Texas Christian University
Former name
Add-Ran Male & Female College (1873–1889)
Add-Ran Christian University (1889–1902)
Disciplina est Facultas
Motto in English
"Knowledge is power"[1]
TypePrivate research university[2]
Established1873; 151 years ago (1873)
Religious affiliation
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$2.6 billion (2023)[4]
ChancellorVictor Boschini
ProvostTeresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg
Academic staff
981 (623 Full-time)
Students12,785 (Fall 2023)[5]
Undergraduates10,915 (Fall 2023)[5]
Postgraduates1,820 (Fall 2023)[5]
Location, ,
United States

32°42′35″N 97°21′50″W / 32.7096°N 97.3640°W / 32.7096; -97.3640
CampusLarge city[6], 325 acres (132 ha)
NewspaperTCU 360
ColorsPurple and white[7]
NicknameHorned Frogs
Sporting affiliations
MascotHorned Frog

Texas Christian University (TCU) is a private research university[2] in Fort Worth, Texas. It was established in 1873 by brothers Addison and Randolph Clark as the AddRan Male & Female College.[8] It is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).[9]

The campus is located on 302 acres (122 ha) about 10 miles (5 km) from downtown Fort Worth. The university consists of nine constituent colleges and schools. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".[2] According to the National Science Foundation, the university received approximately $19 million in research and development funding in 2022, ranking it 298th in the nation for research revenue and expenditures.[10]

TCU's mascot is Superfrog, based on the Texas state reptile: the horned frog. For most varsity sports, TCU competes in the Big 12 conference of the NCAA's Division I. As of fall 2023, the university enrolled around 12,785 students, with 10,915 being undergraduates.[5]


Origins in Fort Worth, 1869–1873

Statue of TCU founders Addison and Randolph Clark

The East Texas brothers Addison and Randolph Clark, with the support of their father Joseph A. Clark, first founded Texas Christian University. The Clarks were scholar-preacher/teachers associated with the Restoration Movement. These early leaders of the Restoration Movement were the spiritual ancestors of the modern Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ, as well as being major proponents of education.

Upon their return from service in the Confederacy during the Civil War, brothers Addison and Randolph embarked on a mission to establish a children's preparatory school in Fort Worth. This educational institution, known as the Male & Female Seminary of Fort Worth, was in operation from 1869 to 1874. The Clarks shared a collective vision of creating a higher education institution that would embody Christian values while maintaining a non-sectarian and intellectually open-minded spirit. To realize this vision, they procured five city blocks in downtown Fort Worth in 1869.

But from 1867 to 1874, the character of Fort Worth changed substantially due to the commercial influence of the Chisholm Trail, the principal route for moving Texas cattle to the Kansas rail heads. A huge influx of cattle, men, and money transformed the sleepy frontier village. The area around the property purchased by the Clarks for their college soon housed stretch of saloons, gambling halls, dance parlors, and brothels. By 1872, it had acquired it the nickname of "Hell's Half Acre". The Clarks found an alternative site for their college at Thorp Spring, a small community 40 miles (60 km) in Hood County to the southwest near the frontier of Comanche and Kiowa territory.

Move to Thorp Spring, 1873–1895

Thorp Spring, Texas, campus
Part of TCU's Campus
Sadler Hall, home to the TCU John V. Roach Honors College and other academic and administrative units

In 1873 the Clark brothers moved South to Thorp Spring and founded Add-Ran Male & Female College.[11] TCU recognizes 1873 as its founding year, as it continues to preserve the original college through the AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

Add-Ran College was one of the first coeducational institutions of higher education west of the Mississippi River, and the first in Texas. This was a progressive step at a time when only 15% of the national college enrollment was female and almost all were enrolled at women's colleges.[citation needed]

At Thorp Spring the fledgling college expanded quickly. The inaugural enrollment in Fall 1873 was 13 students, though this number rose to 123 by the end of the first term. [citation needed] Shortly thereafter, annual enrollment ranged from 200 to 400. At one time more than 100 counties of Texas were represented in the student body. The Clark brothers also recruited prestigious professors from all over the South to join them at Thorp Spring.[12]

In 1889 Add-Ran College formed an official partnership with what would become the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This relationship with the church was a partnership of heritage and values, though the church never enjoyed any administrative role at TCU. Later that year the Clark brothers handed over all land, buildings, and assets and allowed the growing university to continue as a private institution; their only compensation was a request that their descendants should have free tuition (though this stipulation was never enforced).

In keeping with the transition, in 1889 the school was renamed Add-Ran Christian University, though by this time it had quite outgrown the property.

