Southern Methodist University General Admission Policy
Consistent with its vision and mission, SMU seeks to enroll students who have the potential for academic success and who will enrich the collegiate community. The rich variety of perspectives SMU seeks are those that result from differences in racial, ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic, geographic, educational and religious backgrounds; different life experiences, and talents in the arts or athletics. SMU examines each prospective student’s application for admission individually to determine the nature and extent of the applicant’s potential to succeed and to enrich the community. The admission review of application materials includes records of intellectual and extra-curricular achievements as well as past behavior. Through financial support, SMU endeavors to ensure that cost of attendance will not be a barrier to achieving its goal of a diverse community.
SMU collects information about the prior disciplinary and criminal history of applicants for admission to SMU. This information may be considered as part of a holistic review of applicants when deciding whether to offer admission to a prospective student. An applicant’s failure to disclose complete and accurate disciplinary and criminal history in a timely manner, as required in the application process, may result in the University revoking an offer of admission or rescinding that person’s status as a student. SMU’s Notice of Nondiscrimination is found in the catalog.
All degree-seeking first-year students, regardless of intended major, enter the University as SMU Pre-Majors, and they are advised through the University Advising Center. Students normally qualify for entry into a major and specific degree program during their sophomore year. Applicants to BFA and BBA degree programs should refer to the admission process for those degrees in the Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business respectively. Admission into any undergraduate degree program requires the completion of minimum academic standards determined by the school in which the program is based. The specific requirements for admission into each of SMU’s undergraduate schools are outlined in the admission section of that school’s information in this catalog.
First-Year Admission Criteria
Selection of degree-seeking students at SMU is based on several criteria: the high school curriculum, academic performance in the classroom, grade pattern, rank in class (if available), SAT and/or ACT scores, counselor and teacher recommendations, essay, behavioral record and extracurricular activities. Although no specific cutoff is applied to any single measure, generally a student who has both accomplished a strong academic record and exhibited a variety of noteworthy and personal achievements will contribute and benefit most from the SMU experience. Matriculation to the University is contingent upon continuing academic achievement and completion of the high school diploma. The Admission Committee may revoke offers of admission for students whose academic, extracurricular or behavioral records are not consistent with information presented in the application for admission. As an independent institution, SMU has no limits on enrollment based solely on geography or distinctions in tuition, fees or other costs based on the residency of the student.
High School Curriculum
High school curricula, including curricular rigor, academic performance in the classroom, elective choices and senior-year course load, are considered in the admission review. Applicants should submit high school records with a minimum of 15 or more academic units. The recommended distribution for a minimum program is as follows: four units of English, three units of mathematics (algebra 1, plane geometry, algebra 2), three units of science (including two units of laboratory science), three units of social science and two units of a second language (a two-year sequence).
American Sign Language may be used to satisfy the second language requirement. Engineering applicants should have completed four years of math (including higher-level math beyond algebra 2) and a year each of chemistry and physics. Note: Most students who are successful in the admission process present credentials well in excess of the minimum course recommendations.
Home School Criteria
Home school and distance learning applicants are expected to complete the equivalent of the high school curriculum as outlined above and submit SAT and/or ACT scores. In addition, students must submit the Home School Supplement form, which provides the education coordinator an opportunity to share his or her philosophy for homeschooling, comments concerning the grading scale and caliber of academic work completed, and a brief recommendation of the student. Access a checklist at www.smu.edu/admission/apply/firstyear/homeschool for the home school requirements. In addition to these requirements, SAT subject exams (suggested: English, literature, math and science) are highly encouraged for students who have taken the majority of high school coursework at home. Home-schooled students are eligible for federal student aid for college if they have “completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State law” [Section 484(d)(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965].
Application Timetable for First-Year Students
All prospective students must complete an application form and submit a $60 nonrefundable application fee. Fee waivers are available for students who have demonstrated financial need or by admission office approval. Any student who submits an application form to SMU will be fully considered for admission. Those who do not submit additional materials (e.g. transcripts, test scores, recommendations, etc.) to provide sufficient evidence of academic and extra-curricular achievement to earn admission may be denied admission or offered a place on SMU’s wait list. First-year applicants are reviewed on the admissions calendar as follows:
Application Deadline: November 1
Early Decision 1 (binding)
Early Action (nonbinding)
Notification Date: By December 31
Application Deadline: January 15
Early Decision 2 (binding)
Regular Decision (nonbinding)
Notification Date: By April 1
Note: The priority deadline for merit scholarship consideration is January 15. Applications for admission received after January 15 are considered if space is available. Notification will be rolling after April 1.
