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Tenenbaum Sophomore Tutorials in Liberal Arts Student Overview

Tenenbaum Sophomore Tutorials in Liberal Arts,
Illustration Credit: Czarlyn Trinidad (NT '21)


The Tenenbaum Tutorials bring together world-class faculty and students in individual tutorial discussions, creating the ideal conditions for intellectual exchange for a semester. This is a competitive opportunity to learn and explore your intellectual passion as well as do humanistic research in a personalized setting.

The program runs every spring semester and builds on the tutorial-style relationship and helps students strengthen written and oral communication skills while pursuing independent research projects. Up to 12 selected sophomore and junior students work with a faculty mentor drawn from a roster of pre-approved Liberal Arts faculty to extend discoveries in a new direction in a 4-credit independent study. The projects need to be situated about ‘big ideas’ in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, such as “justice,” “beauty,” “well-being,” or “community.”

Students’ tutorial work with faculty may result in written papers or creative work. Students in the past have written scholarly reviews, developed online posters, piloted ethnographic studies, or collected archives of visual or textual objects. Late in the semester, students share their projects with the group in a symposium attended by students, Tenenbaum faculty fellows, and invited guests. The study would be one of your 5 courses* in the spring to allow for free inquiry and in-depth exploration of your topic.**  Independent studies are registered as INTD-2910 (Interdisciplinary Studies) and allow for the satisfaction of the tier-2 requirement in the liberal arts, if structured as such. It is important that before starting the semester, that you approach your faculty mentor to develop a course of study that includes a reading list, weekly meeting times, and what would be the result of the readings in terms of assignments and/or a final project. 

View the Final Projects.

Each student will have up to a $1500 research budget to assist their inquiries.*** Travel and most purchases (books, software) must be completed by the Dean’s Office. Some purchases may have to be reimbursed to the student. Contact our program assistant Ryan Kambur ( for questions or help in registering for the tutorial course. 

Application Procedure for Students

Applications are opened every semester, beginning Fall for the Spring semester of 2023.  Interested students may see the list of available faculty mentors.  If you find of a faculty member with whom you would like to work, please feel free to contact them to enroll as a mentor.  The faculty member must be a tenure-track or professor of practice in the humanities or social sciences.

Online applications to the Tenenbaum Program at Tulane are located on the Tenenbaum Sophomore Tutorials in Liberal Arts Student Application.  Students must commit to stay in the program, remain in good standing before and for the duration of the semester, and present work in the Spring symposium. Students will be selected by a committee of faculty and members of the Dean’s Office. Prospective Tenenbaum Tutorials students should contact Associate Dean Vicki Mayer ( with questions.

* The five-course rule was established to allow students to spend an average of 10 hours weekly on their tutorials. Labs are not counted towards this rule. Students exceeding 17 credit hours or who have questions about a “course” can consult with Associate Dean Vicki Mayer.

** The study research can be done on study abroad if the faculty member allows it; the class may count towards the minimum number of hours for the university but not necessarily for a host institution.

*** For students who matriculated into the program in Spring of 2023. 2022 students will have up to a $1000 research budget to assist their inquiries.


May I still apply if I am a sophomore according to my audit but not on my transcript?

Yes. Please explain the discrepancy in the section “Other Information.”

May students in another School at Tulane apply for the Program?

Students apply to this program with the expectation that they hope to major in a liberal arts discipline or program. Students in other Schools should explain how they intend to do a major in the liberal arts.

I am already taking more than 15 credits. How much work is this Program?

The year-long program is 8-credits. We would expect students to commit to this program in lieu of taking more than five courses per semester.