Move to Waco, roots of rivalry, 1895–1910

The need for a larger population and transportation base prompted the university to relocate to Waco from 1895 to 1910; it purchased the campus of the defunct Waco Female College.[13] The institution was renamed Texas Christian University in 1902, and almost immediately became known as TCU. It was during this 15-year sojourn in Waco that TCU in 1896 entered the ranks of intercollegiate football and adopted its school colors of purple and white, as well as its distinctive Horned Frog mascot. This also laid the groundwork for the rivalry between TCU and cross-town school in Waco, Baylor University. "The Revivalry" – as the rivalry is known on both sides – is the most even rivalry in collegiate football at any level, with the series currently led by TCU 55–52–7, and with neither school ever enjoying more than an eight-game win streak; TCU won the eight consecutive games from 1964 to 1971 and Baylor won eight consecutive from 1974 from 1981.[citation needed]

Return to Fort Worth, 1910–present

Early image of the TCU campus in Fort Worth

In 1910 a fire of unknown origin destroyed the university's Main Administration building. A rebuilding project was planned, but before reconstruction could begin, a group of enterprising Fort Worth businessmen offered the university $200,000 in rebuilding money ($5,114,505.00 in 2018 currency) and a 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus as an inducement to return to Fort Worth. This move brought TCU home to the source of its institutional roots and completed its 40-year transition from a frontier college to an urban university.

The TCU campus at its present location in Fort Worth in 1910–11 consisted of four buildings: Clark Hall and Goode Hall, the men's dormitories; Jarvis Hall, the women's dormitory; and the Main Administration building (now Reed Hall).

Two of these four original buildings still remain: Reed Hall (originally the Main Administration building) and Jarvis Hall (originally a women's dormitory, but since renovated as an administrative building). Goode Hall was demolished in 1958 and replaced by the new Clark Hall, originally a men's dormitory. It was renovated in 2008 as a coed residence hall. The original Clark Hall was demolished in 1959 and replaced by Sadler Hall, the current main administration building.

TCU students inside a dorm room at Jarvis Hall.

The university received its first and a huge charitable endowment in 1923, from Mary Couts Burnett, the recent widow of Samuel Burk Burnett, a rancher, banker, and oilman. Married in 1892, Mary Couts came to believe that her husband was trying to kill her and she sought a divorce. Instead, Burk Burnett had his wife committed to a mental asylum, where she struggled for more than 10 years to regain her freedom. With the help of her physician, she eventually succeeded and was released in 1922, only to find that her husband had recently died and left her nothing.

She challenged the will and eventually secured half of her late husband's estate ($4 million, worth $80.3 million in 2018 currency). The long years of incarceration had taken a toll on Couts Burnett and people worried about her health. In her 1923 will, she bequeathed her entire estate, including a half-interest in the gigantic 6666 ("Four Sixes") Ranch, to TCU. She died in 1924, and about 100 female students from TCU attended her funeral in honor of her gift. She lived long enough to see construction begin on the TCU building that today bears her name, the Mary Couts Burnett Library.[14]

The Mary Couts Burnett Library was built on the site of the school's first athletic field, Clark Field, a cinder track with a baseball diamond. Clark Field was moved to the west of the Library. Since their first season of play in 1896, the TCU football team had gained increasing attention and success every year and joined the Southwest Conference in 1923. In 1928 the school received a private donation from local newspaper magnate and philanthropist Amon G. Carter, and in 1930 the school opened Amon G. Carter Stadium, where the TCU football team still plays. [citation needed]


Jarvis Hall

TCU's campus sits on 302 acres (1.22 km2) of developed campus (325 acres total) which is located four miles (6.5 km) from downtown Fort Worth.

Modernity at TCU

The TCU campus is divided into roughly three areas: a residential area, an academic area, and Worth Hills. The two main areas of campus, the residential and academic areas, are separated by University Drive, an oak-lined street that bisects the campus. Residence halls, the Student Union, and the Campus Commons are all located to the West of University Drive, while the library, chapel, and most academic buildings are located to the east of it. All of TCU's surrounding streets are lined by live oaks.

TCU campus

Roughly half of TCU undergraduate students live on campus.[15] Housing is divided among 16 residence halls and on-campus apartment complexes.[16]

Brown-Lupton University Union

The neo-classical beaux-arts architecture at TCU incorporates features consistent with much of the Art Deco-influenced architecture of older buildings throughout Fort Worth. Most of the buildings at TCU are constructed with a specially blended golden brick tabbed by brick suppliers as "TCU buff." Nearly all of the buildings have red-tile roofs, while the oldest buildings on campus are supported by columns of various styles.

