Jul 25, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Meadows School of the Arts: General Information

Meadows School of the Arts

Meadows School of the Arts, founded through the generosity of Algur H. Meadows, his family and the Meadows Foundation, is recognized as one of the nation’s premier fine arts schools. In the SMU community, it offers intense specialized education in the performing arts, visual arts and communications and provides a rich variety of coursework for students from other disciplines exploring the arts as part of their liberal arts education.

In addition to working closely with a nationally renowned full-time faculty, Meadows students have access to eminent visiting professors, artists and the winners of the Meadows Prize, an arts residency awarded annually to up to two pioneering artists and creative professionals active in one of the Meadows School’s disciplines. Recipients are expected to interact in a substantive way with Meadows students and collaborating arts organizations and to leave a lasting legacy in Dallas. Winners have included a Grammy-winning ensemble, a Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter, and the Public Theater’s director of public works.

Meadows also offers one of the finest university complexes in the nation for instruction, performance and exhibition in art, art history, arts administration, music, dance, cinema, television and theatre.

Academic, Performance and Exhibition Spaces

The Owen Arts Center, home of Meadows School of the Arts, houses the Greer Garson Theatre (a classical thrust-stage design), the Bob Hope Theatre (a proscenium design), the Margo Jones Theatre (a black-box theatre), Caruth Auditorium, the Charles S. Sharp Performing Arts Studio, O’Donnell Lecture/Recital Hall, several other performance spaces, classrooms, studios and rehearsal areas. The Doolin Gallery in Owen Arts Center and the Pollock Gallery, housed in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, are the exhibition spaces of the Division of Art. Student work is exhibited and critiqued in the Doolin. Exhibitions organized in the Pollock Gallery provide students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community with opportunities to experience a thoughtful and wide array of exhibitions representing diverse artists, time periods and cultures.

The Meadows Museum, located at the south end of Bishop Boulevard, exhibits one of the most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, including works of such masters as Velázquez, Ribera, Sorolla, Murillo, Goya, Picasso, Miró and El Greco. The Elizabeth Meadows Sculpture Collection contains important works by such modern sculptors as Rodin, Maillol, Lipschitz, Henry Moore, Marini, Giacometti, Noguchi, David Smith and Claes Oldenburg.

In the last decade, Meadows School of the Arts has realized considerable expansion in academic, performance and exhibition spaces. Umphrey Lee Center houses state-of-the-art facilities for television, including a fully equipped studio. The Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library was completed as an addition to the Owen Arts Center. This four-story addition houses all arts library collections, a slide library, an audio/visual center and the Center for Instructional Technologies in the Arts. During the library expansion, the O’Donnell Lecture/Recital Hall, the Rosalie and Herman Taubman Family Atrium, a percussion studio, a music education and therapy suite, an electronic music studio, and numerous new office spaces also were built. The Greer Garson Theatre, completed in 1992, is a unique combination of historical stage design and a state-of-the-art technical theatrical environment. This addition to the Owen Arts Center also houses the Dean’s Suite and the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, as well as a screening room and a 3,800-square-foot refrigerated storage vault. With the completion of these projects, Meadows School of the Arts occupies approximately a half-million square feet of space.

Instructional Units and Programs of Study

The undergraduate and graduate programs of the Meadows School of the Arts are housed in 11 academic units, including four academic units that offer undergraduate programs only. The seven academic units that offer graduate programs include Advertising, Art, Art History, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Film and Media Arts, Music, and Theatre. Each division is outlined in detail in this catalog. Information on undergraduate programs in the arts is available in the SMU Undergraduate Catalog or from the Office of Enrollment Services, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750181, Dallas TX 75275-0181.

Meadows School of the Arts offers the graduate degrees listed below. In conjunction with the Cox School of Business, the Meadows School offers a concurrent dual degree (M.A./M.B.A.) graduate program in arts management. In addition, the Temerlin Advertising Institute offers a graduate certificate as a Strategic Advertising Specialist and the Meadows Department of Music offers Performer’s Diploma and Artist Diploma programs. 

