American College of Healthcare Sciences Frequently Asked Questions

Jul 12, 2014 12:35:00 PM | Frequently Asked Questions About Online Education (updated June 2024)

How will I pay for school? Is accreditation important? If you're asking these questions, don't worry! The ACHS admissions team is here to help!

If you’re interested in pursuing an online education or want to learn more about the benefits of an accredited holistic health program, these FAQs are for you! Prospective students often ask questions such as, how do I pay for school, can I transfer credits, how much time do I need for studies, what programs are available, and more.  

Let’s explore these questions together so you have the insights you need when planning your educational future!


1. How long does it take to complete an ACHS online program?

This is a great question. The answer is, it depends. The time required to complete an online program depends on how many classes you take each semester. Our academic calendar offers three semesters a year, starting in January, May, and September. Select courses are also offered three times a year in accelerated semesters over 7.5 weeks, usually starting in March, July, and October. 

You can accelerate your program by studying full-time (12 credits for undergraduate students, 9 credits for graduate students, and 8 credits for doctorate students per semester). Many students study part-time and may add accelerated courses throughout their program or consider full-time during semesters when they have more time, such as teachers who may not work during the summer.


2. Does ACHS offer Financial Aid? What other funding options are available?

As an accredited institution, ACHS offers many funding options, including federal financial aid to those who qualify, direct payment options, and a wide range of military, employer, and other funding options. Our Financial Aid Advisors will also be happy to speak with you about your available options.

For a full breakdown of the funding options available, review our Financial Aid page. You can also learn more from our webinar “Taking the Next Step: Funding Your Education at ACHS.”


3. How do the online classes work? What is the time commitment for attending class?

All of our classes are online and asynchronous, which means students log in when it is convenient for them  - you set the study hours that work best for you! 

Our classes have a framework to support student success, so there are weekly due dates you’ll need to meet and live lectures from faculty each week. These are also recorded if you cannot attend live, and you’ll engage in the discussion through the online classroom. You’ll want to be sure you can allocate time each week to participate in your online classes actively. 


4. What technology is required for online learning?

To succeed at online learning, you'll need to have reliable internet access, a web camera, and a microphone. Zoom sessions and proctored exams will need to verify your identity with the webcam, and a microphone is necessary to ask and answer questions. We also recommend using a laptop or desktop computer with a keyboard instead of a cell phone. View our full technology requirements here


5. Can I transfer credits from a previous school to ACHS?

As part of your application process at ACHS, you’ll submit your official transcripts from the previous colleges you’ve attended, even if you didn’t earn a degree or complete the program. Once accepted for admission, our Registrar’s Office will evaluate all of your transcripts to maximize opportunities to transfer credit, consider options for challenging a course by exam, and help you save on tuition and prepare for success in your program. 

Watch our webinar “Making the Transition to ACHS: Requesting Transcripts and the Transfer of Credit Process” to learn more.


6. What are the regulations for practicing holistic health in my state?

This is an important consideration and varies by state. It’s essential to become familiar with the regulations in your state and understand what you can and cannot do as a holistic health professional. In some cases, there may be no licensing requirements, such as in aromatherapy. In other professions, such as nutrition, there may be specific state requirements and considerations, such as titles that are allowed in each state. All students review ACHS’s State Licensing disclosures and resources before enrollment, and our Career Services team can provide additional resources as you begin to develop your business plan or goals for your education. 

Note: We aren’t able to provide legal advice, but we’re here to make sure you have the resources you need to put your education into practice successfully. 


7. How can online classes offer hands-on learning?

The opportunity to gain experiential learning is one aspect that sets ACHS apart from other holistic health colleges. In our classes, students receive experiential learning practical lab kits including herbs, essential oils, and supplies for wellness to apply what they learn as they study each subject. You’ll dive into making natural products, conducting organoleptic testing of herbs and essential oils (sensory testing including taste, touch, and smell), and conduct case studies to gain real-world experience working with clients. 


