Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Thomas F. Freeman Honors College

In our global community in which the future of each society is linked to the future of the other, the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College at Texas Southern University has an essential commitment: preparing the next generation of citizens and leaders of the world.  

The Thomas F. Freeman Honors College  

  • serves the needs of its scholars by providing a learning environment that fosters a commitment to excellence in education;  
  • prepares community and global leaders;  
  • is a flagship of the university; and,  
  • instills ethical standards and establishes meaningful exchanges with other learning communities locally, nationally and internationally. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College is to provide challenging courses and academic enhancement experiences for the scholars to achieve, and to promote critical thinking skills, intellectual engagement and strong research opportunities as it prepares scholars to excel in graduate or professional schools and a career path.  

The Honors College is dedicated to the following core values:

  • Honesty,
  • Integrity,
  • Community,
  • Creativity and
  • Excellence.  

The Honors College: 

  • prepares students for success in the local, national and international arenas. 
  • provides scholarships to freshman. 
  • is associated with a dynamic Houston urban university with an historical mission of educating a diverse student body. 
  • is centrally located in the 4th largest city in the U.S. – near the Texas Medical Center, Museum District, and NASA. 
  • utilizes world-renowned faculty and administrative leadership, and stresses student academic support and guidance.

The Honors College is named in honor of Dr. Thomas Franklin Freeman, the distinguished professor of psychology and philosophy and legendary coach of the acclaimed debate team at Texas Southern University. Among his accomplishments, Dr. Freeman instructed such iconic figures as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rep. Barbara Jordan, and advised Academy Award winner Denzel Washington in preparation for his performance in the film The Great Debaters. 

College Academic Program

The Thomas F. Freeman Honors College: 

  1. provides challenging courses and academic enhancement experiences for the scholars to achieve; and 
  2. promotes critical thinking skills, intellectual engagement and strong research opportunities as it prepares scholars to excel in graduate or professional schools and a career path. 

The Honors curriculum is designed to: 

  • serve the needs of its scholars by providing a learning environment that fosters a commitment to excellence in education; 
  • prepare community and global leaders; 
  • represent itself as a flagship of the university; and, 
  • instill ethical standards and establish meaningful exchanges with other learning communities locally, nationally and internationally. 

The Honors experience strives to: 

  • create an environment where academically talented scholars can develop; 
  • provide mentoring, nurturing and academic support so scholars can reach their full potential; 
  • promote scholars’ interest in international education; and 
  • provide opportunities for internship and a service learning environment. 

Honors College Requirements 

In order to earn the distinction of graduating from the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College, students must be admitted into the Honors College and meet its academic and other requirements, including maintaining both a semester and cumulative GPA of 3.25 and complete and pass a minimum of 15 semester credit hours in fall and spring of each year. 

General Education “Honors Core” Courses—at the Lower Division Level 

The institutional foundations come from the general education curriculum of the university. The Honors College provides “Honors” sections for general education core classes that are a required part of higher education by the State of Texas. The Honors core courses are specially designed for Honors scholars and emphasize Analysis, Synthesis, Oral Presentation, and Research. Scholars may select from the following courses to complete a minimum of 15 hours of Honors coursework. 

Honors Core Courses 

First two (2) years of undergraduate education
ENGL 1301
ENGL 1302
Freshman English I
and Freshman English II
6
Select one of the following:3
World Literature I
World Literature II
African-American Literature
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Plane Trigonometry
Math and Business and Econ I
Precalculus Math
BIOL 1308Survey of Life Science3
or BIOL 132 Biological Science II
CHEM 1311Chemistry I3
PSYC 2301General Psychology3
POLS 2305
POLS 2306
American Government
and Texas Government
6
HIST 1301
HIST 1302
Soc & Pol Hist US to 1877
and Soc & Pol Hist US Since 1877
6
MUSI 1315Fine Arts In Daily Living3
COMM 1321Business & Professional Comm3
or COMM 1315 Public Address
Total Hours39

Upper Division Courses 

Petitioning for Honors Credit with Course Augmentation Proposals 

Junior scholars must take six (6) credit hours in the junior year from major courses. These courses will be a contract (Course Augmentation Proposal) between the scholar and the professor. They are required to complete a total of two (2) course augmentation proposals (CAPs) in their junior year (one in fall and one in spring). The scholars are required to present their reports, research papers and projects at the semi-annual Honors Undergraduate Research and Internships Symposium. The symposium is designed to help them in their pursuits of career opportunities and in their applications for admission into graduate or professional programs. 

Course Augmentation Proposals (CAPS)1
Juniors:
Two Upper-Level (300 or 400 level) Courses within the Major6

Senior Thesis1

Honors College Scholars in the senior year are required to write a thesis during their last two semesters. Seniors will complete the thesis and submit it to the Honors College one month before their graduation. The senior scholars are required to present their thesis before a panel of Honors College faculty two (2) weeks before graduation.    

Completion of thesis is based upon approval by the Honors Faculty Fellow assigned to the senior scholar. 

Frederick Douglass Lecture Series 

All Honors scholars are required to attend two (2) lectures each semester, sponsored by the Honors College, featuring experts at the university as well as renowned local, regional, national and/or international scholars or creative artists. The lectures have a community or global focus. 

Enrichment: Research & Recruitment Trips and International Travel 

The Research and Recruitment trips involve students visiting cities outside of Houston, Texas with the goal of conducting and sharing research with another college's Honors program. While on the trip, scholars will recruit at area high schools.  

Scholars have the opportunity to study abroad  through the University's Office of International Programs in partnership with the Honors College.   

These details are on the Web site of the College, at http://www.tsu.edu/honorscollege.  

Admission Requirements 

Admission to the Honors College is open to students who have exceptional academic backgrounds and an interest in continued rigorous collegiate-level coursework. Prospective students should complete the application for admission to the university as well as Honors College documents. Acceptance into the Honors College is based on certain criteria. 

Eligibility Requirements for High School Seniors 

  • Grade Point Average of 3.5 or higher on 4.0 scale, or, top 10% of class 
  • ACT composite score of at least 23 or higher, or 
  • SAT score of at least 1100 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Mathematics sections 
  • Strong essay 
  • Successful interview 

Eligibility Requirements for Transfer and Continuing Students 

  • No more than 60 semester credit hours 
  • Grade Point Average of 3.5 or higher on 4.0 scale 
  • Strong essay 
  • Successful interview 

All applicants must submit:

  1. a complete application electronically,
  2. copies of their transcripts, and
  3. a 700-word essay (approximately 2 to 3 pages, with a central theme and supporting details) in which they respond to the question, "Why do I wish to enroll in the Honors College and what can I contribute to the program?" 

High school seniors also must submit (d) copies of their SAT and/or ACT score reports, and (e) three letters of support – on the school's letterhead – preferably from their teachers in English, mathematics and any science. 

Special Note on Financial Assistance

If a student receives a scholarship through the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College, it is with the condition that the student will first enroll in Texas Southern University in the fall semester of the academic year the scholarship covers. The University considers the Honors College scholarship to be part of the total financial aid package. Federal and state financial aid programs require that students not receive financial aid in excess of their financial need, as determined by their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If a student should receive financial aid through Texas Southern University, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will determine whether the award from the Honors College necessitates a revision of the financial aid package. This may result in the adjustment of the Honors College award. 

Applicants submit all materials to HonorsDean@tsu.edu

The application deadlines are: for high school seniors, early admission December 1; regular admission March 15; late admission and for continuing and transfer students, June 1.