2016-2017 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

Dedicated to enriching the intellectual life of TCU, the John V. Roach Honors College seeks to empower, inspire and motivate high-achieving students to become leaders in a global society.

To accomplish the mission, the TCU Honors College:

  • promotes self-discovery, critical thinking and a conscientious understanding of world cultures through rigorous academic endeavors and creative inquiry in the context of big questions, great ideas and relevant issues that transcend the curriculum
  • offers unique residential, curricular and co-curricular opportunities, fostering a community of scholars for whom vigorous engagement with local, national and global communities becomes a way of life

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 approximately the top 10 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 grades earned in academic courses.

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 minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA in at least 12 graded TCU hours 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.

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
  • completion of junior year: 3.5
Students who fail to meet these requirements may reapply to the Honors College when they have attained the required GPA. 

Pass/No-Credit Policy

Courses to fulfill Honors College requirements may not be taken on a pass/no-credit basis.

Lower-Division Requirements

Successful fulfillment of honors lower-division requirements entails completing 15 hours of lower-division honors courses, including a minimum of 6 hours of Cultural Visions courses, with the remaining hours in honors electives. First- and second-year students should enroll in at least one honors class per semester until lower-division requirements are met.

A student who fulfills the lower-division requirements and maintains a minimum cumulative 3.25 GPA will be honored as a Kathryne McDorman Honors Scholar.

Upper-Division Requirements

Students may complete upper-division honors by choosing either Departmental Honors (which involves a research or creative project) or University Honors (which requires completion of four colloquium courses). See below for details on each option.

A student who fulfills the upper-division requirements and achieves a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA will be honored as a Paul and Judy Andrews Honors Scholar. Students who complete a Departmental Honors Project in their major and present the project in a public forum determined by their college will be recognized as an Andrews Honors Scholar in their field of study (Andrews Honors Scholar in Biology, Andrews Honors Scholar in History, etc.); students who complete at least four interdisciplinary colloquia classes will be recognized as an Andrews Honors Scholar in Colloquia. Some students choose to complete both pathways to upper-division honors certification, i.e., both Departmental Honors and University Honors.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors involves intense study in the student's major, typically consisting of a junior and senior-level seminar and completion of a Departmental Honors Project under the guidance of a faculty committee. This project may be presented in several forms; for instance, a paper reflecting research or creative study, a portfolio or original composition in literature or one of the fine arts, or a documented performance in the arts. Procedures and methodologies vary by department, consistent with University guidelines such as those of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Honors students who want to pursue Departmental Honors should consult their major department and the current year’s guidelines from the Honors College, available online.

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?

To graduate with University Honors requires satisfactory completion of four interdisciplinary honors colloquia, such as HCOL 40013, 40023, 40033, 40043 or 40053. Students may also enroll in special sections of HSPR 40970 or HSPR 40000 for colloquia credit, provided prior approval is secured in the Honors College.

John V. Roach Honors College Laureates

Students who complete all honors requirements, including lower-division and upper-division, will graduate as John V. Roach Honors College Laureates. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 is required to graduate with John V. Roach Honors College distinctions (e.g., Andrews Scholar or Honors Laureate).