2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog

The John V. Roach Honors College

The Honors College Description

The Honors College holds as its central purpose and philosophy the stimulation and encouragement of academic activity at the highest level. It strives to bring together dedicated faculty and highly-motivated students who share a commitment to the finest qualities of scholarship. Through collaboration with all schools and colleges of the University, the Honors College provides opportunities for the intellectual growth and fulfillment of students in all disciplines, as well as of the many faculty who share a commitment to these ideals.

The John V. Roach Honors College's Mission

The John V. Roach Honors College's mission involves fostering three distinct, yet complementary and overlapping, goals. First, the College seeks to support and challenge highly motivated students in their academic endeavors by offering learning opportunities that promote critical thinking and creative inquiry, an understanding of world cultures and an appreciation of ideas across disciplines. Second, through its residential component, the College fosters student solidarity and ingrains inquiry as an authentic and integral aspect of students' identities while encouraging lifelong learning. Third, in its community role, the College strives not only to enrich the intellectual life of the University, but also to promote a lifelong concern for local, national and global issues.

Honors College Admission

Admission to the Honors College is by invitation only and is separate from general University admission. The Honors College normally extends an invitation to the top 8 percent of students entering TCU each fall. Primary metrics include strength of the high school curriculum, SAT or ACT scores, high school rank (if applicable), and a demonstrated commitment to leadership and/or extracurricular activities.

Selected TCU faculty and staff examine each application in a threefold process: first, for admission to the University; second, for academic, merit-based scholarship support; and third (and most selective) for invitation to the Honors College. The Honors College, therefore, requires no additional application, and virtually all Honors students have excellent scholarship support.

Current students of freshman, sophomore or junior classification who achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher are eligible and encouraged to apply for admission to the Honors College.

Honors College Requirements

The Honors College offers programs for students of all majors and complements all areas of study on campus.

Lower-Division Requirements

A student who fulfills the lower-division requirements will be honored as a Kathryne McDorman Honors Scholar. McDorman Scholars will have completed 15 hours of lower-division Honors courses, including six hours of cultural visions courses and at least nine hours of Honors electives. First- and second-year students should enroll in at least one Honors class per semester until these requirements are met.

Upper-Division Requirements

A student who fulfills the upper-division requirements will be honored as a Paul and Judy Andrews Honors Scholar. Students who complete a research or creative project in their major field and present their project during Honors Week will be recognized as an Andrews Honors Scholar in their field of study (i.e., Andrews Honors Scholar in Biology, Andrews Honors Scholar in French, etc.); students who complete at least four interdisciplinary colloquia classes will be recognized as an Andrews Honors Scholar in Colloquia.

John V. Roach Honors College Graduation

Students who complete all Honors requirements, including lower-division and upper-division, will graduate as a John V. Roach Honors College Laureate. 

GPA Requirements

To remain in good academic standing as a member of the College, a student must meet the following minimum GPA requirements:

  • Completion of freshman year: 3.0
  • Completion of sophomore year: 3.25
  • Completion of junior year: 3.4
  • Students who fail to meet these GPA requirements are encouraged to reapply once they have attained the required GPA.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 is required to graduate with John V. Roach Honors College distinctions (i.e., Honors Laureate).

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors involves intense study in the student's chosen major, typically consisting of a junior- or senior-level seminar and a Senior Honors Project. This project may be presented in several forms; for instance, a paper reflecting original research or creative study, a portfolio or original composition in literature or one of the fine arts, or a documented performance in the arts. In the fall semester of the senior year, a student pursuing Departmental Honors chooses a professor to supervise the project together with two additional faculty members from the student's project committee. These three faculty members work closely with the student to approve the work as being worthy of the Departmental Honors distinction. Most departments in the University have programs leading to Departmental Honors. For a listing of all such departments and for detailed information concerning the form of the Senior Honors Project, contact the Honors College office.

University Honors

University Honors encourages interdisciplinary thought during the junior and senior years. In small seminar settings, students explore questions that have challenged thinkers through the centuries: What is the nature of values, of society, of the universe? What does it mean to be human?

Requirements for graduation with University Honors are:

Pass/No-Credit Policy

Courses to fulfill Honors College requirements may not be taken on a Pass/No-Credit basis

 Graduation with Honors

A student is recognized as having attained Departmental and/or University Honors during graduation ceremonies, and his/her transcript indicates that the degree was awarded with Honors distinctions. Such honors are conferred by the Honors College on the basis of the student having a cumulative GPA equal to or greater than 3.50 with at least 58 semester hours of academic work having been completed at TCU (exclusive of credit by examination), and the student having completed the stated criteria for Departmental and/or University Honors.

To see which courses are being taught this semester visit Class Search on wwwb.is.tcu.edu/classsearch/