SMU requires all applicants, except dual admission applicants to Meadows School of the Arts and students who graduate from secondary schools outside the United States, to submit ACT or SAT scores. Applicants for whom test scores are required may self-report them for admission consideration as long as official test results are on file prior to beginning course work. SMU will superscore an applicant’s ACT or SAT scores – combining the highest scores on each section of a test in order to achieve the highest possible ACT composite or SAT combined score. When a student submits both ACT and SAT scores, the admission office will use whichever is higher to make an admission decision. Further, a student’s educational record at SMU will include only those test administrations used to compute the highest ACT composite superscore or the highest SAT combined superscore, whichever contributed to the offer of admission. If an applicant submits official ACT or SAT scores, even when not required, those scores will be considered for both admission and scholarship consideration according to this policy.
Students whose native language is not English and whose entire secondary education has not been in an English-medium school are required to present evidence of their ability to perform academic work and contribute to a classroom in English. Such students should submit one of the following:
- an official total score of at least 90 on the TOEFL English language proficiency exam with recommended subscores of at least: 20 Reading, 20 Listening, 24 Speaking, 24 Writing. Because SMU values class participation and a writing-intensive curriculum, particular emphasis is placed on speaking and writing skills. Students who score less than 90 are generally not offered admission* to SMU, or
- an official score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS Academic English competency test with recommended subscores of at least: 6.5 Reading, 6.5 Listening, 7.5 Speaking, 6.5 Writing. Because SMU values class participation and a writing-intensive curriculum, particular emphasis is placed on speaking and writing skills. Students who score less than 6.5 are generally not offered admission* to SMU, or
- an official score of at least 60 on the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic). Students who score less than 60 are generally not offered admission* to SMU, or
- an official score of at least 115 on the Duolingo English Test (DET). Students who score less than 115 are generally not offered admission to SMU, or (*updated* 7/28/2020)
- evidence of successful completion of SMU’s Intensive English Program with a recommendation for degree study at SMU from the IEP Director.
*Students not offered admission to SMU based on English proficiency may be offered conditional admission pending completion of SMU’s Intensive English Program (IEP) www.smu.edu/iep. SMU has successfully provided support for English language learners through its IEP and dedicated coursework for students whose first-language is not English. The University uses these tests to provide the best possible path for success to our students whose native language is not English.
To evaluate more fully a new student’s readiness for the SMU classroom, those students offered admission based on scores from one of the above tests must complete an English language placement exercise prior to beginning classes. The results will determine appropriate placement in first-year composition courses. SMU offers such courses to support an English language learner’s academic success. In cases where a student’s skills are not sufficient to begin for-credit course work, SMU may require the student to complete the Intensive English Program prior to beginning a degree program at SMU.
Test Optional Policy for Dual Admission applicants to SMU Meadows School of the Arts:
Recognizing that admission to Dual Admission programs in the Meadows School of the Arts (Music, Theatre, Dance, Art, Film-BFA) require an audition or portfolio review to demonstrate an applicant’s readiness for their academic program, SMU does not require an ACT or SAT score for admission consideration to those programs. Applicants should submit an SAT or ACT score report for academic merit scholarship consideration. If an applicant submits ACT or SAT scores, those scores will be considered for both admission and scholarship consideration according to the policy described above. Note that students who do not submit test scores will be considered only for artistic scholarships and need-based aid.
Students who do not submit test scores should list their Meadows major first on the application for admission. Students not admitted to Meadows via their portfolio or audition, but who still wish to be considered for admission to SMU, will be required to submit test scores at that time.
Consideration for the Performing Arts Auditions/Visual Arts
In order to pursue one of the Dual Admission Program majors, all first-year and transfer students must be admitted both to the Meadows School of the Arts via audition or portfolio review, as well as to the University via the undergraduate application for admission. Admission to Meadows through the audition or portfolio process does not guarantee admission to the University. Information regarding audition and portfolio requirements and deadlines may be obtained at www.smu.edu/admission/arts or by contacting the Office of Recruitment, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX 75275-0356; phone 214-768-3217. The audition and/or portfolio review is both an admission review and a review for artistic scholarships.
Transfer students entering degree programs within the Division of Theatre may do so only in the fall term. Transfer students in the Division of Dance, Division of Music, Division of Art, and Division of Film & Media Arts normally enter in the fall term; spring admission may be offered in exceptional cases. Entry in the fall is encouraged as course sequencing for transfer students beginning in the spring could delay graduation.
