Frequently Asked Questions

Class Structure

Are there any prerequisites for ACAN courses?
Yes. Prerequisite education is listed on each ACAN course page.
Are there classes or lectures to attend?
All ACAN courses are self-paced. This means that all the learning material to complete your course is provided in your online course materials or in the required textbooks. You can complete the course at your own pace within the given deadline (typically one year from course enrollment). Instructors are available during the entirety of your course via email or in the classroom for questions and discussions.
Are there any required textbooks or materials?
All ACAN courses are online, so access to a computer with reliable internet connection is required for all courses. Some courses may have required textbooks. Please check the course page description to see if there are any required textbooks for the course you are interested in.
What is the ACAN classroom?
ACAN classrooms are optional forums for students, graduates, and instructors. There are no scheduled lectures, meetings, or course materials taught in the classrooms. All ACAN courses can be completed without joining the classroom. However, the classroom is a great place to connect with other students, ask questions, and have discussions related to the course material.
Who is the instructor for my course? Can I request a specific ACAN instructor?
The instructors of each course are listed on the course description page. If there are multiple instructors, students are assigned to a specific instructor at the beginning of their course. This depends on instructor availability, and your instructor may change during your course if an instructor becomes unavailable.
How are courses graded?
Each ACAN course is graded on a complete or incomplete basis. Projects and assignments that are submitted and are not completed in a satisfactory manner are given an option for resubmission. (Check the course handbook to see how many opportunities for resubmission there are for each project or assignment.) All work must be completed in a satisfactory manner to be marked as complete. ACAN’s goal is to help students comprehend and become competent with the course material. Students can contact their instructor with any questions or discuss with other students in the classrooms while working on the assignments. If a resubmission is necessary, your course instructor will work with you to provide detailed and actionable feedback to help you resubmit assignments that can be marked complete.
I don't think I can finish my course by the deadline, can I get an extension?
For those who need more time to complete a course, an extension may be available. An extension is typically for one additional year. Fees for extensions are listed on the course description, or in the course handbook. If students are facing circumstances that indicate they may need an extension on their course, we recommend the students to contact their instructors as soon as possible.
What format are the class materials in?
Written class materials are presented as online text. They are not available in a physical format (i.e. textbook), though some assignments or project instructions are available for download as PDFs. Some courses also include short videos designed to help students understand the written materials. For written course content (not including course descriptions or assignment instructions), audio recordings are available. For videos, transcriptions are available.

Payment and Refunds

I am not in the US, how can I pay for a course?

ACAN website supports online payments from US or international debit and credit cards. If you are having trouble with website payment, please contact

Are there any discounts?

For some courses, we do offer a small discount for those in the US who are able to pay by ACH. This is not available for those outside the US, and is not available for all courses. Please check the course description to see which courses are eligible. If you would like to take advantage of this discount, please contact before paying for your course (this discount cannot be retroactively given).

Do you have a payment plan?
ACAN does not offer payment plans or allow for partial payments at this time.
Do you offer any scholarships or financial aid?

ACAN does not offer scholarships or financial aid at this time. Students are welcome to independently apply to scholarships or grants, but please note that ACAN courses are not typically eligible as ACAN does not offer accredited courses. ACAN admin or instructors cannot offer in-depth help for students wanting to apply to any external aid programs.

I am no longer able to continue my ACAN course, can I cancel my enrollment and get a refund?
Unfortunately, due to the self-paced nature of ACAN courses, ACAN does not offer refunds or returns for any courses. As soon as students enroll, they are given access to proprietary learning materials for the entire course. If you have any extenuating circumstances and need an extension on your course, please contact your instructor.

General ACAN Information

Is ACAN accredited?

ACAN is not a university, college, or technical school and courses are not accredited. Courses cannot be transferred for credits at a traditional university or college. ACAN is a private institution offering courses designed to strengthen professional development.

Does ACAN offer "certification"?
There is currently no legal certifying body for companion animal nutritionists in the United States, other than board certification for veterinarians. Thus, ACAN does not provide legal certification. However, ACAN courses do come with a certificate of completion, and an ACAN designation graduates can use. For example, completing the professional Canine Formulation course will grant the graduate use of the “Cert. PCF” behind their name. This is the same level of credentials that other nutrition consultation courses on the market currently offer.
I live in _____. Can I take ACAN courses?
ACAN courses are available for students in any country. They are self-paced and can be accessed online 24/7 during your course enrollment. Your course instructor may be in a different country or time zone, but all interactions with your instructor are asynchronous (email or in classroom) and does not require either party to be there in live time.