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Tour Guiding and New Orleans Courses

Professional Tour Guiding

Professional Tour Guiding & New Orleans Related

The Office of Professional and Continuing Studies (PACS) offers several Professional Tour Guiding and New Orleans related courses. Whether you are an established tour guide or just love to learn about the City of New Orleans and its rich history, we have a course for you!

PACS is offering a Certificate in New Orleans History, Culture, and Tourism! We support our city, love its deep culture and history, and strive to provide aspiring and seasoned tour guides, as well as life-long learners, educational and fun New Orleans and related courses. In order to obtain the Certificate in New Orleans History, Culture, and Tourism, a student must successfully complete Professional Tour Guiding 1: History of New Orleans plus three (3) additional courses from our offerings below. 

Please see the course offerings below and click on the link for additional course and registration information. 

Scholarship Opportunity

New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund has partnered with the Office of Professional and Continuing Studies (PACS) to provide limited, full tuition scholarships to eligible applicants. Applications open at various dates for select tour guiding courses. Please join our mailing list for notifications when NOTCF scholarship applications open.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Aspiring or Licensed Tour Guide of New Orleans
  • Demonstrates financial need
  • Must attend all sessions and ensure sign-in is completed
  • Must complete the mid-point and final surveys emailed from

NOTCF scholarship opportunities will open in Fall 2024.


Join our Tour Guiding and New Orleans Related General Interest email notification list for the latest news, updates, and upcoming course registration.

Course Description

Whether you are preparing to take the New Orleans Tour Guide Permit exam or just want to learn more about your favorite city, this course has something for you. Gain skills in the tourism industry and knowledge about the City of New Orleans. Students participate in eleven (11) classroom sessions and two (2) field trips that are guided walking tours of the city.

Classroom sessions consist of instructor lectures, guest speakers, and student presentations. Previous guest speakers have included representatives from the Tour Guides Association of Greater New Orleans, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, Gray Line Tours, New Orleans Tours, City Sightseeing New Orleans, and New Orleans Music Tours.

Students also have the option to take the Tour Guide Permit exam for the City of New Orleans on the last night of class.

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Course Description

This course is for new and seasoned tour guides, as well as anyone interested in research and storytelling techniques. You will learn techniques and resources to enhance your research and storytelling skills and build better tours. Class sessions will consist of lectures, workshops, and guest speaker presentations from research facilities such as The Historic New Orleans Collection, Louisiana Research Collection, New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana State Museum, and Amistad Research Center. You will choose at least one subject to investigate and give weekly reports in class as you hone your storytelling technique. The last class meeting is a field trip with guided walking tour. Professional Tour Guiding 1: History of New Orleans is not required to take this course. 

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Course Description

This course explores New Orleans' rich LGBT+ history. Topics include: pre-colonial and colonial references, French Quarter Preservation efforts, Arts and Letters, Gay Carnival, Southern Decadence, the UpStairs Lounge fire, bar history, activists and activism, HIV / AIDS, organizational history, queer publications and journalism, trans activism, drag culture, notable characters, and more. The course will contextualize local queer history within a national context and highlights New Orleans' contributions to national LGBT+ historical narratives. The last class period is the instructor's signature Rainbow Fleur de Lis Walking tour, which is a leisurely sashay through the French Quarter.

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Course Description

This course focuses on the history of the French Quarter as both the original city of New Orleans and its shifting role as the city’s flagship neighborhood. While the French, Spanish, and early American periods are covered, the emphasis of the course is on 20th century history. Topics include, but are not limited to: architecture, historical preservation, colorful characters, the rise of tourism, literature and arts, drinking culture, crime and vice, and LGBT+ history. The last class meeting is a walking tour of the French Quarter.  

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Course Description

There is an African (Nigerian) proverb that states, “Until the lions have their own historians the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” In this course, the “lions’ historians” will retrace the journey of African ancestors from the arrival of the slave ships to life in New Orleans in search of their own truth. You will learn about New Orleans African History (N.O.A.H.) & Culture from a slave’s point of view.  

This course is for established and future “Culture Bearers,” those who are committed to protecting, preserving and passing on the truth of N.O.A.H. Students will participate in seven (7) classroom sessions and one (1) field trip.  Classroom sessions consist of instructor lectures, guest speakers, and student presentations.  

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Course Description

History of New Orleans Voodoo will give a foundational understanding and challenge common perceptions about voodoo. In this course, you will examine the spiritual aspect of Voodoo absolute, relative or illusory, Haitian, Santeria, and JuJu. 

You will attempt to answer questions such as:

  • What is the historical relationship between New Orleans Voodoo and Roman Catholicism?
  • What are ve ve symbols?
  • What is the difference between Voodoo and Hoodoo?

This course is for new and seasoned tour guides, as well as all those “inquiring minds.” Students will participate in seven (7) classroom sessions consisting of lectures and guest speakers, and one (1) field trip.

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Thank You

These programs are supported by the generosity of the New Orleans Cultural and Tourism Fund (NOTCF). We would like to thank the NOTCF for this partnership in growing our aspiring and seasoned tour guides in the City of New Orleans.