The standards herein are applicable to all students at the University and constitute the basic authority and reference for matters pertaining to University academic regulations and records management. Enrollment in the University is a declaration of acceptance of all University rules and regulations. A complete University Policy Manual is available at www.smu.edu/policy. Additional information regarding rules and regulations of the University can be found in this catalog. Undergraduate students must follow the University-wide, General Education and Proficiencies and Experiences requirements for graduation that are in effect for the academic year of matriculation to SMU. The applicable requirements of majors and minors are those in effect during the academic year of matriculation to SMU or students may choose a subsequent academic year. Students may not follow a catalog for an academic year in effect prior to their matriculation term. Students who are not enrolled for three or more years will return to SMU under the current catalog.
Confidentiality of Education Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that grants students the right to inspect, obtain copies of, challenge, and, to a degree, control the release of information contained in their education records. The act and regulations are very lengthy, and for that reason, SMU has issued its own FERPA-based guidelines that are available at the University Registrar’s Office FERPA website www.smu.edu/FERPA. Policy 1.10 of the University Policy Manual also discusses this law.
In general, no personally identifiable information from a student’s education record will be disclosed to any third party without written consent from the student. Several exceptions exist, including these selected examples: 1) information defined by SMU as directory information may be released unless the student requests through my.SMU Student Homepage that it be withheld, 2) information authorized by the student through my.SMU Student Homepage may be released to those individuals designated by the student and 3) information may be released to a parent or guardian if the student is declared financially dependent upon the parent or guardian as set forth in the Internal Revenue Code. Additional information is available at www.smu.edu/FERPA.
Student Identification Number
The University assigns each student an eight-digit SMU identification number, which is used to verify each student’s identity and is provided without additional charges. The student should furnish the SMU ID number on all forms when requested, as this number is the primary means the University has to verify the identity for each student’s academic records and transactions related to the records.
A student who has a change in name must provide the University Registrar’s Office with his or her Social Security card or the form issued by the Social Security Administration. A valid passport may also be used to complete a name change. Enrollment or records services for the student under a name different from the last enrollment cannot be accomplished without one of the above documents. All transcripts and diplomas are issued only under a person’s legal name as recorded by the University Registrar’s Office.
Students who wish to use a name other than their legal name can add a preferred name to their file in addition to their primary/legal name, or update a preferred name already on file, using the self-service functions in the my.SMU Student Homepage. The University will make efforts to use the preferred name in communications and in the course of university business. However, there are situations that due to business practices, legal requirements or system limitations the use of a primary/legal name will be used.
SMU has many offices that keep records with student names and many data systems used for specific applications. In addition to updating their preferred name in my.SMU, students may need to notify some offices regarding their use of a preferred name.
A preferred name is a first, middle and/or last name that may be chosen to be used instead of legal first, middle and last name. There is no documentation required to create or change a preferred name. Students are advised that if they choose to use a preferred name, they should use it consistently and resist changing it frequently. Students also are advised that the use of a preferred last name can lead to confusion with employers and organizations in attempting to match official educational records with applications and it is recommended that students provide both their preferred and legal names on applications.
Here is a partial list of standard name usage:
|Display name – my.SMU Student Homepage
||Preferred name, if provided
|Instructor Class Roster
||Preferred name, if provided
|Instructor Grade Roster
||Preferred name, if provided
||Preferred name, if provided
|Global Directory of email addresses
||Preferred name, if provided
|SMU online directory
||Preferred name, if provided
|SMU ID Card
||Primary (legal) name
|Financial Aid related forms and documents
||Primary (legal) name
|Official Academic Transcript
||Primary (legal) name
||Primary (legal) name or derivative
||Primary (legal) name
|Housing / Residence Life
||Preferred first name, Primary last name
|SEVIS Reporting (international students)
||Primary (legal) name
Email and Mailing Addresses, Telephone, and Emergency Contact
Each student must provide the University Registrar’s Office with both a home and local address, both a home and local telephone number and contact information of a designated emergency contact using the self-service functions in the my.SMU Student Homepage. Students enrolling at SMU authorize the University to notify their emergency contacts in the event of a situation affecting their health, safety, or physical or mental well-being, and to provide these contacts with information related to the situation.
Students who enroll in an arranged section course will be asked to provide the University Registrar’s Office with an off-campus study address. This is the physical location the student is living while enrolled in this course.