Scharbauer Hall

A notable exception to this rule is Robert Carr Chapel, which was the first building on campus to be constructed of bricks other than TCU buff. The chapel is built of a distinctive salmon-colored brick, a deviation that caused alumni to protest when the building opened in 1953.[17]

TCU is home to the Starpoint School, a laboratory school for students in grades 1–6 with learning differences. [citation needed] Starpoint's goal is to develop advanced educational techniques for helping students with learning disabilities. KinderFrogs School, an early-intervention laboratory pre-school for children with Down syndrome, is housed in the same building as Starpoint. TCU is the only university in the nation with two on-campus laboratory schools in special education. The laboratory schools, both programs of the College of Education, are located near Sherley Hall and Colby Hall.

Since 2006, much of the campus has been under construction, and many buildings have been either renovated or replaced. The old Student Center was demolished in 2008 and replaced with Scharbauer Hall, which opened in 2010 and houses the bulk of AddRan College's offices and classrooms. Renovations to Erma Lowe Hall, the building that houses the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance, were completed in 2011. [18] A new academic building for Brite Divinity School – the W. Oliver and Nell A. Harrison Building – was completed in 2012.[19]

The 717-seat Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU opened in 2022; the TCU Music Center had opened in 2020.[20]




Undergraduate admissions statistics
2023 entering
class[21]Change vs.

Admit rate53.6
(Neutral increase +16)
Yield rate24.1
(Decrease −1.1)
Test scores middle 50%
SAT Total1140–1345
ACT Composite26–31

The 2022 annual ranking of U.S. News & World Report categorizes TCU as "more selective".[22] For the Class of 2027 (enrolled fall 2023), TCU received 20,517 applications and accepted 8,740 (42.6%). Of those accepted, 2,488 enrolled, a yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who choose to attend the university) of 28.5%.[23] TCU's freshman retention rate is 94.3%, with 85.6% going on to graduate within six years.[24]

The enrolled first-year class of 2025 had the following standardized test scores: the middle 50% range (25th–75th percentile) of SAT scores was 1140–1345, while the middle 50% range of ACT scores was 26–31.[21]

The university experienced a record number of applicants in 2011, when over 19,000 students applied (a 5,000-student increase from 2010). The applicant pool also set a record with 60% applicants from out of state, whereas usually 1/3 of applicants were from out-of-state. While heightened national recognition due to TCU's victory in the 2011 Rose Bowl is one contributing factor, the university has experienced a steady growth for some time. In 2000, only 4,500 students applied.

High school seniors who have been accepted must maintain solid academic performance senior year during the spring and not show signs of senioritis; in 2012, national media reported on a letter the admissions dean had sent to 100 college-bound seniors, threatening to rescind offers of admission without satisfactory letters of explanation for the slump.[25]

Fall First-Time Freshman Statistics [21] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30]
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Applicants 19,782 21,145 19,028 20,156 19,740 19,972
Admits 10,606 10,155 8,966 8,210 8,110 7,506
Admit rate 53.6 48.0 47.1 40.7 41.1 37.6
Enrolled 2,560 2,287 2,159 2,194 1,955 1,888
Yield rate 24.1 22.5 24.1 26.7 24.1 25.2
ACT composite*
(out of 36)
26–31 25–31 25–31 26–30 25–30 25–30
SAT composite*
(out of 1600)
1140–1345 1120–1310 1150–1340 1150–1343 1130–1330
* middle 50% range


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[33]98 (tie)
Washington Monthly[34]352
WSJ/College Pulse[35]247
U.S. News & World Report[39]1394 (tie)

USNWR graduate program rankings[40]

Master's in Criminal Justice (Online)[41] 3
Nursing Anesthesia 29
Nursing: Doctor of Nursing Practice 43
Best Business Schools 50

USNWR departmental rankings[40]

English 128
Fine Arts 173
History 125
Psychology 167
Social Work 105
Speech–Language Pathology 81
Veteran's Plaza

TCU is classified as a Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation. TCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[42] As of 2024, TCU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as No. 98 (tied) among National Universities.[33]

Academic divisions

The university offers 117 undergraduate majors, 62 master's programs, and 25 doctoral programs. Among the university's most popular majors are Business, which accounts for roughly 25% of TCU undergraduates, and Journalism/Strategic Communications, which accounts for roughly 20% of TCU undergraduates. Nursing and Education are also popular majors, and many students choose to major in more than one field.[43]