Div./Sch. Area Master Doctor
ADV Advertising M.A. & Certificate  
Art Art M.F.A.  
AMAE Arts Management M.A.  
AMAE International Arts Management M.M.I.A.M.  
ARHS Art History M.A. Ph.D.
FILM Popular Film and Media Studies M.A.  
Music Choral Conducting M.M.  
Music Instrumental Conducting M.M.  
Music Music Composition M.M.  
Music Music Education M.M.  
Music Musicology M.M.  
Music Performance majors (various brass, keyboard, percussion, string, and woodwind instruments) M.M.  
Music Piano Performance and Pedagogy M.M.  
Music Theory Pedagogy M.M.  
Music Voice Performance M.M.  
THEA Theatre M.F.A.  
Multiple Data Science M.S.D.S.  
Multiple Sacred Music M.S.M.  

National Center for Arts Research

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research, the first of its kind in the nation, acts as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community. The center analyzes the largest database of arts research ever assembled and makes its findings available free of charge to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers, students and the general public. NCAR’s mission is to be the leading provider of evidence-based insights that enable arts and cultural leaders to overcome challenges and increase impact. The scope of this work requires the collaboration of national organizations such as the Cultural Data Project, the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Theatre Communications Group, TRG Arts, IBM, the Nonprofit Finance Fund and the Boston Consulting Group. Additional information is available online at www.smu.edu/artsresearch.


The application for admission to the graduate Meadows programs is available at www.smu.edu/Meadows/Admissions/Graduate. For information concerning auditions or interviews, assistantships or fellowships, scholarships, and degree programs, students should contact Joe Hoselton, Office of Graduate Admissions, hoselton@smu.edu, 214-768-3765, Meadows School of the Arts, PO Box 750356, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX 75275-0356.

The online application and all supporting documents – including official transcripts from all institutions previously attended, recommendations, and GRE and GMAT graduate school admission test scores and/or TOEFL English language proficiency test scores when required – should be filed with the Office of Graduate Admissions for the Meadows School of the Arts as early as possible. Some academic units make admission decisions as early as January 1.


Applicants holding a four-year equivalent degree from an appropriately accredited college or university are eligible to apply for admission to graduate studies. Graduates of colleges not accredited may be required to demonstrate their qualifications by submitting satisfactory scores on the GRE. Any student whose bachelor’s degree preparation is not judged equivalent to the comparable baccalaureate preparation from SMU may be required to take additional coursework to make up the deficiency. In exceptional cases, unusually qualified applicants not holding degrees may be considered for admission.

Student auditions or samples of creative work are requested by certain academic units as part of the application process.

After the application and supporting documents have been examined, the student will be notified of an admission decision. No student is allowed to enroll unless notified of admission. All transcripts and letters of recommendation become the property of SMU. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit their scores for the TOEFL English language proficiency test.

Transfer of Credit

Policies for transfer credit are found under Transfer Credit in the Academic Regulations section  of this catalog.

Academic Regulations

Master’s Degrees

The Master of Arts degree assumes a goal of general cultural development in the arts, communications and humanities, while the Master of Fine Arts, Master of Sacred Music and Master of Music degrees suggest professional graduate training, with activities more concentrated in one area. The M.F.A. and M.M. degrees are normally predicated upon a bachelor’s degree that has provided up to 65 credit hours in the major field of study. Consequently, a student who has earned a B.A. degree and enrolls for an M.F.A., M.S.M. or M.M. degree in Meadows School of the Arts may be handicapped by not having had sufficient undergraduate concentration in his or her particular field. It may be necessary for the student to extend graduate study to compensate for limited preparation.

Graduate Adviser

Each student will have a graduate adviser assigned by the appropriate department/division/institute chair or director of Meadows School of the Arts. Additional information is found in this catalog under the following headings: 1) Course Scheduling and Enrollment Cycles in the Enrollment Policies section and 2) Academic Advising in the Academic Advising and Satisfactory Progress Policies section.

Transfer Credit

Official college transcripts are required for all college-level work attempted, regardless of transferability. Military transcripts are also required for students receiving VA benefits; more information is available at www.smu.edu/registrar (“Veterans Affairs” link). Students are responsible for making sure a transcript of all transfer work attempted is sent to the University Registrar’s Office immediately following completion of the work.