Consideration for the Edwin L. Cox School of Business
In order to be considered for admission into the Cox School of Business, applicants who graduate from high school in May 2020 or later must indicate a Cox major as an academic interest on their application. All applications will be processed through the main Admission office. Admission is highly selective, but holistic in nature with an emphasis on a student’s academic performance. Students will be notified if they have received admission into the Cox School of Business upon receipt of their acceptance to the University. If a student is not admitted to Cox, they are still eligible for admission to the University if they indicate a second choice academic interest on their application.
Reserving a Place
All admitted students are required to submit a nonrefundable $685 deposit and orientation fee. Admitted students who did not apply under a binding decision plan must submit this deposit by the May 1 deadline to reserve a place in the class. Students admitted under a binding decision plan will be notified of their deposit deadline when they are admitted. This deposit includes the nonrefundable housing deposit as well as the matriculation and orientation fees. All first-year and second year students must live on campus unless permission is granted to live at home by the dean of Residence Life and Student Housing. To facilitate advising and enrollment, students are required to submit their final high school transcript confirming graduation prior to enrolling.
Credit by Examination, Audition and Portfolio Review
Credit by examination policies are reviewed annually and are subject to change for the following academic year. The following policies are for students who matriculate during 2019-2020.
Examinations Administered in High School
SMU grants credit and placement for scores of 4 or 5 on most Advanced Placement examinations taken in high school (see table below). Credit will be awarded only for exams taken while in high school. AP test scores are evaluated and SMU course credit is assigned based on the articulation policies in effect for the term students matriculate to the University, regardless of when the test was taken.
Students may not receive credit for an AP exam, an International Baccalaureate exam and a college course covering the same subject matter; i.e., the course equivalency will only be awarded once. Students may decline all or part of their test credit in favor of taking the equivalent credit at SMU; declining credit is an irrevocable declaration. Credit granted by SMU is not considered resident credit and does not count towards the 60 resident hours required for an SMU degree.
An official copy of test results must be sent from the testing agency to the University Registrar’s Office for credit. To facilitate advising and enrollment, students should submit their official scores no later than the first day of class.
|University Curriculum Component Satisfied
|ASDR 1300/ASPH 1300/ASPT 1300 (student’s choice)
|ARHS 1303, ARHS 1304
|BIOL 1302/BIOL 1102
|CHEM 1303/CHEM 1113
|Computer Science A
|ECO 1311/PREX 4002
|English Language/C or Literature/C
|DISC 1311, DISC 1312
|HUM 10XX (3 hours)
|Languages (Language or Literature):
| Chinese Language/Culture
Score of 4: credit for 1401 and 1402, and placement in the 3rd term course.
Score of 5: credit for 1401 and 1402, and placement in the 4th term course; and, credit for 3rd term course upon successful completion of the 4th term course.
Score of 4 or 5: encouraged to take the departmental placement assessment as score on the departmental test may qualify a student for a higher placement and additional credit than the AP score.
Score of 3: encouraged to take the departmental placement exam for possible placement in either 2nd term or 3rd term course. If placed in the 2nd term course, upon successful completion student will receive credit for 1st term course. If placed in the 3rd term course, and upon successful completion student will receive credit for the 1st and 2nd term courses.
| Japanese Language/Culture
| Calculus AB
| Calculus BC
|3 if AB sub-score of 4
| Calculus BC
|MATH 1337, MATH 1338
| Physics 1
|SCI 10XX (3 hours)
|With one lab PHYS 1105 = SE Breadth
| Physics 2
|SCI 10YY (3 hours)
|With one lab PHYS 1105 = SE Breadth
| Physics C (Mech)
|PHYS 1303 or PHYS 1307
|With one lab PHYS 1105 = SE Breadth
| Physics C (E&M)
|PHYS 1304 or PHYS 1308
|With one lab PHYS 1106 = SE Breadth
|HIST 2311, HIST 2312
|HUM 10YY (3 hours)
- AP credit in the sciences may be used to satisfy the Science and Engineering breadth requirement of the University Curriculum. The UC’s Natural and Applied Science depth requirement must be satisfied through coursework at SMU or through transfer credit of a science course with lab from an accredited college or university.
- Physics does not award placement credit for labs.
- Duplicate credit is not allowed toward an SMU degree. Students who enroll in classes that duplicate Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other test credit awards will lose these credits after the fifth day of the term. Once credit is revoked, it may not be awarded again. Students must report any credit by exam no later than the end of their first term of enrollment.
College-Level Examination Program
SMU gives credit for CLEP subject examinations based on the specified minimum scores below:
|Score (out of 80)
|ECO 1311/PREX 4002
CLEP credit granted by SMU is not considered resident credit and does not count towards the 60 resident hours required for an SMU degree.
