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The Third Coast Residential Learning Community brings students off campus and into the cultural landscape of New Orleans and the Gulf South to explore and understand this complex region and its peoples and ways. It also invites culture-makers from this community on campus for conversations related to what we’ve seen and experienced. Students will come away informed and edified about the past, present, and future of this fascinating place.

— Geographer and author Richard Campanella, faculty at Tulane

Third Coast

Are you fascinated with New Orleans’s rich cultural heritage and coastal environment? The Third Coast RLC examines the region’s tenuous urbanism, its changing climate, and the rising seas through place-based learning. Students will gain an “insider” understanding of how culture and environment intertwine in this fertile place and how their specific academic and professional goals can connect with the needs and interests of the surrounding community and Tulane University.

  • Engage in a variety of cultural and intellectual experiences, such as urban and coastal field trips
  • Dinner conversations with culture-bearers and Tulane scholars
  • Dance classes and cooking demonstrations

Would you like to experience New Orleans with the people who know it best? The Third Coast RLC convenes students who are curious about New Orleans and the Gulf South region to engage in dynamic place-based learning—inspired by the notion that the more students understand about where they are, the more fully they can participate in our democracy and engage in our collective destiny. Students will gain an "insider" understanding of how culture and environment intertwine in this fertile place and how their academic and professional goals can connect with the needs and interests of the surrounding community and the University.

Affiliated TIDES

All first-year students at Tulane Universities are required to take a TIDES course. Members of Residential Learning Communities have the opportunity to enroll in a TIDES course that explores the concepts and values of their community in depth. In 2017, the affiliated courses for Third Coast are:

  • "Out Loud: Public Speaking in & About New Orleans" (TIDE 1065-01): Now is the perfect time to learn how best to present your ideas out loud. At the heart of all public speaking is storytelling. This class will focus on factual, entertaining and informative speech about New Orleans. Students will learn about and discuss the city’s history, politics, environment and culture.
  • "Indian Tribes down the Bayou: Native American Communities of Southeastern Louisiana" (TIDE 1265-01): Recent and ongoing research shows that without the ‘Petit Nations’, as some of the tribes were called, the history of this region would have been quite different. This course offers students the rare opportunity to participate in on-going, important research that entails working directly with Tribal members. In addition, students will have the opportunity to take a trip conducted by Tribal members down the bayous as they give a tour of their ancestral lands. An experience not to be missed!
  • "New Orleans Performance Culture" (TIDE 1117-01): This course will introduce students to a wide array of influences to show how New Orleans’s turbulent history of changing possession, immigration, and migration have contributed to a “performance” of various versions of “New Orleansness.” The course will focus specifically on the presence of French, Spanish, African, and other immigrant communities in the city’s history and the various ways these groups have performed their own version of New Orleans for the city itself, the United States, and the world.
  • "Cocktails, Cayenne, & Creole: The Myths & Realities of New Orleans Food & Drink" (TIDE 1700-01): New Orleans is a tourist town, and food and drink are two of the ways the city markets itself to the world. Is the early history of sophisticated drinking responsible for the nightly daiquiri-fueled bacchanal on Bourbon Street? How did the city of New Orleans become synonymous with Cajun food? How did gumbo earn a place on every table in the city? In this course, we explore the myths and realities of three iconic elements of the New Orleans marketing machine: cocktails, Cajun cuisine and gumbo.
  • "Cities and the Urban Environment" (TIDE 1020-01): Using the watershed book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs, we will look directly at what is currently happening in the city of New Orleans via field studies, guest presentations and movies.

Living Options

The Third Coast Residential Learning Community is in Butler Residence Hall.

How to Apply

You may apply for the Third Coast RLC through the student housing application process in the Housing Portal at Your answers to some supplemental, RLC-specific questions will be evaluated by a committee. If you are accepted, you will be notified and be sent more information on the room selection and roommate process.

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