How Our Programs Work

When do my courses start?

ACHS blends the support of a traditional semester schedule with the flexibility of online distance learning. Regular 15-week courses start three times per year: Fall (September), Spring (January), and Summer (May).  Select accelerated 7.5-week courses start in March and July.

Can I take whichever course I want?

Most programs have a required sequence of courses based on full-time, half-time, or quarter-time status to ensure an incremental increase in knowledge to support student success. Programs with a specialization or elective options (e.g., Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine) have a recommended sequence to accommodate students’ selections and meet prerequisites throughout the program. See the Program Catalog for specific sequence information.

Interested in taking classes for personal health and wellness? Start with a single course and learn more! Fast track your application online here.

How many students will be in each class?

Undergraduate courses are limited to 30 students; graduate courses are limited to 20 students.

When do I have to register by?

We keep our instructor to student ratio small, so classes do fill quickly. You’ll want to register early to save your place. Registration deadlines are usually the first of the month prior to the semester start. Registration deadlines are published on the ACHS Academic Calendar online at Please email with any questions.  

Are all courses offered all the time? 

Most courses are offered every semester depending on enrollment. Please visit for a list of upcoming classes.

What kind of course materials are required?

Your online classroom comes loaded with rich, interactive content including written and recorded lectures, podcasts, video, graphics and illustrations, multimedia activities, ACHS eTextbooks, and exclusive access to subscription databases through the ACHS Library. Depending on your class, you may also receive DVDs, publisher textbooks, study guides, and hands-on practical lab kits with organic and sustainably-produced herbs, essential oils, and other practical materials. View a selection of these practical lab kits online at Practical lab kits are also called a Course Pack.

All of our course materials meet the highest standards; we use only the most reputable education publishers and certified organic suppliers of raw materials. Learn more about our quality promise online at

ACHS course curriculum is reviewed by industry leaders and subject specialists and are endorsed by the leading associations in each field of study. Plus, ACHS offers a Green Option for eTextbooks in many courses, which helps reduce your course costs and supports ACHS’s sustainability initiatives.

What do I do in the online classroom?

ACHS online classrooms feature a variety of content and learning tools to create an interactive, meaningful learning experience. A few key features of the ACHS online classroom are:

  • A weekly module structure that seamlessly guides you through the course content
  • Written and recorded lectures, podcasts, video, graphics and illustrations, multimedia activities, and ACHS eTextbooks
  • Clear due dates and online calendar to keep you on track
  • Asynchronous discussion forums for sharing ideas, questions, and research with your classmates and instructor
  • Synchronous chat and lecture tools for live discussions with your classmates and instructor
  • Comprehensive Library including access to several subscription databases for original research (plus free training webinars!)

How will I interact with my classmates and instructor?

We’re confident your classroom learning experience will include rewarding communication with both your classmates and professor. We hope you’ll take full advantage of any optional, live synchronous chats or lectures with your professor, as well as any required asynchronous discussion boards, online collaborations, skill-building quizzes, exams, graded papers, and classmate and professor feedback. You can access your graded assignments, module exams, and final exam, complete with professor comments, through the integrated online gradebook and track progress and success.

ACHS also offers several optional webinars free for current students and graduates throughout the year featuring ACHS faculty and industry experts. You can view and register for upcoming webinars through the ACHS Events Calendar at

How much flexibility do ACHS courses have?

Cohort course schedules are a wonderful opportunity to learn with a group of like-minded peers. A semi-structured course framework combines required weekly due dates with a highly flexible study schedule. You design the study schedule that best meets your needs each week, which is a distinct learning advantage over other programs.

What are the technical requirements for ACHS courses?

ACHS courses rely on the Internet (as well as textbooks, printed materials, and hands-on study kits) and are accessed through the Canvas learning management system. Review the technical requirements for using our online classrooms online here.

Also, all incoming students complete the ACHS New Student Orientation to familiarize themselves with the tools and functions of the online classroom they will use to complete their studies with ACHS.

What’s next?

As an ACHS student, you’re embarking on an exciting and transformational learning experience! If you have any remaining questions about studying at ACHS, please contact us at or give us a call at 800.487.8839. We look forward to working with you