SMU Departmental Examinations, Auditions and Portfolio Review
SMU also awards credit for departmental examinations offered in a variety of disciplines. Such SMU credit may not transfer automatically to other universities. Credit for examinations awarded by other institutions will not transfer to SMU. Credit awarded through SMU department exams, auditions and portfolio reviews is considered resident credit.
World Languages. All students whose native language is English are required to take a language placement examination. Scores on these examinations determine the world language competency of entering students so that they may be placed in classes appropriate to their level of achievement and degree program. Students may not enroll in a course below the level of their placement. When the student has successfully completed the course with a grade of C or above, the student will retroactively earn up to 16 credit hours of University credit for the preceding courses in the beginning and intermediate levels of the language sequence. Students must enroll in the world language courses for a letter grade (not pass/fail) for the course to serve as a basis for granting retroactive credit. Language courses taken at other institutions cannot be used as a basis for granting retroactive credit. Although students may earn retroactive credit in more than one language, the maximum aggregate credit involving more than one language allowed to count toward graduation is 16 credit hours.
Physics. The Physics Department offers placement exams for PHYS 1303 and PHYS 1304. The placement exam, which must be taken in the first term that the student enrolls at SMU, is based on the final exam in the PHYS 1303 and PHYS 1304 courses. The department does not allow test credit for labs (e.g., PHYS 1105, PHYS 1106, PHYS 4311). The essential element of the lab is the hands-on experience; therefore, substitutes will not be accepted.
Mathematics. Math credit exams are offered for the courses listed below and must be taken prior to initial enrollment. Calculators are not permitted on these exams, except for MATH 1307. Students interested in credit exams for courses beyond this level may contact the Mathematics Department.
Computer Science. The Computer Science and Engineering Department offers a credit exam for CS 1341 - Principles of Computer Science that must be taken prior to initial enrollment.
Music. All entering undergraduate students (except transfer students from 4-year NASM schools) are required to take entrance examinations in written music theory and musicianship before classes begin. The date and time of these exams are listed in the “Orientation Schedule” published by the Division of Music each year and emailed to students. Students are advised to make appropriate end-of-summer plans to be present and on time for these exams. Students must be available for the entire testing period, and these exams cannot be made up once the semester begins. Since the exams are used for course section placement, all students are required to take the exams whether or not they are seeking credit by examination.
All music degrees require coursework in Class Piano. Prospective music majors with no formal piano study should enroll directly in Class Piano during their first semester. Prospective music majors with any amount of formal piano study must be tested individually for placement into the appropriate Class Piano course. Scheduling information for these tests is provided in the “Orientation Schedule” published by the Division of Music each year and emailed to students.
Credit for Veterans
Students who are veterans and who have completed recruit training in the military may receive two hours of credit to satisfy the Personal Responsibility and Wellness component of the University Curriculum. The course credits awarded are as follows:
PRW 1199 (1). PRW I: Concepts of Wellness for Veterans. For military veterans who through their military service have met the student learning outcomes and requirements for PRW I.
PRW 2199 (1). PRW 2: Physical Fitness for Veterans. For military veterans who through their military service have met the student learning outcomes and requirements for PRW II.
International Certificate Programs
SMU grants credit for the successful completion of the international certificate programs listed below. Credit granted by SMU is not considered resident credit and does not count towards the 60 resident hours required for an SMU degree. In certain cases, departmental examinations may be required as a part of the evaluation process.
- The International Baccalaureate. Six to eight credits will be awarded for scores of 5, 6 or 7 on International Baccalaureate higher-level exams in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits. Students will not be awarded credit for standard-level exams.
|IB HL Examination
|5, 6, 7
|BIOL 1302/BIOL 1102
|CHEM 1303/CHEM 1113
|5, 6, 7
|ECO 1311, ECO 1312/PREX 4002
|5, 6, 7
|5, 6, 7
|HUMA 10XX, 10YY
|5, 6, 7
|HIST 10XX, 10YY
|5, 6, 7
|HIST 10XX, 10YY
| Asia and Oceania
|5, 6, 7
|HIST 10XX, 10YY
| Europe, Islamic World
|5, 6, 7
|HIST 2365 HIST 2366
| Europe, Middle East
|5, 6, 7
|HIST 10XX, 10YY
| English A Literature
|5, 6, 7
|DISC 1311, DISC 1312
| All other languages
|5, 6, 7
|5, 6, 7
| English B
|5, 6, 7
|LANG 10XX, 10YY
|5, 6, 7
|MATH 1337, STAT 2331
|5, 6, 7
|PHYS 1303, PHYS 1304
|5, 6, 7
|PSYC 1300, 10XX
- The General Certificate of Education A-Level (United Kingdom). Six to eight credits will be awarded for grades of A and B on A-level exams in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits. Credits will not be awarded for a grade of C, or for O-level and AS-level exams. Credit awards for the Art and Design A, High Level exam are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by SMU’s Art Division.