When a student applies for graduation and becomes a candidate they can provide a diploma address (address to which they would like their diploma mailed) to the University Registrar’s Office.
International students are required to provide a residence address (physical street address where they are currently living) as their mailing (local) address. International students will be prevented from enrolling if a U.S. address is not provided.
Students are expected to keep current all their addresses and telephone numbers, including emergency contact details, through my.SMU, the University’s Web-based self-service system. Students may be prevented from enrolling if their information is insufficient or outdated. Changes to parent information should be reported by contacting email@example.com, and the email should include the student’s full name and SMU student ID number.
The University issues all students an email address. Students may have other email addresses, but the University-assigned email address is the official address for University electronic correspondence, including related communications with faculty members and academic units.
Official University correspondence may be sent to students’ mailing addresses or SMU email addresses on file. It is the responsibility of students to keep all their addresses current and to regularly check communications sent to them since they are responsible for complying with requests, deadlines and other requirements sent to any of their mailing addresses on file or to their SMU email.
The University requests that students provide mobile/cell telephone numbers, as they are one means of communicating with students during an emergency. Mobile/cell telephone numbers may also be used by University officials conducting routine business. Students who do not have a mobile/cell telephone or do not wish to report the numbers should provide this information to the University through my.SMU Student Homepage. Students may be prevented from enrolling if their mobile/cell telephone numbers are not on file or if they have not declared “no cell” or “prefer not to report” in my.SMU.
SMU requires that a valid ethnic group category be on file for all students. SMU’s policies and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protect the confidentiality and privacy of this information. A student’s ethnic group category can be viewed in my.SMU Student Homepage.
U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. Ethnicity is self-determined. Students of multiple ethnic backgrounds may select multiple ethnic group categories. If the ethnic group value is incorrect, the student should go to the University Registrar’s Office in the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building and complete an Ethnic/Racial Category Update Form.
International Students Living in the U.S. While Attending School. Selecting an ethnic group category is not required unless the student becomes a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
A transcript is an official document of the permanent academic record maintained by the University Registrar’s Office. The permanent academic record includes all SMU courses attempted, all grades assigned, degrees received and a summary of transfer hours accepted. Official transcripts and certifications of student academic records are issued by the University Registrar’s Office for all students. Copies of high school records and transfer transcripts from other schools must be requested from the institutions where the coursework was taken.
Transcripts are $12.50 per copy. Additional copies in the same request mailed to the same address are $3.50. Additional copies mailed to different addresses are $12.50 a copy. PDF transcripts are $16.25 per email address and are available only for students who attended after summer 1996.
Note: No incomplete or partial transcripts, including only certain courses or grades, are issued.
Transcripts cannot be released unless the student has satisfied all financial and other obligations to the University. Instructions for requesting a transcript to be mailed or picked up on campus are available at www.smu.edu/registrar (“Transcript Requests” link). A student may request his or her official transcript through the online my.SMU Student Homepage. Requests are processed through the National Student Clearinghouse. Telephone and email requests are not accepted. Students or their specified third party can pick up their transcripts at the University Registrar’s Office, 101 Blanton Student Services Building.
Transcripts may be released to a third party as specified by the student on the Student’s Consent for SMU to Release Information to Student’s Specified Third Party form accessible at www.smu.edu/LegalDisclosures/FERPA/Forms.
Note: Chapter 675, S.B. 302. Acts of the 61st Texas Legislature, 1969 Regular Session, provides as follows: Section I. No person may buy, sell, create, duplicate, alter, give or obtain; or attempt to buy, sell, create, duplicate, alter, give or obtain a diploma, certificate, academic record, certificate of enrollment or other instrument which purports to signify merit or achievement conferred by an institution of education in this state with the intent to use fraudulently such document or to allow the fraudulent use of such document. Section II. A person who violates this act or who aids another in violating this act is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or confinement in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year.
The University Registrar’s Office certifies veterans each term for their benefits under federal programs, including the Yellow Ribbon Program. Most academic programs at SMU qualify for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, making an SMU education accessible and affordable. Veterans are required to provide specific documents before they can be certified with the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration. Specific information regarding the certification process is available from the University Registrar’s Office at www.smu.edu/enrollmentServices/Veterans.
