Honors Program Requirements

There are many ways to participate in the Honors Program at Tulsa Community College. While some students opt to enter and complete the Honors Scholar program, it is possible for any interested student to take Honors classes. Students who enjoy Honors classes but can't complete the full Honors Scholar program may work toward receiving the Honors Certificate.

What is the difference between being an Honors Scholar and graduating "with honors"?

Honors Scholars have applied for and been accepted into the Honors Program, taken Honors classes, and fulfilled the other requirements of the Honors Program. As a result, they are eligible for Honors Foundation Awards, a variety of specially designated scholarships, recognition, and Honors travel opportunities. Graduating with honors means a student has achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Of course, a graduating Honors Scholar would automatically graduate "with honors," but not everyone graduating with honors has achieved the standing of "Honors Scholar."

Requirements to enter the Honors Scholar program

To become an Honors Scholar, you must complete an application. This includes writing a short personal essay on a topic chosen from the list on the application, and submitting a letter of recommendation from a teacher. The application is completely online (see "Honors Applications").

You may apply for admission to the Honors Program at any time, but we encourage you to apply as early as possible in your time at TCC, to take full advantage of the program's benefits. Honors classes you have taken before you are admitted to the program do apply toward Honors Scholar requirements. You must meet all program requirements by the time you graduate, regardless of when you enter the program, in order to receive the Honors Scholar designation and its transfer benefits.

Applicants to the Honors Scholar program should meet at least two criteria from Category 1 or at least one criterion from Category 1 plus at least one criterion from Category 2.

Category 1:

  • Composite ACT score of 25 or higher;
  • Combined SAT score of 1200 or higher;
  • Unweighted 3.5 GPA from an accredited high school;
  • Top 10% ranking in high school graduating class;
  • 90+ percentile ranking on the GED;
  • 3.5 or higher GPA on a minimum of 12 earned semester hours at TCC or another regionally accredited college or university;
  • Completion of two TCC Honors credit courses with grades of A or B;
  • Comparable academic results from an international secondary school.

If you are not a current TCC student, we will need a transcript sent from your school.

Category 2:

  • Membership in high school honor society (National Honor Society, Oklahoma Honor Society, or another state Honor society;)
  • Documentated demonstration of special abilities, awards, and/or academic or creative achievements or other significant accomplishments.

Requirements to graduate as an Honors Scholar

  1. Be admitted into the TCC Honors Scholar program.
  2. Complete 21 credit hours of Honors courses. Students may select any classes from the Honors curriculum, but at least 15 credit hours must be earned in general-education Honors classes. For a list of general-education classes at TCC, consult the current TCC Catalog. Other limitations on online classes also apply.1
    --OR--
    Complete 18 credit hours1 of Honors courses PLUS complete an additional three hours in a non-Honors class that has a high-impact designation such as "service-learning" or "research-intensive."
  3. In your final fall or spring semester, submit a three- to four-page written assessment of the Honors experience at TCC.
  4. Meet the requirements for the associate degree as stated in the TCC Catalog.
  5. Graduate with a TCC grade point average of at least 3.5.

    1A maximum of nine Honors hours earned in distance-learning or self-paced classes may be counted toward minimum Honors requirements. Students who transfer to TCC from other accredited institutions of higher education and have honors credit from their former school(s) should ask the TCC Honors coordinator to evaluate their transfer credits. The program may approve the use of up to 12 transfer honors hours in meeting the 21-hour or 18-hour+ Honors requirement at TCC. Please note: Enforcement of the 9-hour limit on distance-learning classes is currently in suspension because of adaptions necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information, please refer to the Honors Program Map.

Requirements for the Honors Certificate

If you complete at least 15 Honors credit hours with a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all your Honors classes and an overall TCC GPA of at least 3.25, during your last semester at TCC you may register with the Honors Program to receive an Honors Certificate. For more information, call the Honors Office at (918) 595-7378.

Note: The Honors Certificate does not entitle you to Honors Scholar transfer scholarships, transcript designation, or other Honors Scholar benefits.

Is Phi Theta Kappa the same thing as the Honors Scholar program?

No, but if you are a member of Phi Theta Kappa, you already meet at least one criterion for acceptance to the Honors Scholar program! The Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa each have separate application procedures. We serve many of the same students, and the Honors Program highly encourages Honors Scholars to become involved in Phi Theta Kappa, a wonderful student organization that provides outstanding opportunities for leadership, research, and service. See the "News and Activities" page of our site.

For more information about the Honors Program, please refer to the Handbook for Honors Scholars.