2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

The John V. Roach Honors College


Dedicated to enriching the intellectual life of TCU, the John V. Roach Honors College seeks to inspire and support highly motivated students from all majors in their quest for intellectual and personal growth. To this end, the Honors college strives to:

  • offer a flexible, relevant, empowering curriculum
  • examine complex questions from a plurality of perspectives

  • promote interdisciplinary and community-engaged learning

  • design unique learning environments in which students explore life-changing questions

  • cultivate students' curiosity and autonomy

  • encourage ethical engagement and cultural humility in local and global communities

Honors Student Pledge

As a member of the John V. Roach Honors College, I pledge to dedicate myself to intellectual inquiry, life-long learning, and critical thinking, to demonstrate personal and academic integrity, and to engage others in earnest and respectful discussion with an open mind.

Honors College Admission

Admission to the John V. Roach Honors College requires completion of an online application in addition to the general TCU application. Applicants undergo a holistic review that includes two supplemental essays as well as high school GPA, strength of curriculum, and other TCU application materials.

Continuing and transfer TCU students interested in joining the Honors College may apply for admission after completing 12 graded hours at TCU with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Honors College Curricula and Completion Levels

The Honors College offers a two-tiered curriculum, leading to three possible levels of Honors distinction.

Lower-Division Honors

Students who complete Lower-Division requirements while maintaining at least a 3.25 overall GPA earn the Kathryne McDorman Honors Scholar distinction.

To complete Lower-Division Honors, students must fulfill five requirements, including two Honors Cultural Visions courses (or an approved study abroad program) and three Honors Electives.

Cultural Visions (6 hours or equivalent)

To fulfill this requirement, students may take two Honors Cultural Visions Courses. Students may also fulfill this requirement by completing an approved study abroad program, subject to the following stipulations:

  • A summer study abroad program fulfills one Cultural Visions requirement.
  • A fall or spring semester study abroad program fulfills two Cultural Visions requirements.
  • A summer Honors Exploration experience fulfills one Cultural Visions requirement.

Honors Electives (9 hours or equivalent)

To fulfill this requirement, students may take three Honors courses in any discipline. Other options for fulfilling this requirement include:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) exam score of 5 or an International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level score of 7
  • fulfillment of an Honors Course Enrichment Contract for a non-honors class
  • successful completion of the Honors Contemporary Reading Symposium (CRS)

Upper-Division Honors

Students who complete Upper-Division requirements while maintaining at least a 3.5 overall GPA earn the Paul and Judy Andrews Honors Scholar distinction.

To complete Upper-Division Honors, students may pursue either University Honors or Departmental Honors, or both.

University Honors (9 hours)

To earn University Honors, students must complete three Honors colloquia.

Honors colloquia are small seminars in which junior and senior honors students explore big-picture questions or issues beyond their majors. The breadth of inquiry and sustained interaction with classmates from various majors enables students to enrich and integrate their undergraduate education, giving them a greater sense of ownership over their learning.

Departmental Honors (usually 6 hours but varies by department)

To earn Departmental Honors, students must complete a research or creative project in their major (or minor, with approval from the department chair or program director).

Projects vary by field and discipline. Departmental Honors students spend two or more semesters with a faculty mentor, designing and carrying out a research project or creative work. Senior students present their projects publicly and and have the opportunity to submit them to the Mary Couts Burnett Library, as part of the University's permanent archive.

Honors Laureate Distinction

Students who complete both Lower- and Upper-Division Honors earn the Honors Laureate distinction. To graduate as an Honors Laureate, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Grade Requirements

To remain in good academic standing as a member of the Honors 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 once they have attained the required GPA.

To graduate with an honors distinction, students must earn of “C-” or better in all courses applied to their Lower- and Upper-Division Honors requirements.

Pass/No-Credit Policy

To fulfill Honors College requirements, courses may not be taken pass/no-credit.