Texas Christian University Guide

The Ivy Scholars guide to TCU’s culture, admissions, and other essential information for prospective students and their families.


Fort Worth, Texas


Public Religious Institution


Horned Frog


10,400 (8,900 undergrads)

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Dates + Deadlines


Schools +Colleges
Core Requirements
Special Programs

Student Life

Campus + Area
Student Orgs + Athletics


Financial Aid

About Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University is a private religiously-affiliated school. While TCU is affiliated with the DIsciples of Christ, they do not require students to take classes on the faith or involve themselves with sectarian activities. More than 20 different religions are represented by student groups on campus. With a strong athletic and academic tradition, school spirit at TCU is high.

TCU Statistics

Year Founded


4 Year Graduation Rate:


Gender Distribution

60% female, 40% male

Acceptance Rate:


Location Type:


Schedule System:


Student / Faculty Ratio:


Average Class Size:



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National Rankings

US News Rankings:

  • #38 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
  • #89 Best Value Schools
  • #97 National Universities

Independent Rankings:

  • #3 Best College Dorms per The Princeton Review
  • #7 Best Christian Colleges per Niche
  • #8 Best Colleges for Criminal Justice per Niche
  • #8 Best Career services per The Princeton Review
  • #10 Best Schools for Internships per The Princeton Review
  • #16 Best College Campuses per Niche
  • #165 National Colleges per The Times of Higher Education

TCU Admissions

Application Deadlines:
Notifcation Dates:
Early Action:

November 1st

Early Action:

January 1st

Regular Decision:

February 1st

Regular Decision:

May 1st


June 1st


August 1st

Acceptance Rates:

  • Early Action: 41%
  • Regular Decision: 41%
  • Transfer: 58%

Average Applicant Pool: 19,700

Average Number of Applicants Accepted: 8,100

Average Number Enrolled: 2,000

Application Systems: Common App, Apply Texas

Average GPA (weighted):

3.64 weighted

SAT Scores: 25th% – 1150,  75th% – 1340

ACT Scores : 25th% – 25,  75th% – 31

*Test mandatory. Writing sections optional.

Demonstrated Interest:

TCU does consider demonstrated interest. 

Demonstrating Interest

Recommendation Letter Policies:

One counsellor recommendation and one letter from a teacher are required.

TCU Essay Prompts:

  • Choose one from any of the prompts provided by the TCU application, the Common Application or ApplyTexas. Only one essay submission is required.
  • TCU prompts (300-500 words)
    • At TCU, our mission statement is very important to us. “To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” This is integrated into all aspects of the TCU experience. If you were to write a mission statement about your life, what would it be and how does this mission direct your life and goals?
    • Tell us about the most significant person, experience, or circumstance which has shaped your life thus far. How has he, she, or it influenced your character? How might you use what you have learned to achieve your goals?
    • Those we call great will usually point to some failure in their lives as a pivotal moment leading them to their successful path. Tell us about a time in your life in which failure propelled you toward success.
    • In her best-selling novel The Secret Life of Bees, TCU alumna Sue Monk Kidd wrote, “The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.” What matters to you?

Special Notes:

  • Freedom of expression page. To quote the admissions page: “TCU values individuality and believes that students are more than just a GPA and test score. To help us get to know you even better, consider this opportunity to further express yourself. The only limitations are the boundaries of your imagination. Please submit an essay, poem, work of art or a URL that showcases another side of you.”
  • The John V. Roach Honors College has additional requirements for admission.
  • Some departments in the College of Fine Arts require an audition or portfolio submission as part of an application.
  • Nursing majors have additional application requirements.

TCU Academics


Core Requirements:

  • All students are required to complete the core curriculum, which has three areas of focus: 
  • Essential Competencies (12 hours + 6 hours Writing Emphasis)
  • Human Experience and Endeavors (27 hours)
  • Heritage, Mission, Vision, and Values (18 hours)
  • Complete Core Requirements Information

Courses of Study:

  • 117 Majors Offered
  • Option to double major
  • Popular majors include Nursing, Communication & Media Studies, Finance, Economics, and Management Sciences
  • Minors Offered

AP Credit Policies:

Special Programs

Honors Programs:

  • The John V. Roach Honors College offers students additional advising and scholarship opportunities, and their own residence hall.
  • Departmental Honors (contact individual departments for more information)
  • Undergraduate Honors (Dean’s list, graduation [Latin] honors, and honors societies)

Research Availability:

  • There are many research opportunities for undergraduates. Students wanting to explore a particular discipline should contact the department directly.

