take these exams again and achieve the required test scores you may be admitted into the full degree program prior to enrollment.
  • To be admitted as an Intelligence and National Security Studies degree candidate, a first-time freshman must meet the general admissions requirements and have a score of 1040 or higher on the Math and Critical Reading sections of the SAT exam (for test dates prior to March 2016), or a score of 1120 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math sections of the SAT exam (for test dates of March 2016 and later), or a score of 22 or higher on the ACT exam and a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher. If you take these exams again and achieve the required test scores you may be admitted into the full degree program prior to enrollment.
  • Candidates for the Theatre Arts (BFA - all concentrations) must be invited to the program following a multi-step audition process. Please visit the Department of Theatre's Auditions web page for more information.

Transfer Students

  • To be admitted as a Marine Science degree candidate, a transfer student must meet the general admissions requirements and 1) submit test scores of 470 or higher on the Math subtest of the SAT exam (for test dates prior to March 2016), or a score of 510 or higher on the Math subtest of the SAT exam (for test dates of March 2016 and later), or 20 or higher on the math subtest of the ACT exam, or 2) complete College Algebra or a higher-level math course with a grade of at least a C from a regionally accredited college or university. If you meet these requirements you may be admitted into the full degree program prior to enrollment.
  • To be admitted as an Intelligence and National Security Studies degree candidate, a transfer student must meet the general admissions requirements and 1) submit test scores of 1040 or higher on the Math and Critical Reading sections of the SAT exam (for test dates prior to March 2016), or a score of 1120 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math sections of the SAT exam (for test dates of March 2016 and later), score of 22 or higher on the ACT exam and a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, or 2) complete INTEL 200 with a grade of ‘B’ or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. If you meet these requirements you may be admitted into the full degree program prior to enrollment.
  • Candidates for the Theatre Arts (BFA - all concentrations) must be invited to the program following a multi-step audition process. Please visit the Department of Theatre's Auditions web page for more information.

Readmitting Students

  • To be admitted as a Marine Science degree candidate, a re-admitted student must meet the general admissions requirements and 1) submit test scores of 470 or higher on the Math subtest of the SAT exam (for test dates prior to March 2016), or a score of 510 or higher on the Math subtest of the SAT exam (for test dates of March 2016 and later), or 20 or higher on the math subtest of the ACT exam, or 2) complete MATH 130 or MATH 130I or a higher-level math course with a grade of at least a C.
  • To be admitted as an Intelligence and National Security Studies degree candidate, a re-admitted student must meet the general admissions requirements and 1) submit test scores of 1040 or higher on the Math and Critical Reading sections of the SAT exam (for test dates prior to March 2016), or a score of 1120 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math sections of the SAT exam (for test dates of March 2016 and later), score of 22 or higher on the ACT exam and a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, or 2) complete INTEL 200 with a grade of ‘B’ or higher.
  • Former Theatre Arts (BFA - all concentrations) students should contact the Department of Theatre directly regarding any additional admission requirements.  

What is my state's certification process?

Acceptance for participation through the Academic Common Market will be determined by your state's ACM coordinator and based upon degree program availability and verification of residency. Generally, you will be required to research your degree program's availability within your home state and provide evidence of your residency by submitting documents such as a driver’s license, voter registration card, state tax return or other instruments that the state may require. Individual state application deadlines may exist. Please allow up to two months for processing. To avoid the last minute flood of applications (particularly in July and August) and to avoid late tuition adjustments, it is wise to start the application process approximately two months prior to the beginning of the semester; however, students must be fully admitted into an eligible degree program prior to submitting documents to their respective state representative.

Does Coastal Carolina University require me to enroll as a full-time student in order to qualify for the ACM tuition waiver?

Yes, Coastal Carolina University requires students receiving the ACM tuition waiver to enroll full-time each eligible term. Full-time enrollment requires students to register for a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester. The ACM tuition waiver is prorated for students enrolled less than full-time in the summer terms only unless prohibited by an SREB state. Please check with your state for clarification of full-time during summer terms.

Are other merit awards available for out-of-state students who receive the ACM tuition waiver?

The ACM tuition waiver is sponsored by Coastal Carolina University and is not paid by the home state. Because of the significant reduction in tuition for approved students, ACM students are not eligible for Coastal Carolina University’s merit awards. When new students are admitted to the University and qualify for both the ACM tuition waiver and a merit award, the student will be required to select which award s/he will accept. Merit awards allow the student to change majors, whereas the ACM program requires that student remain in the ACM major in order to continue receiving the tuition waiver each semester and summer term. The student must choose one option at the point of matriculation. (Merit awards include: Presidential, President’s, Provost’s, Coastal Scholar, Coastal Transfer, Teal, Freshman Success Award, PGA Golf Management Awards, and Visual and Performing Arts Awards.) Graduate students receiving a graduate assistantship will not be eligible for the ACM tuition waiver.