The Neeley School of Business is among the nation's most respected business schools. The Neeley School was recently ranked as the No. 28 best undergraduate business school in the country by Bloomberg Businessweek.[44] It continues to expand following a $500,000 donation from Alumni Abe Issa for the construction the Abe Issa Field Sales Lab which will be located within the future Neeley Sales and Consumer Insights Center in the Spencer and Marlene Hays Business Commons.[45]

TCU has always been an educational partner to the US military and serves host to reserve officer training corps (ROTC) programs for two different service branches, the US Air Force ROTC's Detachment 845 "Flying Frogs" and the US Army ROTC's "Horned Frog Battalion". Each year, approximately 3% of TCU's graduating seniors go on to serve as commissioned officers in the US armed forces.[citation needed]


During World War II, TCU was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[46]

In addition, TCU hosts the Brite Divinity School, a separate institution run by the Disciples of Christ that is housed on TCU's campus and whose students have full access and use of TCU facilities. In 2015, TCU and the University of North Texas Health Science Center announced the creation of an MD-granting medical school jointly administered by the two institutions. The school accepted its first class of 60 students in 2019 with plans for 240 students when fully enrolled.

This university operates the 450-acre southern white rhinoceros preserve, African Rhino Protection Initiative.[50] Doctor Michael Slattery established it in 2014.[51]

Student life

Student body

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[52] Total
White 67% 67
Hispanic 16% 16
Black 5% 5
Foreign national 4% 4
Other[a] 4% 4
Asian 3% 3
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 12% 12
Affluent[c] 88% 88

The student population at TCU in 2023–2024 was 12,785, with 10,915 undergraduates and 1,870 graduate students. Women make up about 62% of the student population, while men make up about 38%.[53] Undergraduates matriculate from all fifty states, including Texas at 48%. The fields of nursing, education, and advertising-public relations tend to be the majors that attract the most women, while business, political science, and a host of liberal arts majors are more balanced. A few areas of study at TCU, such as engineering and the sciences, are typically disproportionate with men, though even in those areas the percentage of female students tends to be higher than those of other comparable universities.

The student and faculty populations are overwhelmingly non-Hispanic white, but the minority population has seen increased rates over the past few years, especially for Hispanics. The school has also tried to achieve stronger diversity by hosting "Black Senior Weekend", "Hispanic Senior Experience", and offering full scholarships to a select number of exceptional minority high school students in North Texas with economically disadvantaged backgrounds.[54][55]

Student organizations and events

TCU sponsors over 200 official student organizations including Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, Invisible Children and others. Students may also compete in intramural sports including basketball and shuffleboard, or join various other sport-hobby groups, such as the TCU Quidditch League.

Many students involve themselves in various campus ministries, such as Disciples on Campus, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) student group. Other groups include Ignite, a nondenominational campus ministry; Catholic Community, a large and active group; TCU Wesley, a Methodist group; the Latter-Day Saint Student Association (LDSSA); and Cru, a nondenominational evangelical student ministry. Most religious groups on campus are Christian-based, although TCU also sponsors Hillel, a Jewish student group, and the Muslim Students Association (MSA). Additionally, each year TCU Housing and Residential Life allows students to apply to live in the Interfaith Living Learning Community (LLC), in which the residents spend the year living alongside neighbors of various religious beliefs.

TCU Commons

At the beginning of each fall semester, TCU's student government holds a large concert on the Campus Commons. In 2008, TCU celebrated completion of the Brown-Lupton Union by hosting popular country artist Pat Green. In Fall of 2009, it held a concert by OneRepublic following a football victory over Texas State. Lady Antebellum performed in 2010, and The Fray in 2011. Blake Shelton performed in 2012, Little Big Town in 2013 and Jason Derulo performed in the campus commons in 2014. These fall concerts are free to all students.

Student media

The Bob Schieffer College of Communication circulates a number of student-run publications:

Other student-run media include:

Greek life

Approximately 50% of undergraduate students are active in TCU's Greek system:[60][61] there are dozens of fraternities and sororities on campus.


A "Purple Bike" program was instituted to allow students to use purple bicycles free of charge as an alternative to motor vehicles. Scharbauer Hall, which opened for classes in 2010, is a Gold US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified facility.

In 2010 TCU faculty and staff held a conference for Service-Learning for Sustainability and Social Justice with keynote speaker Robert Egger, founder of D.C. Central Kitchen. Also, sustainability and social justice are emphasized areas in the curriculum and programs offered by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology located in Scharbauer Hall.