- The Baccalaureate (France). Six to eight credits will be awarded for scores of 11 or above, with a maximum award of 32 credits.
- The Abitur (Germany). Six to eight credits will be awarded for scores of 7 or above on each of the written exams in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits. Credits will not be awarded for oral exams.
- The Italian Maturita (Italy). For the Maturita Tecnica, Classica, Scientifica and/or Linguistica, credits will be awarded for scores of 6 or above in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits.
- The Language A exam is typically taken in the native language of the student.
- Language B is a second, third or fourth language studied by the student.
- For “all other languages” under Language A and for Language B, the course prefix will match the world language completed.
- IB credit in the sciences may be used to satisfy the Science and Engineering breadth requirement of the University Curriculum. The UC’s Natural and Applied Science depth requirement must be satisfied through coursework at SMU or through transfer credit of a science course with lab from an accredited college or university.
- Physics does not award IB credit for labs.
- Students enrolled in courses at SMU for which IB credit has previously been awarded will have the IB credit rescinded, and the grade in the course will count toward the student’s SMU GPA. Students are responsible for knowing and reporting their IB scores to SMU to prevent duplicate enrollment.
Concurrent Dual Credit/College Programs
Students may receive credit for college courses taken prior to graduation from high school if the courses meet the criteria for transfer work outlined in the Transfer Admission Criteria section of this catalog. Dual Credit may not be used to satisfy the second language requirement of the University Curriculum. Official college transcripts are required for all college-level work attempted, regardless of transferability.
Transfer Admission Criteria
Selection of transfer applicants is based on several criteria, including academic curriculum, performance, grade patterns, behavioral and extracurricular activities, as well as other relevant experiences. For all candidates who are not entering SMU directly from high school, the Admission Committee considers the rigor of the courses attempted. All transfer students are required to complete college algebra or a college-level math course before transferring to SMU. If algebra l, geometry and algebra II were taken in high school and graduation was fewer than three years ago, this requirement is waived. We recommend that all transfer applicants should have completed at least one course in English composition, a lab science, a math course beyond college algebra and at least one course pertaining to the applicant’s intended major. The committee weighs overall academic performance as well as evidence of recent improvement. For some applicants, high school performance is also a factor. Candidates with fewer than 30 hours are considered on an individual basis and may be asked to submit additional information. Transfer students with fewer than 24 credits at the time of matriculation will follow the same University Curriculum requirements as first year students. Although the average GPA of successful transfer applicants is considerably higher, applicants with a transfer GPA below 2.700 (on a 4.000 scale) are not typically successful in gaining admission. Candidates with a transferable GPA below 2.000 are not competitive for admission to the University.
Competitive applicants for admission will have completed the equivalent of one of the following math courses:
Students with more than 30 transferable hours may be admitted directly to the school of their intended major if the admission requirement of that school has been met. The specific requirements for admission into each of SMU’s undergraduate schools are outlined in the admission section of that school’s information in this catalog.
All transfer students who intend to major in dance, music or theatre must also audition. Art majors and students seeking a B.F.A. in film and media arts are required to submit a portfolio for consideration. Requirements and contact information are available in the First-Year Admission Criteria section under the heading Performing Arts Auditions/Visual Arts Consideration.
Prospective transfer students must complete an Undergraduate Application for Transfer Admission and submit a $60 nonrefundable application fee. An official academic transcript that includes the last completed term from each college or university attended must be sent to SMU Undergraduate Admission, PO Box 750181, Dallas, TX 75275-0181. In addition, applicants must submit a Statement of Good Disciplinary Standing from their current college or university.
A final high school transcript (or GED high school equivalency test results), required of all transfer applicants, should be sent to the address above to confirm high school diploma as well as world language and math background. A high school transcript and SAT or ACT scores, are required when less than 30 transferable hours have been earned. SAT or ACT exam results will not be required of students for whom five or more years have lapsed since high school or high school equivalent.
Regardless of the number of transferable credit hours completed elsewhere, University policy requires that of the 122 minimum credit hours required for a degree, at least 60 hours must be SMU credit hours. That is, they must be earned in SMU courses, SMU credits or SMU-approved international programs.
