What is the Academic Common Market (ACM)?

Southern Studies is an approved ACM program at the University of Mississippi.  This means we offer resident tuition rates for non-resident students.

Yes, this means you can major in Southern Studies (never a bad idea) and save big bucks on the cost of college, if you meet the following conditions of ACM:

1 ) Does your home state of residence offer Southern Studies as a B.A. degree at any public university or college?  If not, you can likely apply for ACM.  Search here to find out!

2) Are you enrolled “full time” (12+ hours/term) or accepted to the university to enroll “full time”?  If so, you can apply for ACM.

3)Are you ready to declare a major in Southern Studies and pursue coursework that will result in a B.A. degree in Southern Studies? If so, you can apply for ACM.

4) Is Southern Studies your primary and only major? State stipulations require that you may not double major and receive an ACM discount.  You also cannot use ACM for a standalone SST minor. That said, as per university guidelines, your SST major must have a minor.

5) Do you want to be really marketable? Students commonly major in SST and minor in business, biology, journalism, history, African-American studies, and so  on.  This makes them the exact kind of custom-designed graduates with a grounding in the liberal arts that employers are looking for!*  The possibilities are endless.

* Don’t take our word for it.  Check out the links above. Forbes, Harvard Business School, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and many, many other resources agree: one-track majors don’t necessarily make you marketable. They might just make “ya basic.”

ACM Process

The application process is somewhat involved.  Hence, we encourage ACM applicants to begin the process at least three months before beginning SST coursework.

For a printable run-down of the process, click here.

1) The application formally starts when you apply in your home state for ACM approval.  That begins in different states with different institutions, but it should be googleable.  Just search for “Academic Common Market” and [insert home state] and start there.  Usually, the ACM office is housed in the state’s educational system.  For instance, in Georgia it starts with the University System of Georgia.  It’s similar in most other states, at least in the southeast.  The main thing is that your home state will check to make sure a public entity does not offer Southern Studies in your home state.  If it doesn’t, then you should be in the clear and they will issue (after a short review process) an ACM Certificate.

Note: The ACM cannot be used just for a SST minor or double majoring.  It can only be used for a SST major toward a B.A. in SST (plus required minor in another discipline).

2) Your home state should send the ACM certification to you and to the Provost office at UM.  The Provost office will check your major and we will make sure you are a major.    This is where you’re going to have to sit a while because you usually don’t declare a major until orientation/enrollment, which is in spring or early summer.  Note: If necessary for your home state’s ACM, we can issue a statement from SST’s undergraduate advisor or our program’s chair that you are a SST student intending to study with us as a major.  Once that’s good, then the Provost’s office will send the undergrad advisor a certification.

3) Next, we will need to check over your intended coursework.  You’ll likely consult with an orientation advisor about this, although the undergraduate advisor in SST can be in the loop.  Regardless, before orientation and advising, there will be an advising block on your account.  Also regardless of who your advisor is, you and the undergrad advisor for SST will need to have a brief email exchange to square away your first-term schedule.  This is when ACM really counts. We’ll need to make sure you are signed up for at least one SST course or SST major-related course each term.  That satisfies most home states’ and UM’s requirement of “progress toward degree.”

4) After signing off on your coursework, SST’s undergrad advisor will add your ACM discount to our administrative module (it’s called SAP).  That will let the Financial Aid office know that they need to award you that discount and will let the Bursar know to make the adjustment to your billing.  That request usually goes out each term before the first bill is due.  You will receive a receipt for the ACM discount request and then will see the discount applied for that term’s bill when the Bursar sends it out for payment (e.g., August 15 for Fall).

5) After that, you just have to stay in SST major coursework, show up for courses, study hard, and keep your overall GPA above 2.0.  For any course to count toward the major or its requisite minor, it also requires a C or higher for a final grade.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any  questions regarding ACM, please direct them to one of SST’s undergraduate advisors: either Dr. Darren E. Grem, Associate Professor of History and Southern Studies or Dr. Simone Delerme, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Southern Studies.

Click here for Dr. Grem’s faculty page and here for Dr. Delerme’s faculty page. E-mail addresses are located there. If your last name begins with A-K, contact Dr. Grem.  If your last name begins with L-Z, contact Dr. Delerme.  Always e-mail us instead of calling our office phones since we may not be in the office but always have our e-mail inboxes handy.