University College


Through the ADVANCE program, academic support services provides instruction, support and resources to help students develop the skills needed to succeed academically in their college career. ADVANCE is required for students with ACT composites of 16-18 or a combined critical reading/math score of 880-980 on the SAT, and less than 14 hours of transferred college credit (over 2 semesters after high school).

ADVANCE consists of classes and workshops that are designed to prepare students for the courses they will take as part of Harding’s liberal arts curriculum.

ADVANCE Placement

ADVANCE program placement is based on:

  • ACT and SAT scores, listed above
  • Evaluations made by instructors during Bison Bound (formerly know as Stampede) and the first day of ADVANCE classes will determine placement in some courses
  • If you are evaluated as not needing a required course, the appropriate adjustments will be made to your schedule as soon as possible.

All ADVANCE program requirements vary based on individual ACT or SAT scores and include:

  • Students will take Introduction to University Studies (UNIV131) during their first semester.
  • A reading evaluation will be provided to determine if reading coursework is recommended.  
  • If the ACT English sub-score is 18 or below/500 or below on SAT, ENG 009 (Basic English) is required.
  • Depending on individual ACT or SAT scores for Math and English, ENG 009 (Basic English) may be required.  
  • If your math score on the ACT is 18 or below or your SAT is 500 or below, you will take MATH009 (Beginning Algebra).

Additional coursework may be required.

ADVANCE Courses Offered


Basic English


Beginning Algebra


Academic Reading 


Academic Reading Lab


Academic Reading II


Academic Reading Lab II


Introduction to University Studies

*These courses do not count as college credit but do count toward financial aid eligibility and athletic eligibility and are used in calculating GPA and determining academic standing.


Classes are assigned by the director of the ADVANCE Program, who is also the advisor for all students in the ADVANCE Program.

It's possible to complete our program in one semester. If you have completed the program and declared a major, you will be transferred to an advisor in your major field of study for assistance in selecting classes. Those who have not yet declared a major will be advised by Academic Advising.


Our program director will guide you through your first semester, and additional help is offered if further assistance is needed.


Will I be better prepared for the courses at Harding if I take these courses?

Students who complete the ADVANCE Program compare very favorably with students with an equivalent 19 ACT and with all students in the liberal arts program.  Students who have completed the program have achieved higher grades and a higher retention rate than students admitted to Harding before the ADVANCE Program began. Our courses provide an excellent foundation to Harding’s liberal arts program for those students who integrate the skills and apply the strategies that are practiced and taught in ADVANCE classes.

Will I take all of the ADVANCE classes?

The classes you take will depend on your individual ACT or SAT scores. For example, if your English subscore on the ACT is 18 or below, you will take ENG 009 (Basic English). If your English subscore is 19 or higher, you will take ENG 111 (Composition 1).

Is it possible to test out of any of the ADVANCE classes?

You will be given the opportunity to test out of the reading program during Bison Bound and Student Impact. An opportunity to test out of ENG 100 will be given on the first day of class. If needed, the change to your schedule will be made as soon as possible.

How are these courses graded?

Grades in these courses are computed into the overall grade point average just like any other class. However, a student must make at least a 70 percent (C) or higher in order to pass an ADVANCE class. Any grade below a70 percent is not considered passing, and the class must be retaken.

When is the Program offered?

The program is offered during the fall and spring semesters.

Do these courses count toward athletic eligibility and financial aid?

Yes, just like any other college courses.

How will these courses assist me in earning my degree?

Some ADVANCE courses (UNIV 131 and UNIV120/121) count as college credit and may be used as free electives toward a degree if allowed by the degree program. All ADVANCE courses count toward financial aid eligibility and athletic eligibility and are used in calculating GPA and determining academic standing.

How long will it take me to graduate?

The average college student in the United States spends more than four years in college. Many factors can contribute to the time it takes a student to graduate, i.e., a change of majors, retaking classes to raise your GPA, work, and health issues. For many students, most or all of the hours completed in the ADVANCE Program will be taken in addition to the hours needed to fulfill graduation requirements. Some students choose to take a class or classes during intersession and summer school which can decrease the length of time needed to earn their degree.

Contact Us

Harding University
Box 12254
Searcy, AR 72149-5615