Texas Tech University

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the Application and Admission Process

 

Who is eligible to apply to the Honors College?

The minimum requirement for Incoming First-Years:

A standard expectation for Incoming First-Year students:
• An SAT score of 1300 or higher in critical reading and math, or a composite ACT of 30 or higher, or being within the top 10% of the high school graduating class.
A standard expectation for Current TTU or Transfer students:
• A cumulative college GPA of 3.6 or higher.

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 wholistically based on all portfolio of materials submitted, so there can be some flexibility in the numbers cited above.

How do I apply?

Please consult the Incoming First Year or the Current & Transfer webpage.

When should I apply?

The sooner the better.

The priority application deadline to be considered for Honors College scholarships, in addition to other benefits, is December 1st. Students will not be notified of a decision regarding scholarships until after February 1st.

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 earlier Red Raider Orientation sessions in the summer and Honors residence halls.

The final application deadline for the fall semester is March 1st.

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. 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 first year, a minimum 1300 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 1300 in critical reading and math or ACT composite score of 29 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?

Honors students are welcome to pursue any undergraduate major offered at TTU. 

Unlike TTU students who are not Honors students, though, they also have the Honors Sciences & the Humanities (HSH) major housed in the Honors College as an option for their academic major.

The HSH major connects history, culture, literature, and art to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. HSH students choose from several professional tracks to tailor the degree to their personal and professional interests. The degree is ideal for preparing students for graduate studies in law, medicine, and a number of humanities and STEM fields.

The Honors College also offers two minors: 1) Honors Sciences & the Humanities, and 2) Humanities. 

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

After you are admitted to the Honors College, you will sign a contract in which you agree to take a minimum of 24 hours of Honors credit (in which you are required to earn at least a B- in those classes in order to receive Honors credit) prior to your undergraduate graduation from TTU.

Three hours of the aforementioned 24 must consist of one Honors Upper-Level Seminar and another three hours consist of one Summit Experience course. 

Incoming First Year 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. The Honors credit associated via the FYE & LCG sections are categorized as the 4 (or 5) hours earned of general Honors coursework.

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

If you wish to graduate with the designation "graduating with Highest Honors from the Honors College," you must successfully complete and Honors Thesis, in addition to the standard Honors credit requirements. The thesis requires your taking six additional hours for Honors credit (i.e., two additional three-hour research classes with a faculty mentor) and is generally pursued during a student's final two semesters at TTU.

What sorts of classes are offered by the Honors College?

The Honors College offers courses that satisfy each of the Core Curriculum requirements. It also offers discipline-specific lower-division and upper-division courses that can be applied to majors and minors.

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, and 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?

  • "People are prepared for classes, so it's easier to have discussions, and it's more rewarding."  -Josh Wiggins, Biology
  • " In some of the classes, like Integrated Science, you get to listen to people who have experience outside of academia. It helps you see real world applications of what you're learning."  -Andrew Schoppe, Business Management and Broadcast Journalism
  • "In every Honors class I have taken, the professor truly captivates me. Honors classes draw the most interesting instructors covering unique topics."  -Rachael Novier, English
  • "The Honors College gives you an immediate sense of belonging and community. It feels like a school within a school."  -Elana Vey, Food and Nutrition
  • "The Honors College provides smaller classes that allow the students to have a more personal and enriched educational experience while getting to know their classmates and professors better. I was very intimidated when I first came to Tech, but the Honors classes and FYE classes made me feel not as lost."  -Cassie Myatt, English

Questions about Honors Benefits

 

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

  • Small, discussion-based classes (25 students or fewer) often with special topics and interdisciplinary approaches.
  • Increased access to and interaction with faculty.
  • One-on-one advising and problem-solving from Honors staff.
  • Study Abroad opportunities.
  • National and international scholarship opportunities:  Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Fulbright, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, etc.
  • Pathway programs to the TTUHSC School of Medicine, TTUHSC School of School of Health Professions, TTUHSC School of Pharmacy, and the TTU School of Law.
  • The Undergraduate Research Scholars program, which incorporates stipends for participating Honors students.
  • Extended borrowing privileges from the University Library and special study areas.
  • Facilities in the Honors College, a reading/study room, and a computer lab.
  • Leadership, co-curricular, and service opportunities.
  • Peer-Mentoring and support through the First-Year Experience classes and Learning Community Groups.
  • Priority registration for classes each semester (following the first term).
  • Eligibility to live in Honors residence halls, space permitting.

What about early acceptance to the TTU Medical School?

The Early Acceptance Program (EAP) allows eligible Honors College students to apply early to the TTUHSC School of Medicine (relative to a conventional med school applicant), during the summer following their second year of college.

Please see the EAP webpage for details about eligibility and components of the pathway program application process.

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 course you take at TTU is specially designated on your academic 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 TTU diploma and official transcript will reflect that you graduated with Honors from the Honors College.

Additional Information

 

How can I find out more about the Honors College?

Honors College