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Joining Honors

All incoming students invited by the Office of Admission to join the Honors Program accept the offer by enrolling in one of the Fall semester courses in their first semester at Tulane. To maintain affiliation with the Honors Program in the Spring semester, students must enroll in one of the required Spring semester courses. Honors students are encouraged to apply to live in an Honors Residential Learning Community during freshman and sophomore year. In the subsequent years, Honors students may take advantage of optional curricular, research, and study abroad opportunities for the full Honors experience at Tulane.

Later admission to the Honors Program is evaluated on an individual basis after the first semester of the first year. Interested students who have the eligible GPA of 3.8 or higher should contact the Honors Program at to be considered for admission.

Honors Requirements

Honors students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher. Students admitted into the Honors Program at the beginning of the freshman year will not be removed from the Program during their freshman and sophomore years as long as they maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.6. Students who do not have a cumulative GPA of 3.8 at the end of the sophomore year will be removed at that time.

As outlined above, Honors students are required to take two Honors courses in the first year (one in the Fall and one in the Spring semester) to maintain their Honors status. Students who join the Honors Program as sophomores are expected to take COLQ 2010 in the Fall or Spring semester of the sophomore year. More information on individual courses is available under the Courses page.

In addition to coursework, Honors students in the first year are highly encouraged to participate in the Wall Societies (whether or not they live in Wall). Honors students have other curricular, research, and residential opportunities from the second year through graduation.

While the Senior Honors Thesis is not required for Honors students, it is strongly encouraged.


Post-Graduate Opportunities

In addition to advising from faculty mentors, honors students receive special advising from the honors program about prestigious post-graduate scholarships (for example, the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, and Goldwater), career preparation, and other post-graduate opportunities. All of the program’s activities of the first three years help prepare students for the Senior Honors Thesis, the preeminent form of undergraduate scholarship at Tulane and the culminating achievement for students in the Honors Program.

Honors Thesis

Students who complete the Honors Thesis graduate with Honors in their majors, and become eligible for certain awards at the time of graduation (for example, Senior Honors Scholar and membership in the Peery Society). The Honors Thesis remains Tulane’s principal way of recognizing achievement in undergraduate research and scholarship. The thesis is a substantive accomplishment that speaks more eloquently to a student’s academic and scholarly credentials than GPA/Latin Honors alone. Apart from the merits of the intellectual experience, the thesis is also a significant credential-- a clear way of demonstrating to graduate schools and future employers that you are capable of independent research.

Graduating with Latin Honors and Honors in Departments

All Latin honors at Tulane are awarded on the basis of GPA alone. Students are not required to be in the Honors Program to earn Latin honors. Students achieving a GPA in the top 30% of the class will receive Latin honors according to the following:

Summa cum laude = top 5% of the class.
Magna cum laude = next 10% of the class.
Cum laude = next 15% of the class.

The precise GPA standards will be calculated based on the grades of the previous class. For the graduating class of 2020, the GPA standards are as follows:

Summa cum laude = 3.900
Magna cum laude = 3.800
Cum laude = 3.600

Students who complete Honors Theses will graduate with departmental honors in the major or majors in which they write the thesis, in addition to any Latin honors.