Students who accept the ACM tuition waiver are not eligible for other tuition reductions, including stipends or athletic assistance provided through institutional waivers. Students granted the ACM tuition waiver may still be considered for admission into the Honors Program and for the Chanticleer Band program award.  If a student is originally admitted into an ineligble ACM major but later changes to an eligible major and is awarded the ACM tuition waiver, all merit awards will be canceled by the University.  Students who change their major after receiving the ACM tuition waiver cannot receive their merit award back.

How can I obtain additional information?

For more information and to determine if you may qualify for participation through the Academic Common Market, please contact your state representative listed below.

ACADEMIC COMMON MARKET – SREB MEMBER STATES

North Carolina is a member of the SREB but no longer participates in the Academic Common Market.

ALABAMA  -  No majors
P.O. Box 302000
Montgomery, AL 36130-2000
334-242-2209 (P); 334-242-0270 (F)
http://www.ache.alabama.gov/Content/Departments/SREB/SREB.aspx
ARKANSAS - Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science
423 Main Street - S-400
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-371-2061 (P); 501-682-6399 (F)
http://www.adhe.edu/institutions/academic-affairs/academic-common-market/
DELAWARE  -  Digital Culture and Design, Intelligence and National Security Studies, Theatre (BA), Theatre Arts (BFA - all concentrations)
401 Federal Street - Suite 2
Dover, DE 19901
302-735-4120 (P); 302-739-5894 (F)
http://www.doe.k12.de.us/Page/978
Florida  -  No majors
325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1601
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
850-245-9693 (P); 850-245-9685 (F)
http://www.flbog.edu/forstudents/upi/acm.php
GEORGIA  -  Digital Culture and Design, Intelligence and National Security Studies, Recreation and Sport Management, Theatre Arts (Acting and Physical Theatre only) - (**Musical Theatre concentration contingent upon SREB recertification)
270 Washington Street S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30334-1450
404-962-3079 (P); 404-962-3095 (F)
http://www.usg.edu/divisions/ academic_common_market/
KENTUCKY  -  Digital Culture and Design, Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science, Theatre Arts (Physical Theatre only)
1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 320
Frankfort, KY 40601
502-573-1555 x268 (P); 502-573-1535 (F)
http://www.cpe.ky.gov/acm/apply-acm.html
LOUISIANA  -  Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science, Theatre Arts (Design and Production and Physical Theatre only)
1201 N. Third St., Suite 6-200
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
225-342-4253 (P); 225-342-6926 (F)
http://www.regents.la.gov/page/academic-comon-market-sreb
MARYLAND  -  Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies (MS), Digital Culture and Design, Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science, Recreation and Sport Management, Theatre Arts (Physical Theatre only) - (**Musical Theatre concentration contingent upon SREB recertification)
6 N Liberty St, 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-767-3298 (P); 410-332-0270 (F)
http://mhec.maryland.gov/institutions_training/Pages/acadaff/commonmarket.aspx
MISSISSIPPI  -  Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
601-432-6422 (P); 601-432-6225 (F)
http://www.mississippi.edu/acm/
OKLAHOMA  - Marine Science, Recreation and Sport Management, Theatre Arts (Physical Theatre only)
655 Research Parkway, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
405-225-9621 (P); 405-225-9230 (F)
http://secure.okcollegestart.org/College_Planning/Explore_Schools/SREB_Academic_Common_Market.aspx
TENNESSEE  - Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science, Theatre Arts (Physical Theatre only)
404 James Robertson Parkway
Parkway Towers - Suite 1900
Nashville, TN 37243-0830
615-741-0060 (P); 615-741-6230 (F)
https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/academic-affairs-and-student-success/academic-programs/academic-common-market.html
TEXAS  -  No majors
1200 E. Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78752
512-427-6518 (P); 512-427-6168 (F)
http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=E918B4C6-CCFF-5020-1129E36D8D4E60F1
VIRGINIA   -  Intelligence and National Security Studies, Marine Science, Middle Level Education
101 North 14th Street, 9th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
804-225-2621 (P) 804-225-2604 (F)
http://www.schev.edu/index/tuition-aid/academic-common-market
WEST VIRGINIA  -  Marine Science
1018 Kanawha Blvd. East – Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301-2827
304-558-0262 (P); 304-558-0089 (F)
http://www.wvhepc.com/inside-the-commission/offices-and-affiliates/academic-affairs/

Each participating SREB state has a coordinator for the Academic Common Market. For the most accurate listing of state coordinators’ names and addresses, please visit the SREB Web site at www.sreb.org or call the SREB in Atlanta at (404) 875-9211. Florida, North Carolina, and Texas are also members of the SREB but only offer the Academic Common Market at a graduate level.

(updated 11/20/18—information is subject to change without notification)