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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 without the minimum ACT score 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.

To graduate in cursu honorum ("through the course of Honors"):

You must take an Honors class every semester until all requirements are fulfilled, including the two Honors Colloquia/upper-division alternatives. If you find yourself having trouble making a plan to do so, contact us immediately so we can help.


Honors 1010 is a mandatory, highly 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 first class focuses on analytical and critical thinking skills, civic engagement, civil discussion, active listening and questioning, team-building, and planning your path as an Honors Scholar.

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

2. 15 CREDIT HOURS (typically 4-5 courses) of Honors courses, selected among at least three different departments.

These classes form the core of the first and second-year experience in Honors: small classes in which you can gain experience exchanging ideas and asking questions with your peers, and getting 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 more information. 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 experiential learning for innovative civic engagement leadership, research, certain highly competitive internships, or intensive study abroad experiences. Offered by individualized approval only.

Note: An AP Calculus score of 5 earns Honors credit! Honors students can bring an official copy of their AP scores to the office to receive up to 8 Honors credits (current for Fall 2015).


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 colloquia (plural) each semester. They are unique; colloquia cannot duplicate courses already offered in the TTU curriculum. Past topics have included recombinant DNA, race relations, brain chemistry, society and the environment, censorhip, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Note: One Colloquium may be substituted with an Honors Directed Study, an Honors Interdisciplinary Thesis, or Chemical Engineering's Distinction in the major. If you plan to go to graduate school, extended research opportunities such as these provide invaluable experience. Visit Honors Directed Studies for more information.

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.