Recreation Center


Main article: TCU Horned Frogs

TCU competes in NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the Big 12 Conference (Big XII). For most of its history (1923–1996), TCU was a member of the now defunct Southwest Conference (SWC). Prior to joining the Big XII in 2012, TCU spent seven years in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) (2005–2011), where they were the only school to join from a conference other than the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), having come from Conference USA (C-USA), of which they were a member from 2001 to 2005. Before joining C-USA, TCU teams competed in the WAC for five years, from 1996 to 2001, after the SWC dissolved.

TCU's varsity sports have eight men's and ten women's squads. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming & diving, track & field, cross country, and tennis. Women's sports include basketball, volleyball, golf, swimming & diving, cross country, track & field, soccer, rifle, equestrian, and tennis.

In recent years the university has made significant upgrades to its athletics facilities, including construction of the $13 million Abe-Martin Academic Enhancement Center, which was completed in August 2008.[62] The university finished reconstruction of the entire Amon G. Carter Football Stadium in September 2012 at cost of approximately $160 million. The Daniel Meyer Coliseum is currently undergoing a $55 million reconstruction and is scheduled to be completed for the 2014–15 basketball season with expanded seating, concessions, office and locker room space, better sight lines, and luxury fan facilities.[63]


Main article: TCU Horned Frogs football

The Horned Frogs have won two national championships, one in 1935[64] and the other in 1938.[65] Additionally, the team has captured eighteen conference championships. Many notable football players have played for TCU, including Sammy Baugh, Davey O'Brien, Jim Swink, Bob Lilly, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Andy Dalton.


The oldest rivalry, which has become nationally famous since TCU joined the Big 12 Conference, is The Revivalry with Baylor University.[66] The Revivalry is unique in that it is a major FBS rivalry between two church affiliated schools. It is also one of the oldest rivalries in the nation, with the series currently led by TCU 54-52-7 since 1899.[67][68] Since resumption of the annual rivalry in 2010, the series is close, with TCU leading 7–4. Since TCU joined Baylor in the Big 12 in 2012, the Big 12 series record is 6–3 in favor of TCU.

The TCU Horned Frogs also share a historic rivalry with the Southern Methodist University Mustangs, located in Fort Worth's sister (and rival) city, Dallas. In football, teams from TCU and SMU have competed annually in the Battle for the Iron Skillet since 1946 when, during pre-game festivities, an SMU fan was frying Frog Legs as a joke before the game. A TCU fan, seeing this as a desecration of their "Horned Frog", told him that eating the frog legs was going well beyond the rivalry and that they should let the game decide who would get the skillet and the frog legs. SMU won the game, and the skillet and frog legs went to SMU that year. The tradition spilled over into the actual game and the Iron Skillet is now passed to the winner as the rivalry's traveling trophy.[69] TCU leads the all-time series 47–40–7. TCU recently beat SMU 42–34 on September 24, 2022.

Traditionally, TCU's other biggest rivals were also members of the now-defunct Southwest Conference which disbanded in 1996. These rivalries, played only sporadically after 1996 as out of conference games, were renewed when TCU moved to the Big 12 Conference for the 2012 season. After a couple of decades of membership in various other conferences around the U.S. (Western Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference and the Big East Conference), TCU now plays regularly with these rivals that, along with Baylor University and Southern Methodist University discussed above, also include The West Texas Championship with Texas Tech University and a long-standing rivalry with The University of Texas at Austin.

TCU has also developed new rivalries. West Virginia University has become a rival largely due to the schools' cohort entry into the Big 12 Conference together in 2012, combined with a toggle of extremely close, dramatic, last-minute wins in their football match ups to date. The rivalry with Boise State University, with which TCU competed on the national stage in the 2000s as the two most prominent "BCS Busters", and which also shared one year together as members of the Mountain West Conference, has also become a major, if periodic, rival. TCU and Boise State competed as the most effective BCS Busters before the demise of the BCS system. In 2011, as members of the Mountain West, TCU won the only in-conference game between the two schools, winning with no time left on a missed Boise State field goal. The rivalry with Boise State will be played only sporadically in the future due to TCU's move to the "Power Conference" Big 12 and Boise State's remaining status as the consensus leader of the "mid-major" programs in the "Group of Five" Conferences.[citation needed]

TCU also maintains a cross-town baseball rivalry with fellow Division I competitor The University of Texas at Arlington.

Notable faculty


Main article: List of Texas Christian University alumni

TCU has more than 100,000 living alumni.[70]


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans and those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


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