The University complies with Title 38 United States Code Section 3679(e) which states that any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) or chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill®) benefits will be permitted to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement (or “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website – eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization purposes) for said entitlement and ending on the earlier of the following dates: a) the date on which payment from VA is made to the institution; or b) 90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility. SMU will not impose any penalties, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or require that a covered individual borrow additional funds to meet his/her financial obligation due to delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33. However, if the anticipated funding from VA will not cover all tuition and fees, then the student is responsible for paying the difference immediately. Failure to do so may result in late or past due fees. Students who wish to be certified under chapter 31 or 33 must request in writing each semester that they wish to be certified and provide an updated statement of benefits. Additional documents are required to be submitted to the University upon initial request to be certified. For more information, refer to the Registrar’s Office website at www.smu.edu/enrollmentservices/veterans.
Final course examinations shall be given in all courses where they are appropriate, must be administered as specified on the official examination schedule and shall not be administered during the last week of classes. Exceptions to the examination schedule may be made only upon written recommendation of the chair of the department sponsoring the course and with the concurrence of the dean of that school, who will allow exceptions only in accordance with guidelines from the Office of the Provost.
Complaint Procedures for Students With Disabilities
The complaint procedures for students with disabilities are available in the Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies office, Loyd Center, Suite 202 and online at www.smu.edu/sasp/DASS.
Classification of Students
A student’s classification is determined by the number of hours earned or by the degree-seeking status of the student:
||0-29 credit hours earned
||30-59 credit hours earned
||60-89 credit hours earned
||90 or more credit hours earned
||not a candidate for a degree
Credit Hour Loads
The unit of measure for the valuation of courses is the credit hour. Based upon the federal definition of a credit hour, each credit hour requires one hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours per week of preparation on the part of students, for approximately 15 weeks a term. Most courses are valued for three credit hours, i.e., three contact hours per week and at least six hours of preparation. For three-credit-hour courses deployed via different course types, modes of delivery, or calendars, total number of direct contact hours should be equal to or greater than 45 hours, with the total out-of-class work equal to or greater than 90 hours. Courses that deviate from this standard must provide documentation illustrating how the number of contact hours and/or work outside the course equate to this standard within the term in which the course is offered.
A full-time load in the fall and spring is 12 credit hours for undergraduates. For the summer term (all sessions in the summer term combined) a full-time load is nine hours for undergraduates. On request an undergraduate can be certified as full-time for the first or second session of the summer term at six hours. Students who enroll for fewer than these minimum hours are designated part-time students. The normal undergraduate enrollment for each of the regular terms is 15 credit hours. An undergraduate student enrolled in an engineering co-op course or enrolled for six hours of student teaching is considered a full-time student.
Cautionary Note: Federal financial aid agencies and some other agencies require a minimum number of hours of enrollment for full-time status and do not make exceptions for summer, internship, co-op or student-teaching enrollments. Students on financial aid should consult an adviser in the Financial Aid Office regarding minimum enrollment requirements for their situation.
Likewise, international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa should consult an adviser in the International Student & Scholar Services Office regarding minimum enrollment requirements for their situation.
Minimum and Maximum Course Loads. Minimum and maximum course loads allowed for the fall and spring terms are based on the school of record. The maximum course load allowed for a summer term (all sessions combined) for all schools of record is 14 credit hours. Each student should be fully aware that hours taken beyond 18 in any term will be charged to his or her student account.
SMU Pre-Majors. Students who have not yet declared a major and who wish to enroll for more than 18 credit hours in a fall or spring term must have the approval of their academic adviser and the University Advising Center.
Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Majors in Dedman College who wish to enroll for more than 18 credit hours in a fall or spring term must have the approval of their academic and/or major adviser and the Office of Records and Academic Services.
Cox School of Business. B.B.A. students may enroll for more than 18 credit hours in a fall or spring term provided their cumulative GPAs (SMU, all-college and business) are 2.000 or higher to show satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree.
Lyle School of Engineering. Students must have the approval of their academic adviser to enroll for fewer than 12 credit hours or more than 18 credit hours during a fall or spring term. Normally, a student must have a GPA of 3.000 or higher to enroll for more than 18 credit hours. An exception is made during the term in which a student is to graduate. Credit will not be allowed for more than 21credit hours in a fall or spring term.
Meadows School of the Arts. Students are not permitted to enroll during a fall or spring term for more than 18 credit hours unless their GPA for the preceding term is at least 3.000. During the term in which a student is to graduate, he or she may enroll for 19 credit hours (or nine hours for a summer session) regardless of the preceding term GPA. A student in the Meadows school cannot receive credit for more than 21 credit hours in a fall or spring term. A student with a GPA below 2.000 for the preceding term will not be permitted to enroll for more than 13 credit hours.
