2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

About TCU

Texas Christian University is a major private teaching and research university with the residential, person-centered environment usually found on a small college campus. While accomplishing its mission of educating individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community, the University provides the unique TCU experience. This experience gives students an uncommon balance of at least four factors:

  1. TCU offers the strengths and choices of a major university, tempered with the true humanity of a small college, and works to develop and nourish the individual talents of each student.
  2. The University's teacher-scholars and artists conduct and publish research; express themselves artistically; and teach in a friendly, academic community. Professional staff members strive to be national leaders in their fields of expertise. TCU students, too, are impressive, well-rounded individuals with high potential for success and leadership.
  3. The University takes pride in its historic relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which has always stressed a broad interpretation and respect for faith traditions. TCU does not seek to impose a particular religious point of view, but challenges students to consider what they believe.
  4. TCU's emphasis on the development of the individual takes place in part in an arts and science-centered education that is global in the broadest sense and embraced by all nine schools and colleges. The University promotes study abroad and encourages faculty, staff and students to think about the future and what will be required to build a just, ethical and productive world community.

Comprising nine academic divisions—AddRan College of Liberal Arts, Neeley School of Business, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, College of Education, College of Fine Arts, Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences, College of Science & Engineering, John V. Roach Honors College and Burnett School of Medicine—TCU is independent and self-governing.

Nationally recognized Division I-A athletics contribute to the welcoming collegiality of the campus. Of the 21 sports—football and baseball for men; volleyball, rifle, equestrian, triathlon, beach volleyball and soccer for women; and basketball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, tennis, golf and swimming and diving for men and women—some are ranked in the nation’s Top 25.

International study, a priority at TCU, provides an opportunity to live and learn abroad. The Center for International Studies: TCU Abroad offers a wide range of academic programs, including summer courses led by TCU faculty members and semester programs in London, Seville and Florence. Other study abroad opportunities include partner programs and exchange programs in various locations around the world.

The school that was to be TCU was born in the troubled years following the Civil War. In 1862, Addison Clark formally enlisted in the Confederate Army in Grayson County; his brother, Randolph, joined Addison for a short period toward the war's end, but not as a formally enlisted soldier.

In 1869, the Clark brothers began holding classes in the village of Fort Worth, from which cattle trails ranged northward. In 1873 they moved 40 miles away to establish AddRan Male and Female College at bucolic Thorp Spring. Inclusion of women in the name is arguably the first instance of coeducation in the Southwest. The Clark brothers' legacies are simultaneously tied to an ignominious fight for enslavement as well as a noble struggle for intellectual liberation.

After 20 years, the school affiliated with the Christian Churches of Texas and became AddRan Christian College. Moved to Waco in 1895, the school changed its name in 1902 to Texas Christian University. Fire destroyed its main building in 1910, and the University returned to Fort Worth and opened in its present location in 1911. Its future was assured in 1923 with a gift by Mrs. Mary Couts Burnett.

With an enrollment of more than 12,273 students, TCU draws from all 50 states and more than 75 countries. Of the 709 full-time faculty, about 86 percent hold the highest degree in their discipline; the student-faculty ratio is about 13:1. The 302-acre campus, located only a few miles from downtown Fort Worth, houses nearly 5,000 students and offers an impressive span of activities and recreational facilities.

In short, higher education may be a business to some, but at TCU, we consider it our mission:

To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.