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Frequently Asked Questions

The Honors College at Texas Tech University offers students a small college experience within the context of a large research university, providing outstanding academic and extracurricular opportunities for those students who are intellectually curious and capable and who are interested in making the most of their time as undergraduates.  The members of the Honors College staff are dedicated to assisting students in achieving their academic, personal, and professional goals.

This section answers common questions about the Honors College concerning the application and admission process, Honors classes, Honors benefits, and Honors graduation. If you have additional questions, please email the Honors College Admissions Coordinator.

Questions about the Application and Admission Process

Questions about Honors Classes

Questions about Honors Benefits

Questions about Graduation

Additional Information


Questions about the Application and Admission Process

Who is eligible to apply to the Honors College?

The minimum requirement for incoming freshmen:

An SAT score of 1200 or higher in critical reading and math, or a composite ACT of 26 or higher, or being within the top 10% of the high school graduating class.

The Honors College application process is competitive and simply meeting one of the above criteria does not guarantee that you will be admitted. While scores, grades and class rank are important, we make our admissions judgments based on a portfolio of materials submitted, so there can be some flexibility in the numbers cited above.

If you have not met these criteria to apply, you may, in addition to the application, submit an essay that explains why you have not met them, what you would contribute, and how you would benefit from membership in the Honors College.

The minimum requirement for current or transfer students:

How do I apply?

Please select Incoming Freshmen or Current & Transfer. If you have questions, please email the Honors College Admissions Coordinator.

When should I apply?

The sooner the better.  The application priority deadline for Honors College Scholarships is February 1.

The earlier you are accepted to the Honors College, the better your chances to take full advantage of the university's opportunities, such as assignments to June orientation sessions and Honors residence halls.

Current and Transfer students should email the Honors College Admissions Coordinator regarding the deadline for admission during the spring semester.  These applications are held until Fall semester grades are posted (for TTU students) or sent to us in an official transcript (transfer students).  Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.40 or better to apply to the Honors College.

Are some of the elements of the application more important than others?

Every aspect required by the application portfolio is equally important: class rank, test scores, high school transcripts, extracurricular and volunteer or service activities, paid and unpaid jobs, international experiences, essay responses, letters of recommendation, and interest in becoming a part of the Honors College. So, if you are not accepted the first time you apply, we encourage you to re-apply after you establish an academic record at TTU.

What if I apply and am not accepted?

Even if you are not accepted the first time you apply, we encourage you to try an open Honors class (you'll need a college GPA of 3.0 or higher or, for incoming freshmen, a minimum 1200 SAT). After you establish an academic record at Texas Tech, you may apply again for admission. Additionally, all students with a 3.25 GPA are welcome to participate in Eta Omicron Nu (HON), the Honors student organization.

If you are interested in the Honors College and want to "test drive" an Honors class, then we encourage you to take one. See an Honors Advisor about eligibility requirements and course listings. Please know that we require you to have a minimum SAT score of 1200 in critical reading and math or ACT composite score of 26 if you are an incoming student. For other TTU students, we prefer for you to have a 3.0 or higher GPA.

Questions about Honors Classes

Do I have to major in Honors?

There is no "Honors" major. Students enroll in an academic program in a college and department of their choice and they also enroll in the Honors College at the same time, so most Honors students have dual enrollment in two colleges. The Honors College offers one major, Honors Arts & Letters (HAL) and one minor, Environment and the Humanities (EVHM). Students in the HAL program enroll only in the Honors College.

What kind of class commitment must I make to the Honors College?

After your are admitted to the Honors College, you will sign a contract in which you agree to take a minimum of 24 hours of Honors classes and in which you are required to earn an A or B in those classes in order to receive Honors credit. Six hours of those 24 must be Honors junior-level seminar courses. Six additional hours of those 24 must be Honors 3000- or 4000-level courses. First-year college students are required to take a First-Year Experience class (FYE) and its accompanying Learning Community Group (LCG). FYE classes are typically classes that fulfill core-curriculum credit but include the LCG as a built-in mentoring program.