Study Abroad: 

Business Options: 

  • The Neeley School of Business offers 8 different majors, as well as a number of minors, which are also open to non-majors.
  • Majors are required to become certified with Microsoft software packages.
  • Neeley Fellows have additional enrichment, advising, and career advancement and networking opportunities.

Pre-Med Options:

Pre-Law Options:

Additional Specialty Programs: 

Student Life at TCU

Motto: Learning is Power

Mission and Values:

  • Mission: To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.
  • Values: Academic and personal achievement; Intellectual inquiry and the creation of knowledge; Artistic and creative expression; A heritage of service in pursuit of the greater good; Personal freedom and integrity; The dignity of and respect for the individual; Active appreciation for the array of human experience and the potential of every human being.
  • Additional Information
  • Student Testimonials (Niche, Unigo, Cappex)

TCU’s Housing System:

The school has several residence halls set aside for Freshmen, who are required to live on campus, as are sophomores. Upperclassmen can choose between traditional and apartment style housing. Many students also live in Greek sponsored housing. There are several living learning communities, for students who want to explore a particular academic or social topic with peers.

Housing Statistics:


of freshmen live on campus.


of undergrads live on campus overall.

Campus & Surrounding Area:  

  • The oak-covered campus is 4 miles from downtown Fort Worth. It is divided into 3 main sections; academic, residential, and Worth Hills. The academic and residential districts are divided by University Drive, which bisects campus. Worth Hills is to the West, and is the location of the football stadium and Greek houses.
  • Points of interest on and around campus include the Monnig Meteorite Gallery, the Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth Zoo, and the Fort Worth Japanese Garden.
  • Safety Information: (TCU, College Factual)



  • Frog CampNew students come to campus early to participate in a freshmen orientation and bonding experience.
  • Carols by CandlelightAn annual concert featuring carolling in the Robert Carr chapel.
  • Senior SunriseGraduating seniors get up before dawn to have breakfast together before their final exams week.


Greek Life: 

  • 30% of the student body is involved in greek life, including social, service, and academic organizations.

Student-Run Organizations

Greek Life: 

  • 50% of the student body is involved in greek life, including social, service, and academic organizations.


  • Frat-based parties and activities are quite common, due to the prominence of Greek life on campus. House and dorm parties also occur.
  • There is vibrant nightlife in Fort Worth, both near campus, and more broadly, especially downtown.
  • Ranked the #7 party school in Texas per Niche.


TCU Financials

Yearly Cost of Attendance:

  • Total: $66,600
  • Tuition and Fees: $51,660
  • Residence Hall: $8,340
  • Meal Plan: $5,700
  • Books and Supplies: $900

Financial Aid:

Grants are awarded based on the student’s demonstrated need, and may vary by year. Some grants have other eligibility requirements. All grants require students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Many aid packages also include work-study, to help students cover incidental and personal expenses while on campus. Loans are used by many students to cover any gaps in funding.

Additional Financial Aid & Student Loan Information


TCU offers merit based scholarships for academic achievement, artistic talent, and athletic prowess. There is no guarantee of scholarship money, due to limited funds, so students are recommended to apply early.

Fun Facts

  • The school was founded in Fort Worth, moved to Thorp Spring, moved again to Waco, before finally coming back to Fort Worth.
  • The school left Fort Worth after their fledgling seminary became surrounded by the now boom-town’s vice district.
  • TCU was the first coeducational school in Texas.
  • Their rivalry with Baylor is the most even in collegiate football, with TCU leading 55-52-7.
  • The horned frog was picked as the school’s mascot after it appeared in the yearbook in 1887.
  • TCU competes with SMU over the iron skillet trophy. A SMU student was going to cook frog legs in the skillet before a 1946 game, a TCU student objected, and it was decided the skillet would go to the winning team. They’ve been trading the skillet since.

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