Honors Program

Honors Program

Mailing Address

105 Hébert Hall
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118

Telephone Numbers

Telephone: (504) 865-5517
Web: https://honors.tulane.edu

Email: honors@tulane.edu

Charlotte Maheu Vail, PHD


The Honors Program of Newcom-Tulane College offers academically gifted and intellectually curious students of all academic majors unique opportunities for immersion in both multi-disciplinary and specialized scholarship. The Honors Program embraces the ideal of scholarly engagement as a goal for all high achieving students. This foundation is built through close contact with faculty both inside and outside the classroom, and an active, scholarly community of peers.  Honors students pursue serious engagement in academic scholarship through coursework, research, residential communities, international study, opportunities for prestigious awards, and the senior Honors Thesis; this multifaceted experience culminates in the highest quality undergraduate experience at Tulane University. The scholarly achievements and high academic standards of the Honors Program represent a firm commitment to embodying the academic excellence of Newcomb-Tulane College and to teaching students to live a life of meaning and purpose.

Participation and Eligibility

All students invited by the Office of Admission to join the Honors Program are eligible to do so by signing up for one of the Fall semester Honors courses: COLQ 1010 First-Year Colloquium.  "How Should One Live?"(3 c.h.), COLQ 1020 First-Year Colloquium: "Ways to Know" (1.5 c.h.) or TIDB (H), Honors Business TIDES (1.5 c.h.).  To maintain affiliation with the Honors Program in the Spring semester, students must enroll in the Spring semester course COLQ 1030 "The Quest for Answers: Intro to Research Methods"(1.5 c.h.) or the second semester of TIDB (H) (1.5 c.h.).  Students in the Newcomb Scholars program may fulfill the second semester Honors requirement with the required Newcomb Scholars seminar, INTU 1000 Hist &Phil of Higher Education (3 c.h.). Students in the Altman Program may fulfill the first-year Honors requirements with the Altman first-year core requirements.  For more information on Honors courses, see Honors courses

To remain eligible for the Honors Program, students who began the first year in Honors must have a GPA of at least 3.6 at the end of the first year.  At the end of the sophomore year and in subsequent years, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.8.  Students who were not offered participation in the Honors Program at the start of the first year may apply for Honors status as soon as the end of the first semester, provided they have a GPA of 3.8 or higher.

Research Colloquium and the Honors Thesis

Through the Honors Colloquium seminar courses, students learn from their professors how to tackle issues and ideas relevant to our lives. Colloquium faculty bring their research into the classroom, introducing students to the latest scholarship. The Honors curriculum encourages students to formulate new questions on existing scholarship and invites them to participate as members of a collaborative academic community even in their first year of study.

After completing the first-year colloquia described above, sophomore Honors students are not required but strongly encouraged to take COLQ 2010 Honors Sophomore Colloquium: Research Workshop (1.5 c.h.), either in the fall or spring of the sophomore year.  This course introduces students to research opportunities in their field or fields of interest, and prepares them to begin thinking about scholarly opportunities in the sophomore and junior year (including through the Honors Summer Research Program, field work, REUs, and study abroad) and the Honors Thesis in the senior year.

Junior students who plan to write an Honors Thesis in the senior year are strongly encouraged to take COLQ 4013 Honors Thesis Boot Camp (1 c.h.) in the spring of the junior year.

The culminating experience of the Honors Program is the Honors Thesis, which students write across two semesters in the senior year.  The Thesis is an independent research project mentored by two faculty members in the student’s major or majors and a third faculty member who represents a different field. Students who complete the Honors Thesis graduate with Departmental Honors in the major or majors in which the thesis is written.  (For more information, see Honors Thesis.)

A student need not be a member of the Honors Program to complete an Honors Thesis, but must have a minimum GPA of 3.4 overall, and 3.5 in the major or majors in which the thesis is written.  At the discretion of the Director of the Honors Program, students may be allowed to begin the thesis with a lower GPA, with the understanding that they must achieve a thesis-eligible GPA by the end of the senior year in order to qualify for Departmental Honors and for their work to count as an Honors Thesis.  Students who begin the thesis, but fall below the GPA requirements for thesis eligibility at the end of the year, will (with the approval of their thesis advisors) convert their work to independent studies.

Honors Residential Life Communities

The Honors Program oversees two residential learning communities: Wall Residential College for first-year students, and Weatherhead Hall for sophomores. Both communities are overseen by faculty members in residence.  In partnership with Housing and Residence Life, the Honors Program sponsors a variety of co-curricular and social events in both buildings.  For example, students in Wall participate in the activities of the Wall Societies, which are led by faculty members who represent a variety of academic disciplines. Programming in Weatherhead includes regular roundtable events in which faculty and thought leaders come to the community to discuss their research or issues of interest to the students; the roundtables are organized in large part by the student community.

Honors Study Abroad

International opportunities play a significant role in the Honors experience at Tulane and do so in a variety of ways. As an undergraduate, Honors students may participate in a Tulane study abroad program or other travels related to field work, research, or service. Honors students are introduced to graduate study abroad with funding from the Rhodes Trust and Marshall and Mitchell Scholarships, as well as other experiences such as through the US Student Fulbright Program, Peace Corps, Luce Scholarship Program, and Global Health Corps.

Research and Funding Opportunities

The Honors Program offers two kinds of funding opportunities: the Honors Summer Research Program and the Jean Danielson Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Honors Summer Research Program is an opportunity for students to work with a Tulane professor on a scholarly project for six weeks during the summer. Honors first-year, sophomores, and junior students in all schools are welcome to apply, and it is open to students who have no research experience or who already have some experience with research. Funding includes housing and a stipend, so students can focus on this enhanced academic experience. For more information, see Summer Research Opportunities.  

The Jean Danielson Memorial Scholarship Fund, named after longtime Tulane faculty member and Honors Program director Dr. Jean Danielson, rewards outstanding Honors students with grants for research-related enrichment opportunities. To honor Dr. Danielson’s legacy, the Honors Program invites rising sophomore, junior, and senior Honors students who share Dr. Danielson’s commitment to living a life of purpose and intellectual vigor to apply for funds for a research or other field experience in the US or abroad. For more information, see The Jean Danielson Scholarship Fund.  

Nationally Competitive Scholarships

The Honors staff includes a Coordinator for Nationally Competitive Scholarships, Dr. Jennifer Beers, who is responsible for advising students about scholarships, fellowships, and other postgraduate opportunities.  The Honors Program coordinates the application process and serves as the campus nominator for scholarships like the Goldwater, Truman, Beinecke, Fulbright, Rhodes, and Marshall. Conversations along these lines can begin as early as the first-year.  Students need not be in the Honors Program to consult with Dr. Beers about scholarship and fellowship opportunities.  See Scholarships & Fellowships.