8. Why can’t I use my own essential oils and herbs?

Each course pack includes the materials you will be using throughout your course. All students must use the same supplies for their ACHS courses so that the instructor can accurately assess the student's lab results. In addition, ACHS courses train students to critically evaluate the quality of botanicals and essential oils so they have these skills in their profession. ACHS herbs and essential oils are labeled with the batch number for tracking the product batch and are suitable for clinical use.


9. How much does an online holistic health program with ACHS cost?

Program costs vary based on program level, accepted transfer of credit, and other factors, such as buying used books. As an accredited institution, ACHS offers many funding options, including federal financial aid to those who qualify, semester payments and monthly payment installment plans, military and employer tuition assistance benefits, and a wide range of other alternative funding options. 

You can find details on the cost breakdown and funding options on our website here: ACHS Tuition and Funding


10. How do I pick a program?

Explore the options available to find what program or programs interest you. Once you have an idea of your areas of interest, you can speak with an advisor to determine your long-term goals and select the program that’s the best fit. We offer regular webinars and share blog articles highlighting student and graduate successes to help you select a program most aligned with your goals.


11. Do you help graduates find jobs?

While ACHS cannot guarantee employment placement, we offer services that help graduates highlight their skills and experience while working to connect graduates with employment opportunities. ACHS’s Career Services team is available to provide support and mentorship, connecting you with successful alumni and professional organizations who can help you achieve your goals. Connect with our Career Services team for more information. 

Watch our webinar “Conducting an Effective Job Search in the Holistic Health Field” for more information.


12. What professional organizations will I qualify for as a graduate?

With over 45 years of experience in the integrative health and wellness industry, ACHS has strong ties to professional organizations and works to advance the education and professional standards for wellness professionals continually. 

Here are a few of the holistic health organizations prospective students should be aware of:

For more details on what opportunities and organizations are connected with ACHS, visit us at: ACHS Memberships and Industry Recognition.


13. What is accreditation and why is it important?

ACHS has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) since June 2003.

Accreditation is extremely important when researching a potential school. If you graduate from a school that isn’t accredited, your state’s Office of Degree Authorization will not accept your training, and you won’t be able to be hired for a position using that training. In fact, trying to use a degree from an unaccredited institution can get you into legal trouble. For an in-depth look at what accreditation means, check out ACHS’s page on our accredited status and how that benefits graduates.


14. How do I apply?

Now, you’re ready to get started with your integrative health education, so what’s next? Next, you’ll apply for admission and work with your ACHS admissions advisor throughout the process. 

Application deadlines are usually the first of the month prior to the semester start, and all admission deadlines are published on the ACHS Academic Calendar. Here’s a quick breakdown of the application process:

  1. Fill out the application information page. We recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes to complete the application.
  2. Request your official transcripts from past schools to be sent to ACHS directly.
  3. Submit a copy of your government-issued identification.
  4. Review and complete program disclosures highlighting information such as state licensing requirements to consider for your profession and standards of practice for aromatherapy programs. 
  5. Chat with your Admissions Advisor to confirm that you’re ready to go!

Ready to Get Started?

With all these questions answered, did we miss anything? If you have additional questions, you can request information here, and an admissions advisor can help!


This article is for informational purposes only. Please contact ACHS Admissions at or 800-487-8839 for additional information and to apply for admission. Graduation from any ACHS program does not confer a license to practice medicine. ACHS graduates do not claim to treat, diagnose, cure, or prescribe. Please note that professional success is achieved by a number of factors beyond education and experience, including soft skills, work ethic, integrity, and other skills that may not be developed through education and training alone. Not all graduates will achieve the career outcomes provided as examples in this article and other ACHS marketing materials. 

Amy Swinehart

Written By: Amy Swinehart

Amy Swinehart is the ACHS Dean of Admissions, and has been working with the American College for over 10 years in both student services and admissions. She greatly enjoys talking to students about their academic goals and aspirations in holistic health. In addition to her work with the College, Amy enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and outdoor activities like golfing, playing tennis, and skiing.