Simmons School of Education and Human Development. A student in the Simmons School with a declared major in applied physiology and sport management or educational studies may enroll for up to 18 credit hours in a fall or spring term. A student may petition to take up to 21 credit hours in a fall or spring term provided he or she meets the following criteria:
- The student has a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher and has demonstrated academic success while enrolled in 18 credit hours in prior terms.
- The student needs to take the extra hour(s) in order to graduate at the end of the term in which he or she is enrolling.
- The student has gained permission from his or her adviser.
Stop Enrollment/Administrative Withdrawal
Insufficient or improper information given by the student on any admission or enrollment form - or academic deficiencies, non-attendance, disciplinary actions and financial obligations to the University - can constitute cause for the student to be determined ineligible to enroll or to be administratively withdrawn.
A student can declare courses taken 10 or more years prior to the term of admission or readmission to be forgiven, which means the work is not included in the GPA or credit hours earned when determining admission, academic probation, suspension, honors and graduation. A student should request academic forgiveness at the time of admission or readmission. The student can select the term at which academic forgiveness starts. Academic forgiveness applies to all courses taken during or prior to that term, regardless of the grades earned. Academic forgiveness cannot be applied to only some courses for a term or to only selected terms within the forgiveness period.
Once academic forgiveness is declared and the student has enrolled, academic forgiveness cannot be rescinded. Forgiven academic work taken at SMU remains on the permanent academic record, with a notation of “academic forgiveness” on the record.
Currently enrolled students cannot request academic forgiveness. Transfer applicants must provide transcripts from all institutions attended, including those where all work may be forgiven.
Transfer Courses from Other Institutions
Courses taken prior to matriculation at SMU: Credit may be awarded for college courses a student takes prior to matriculation at SMU, including courses a student takes before graduating from high school, if the courses meet the criteria for transfer work outlined on the Admission to the University, Transfer Admission Criteria website. Credit may be denied for educational reasons.
Courses taken after matriculation to SMU: Once students have matriculated at SMU, they may transfer no more than 30 credit hours to SMU from accredited colleges and universities. Students who complete more than 30 transferable hours after matriculating can designate which of their courses apply to the 30-hour limit. Students may change the designation of the courses. Students should make these transfer-credit designations in consultation with their records offices.
Note: The policies of all SMU’s undergraduate schools require that post-matriculation transfer work must be completed at accredited, four-year institutions. Post-matriculation work at institutions that award principally Associates and Bachelor of Applied Science degrees will not be considered for credit by the undergraduate schools.
Courses taken at another U.S. institution where the instruction is in the U.S.: To ensure in advance that a course taken at another accredited college or university will transfer and that proper credit will be awarded, the student taking the course should obtain prior approval from the chair of the department, the academic adviser, the student’s school of record and the Assistant Provost for General Education. Electronic petitions for pre-approval of transfer work are available on the Registrar’s Office Forms Library at smu.edu/registrar. Students who fail to secure prior approval for transfer work taken within the United States must petition later for transfer credit, but they have no assurance that credit will be awarded. In either case, permission may be denied for educational reasons.
Courses taken at a U.S. institution where the instruction is in an international location and courses taken at a non-U.S. institution: Transfer credit is not awarded for courses taken at a U.S. institution where the instruction is in an international location and courses taken at a non-U.S. institution, except where the student is on a F-1 or J-1 visa studying at a home country institution (see below). Students who wish to take courses abroad through a program or university not already affiliated with SMU can petition the Study Abroad Office for approval of the program or university abroad by October 1st for programs offered the following academic year. The approval of a new study abroad program or foreign university can take several months to procure. If the program is approved, the student will be required to apply for study abroad by the regular deadline and through the regular processes for SMU study abroad. (For information on deadlines and processes, see the SMU Study Abroad website at www.smu.edu/international/abroad.) Courses taken through the SMU Study Abroad Office are treated as SMU coursework.
