Incoming First-Year Student Admissions FAQ

Should I apply to the John V. Roach Honors College?

All interested students are encouraged to apply to the John V. Roach Honors College.

What does the John V. Roach Honors College look for in an application?

We seek students who will contribute to and benefit from our unique learning community, who can’t wait to join our community of learners, participate in our small seminars, and/or start designing an undergraduate research project. In addition to GPA and test scores, the admissions committee looks for students with special talents (e.g. musical, athletic, scientific, artistic), interesting hobbies or avocations, unique personal achievements, unusual life experiences, significant community involvement, or exceptional leadership qualities. We seek restless, tenacious, thoughtful students who are hungry to inquire and create, eager to discover themselves and the world beyond themselves, to listen, to speak up, and to grow.

There is no minimum GPA or test score requirement for admission. The Honors College application and TCU application are both considered when evaluating candidates; this allows multiple facets of each candidate to be considered. Average scores for the most recent class were:

  • Average ACT: 33
  • Average SAT: 1450
  • Average unweighted GPA: 3.8

Please note that the Honors Admissions Committee always considers GPAs in the context of the program of study in which they were earned. Applicants should take care to articulate their educational background on the TCU application.

Do I need to apply to both TCU and the John V. Roach Honors College?

Yes. Students first apply to TCU. After completing and submitting the TCU application, you will complete and submit your application to the John V. Roach Honors College through your myTCU Portal.

What are the specific requirements for the John V. Roach Honors College application?

Students will compose and submit two essays. The first essay is required of all students and has a 500-word limit. For the second essay, students may choose one out of three for response and have a 500-word limit.

Do the faculty of the John V. Roach Honors College have recommendations for addressing the essay?

Successful essays will:

  • show creativity, honesty, and curiosity
  • thoughtfully express your own ideas and thinking, not just offer general responses
  • demonstrate writing proficiency (e.g., excellent grammar, syntax, complex structure, creative expression)
  • provide clear reasoning and specific examples in support of your claims and positions
  • use your voice and thoughts
  • give us insight into how you think, how you reason, and what you value (academically and in life)
  • demonstrate a solid understanding and thorough engagement of each prompt

What is the purpose of the attestation clause at the end of the honors application?

For the John V. Roach Honors College Review Committee to make accurate selection decisions, the writing samples students submit MUST BE THEIR OWN WORK ENTIRELY. Checking the box attesting the essays are your own work, and solely your work, will ensure accuracy in the selection process. Ultimately, we want to read essays composed by our potential future students, not their teachers, counselors, parents, or hired college advisors.

Random sampling for plagiarism will be conducted. Any work found to be plagiarized will result in the immediate elimination of the application to the Honors College, with no chance of appeal. Honesty is the best policy.

When is the application due?

The first opportunity and priority due date is November 15, 2022. Interested applicants who do not apply in November, have a second opportunity and can apply before or on the second due date of February 15, 2023.

How do I apply to the John V. Roach Honors College?

You hit “submit” after completing the application.

More specifically, you will submit your Honors College application online after uploading your essay responses in either Word or PDF. The link you received through email should direct you to the online application, which includes a submit button.

Please note that we do not accept paper copies. You should also receive a verification email acknowledging successful submission of your application to the John V. Roach Honors College.

What is the turnaround time on decisions?

All applicants who submit their honors supplemental application by November 15, 2022 will be notified by January 31, 2023.

Students submitting honors supplemental applications after November 15, 2022 but before the February 15, 2023 deadline, will receive notification decisions by April 2, 2023.

If I have already sent my transcript and/or test scores to TCU, do I need to send another copy to the John V. Roach Honors College?

No. If you have already sent transcripts or test scores to TCU, you do not need to resend them to the John V. Roach Honors College.

Can transfer students apply to the John V. Roach Honors College?

Transfer students need to complete their first semester at TCU in order to establish a TCU GPA. Students who have earned a 3.5 GPA in at least 12 graded hours at TCU are encouraged to contact the John V. Roach Honors College at to begin the admission process.

How will I learn about my admissions decision?

Admissions decisions will be delivered in two ways. First, we will notify students through the online TCU student portal. Second, we will send admissions packets by mail. Admissions decisions cannot be shared by phone.

What are the minimum required GPA and test scores?

Every honors applicant is evaluated on an individual basis. The John V. Roach Honors College Admissions Committee—composed of Honors faculty and TCU admissions counselors—considers the high school and/or academic record, extracurricular activities, test scores, and essays of each applicant.

Does the honors curriculum fit well with any major?

Yes, coursework within the John V. Roach Honors College complements and coordinates with any degree plan at TCU. Honors students graduate with undergraduate degrees from all programs and colleges at TCU. Academic advisors in your major area and in the Honors College can assist you in creating an academic plan that incorporates the Honors requirements.

Do all honors students follow the same curriculum?

No. Honors students are active creators of their own academic experience, and honors classes provide the unique opportunity to be in the driver’s seat and customize your curriculum.

Are honors courses limited to the Humanities?

No. Honors is a crossroad of all disciplines, a space where complexities of knowledge are explored from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Is honors more work?

No. Honors is a different kind of work – not more assignments but more exciting, challenging and rewarding forms of inquiry. Just ask the Nature of Giving students about their debate on how to divvy up $100,000 to five non-profits or Professor Dou’s class about the history of China learned through GO, an ancient board game.

What can I do as an honors student that I can’t as a non-honors student?

Honors students are privy to some exclusive opportunities within the College. A few of these opportunities include:

  • A hospitable learning community shared with fellow Honors students in Milton Daniel Hall, a first-year honors Residence Hall
  • Unique study abroad experiences called Honors Explorations
  • Creative courses that offer one-of-a-kind intellectual experiences
  • Research projects in their major or minor under the supervision of a faculty mentor
  • Priority registration for classes


Ready to apply? Do it here!


John V. Roach Honors College
2855 Main Drive
Scharbauer Hall 1016

John V. Roach Honors College
TCU BOX 297022
Fort Worth, TX 76129