High School Program

We are now accepting applications for Summer 2017!

Click here to apply or to request more information!

Student Success

Students participating in our program have been remarkably successful in improving their critical thinking and argumentative writing skills. As a result, students choosing not to continue on at UNO have been accepted into, and now attend, such prestigious colleges and universities as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Vassar, Middlebury, Amherst, the London School of Economics, Tulane, Pomona, Vanderbilt, the University of Southern California, Oberlin, and the University of Virginia.


Are you a high-achieving high school student interested in the big questions and want to earn college credit before you graduate?

In conjunction with the University of New Orleans College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development, the Tocqueville Project offers high school students the opportunity to take courses for college credit in philosophy, ethics, history, law, and political economy.

Through this program students participate in philosophical investigation about the nature of human well-being, what it means to live a good life, and the institutions that make living a good life possible. Some of the questions we consider are: What is the nature of human-well being? What does it mean to live a good life? What kind of society provides us the opportunity to live good lives? What is the role of the community or state in this process?

The texts chosen for our courses are works that have shaped the conversations that lie behind present-day discussions of social ethics, political theory, and other human values. We aim to get students excited about ideas, to give them a chance to learn to read and argue more precisely, and to give them an opportunity—before they head off to college and begin to specialize in their academic majors—to engage fundamental questions about the meaning of commitment to community, the responsibilities of citizenship, and the pursuit of happiness in society.

An additional focus of our courses is on learning how to read, understand, evaluate, and construct your own analytical arguments, an essential skill for success both in college and in life. In this way, participating in any course in this program also serves as an introduction to informal logic, argument analysis, and analytical writing. 

You do not have to live in New Orleans (or even the United States) to participate. We partner with high schools across the country to participate in our program. Students who don't attend partner high schools can participate on their own through our online course platform. Online students take the same courses and are able to discuss course material with students from around the world.

The program runs during the fall (September through December), spring (January through May), and summer (June and July).

If admitted, the cost to participate in the program is $210 per student per three-credit course, plus the cost of course texts (which we aim to keep below $30 per course).

Students who are interested in participating and who meet the requirements below should complete the form linked to in the box above. Schools both in and outside of the New Orleans area interested in partnering with us to offer this opportunity to their students can also contact us at tocqueville@uno.edu.

Program Requirements

To qualify for this program, students must: 

  1. currently be enrolled in a high school in the United States and receive approval from your high school to participate (or be part of a registered homeschooling program);
  2. have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or better;
  3. have taken one of the following tests, receiving at least a score of:
    a. ACT or PLAN, 18 English and 19 math
    b. SAT, 450 English and 460 math
    c. PSAT, 45 English and 46 math
    d. COMPASS, 74 writing and 40 algebra; AND
  4. be approved by the program director.