Courses taken in the home country of a student on an F-1 or J-1 visa: Students attending SMU on an F-1 or J-1 visa can take courses at an institution recognized in their home country as offering the equivalent of U.S. university coursework for transfer credit. For study at another institution during a fall or spring term the student must obtain prior approval from the International Student & Scholar Services Office as this can affect their status. To ensure in advance that a course taken at this international institution will transfer and that proper credit will be awarded, the student should obtain prior approval from the chair of the department, the records office of the school at SMU that normally offers the course, the academic adviser, the student’s school of record, and the Office of General Education. Petitions for pre-approval of transfer work are available in the schools’ records offices. Students who fail to secure prior approval for transfer work taken must petition later for transfer credit, but they have no assurance that credit will be awarded. In either case, permission may be denied for educational reasons.
Official college transcripts are required for all college-level work attempted, regardless of transferability. 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 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. SMU accepts evaluations only from the following agencies:
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 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.
Course Scheduling and Enrollment Cycles
When students enter their school of record and into a specific degree program, they are assigned an academic adviser. Students should consult with the adviser for course scheduling, schedule changes, petitions, degree requirements and other such academic concerns. Advisers normally will have established office hours. The school’s records office monitors progress and maintains official degree plans for all students in a school. Students should schedule conferences with their academic advisers and the school’s records office upon admission to a school and prior to their final term to ensure that they are meeting all University and graduation requirements.
Each fall, spring and summer term has an enrollment period during which the formal process of enrollment in the University is completed. Prior to each enrollment period, the University Registrar’s Office will publish enrollment instructions.
To assist new and readmitted students in making a comfortable, satisfying transition to University academic life, programs of academic advising, enrollment and orientation are conducted prior to each term. Information concerning the programs is distributed by the Office of the Student Experience.
Each student is personally responsible for complying with enrollment procedures and for ensuring the accuracy of his or her enrollment. Students are expected to confirm the accuracy of their enrollment each term. Students who discover a discrepancy in their enrollment records after the close of enrollment for the term should immediately complete a Petition for Enrollment Policy Exception. Petitions are to be submitted to the appropriate records office within six months of the term in which the discrepancy appeared; contact information for submitting a Petition for Enrollment Policy Exception can be viewed on the University Registrar’s Office website at www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/Registrar/Enrollment/EnrollmentPolicyException. Petitions submitted later than six months after the discrepancy may not be considered.
Enrolling for Graduate Courses
Accelerated Pathway Programs
The Accelerated Pathway Programs policy applies to undergraduate students who enroll in one of SMU’s Accelerated Pathway Programs. Institutional aid may be eligible for covering tuition costs associated with graduate courses as described below.
Students may not enroll for any graduate level coursework to be applied toward their master’s degree, prior to the accumulation of 90 credit hours toward their baccalaureate degree. Students must apply and be admitted as a graduate student at least one fall or spring term prior to receiving their master’s degree having had their baccalaureate degree conferred prior to that term. Students must enroll and be in good standing as a half-time status graduate student for at least one term prior to receiving their master’s degree.
Graduate hours earned as an undergraduate are included in the determination of full-time status for the term. Graduate hours and grades earned as an undergraduate that count towards their baccalaureate degree are included in the undergraduate scholastic totals and the graduate scholastic totals. Graduate hours and grades earned as an undergraduate that do not count towards that baccalaureate degree are excluded from the undergraduate scholastic totals but are included in the graduate scholastic totals. The maximum number of graduate hours (up to 30 hours) that may be taken in the final year of the baccalaureate degree is mandated by SMU’s accrediting agency. The number of graduate hours which may be counted toward the baccalaureate degree is determined by the school to which the master’s degree belongs. An undergraduate is limited to earning a maximum of 30 graduate hours as an undergraduate student after the completion of 90 credit hours towards their baccalaureate degree. A student must earn a minimum 150 combined hours to be conferred both a baccalaureate and master’s degree.
Students considering an Accelerated Pathway Program should consult with the Office of Financial Aid about its effect on federal, state and institutional aid.
Other Graduate Course Enrollment
In addition to the Accelerated Pathway Programs, with the written permission of their academic dean and permission of the dean of the graduate courses, an excelling undergraduate student may enroll for graduate level coursework that will be part of their undergraduate record, count towards the undergraduate degree and be included in the undergraduate scholastic totals. The undergraduate student must have accumulated 90 credit hours toward their baccalaureate degree. Graduate hours enrolled as an undergraduate are included in the determination of full-time status for the term. An undergraduate is limited to earning a maximum of 30 graduate hours as part of their undergraduate record.