If you enter the Honors College after your first year and you do not take an FYE class, then you are required to complete 27 hours of Honors course credits.

Successful completion of these 24 Honors hours enables you to graduate with the designation "Honors College with Honors."

If you wish to graduate with the designation "Honors College with Highest Honors," you must write a senior thesis. The senior thesis requires your taking six additional hours for Honors credit (e.g. two additional three-hour research classes with a faculty mentor).

What sorts of classes are offered by the Honors College?

The Honors College offers courses that satisfy core curriculum requirements. It also offers discipline-specific upper-division courses that can be applied to majors and minors. Honors College junior-level seminars are interdisciplinary and creative, such as the recent offerings:

Will Honors classes involve substantially more work or hurt my grades?

The answer in both cases is no.

Honors College classes promote active learning in which you participate in your learning or discovery processes and you contribute to class discussions. Honors classes promote original thinking, collaborative activities, and creative experiences.

Honors College classes enable you to work intensively with professors. Honors classes encourage curiosity about and engagement with knowledge of the world, the human condition, yourself.

Because Honors classes are generally writing intensive, they emphasize strong communication skills and provide ample opportunities for sharing what you know in both written and oral contexts.

What is the emphasis in Honors classes if they are not harder?

Honors classes are not designed to be "harder" than other classes, but they are generally interactive, and they require you to be actively engaged in the learning process.  Activities therefore may vary from other classes, and Honors courses do not simply require extra work because they are designated Honors.  Furthermore, Honors courses rely on the same grading criteria as other courses with the same course number. You are graded on mastery of course material, not on a curve.

What do students say about their experiences with Honors classes?

Questions about Honors Benefits

What are some of the specific benefits of membership in the Honors College?

What about early acceptance to the TTU Medical School?

The joint TTU-TTUHSC Early Acceptance Program allows Honors College students to waive the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and to apply early to the TTUHSC's School of Medicine (SOM) during their junior year.

To be eligible for the Early Acceptance Program, you must be enrolled in the Honors College, have entered Texas Tech University as a freshman, maintain residency in the state of Texas, and acquired a composite score (earned in one test administration) of at least 1300 on the SAT or at least 29 on the ACT upon matriculation at Texas Tech University.  For full criteria, please see our website here.

What about early admission (3+3) and early decision programs to the TTU Law School?

The Honors College and the Texas Tech School of Law have collaborated to create two exciting new opportunities for Honors students who plan to attend law school. The Early Decision Plan allows eligible students who intend to attend the TTU Law School to receive notice of their acceptance as juniors but complete their undergraduate degrees prior to entry into the law school. The Early Admission Program ("3+3 Plan") allows eligible Honors Arts & Sciences students to enter law school prior to graduation after they have completed 100 hours of coursework. The "3+3" program enables eligible students to complete both a baccalaureate and a doctor of jurisprudence in approximately six years.

Our early acceptance to the TTU Law School page is here

What are some additional benefits of being in the Honors College?

Eta Omicron Nu (HON) is the student organization associated with the Honors College. Non-Honors students are invited to join HON if they have a 3.25 or higher GPA. HON sponsors service and social events throughout the year, including Pizza with the Profs and an annual Spring Luau at the Dean's home.

The Honors College sponsors a variety of other engaging and exceptional opportunities, including leadership development. Honors students can apply to be peer Mentors for incoming students and can apply to join the Ambassadors, the student group which represents Honors at University functions, in the surrounding community, and at regional and national conferences.

Questions about Graduation

How will anyone know I graduated "with Honors" or "with Highest Honors"?

Every Honors class you take is specially designated as such on your transcript. If you complete successfully all the requirements for Honors College graduation, you will receive a medallion from the Honors College to wear during Commencement. Your diploma and official transcript will reflect your Honors designation. ***Being a member of the Honors College is the only way to graduate with the Honors designation on your diploma.

Additional Information

How can I find out more about the Honors College?

To learn more about us, you can