All credit for work transferred from another institution is subject to the approval of the department/division/institute. Unless special permission is granted by the dean of Meadows School of the Arts, no more than six credit hours of work from another institution may be counted toward a graduate degree at Meadows School of the Arts. (No credit is allowed for study by correspondence.) Courses taken as an undergraduate or as a special student at SMU will be regarded in the same way as transfer courses.

Thesis, Thesis-Equivalent or Recital

All candidates for the master’s degree will be expected to complete at least one of the following, unless modified by the appropriate department/division/institute of the student’s major study: 1) a written thesis, 2) a period of directed internship, 3) a creative project, 4) recital or 5) a comprehensive exam.

A thesis that demonstrates original research may be offered in lieu of two to six credit hours. The student may elect to pursue a full- or part-time internship. Hours so earned are applied toward the total number of hours required for the degree.

Following initial enrollment for thesis, project or recital credit, graduate students are required to enroll each term until the thesis, project or recital has been completed and accepted.

For any term in which satisfactory progress has been made, but in which the thesis or project has not been completed, the student will receive a grade of I (Incomplete). Upon completion and acceptance of the thesis or project, the adviser may change up to six credit hours (three for project, two for recital) of a grade of I to letter grades, according to department/division/institute policy. A total of six credit hours (three for project, two for recital) with grades of P (Pass) or letter grades not below a grade of C must be accrued toward the thesis, project or recital to satisfy degree requirements.

If the student fails to enroll for thesis, project or recital credit in any term for which it is required, he or she must enroll for the equivalent number of credit hours upon filing an application for candidacy to graduate.

Course Load

Enrollment for nine credit hours of coursework per term is recognized as a full-time load for persons engaged in graduate study. Graduate students not enrolled for the required number of hours may be certified as full-time or part-time students if they are officially enrolled for at least one course and are recognized by their academic dean as meeting one of the following conditions: 1) he or she is enrolled in a music program requiring fewer than a total of 36 credit hours, 2) he or she is working on the completion of a required thesis, internship or performance recital requirement on a full-time or part-time basis, 3) he or she is a third-year theatre student working on the completion of a required series of production projects on a full-time or part-time basis or 4) he or she has a required instructor appointment as part of a teaching assistantship. Additional information is found under Term Hour Loads in the General Policies section of this catalog.


Candidates for a master’s degree must have completed a minimum of 30–75 credit hours of graduate work, depending upon the degree or department involved. All courses attempted for credit must average a grade of B or better, with no grade lower than a grade of C (2.000) applying toward the degree. In studio art, all courses attempted for credit must average a grade of B or better, with no grade lower than a grade of B- (2.700) applying toward the degree. In art history, a graduate student who receives a grade of B- or less for a course or seminar taken for credit toward the Master of Arts degree will be placed on probation. A graduate student who receives a grade of B- or less for more than one course or seminar taken for credit toward the Master of Arts degree in art history will be suspended from the University.

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship graduate students in pursuit of the Master of Arts/Master of Business Administration degree must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000 in their M.A. coursework and in their M.B.A. coursework, independently, to graduate from the program. If a student’s cumulative GPA in either program falls below 3.000 for any term of study that student will be placed on academic probation. If the student fails to bring the cumulative GPA to 3.000 within the next term that student may be dismissed from the program.

In all courses attempted by graduate students, with the exception of a thesis or project, a grade of I may be changed to a grade of F (Fail) if not removed within one year after the grade is entered on the student’s record.

Academic Progress

Failure to meet established minimum acceptable standards of academic or disciplinary performance can result in probation, suspension or dismissal. Information regarding disciplinary action can be found under Code of Conduct in the Student Affairs section of this catalog.

Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000. If in any term the student falls below this cumulative GPA, the student will be placed on probation for one regular term. If at the end of the term of probation the cumulative GPA is not up to 3.000, the student may be removed from the program at the discretion of the dean’s office or records office.


A residence (enrollment in courses offered at SMU’s main campus) of at least two full terms or the equivalent of this residence period in the summer is required. Most graduate programs will require more than the minimum. Work done in absentia will not be accepted, except in unusual conditions with the prior approval of the division chair.

World Language

A reading knowledge of a world language or languages will be required by those departments that deem it necessary for the student’s research or creative project.