No transfer credit is given for any correspondence course or work completed at a school that is not accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. Only grades of C- or better in comparable courses are transferable to SMU for accepted students. Vocational-technical courses, courses below college level, credit by examination earned at another college or university, and PE activity courses in excess of two hours do not transfer. For courses not taught at SMU locations or in SMU-approved international programs, free-elective transfer credit (FETC) may be awarded for appropriate courses completed with a grade of C- or better at regionally accredited colleges or universities that meet SMU’s academic standards. FETC is assigned by the various school records offices for transferability, or used by the Office of the University Registrar if courses are considered transferable but lack sufficient information to determine an exact equivalency. Similarly, Business Elective Transfer Credit (BETC) is used to award transfer credit by the Cox School of Business’ Office of BBA Academic Advising, Records and Special Programs, for transferable courses where there is not an equivalent business course prefix.
All grades for transferable courses are used to calculate the transfer GPA. Exceptions are made for repeated courses where the grades in the first attempts were D+ or lower. In these cases, only grades in the last attempts of the repeated courses prior to matriculation at SMU are used to calculate the transfer GPA, even if lower. Courses must be repeated at the same institution in which the original grade was earned or carry the same course number based on a statewide course numbering system. For repeated courses where the grade in the first attempt was a C- or higher, both grades will be used to calculate the transfer GPA but credit will be awarded for only one successful attempt. Transfer course grades are not calculated in major/minor GPAs. A grade of W (Withdrawn) is not used to calculate the transferable GPA. A grade of I (Incomplete) or a missing grade is calculated as F. A grade of IP (In Progress) for a current term is not calculated. This grade replacement policy for eligible transfer courses will be used in all transfer and all-college GPA calculations and other academic determinations at SMU. For a complete list of how grades are calculated please see the smu.edu/transfer.
Note: For some majors requiring a subset of courses and specific GPAs for entry, the subset GPA is calculated using the first graded attempt of these courses, even if the first attempt of the course was failed or later repeated.
Official college transcripts are required for all college-level work attempted, regardless of transferability. Transcripts must be sent directly to SMU from the institution attended. A transcript issued to a student is acceptable provided it is received in a sealed, letterhead envelope with the institution’s Office of the Registrar stamp. Transcripts must be dated fewer than three years prior to processing. Coursework from one institution that appears on an official transcript from another institution will not be accepted for transfer credit. An official transcript must be issued by each institution attended. Photocopies of transcripts provided by other institutions are not acceptable.
An online version of the transfer credit evaluation is available to transfer students prior to their enrollment.
International Transcript Credit
All international university transcripts must be accompanied by a professional evaluation and an official transcript, including an English translation if it is not in English, and course descriptions or syllabi. It is the student’s responsibility to procure this evaluation and to assume financial responsibility for it. An exception to this requirement is an exchange agreement between SMU and an international institution that is modeled after the U.S. education system. (*updated* 11/12/2019)
Because of the importance of this information, SMU accepts evaluations only from the following agencies of proven reliability:
International Education Evaluations, Inc.
7900 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd. Suite 300
Charlotte, NC 28227
International Academic Credential Evaluators Inc.
PO Box 2585
Denton TX 76202-2585
World Education Services Inc.
PO Box 745 Old Chelsea Station
New York NY 10113-0745
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami FL 33173
The evaluations provided by the above agencies should include an explanation that the institution is recognized by the ministry of education in the student’s home country and is generally considered to offer at least the equivalent of U.S. higher education credit. In addition, it should include an explanation of the credits, the grading system and course levels, as well as a course-by-course evaluation.
The expertise and reliability of a professional evaluation report is recognized worldwide and is likely to be accepted by other academic institutions, employers and state licensing boards. However, the report is not binding to SMU and it will be considered a recommendation for SMU’s independent decision of the credit to be given. Information and applications from the agencies are available online. For more information, students should contact the Office of Admission.
Application Timetable for Transfer Students
Summer term entry: All data due no later than March 15.
Fall term entry/scholarship consideration: All data due no later than April 1.
Fall term entry: All data due no later than June 1.
Space-available applicants: All data due no later than August 1.
Spring term entry: All data due no later than November 1.
Note: The deadline for priority scholarship consideration is April 1 for fall entry and November 1 for spring entry.
It is not recommended that an application be submitted on or near the deadline. Earlier application is strongly recommended, particularly for those students applying for financial aid or University housing.
Application processing begins in early February (for the summer and fall terms) and in early October (for the spring term) upon receipt of pertinent data, including each official transcript through the last completed term.