The deadline for adding courses, dropping courses without grade record and changing sections for each enrollment period is listed on the Official University Calendar (www.smu.edu/registrar). Students are encouraged to seek assistance from their advisers when considering whether to add or drop a course. A student may drop a course with a grade of W (Withdrew) through approximately midterm by using the my.SMU Student Homepage. The specific deadline is listed on the Official University Calendar.
After the deadline date on the Official University Calendar, the student may not drop a class. All schedule changes must be processed by the deadline date specified on the Official University Calendar. Note: Schedule changes are not complete for Official University record purposes unless finalized in the University Registrar’s Office.
Student-Athletes. Students must consult with the Athletic Compliance Office prior to dropping a course. In the consultation, the student will review the effects the drop might have on his or her athletic participation and financial aid. After the consultation, the Athletic Compliance Office will update my.SMU to allow the student to process the drop, if necessary. The consultation is advisory; students are responsible for their enrollment. For assistance regarding scholarships or other aspects of being a student-athlete, students should contact the Office of the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development.
International Students. Students must consult with the International Student & Scholar Services Office prior to dropping a course. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for consultation.) If dropping a course will cause the student to be enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours, the student’s immigration status could be affected. After the consultation, the International Student & Scholar Services Office will update my.SMU to allow the student to process the drop, if necessary. The consultation is advisory; students are responsible for their enrollment.
Students on Merit or Need-based Financial Aid. Students should consult with their financial aid adviser prior to dropping a course. (See www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/FinancialAid for information regarding your financial aid counselor.) If dropping a course will cause the student to be enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours, the student’s financial aid status may be affected. After the consultation, the student may drop a course through my.SMU Student Homepage. The consultation is advisory; students are responsible for their enrollment. Questions regarding this procedure or financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.
Notice of Special Topics
Students enrolling in special topics courses such as Directed Research, Private Study, Directed Readings, etc., may request to have the subject of their course noted on their transcripts. Students may make the request by filling out a “Notice of Special Topic” form, which may be obtained from the instructor and must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar before the last day of classes for the term.
Early Intervention and Mid-Term Grading
Faculty are asked to report early intervention deficient grades for all enrolled undergraduate students who are in any of the following categories:
- Fall and Spring new students from high school student groups for the current academic year
- Fall and Spring new transfer student groups for the current academic year
- Fall and Spring readmitted students for the current academic year
- Undergraduates on academic probation, regardless of credit hours earned
- Undergraduates who are receiving VA benefits, regardless of credit hours earned
- Undergraduates with less than 30 credit hours earned at SMU (excludes advanced standing and transfer hours) who are not already included
Faculty are asked to report mid-term deficient grades for all enrolled undergraduate students.
- Progress grades are not recorded on a student’s permanent academic record.
- Only courses with reported grades of C-, D+, D, D-, F, FA (Failure due to attendance), or FT (Failure due to tests) are included on both the early intervention deficiency and mid-term deficiency reports.
- Students are notified via email that they have a Deficiency Report in my.SMU. This information is shared with the Office of Student Academic Success and Engagement, the student’s records office (University Advising Center for SMU Pre-Majors), and the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC).
- Additional outreach may be initiated through the Office of Student Success and Retention, as well as other offices. More information may be found at https://www.smu.edu/Provost/ProvostOffice/SAES/Office-of-Student-Success-and-Retention.
Policies on refunds for withdrawal from the University are found in the Financial Information section of this catalog and in the Financial Information Bulletin . No refunds are made without an official withdrawal.
Students should be aware of the difference between a drop and a withdrawal and remember that they have different deadlines and separate financial policies. The deadlines for each are posted each term on the Official University Calendar at www.smu.edu/registrar. A drop occurs when a student removes one or more courses from his or her schedule and remains enrolled in at least one credit hour for the term. A withdrawal occurs when removing the course or courses will result in the student being enrolled in zero hours for the term.
If a student removes all courses from his or her schedule prior to the first day of the term, the transaction is considered a cancellation and does not result in financial penalty or impact the student’s transcript.
A student who wishes to withdraw (resign) from the University before the end of a term or session must contact the Office of Student Success and Retention (email@example.com) to complete an Undergraduate Student Leave, Withdrawal, and Cancellation Request form. The effective date of the withdrawal is the date on which the form is processed in the University Registrar’s Office. Discontinuance of class attendance or notification to the instructors of intention to withdraw does not constitute an official withdrawal.
