Honors Program Overview

As an academically talented student in Tulane University's Newcomb - Tulane College, you may be invited to participate in the Honors Program, or you may become eligible at some point in your college career to join the Program.

Members of the Tulane Honors Program are expected to enroll in at least one honors course each semester during their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Honors courses, which are taught only by full-time faculty members or distinguished visitors, have a maximum enrollment of 20 students. The emphasis in these courses is on class discussion, and, in most cases, course material is studied in greater depth than might be possible in a regular course. In the senior year the scholar writes an honors thesis or completes an equivalent honors project. As the culminating achievement of the scholar's undergraduate career, this thesis or project involves substantial independent research and study under the direction of a professor in the scholar's major department. (See "Graduating with Honors" for further information.)

Classes and Requirements

The University recognizes that any given class contains students who possess a wide range of abilities and attempts to fit students' courses of study to their individual needs. To challenge its best students, the University offers special honors courses or sections, designated by an "H" alongside the course number, which treat the subject matter in greater depth and with more sophistication than do the equivalent non-honors sections. Preferential enrollment is afforded to members in good standing with the Tulane Honors Program.

Students are expected to take one honors course a semester with a minimum of four courses before beginning the Senior Honors Thesis. These courses, limited to twenty students, foster an even more intimate and more intense atmosphere for study than is available through the standard curriculum. Some Honors classes are special sections of traditional courses such as Writing or Calculus. Others, however, are Honors Colloquia such as" Ways to Know" that have been specifically designed for the Honors Program. (See semester course offerings for further information.)

Honors Colloquia

Each semester Tulane offers a limited number of honors colloquia. These colloquia, which are interdisciplinary in subject and approach, may be initiated by students or by faculty and are designed around some integrating factor: a theme, a period, a creative work, or a problem. Usually the colloquium meets once to twice a week, in a seminar format, with emphasis upon class discussion and creative thinking. To be eligible for enrollment in an honors colloquium, a student must be a member of the Tulane Honors Program, on the Dean's List, or a candidate for a degree with departmental honors. Additional information concerning colloquia, including non-honors and student-initiated colloquia, may be obtained from the director of the Tulane Honors Program. (See semester course offerings for further information.)

Programs, Events, & Post-graduate Scholarships

The Honors Program sponsors a number of intellectual and cultural programs during the school year featuring Tulane faculty members and visiting dignitaries as participants. The program also sponsors social events to bring scholars and the honors faculty together informally. Scholars may receive individual academic advising and career planning from the director of the program and from members of the honors faculty. The coordinator of fellowships works under the auspices of the Honors Program to help identify promising candidates for fellowships and scholarships such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill, Truman, and Goldwater, and to assist them in preparing their applications, supporting materials, and interview strategies. An open curriculum option is available to students in the Honors Program who have at least two full semesters remaining before graduation. With the approval of the Honors Committee and under its guidance, a student may construct all curricular elements except the proficiency component, subject to the goals of a liberal arts education. (See calendar for further information.)

Admission and Retention

Each year a highly selective group of the entering freshmen class are admitted to the Program on the basis of their high school records and standardized test scores. Students not admitted to the Program as incoming freshmen may apply after completing one or more semesters at Tulane. (Application forms are available in the office, 105 Hebert.) After the first semester the criterion for admission and retention is a cumulative grade point average of 3.45 for freshmen and sophomores, and 3.6 for juniors and seniors.