Reserving a Place
All degree-seeking admitted transfer students wishing to enroll at SMU are required to submit a $420 transfer orientation and matriculation deposit to reserve a place in the academic program. This $420 deposit should be sent to the Office of Admission. Space can be guaranteed only to those students who have submitted the deposit by the deadline noted in the acceptance packet. Note: This $420 deposit is nonrefundable. Students seeking financial aid should wait until they receive their financial aid award before submitting a deposit.
Note that admitted transfer students cannot enroll at SMU until their final transcript has been received and evaluated for transferability and a Good Standing Form has been received from their last institution. For this reason, transfer students entering for the fall term are discouraged from attending the second summer term at their current institution before matriculation to SMU.
Housing accommodations are offered on a space-available basis for new transfer students who are 20 or older. Transfer students who are 17-19 years old live on campus unless permission is granted to live at home by the dean of Residence Life and Student Housing. Housing links will be sent to interested transfer students once the student has been accepted and has sent a nonrefundable deposit of $520, which includes an additional $100 housing deposit, to the Office of Admission.
International Student Admission
International citizens and U.S. passport holders studying outside the United States who apply to SMU as first-year and transfer undergraduate students are expected to meet all requirements for admission.
For admission consideration, students for whom English is not the native language and whose entire high school curriculum was not in an English-medium school are required to submit a test score from an internationally recognized English language test as explained in the Required Testing section of this catalog.
Students who are otherwise admissible but whose English proficiency scores are slightly below those mentioned above may be offered conditional admission pending successful completion of SMU’s Intensive English Program prior to matriculation. Transfer students from U.S. institutions without an internationally recognized English language test score will be evaluated on the basis of college-level grades in English composition/rhetoric courses. All students whose English composition courses were completed at a university outside the United States are required to complete an SMU English language placement exam for appropriate course-placement.
International transfer students who have completed college-level work at a university outside the United States are required to submit the following (in English or with an English translation):
- An official transcript.
- Course descriptions.
- Professional evaluation. (More information is found in the International Tran-script Credit section of this catalog.)
The expenses to be incurred in attending the University are listed in the Financial Information section of this catalog. Additional costs that international students may expect include room and board during school holidays, travel expenses, international student health insurance, and the international student fee (foreign passport holders only). Need-based financial aid is not available for international students; however, first-year international students will be considered for academic scholarships if their application is complete by the January 15 deadline. Some academic scholarships require an SAT or ACT for consideration. Transfer international applicants will be considered for all transfer scholarships for which they are eligible, provided the appropriate application deadline has been met.
When an international student has been admitted, paid the appropriate enrollment deposit and provided adequate proof of sufficient financial funds, the International Student and Scholar Services Office will issue the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. The student will be required to produce the I-20, acceptance letter and proof of finances when applying at the U.S. embassy or consulate for a student visa.
All international students taking one or more credit hours must enroll in the University-offered health insurance plan unless they have a special waiver granted by SMU’s Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.
Admission for Military Veteran
SMU welcomes applications from military veterans. Student veterans meet under-graduate admission criteria of the University as first year or transfer students. Veterans are considered for first-year admission if they graduated from high school within the last three years and have not completed any college coursework. Student veterans seeking to be competitive in the transfer admission process should have 24 or more term credit hours at a previous accredited college or university and a recommended 2.700 cumulative GPA (on a 4.000 scale). Additional information is available online at www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/Veterans and www.smu.edu/apply (“First Year Students” or “Transfer Students” links).
Undergraduate Visiting Students
Visiting students are those who enroll in University courses for credit, but who do not intend to pursue an SMU degree. This category of students is normally limited to those who 1) are degree-seeking students in good standing and visiting from another four-year college or university, 2) have already earned a degree, or 3) are participants in special SMU initiatives such as concurrent or summer enrollment opportunities for college and high school students. Visiting students are admitted through the Division of Enrollment Services based on their likelihood to be successful in and benefit from SMU coursework as evidenced from their academic, behavioral and extracurricular history. They are eligible to register – on a space available basis – in classes for which they have satisfied SMU’s prerequisites. Visiting students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.000 or better in order to continue their studies at SMU. Failure to maintain the appropriate GPA standard may result in removal from the program. Admission as a visiting student does not qualify a student for admission to a degree program at SMU. Applications for visiting students are found at www.smu.edu/visitingstudent or may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 214-768-4272.
Visiting students from international colleges and universities whose entire curriculum is not taught in English are required to submit a test score from an internationally recognized English language test as explained under Required Testing in the Admission section of the catalog.
Readmission of Students
If a student in good standing withdraws from SMU for one term, the student’s file remains active and the student is able to register as though in continuous enrollment at the University (re-entry). Students who left on probation will return on probation. All holds must be cleared prior to enrollment. Re-entry students are responsible for meeting all financial aid, housing and advising deadlines.
