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tennessee technological university

Honors Program

To enter the Honors Program for the 2015-2016 academic year:

  • Minimum ACT composite: 26 (or 1730 on the 2400-point SAT)
  • Extraordinarily talented, highly motivated high school students with a minimum ACT of 25 should ask about pending membership.
  • Students transferring from another university or who have completed 12 credit hours at TTU as full-time students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible to apply for admission.

Honors courses are limited to enrollment by Honors students. Permits are issued in person only at the Honors Office.

To graduate in cursu honorum ("through the course of Honors"), take the following 22 Honors credit hours.

If you find yourself having trouble making a plan to take a class during any semester, contact us so we can help.

1. HON 1010: INTRODUCTION TO HONORS (1 cr. hr.)

Introduction to Honors is a mandatory, interactive one-credit-hour course that meets two hours once a week for the first ten weeks of your first fall semester at TTU. This class focuses on analytical and critical thinking skills, civic engagement, civil discussion, active listening and questioning, team-building, and planning your own path as an Honors Scholar.

NOTE: For many majors, this class substitutes for the UNIV 1020: Connections course. Ask your advisor.

2. HONORS COURSES (typically 4-5 courses) selected among at least three different departments (15 cr. hrs.)

  • These classes form the core of the first- and second-year experience in Honors: small classes in which exchange ideas in depth with your peers and get to know your professors. Most of these Honors sections fulfill General Education requirements or electives in your major. For example, you might choose to take Honors American history instead of the regular American history course. If you anticipate problems fitting Honors sections into your schedule, arrange during the prior semester to do an Honors Contract. Visit Honors Contracts for details. For additional help planning for a contract, Honors Graduate Assistant Lindsey Reed will be glad to meet with you.

  • New option: continuing Honors students in good standing may apply at least one semester in advance to earn up to 3 credit hours through Honors Experiential Learning for innovative civic engagement leadership, research, certain highly competitive internships, or intensive study abroad experiences. Offered by individualized approval only.

Note: Honors students with an AP Calculus score of 5 may earn Honors credit (current for Fall 2015). Contact us for details.

3. TWO HONORS COLLOQUIA or one Honors Colloquium (3 cr) and one pre-approved Honors upper-division in the major alternative (3 cr.) for a total of six credits

  • An Honors Colloquium (singular) is a special seminar designed for Honors on a topic not available in the regular University curriculum. These three-credit-hour, interdisciplinary courses allow professors to share their areas of academic specialization, creating opportunities for both students and faculty. We usually offer two or three Colloquia (plural) each semester. They are unique; colloquia cannot duplicate courses already offered in the TTU curriculum. Past topics have included pseudoscience, multidisciplinary approaches to health care, Latin, brain chemistry, the neuropsychology of relationships, the Presidency and the media, Irish literature, and many more.
  • New: Honors Upper-division experiences in the major is a chance to make your advanced research seminar, capstone, thesis, senior design, or other culminating course in your major count for Honors credit. Proposals must be approved by the announced deadline in the semester before the proposed course. See Dr. Barnes for details.

4. To remain a full member of Honors (eligible for early registration, Honors Council, and graduation in cursu honorum), you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above (3.1 during your first semester in Honors), and take one of the requirements above each semester until you finish them all. As a full member, you may have early registration, run for Honors Council, and win Honors-specific awards.

However, if your GPA drops below a 3.5, you are NOT kicked out.

If you continue to take at least one Honors course every semester, you can continue being eligible for Honors Housing, and will be able to regain full-member privileges when your cumulative GPA returns to 3.5 or above. If you graduate with a GPA below 3.5, but at least 3.1, and complete all the coursework above, you will still be eligible for a Director's Certificate in recognition of your commitment to intellectual growth.


Students graduating in cursu honorum should make an appointment with Dr. Barnes during the first semester of their senior year and should pick up a graduation packet from the office. The packet outlines the procedure for the traditional Honors Exit Interview and essays, a meeting with your favorite departmental professor and with the Honors director. This is a non-intimidating, thoughtful experience that serves as a friendly rite of passage for Honors Scholars.