TIDES Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does TIDES stand for?
A: Tulane InterDisciplinary Experience Seminars.

Q: What are the individual TIDES?
A: We have an exciting array of over 80 TIDES topics.. Because the topics are interdisciplinary, the content crosses over traditional academic distinctions and divisions, which makes TIDES more interesting and fun for students and faculty alike. There are topics on music, science, literature, architecture, religion, history, popular culture, art and many with combinations of subjects. We are fortunate to have offerings from professors from a variety of the university's schools and colleges from the School of Business to the School of Architecture to the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Many TIDES classes examine some aspect of New Orleans culture, and most utilize the resources of New Orleans to illustrate local examples of a wide range of topics.

Q: What are the benefits of participating in a TIDES class?
A: You will be able to develop close relationships with faculty and with students with similar interests. The faculty participating in the TIDES program are representative of all of the different schools and colleges that make up the University. As a consequence, topics will be explored from a variety of different points of view. Students will be encouraged to discuss their TIDES issues in a broader context laying the foundations for critical thinking in other areas of their curriculum. The opportunity to meet guests from the University and often explore resources in the New Orleans community can help a new student feel more connected and at home in a new environment.

Q: Why is TIDES required?
A: After 4 years as an optional pilot program, TIDES was favorably evaluated by both students and faculty. Students in TIDES reported greater satisfaction with their first year at the University. Specifically, students conveyed that they enjoyed the discussion-oriented classes, the ease of getting to know their TIDES faculty members, and the opportunity to develop friendships with classmates who shared similar intellectual interests. Due to the success of the program, in the Renewal Plan for Tulane University, the Board of Administrators decided that all students should participate in a TIDES class during the first semester beginning in the Fall of 2006.

Q: How are TIDES classes graded?:
A: After two years of being graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, TIDES classes will once again be graded with letter grades. Your professor will explain his or her expectations for satisfactory completion of all work assigned. TIDES usually have 3 main assignments, including short papers, a small group project or a short class presentation. There are no final exam in TIDES classes.

Q: Are the out-of-class field trips or special programs required?
A: Yes, these experiential components are just as important to exploring and understanding your TIDES topic as required reading and other assignments. These experiences are what make TIDES unique: you are able to learn more about your topic, explore beyond the campus, interact with your peers and professors in new environments and, hopefully, to have fun. Typically, students report that the trips and special programs were the highlights of the classes.

Q: How many students will be in each TIDES class?
A: TIDES are designed to be smaller classes of about 15 students in order to facilitate discussion, group activities and more student-faculty interaction. A few TIDES have more than one section.

Q: Do you meet each week as a regularly scheduled class?
A: Yes, most TIDES classes will meet 11 times per semester in the for 75 minutes. Your TIDES classes beginning and end date depend upon which day of the week your TIDES class is held. A TIDES class that meets on a Tuesday or Wednesday will typically end earlier in the semester than a class that meets on a Monday or Thursday due to University holidays & breaks. All fall TIDES classes are usually finished by the second week of November.

Q: Can I enroll in TIDES as I would for a regular class?
A: Yes, you register for TIDES online through TOUR. TIDES are found on the Newcomb-Tulane College course offerings on the Registrar website.

Q: Does my TIDES class count as an elective or any major curriculum requirement?
A: The TIDES classes count toward the total number of hours needed to graduate as well as a component of the Undergraduate Core Curriculum for the University. The More Than Just Business TIDES class counts as one of the Liberal Arts electives required for the major in Business.

Q: What type of co-curricular activities do you do with your TIDES class?
A: Each TIDES class will have its own activities that may include films, field trips, speakers, dinners, etc. TIDES classes have visited museums, jazz clubs, factories, art galleries, local businesses, cemeteries, synagogues, churches, historic buildings, courthouses, farmer's markets, the NOPD crime lab, a wetlands preserve, historical neighborhoods, street festivals and service project sites, just to name a few. TIDES guest speakers have ranged from individuals such as local business owners, Mardi Gras Krewe organizers, political officials, civic organization leaders, documentary filmmakers, not to mention some of the best jazz musicians and the best chefs in New Orleans!

Q: Is there a TIDES class that corresponds to my major?
A: Most TIDES are broad and interdisciplinary in scope so they are not tied to a particular major. However, one of the TIDES classes may introduce you to issues, professors and course offerings that may help you define your choice of major. Some of the TIDES taught by professors in the professional schools (Business, Law, Public Health, Social Work) may give you a chance to explore issues in those career fields.

Q: How much does TIDES cost?
A: The tuition for a TIDES seminar classes is charged using the regular University rates. There are no hidden costs for participating in the TIDES program. There are no extra charges of fees for participating.

Q: Are TIDES classes covered by Financial Aid?
A: Yes. TIDES classes are covered in the same manner as your other University classes.

Q: I don't have a car. Will I be able to participate in off-campus TIDES activities?
A: Yes. When necessary, transportation will be provided to all off-campus events.

Q: Whom do I contact for more information?
A: Please contact the TIDES Office at (504) 865-5678 or email at

Robert C. Cudd Hall 201 • Tulane University • New Orleans, LA 70118 • (504) 865-5678 •