After nonattendance for two or more regular (fall, spring) terms, students who formerly attended SMU, including those who have completed a degree, are required to submit an application for reinstatement or reactivation through the Division of Enrollment Services, Undergraduate Admission. The application is available at www.smu.edu/admission (“Apply” tab). Any student who has been suspended is also required to apply for reinstatement. Students who have been suspended are required to attach to their reinstatement application a statement indicating the reasons why they now are prepared to return to SMU. Although the Division of Enrollment Services facilitates the application process, an academic dean or the Committee on Academic Appeals determines reinstatement.
A student who has already earned an undergraduate degree at SMU and is seeking an additional undergraduate degree must apply for reactivation if the student has not attended SMU for two or more regular (fall, spring) terms.
Returning students are strongly advised to apply for reactivation or reinstatement at least 60 days prior to the start of the term of re-entry. Returning students should note that separate applications exist for financial aid and residence halls and that they should contact these offices as early as possible. The deadline for filing this application and supporting materials for domestic students is one month prior to the first day of classes of the term of re-entry. International applicants must apply at least one month prior to the term of re-entry; however, they are encouraged to apply at least 90 days in advance in order to facilitate the immigration process. In addition, the availability of academic advising and courses may be limited immediately prior to and at the beginning of the term.
All students who return to SMU after any period of nonenrollment must forward official transcripts from each college or university attended since last enrolled at SMU. If the last term of enrollment at SMU was prior to fall 2000, official transcripts from each college or university attended prior to SMU also must be forwarded to the Division of Enrollment Services.
Students should be aware of specific policies regarding transfer courses taken after matriculation to SMU (see Transfer Courses from Other Institutions in the Academic Records and General and Enrollment Standards section of this catalog). In addition, each college within SMU has specific policies regarding reinstatement, reactivation, transfer credit and statute of limitations, so students should refer to their school’s section of this catalog for that information.
SMU’s academic forgiveness policy permits a student to have academic work taken 10 or more years prior to the term of admission or readmission forgiven. Forgiven hours will not be included in the GPA nor used for actions such as the determination of admission, academic probation, suspension, honors, scholarships and graduation. Students should see the Academic Records and General and Enrollment Standards section in this catalog for details of this policy. The academic forgiveness application is available through the Division of Enrollment Services.
Final Matriculation to the University
Final matriculation to SMU is contingent upon the student maintaining the same academic and behavioral record on which the University based its offer of admission. In addition to the nonrefundable deposit (and housing application and deposit for those seeking on-campus housing), the following items are required for final matriculation to the University:
Official Final Transcript. All new students must supply a final, official transcript from the institution(s) previously attended. In addition to final grades and degrees awarded, the transcript must bear an official seal of the school and signature of its certifying official.
Official Test Scores. Students entering SMU as first-year students must have official ACT or SAT scores on file that match those on which the University based its offer of admission, if such scores were a requirement of their admission application. Official scores are those that come directly from the testing agency or appear on the student’s high school transcript that bears an official seal of the school and signature of its certifying official. If the student submitted such scores as part of the application process, there is no need to submit them again.
Immunizations. All students (undergraduate, graduate, part-time and full-time, to include international and IEP/ESL students) are required to have an SMU medical history form on file in the SMU Memorial Health Center before registration. To comply with SMU policy, all students must also submit to the health center their immunization records that provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps and rubella. These MMR immunizations must be documented by a physician, public health record, military health record or school health record. Students will not be allowed to register without immunization compliance. Texas state law requires that all new students under the age of 22 must provide documentation demonstrating they have been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis. The documentation must show evidence that a meningitis vaccine or booster was given during the five-year period preceding and at least 10 days prior to the first day of class of the student’s first term. Students should provide the documentation at least 10 days before the first day of class. Students seeking exemption from this requirement due to health risk or conscience, including religious belief, should see the second page of the SMU medical history health form.
Students are encouraged to check their my.SMU account for immunization status. Immunizations are available at the health center. Health history forms are available on the health center’s website.
Health Insurance. To ensure that students have appropriate health care coverage, SMU requires all domestic students taking nine or more credit hours, both undergraduate and graduate, to have health insurance through either an individual/family plan or the University-offered plan. All international students taking one or more credit hours must enroll in the University-offered plan unless they have a special waiver granted by the SMU’s Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.
International Student Compliance. Students who have been issued an SMU I20 or DS2019 immigration document student visa (F/J visa) must complete the International Student Compliance online tutorial and must attend a required government check-in process with the International Student and Scholar Services Office prior to enrolling for classes.