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Becoming an Honors Scholar

For 2021 and beyond, the Office of Admission admits a limited number of incoming students as Honors Scholars, who should enroll in one of the Fall semester COLQ courses in their first semester at Tulane.

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.

For students who were invited by the Office of Admission into the Honors Program prior to 2021, the requirements to maintain a designation as Honors students include all of the following:

  • Completion of COLQ 1010 or COLQ 1020 in the Fall semester of their first year
  • Completion of COLQ 1030: The Quest for Answers in the Spring semester of their first year
  • Maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher in the first two years at Tulane; maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher after the sophomore year

Students who enrolled in the Honors Program after their first year must have completed COLQ 2010 and maintain the GPA requirements listed above.

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.

Honors Thesis

Although strongly encouraged, students are not required to complete an Honors Thesis in order to maintain their status as Honors students. Students who complete the Honors Thesis graduate with Honors in their majors. The Honors Thesis remains Tulane’s principal way of recognizing achievement in undergraduate research and scholarship. The thesis is a substantive accomplishment that speaks 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 one is 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.