The enrollment of students who withdraw on or before the tenth day of the fall or spring semester as listed on the Official University Calendar will be canceled. Courses and grades are not recorded for canceled enrollments; however, the student will owe a portion of his/her tuition and fees. Additional information is available in the Financial Information Bulletin . A student who withdraws after the tenth class day of the fall or spring semester will receive the grade of W in each course in which he or she enrolled.
Medical withdrawals allow a prorated refund of tuition and fees and have conditions that must be met prior to re-enrollment at SMU. Medical withdrawals can only be authorized by professionals in the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, Dean of Student Life, or Vice President for Student Affairs. The last day for a medical withdrawal is the last day of class instruction for the term from which the student is withdrawing. Retroactive medical withdrawals cannot be granted.
Mandatory administrative withdrawals occur when a student is not suspended but current and/or future enrollments are canceled or withdrawn. A student’s academic record is annotated with “mandatory administrative withdrawal” and the effective dates for this withdrawal. Mandatory administrative withdrawals allow a prorated refund of tuition and fees and have conditions that must be met prior to re-enrollment at SMU. Mandatory administrative withdrawals can be authorized only by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs or Dean of Student Life.
Withdrawing students living in SMU housing must check out of the residence halls with the Department of Residence Life and Student Housing per established procedures.
Audit Enrollment (Course Visitor)
Individuals desiring to audit (visit) a class, including those concurrently enrolled for regular coursework, are required to process an Audit Permit form. Audit Permit forms must be completed, approved and received in the University Registrar’s Office no later than the last day to enroll for the term. Forms are available at www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/Registrar/FormsLibrary. Space must be available in the class. The following regulations are applicable:
- Classroom recitation and participation are restricted; availability of course handouts, tests and other materials is restricted; no grade is assigned and no credit is recorded; no laboratory privileges are included.
- The individual’s name does not appear on class rosters or grade rosters.
- Regular admission and enrollment procedures are not conducted for auditors.
- The audit fee is nonrefundable. Undergraduate students enrolled full time, for any given term (12 credit hours for fall and spring or nine credit hours per summer term) may audit one three-hour course at no charge.
- If credit is desired, the course must be enrolled for and repeated, as a regular course, and the regular tuition must be paid.
Enrollment for no credit is accomplished in the conventional manner of enrollment, with regular admission and enrollment procedures being required. The student pays the regular tuition and fees, participates in class activities, and receives the grade of NC upon completion of the coursework. The student must indicate in writing no later than the 12th day of classes (the fourth day of classes in summer sessions; the second day of classes in intersession terms) that he or she wishes to take a course for no credit. Permission of the instructor or department is required for this type of enrollment, and the student is listed on class rolls. This enrollment is different from audit enrollments, for which no enrollment or grade is recorded.
SMU Abroad students should also see the Grade Options for Courses Taken on SMU Abroad Programs section of this catalog.
Regular class attendance is required. At the beginning of the course, the instructor announces policies regarding the effect of class attendance and tardiness on the student’s standing in the course via the course syllabus. These policies may include dropping a student from the course for nonattendance or tardiness as described below. All reasons for absence or tardiness should be submitted at once to the instructor.
The satisfactory explanation of absence may release a student from disciplinary action but does not relieve a student from responsibility for the work of the course during his or her absence. A student who misses an announced test, examination or laboratory period in a regular course of study and has the permission of the instructor may be given an opportunity to make up the work at the instructor’s convenience. The instructor determines in all instances the extent to which absences and tardiness affect each student’s grade.
Students who miss two successive class meetings during the official add-drop period at the beginning of each term are subject to being dropped from the course. To avoid this possibility, students should contact the instructor or the department immediately following such a series of absences.
Students may be dropped by a course instructor or academic dean for nonattendance or tardiness with a grade of W until the University deadline to drop . Department chair approval is required. After the deadline, students must remain enrolled in the course.
Students may also be dropped by a course instructor for extreme inappropriate classroom behavior. The instructor must submit the Administrative Drop Request to drop a student from the course by the University deadline to drop a course indicated in the official Academic Calendar. Department Chair approval is required. After the deadline, the student must remain enrolled in the course and receive a final grade of F.
Students are charged an administrative fee for instructor initiated drops for attendance, tardiness and disruptive behavior.
A student who has a passing grade in a course at the time of the final examination, but who misses the examination and satisfies the instructor that the absence was unavoidable, may secure permission to take the examination at a time convenient for the instructor.
Excused Absences for University Extracurricular Activities and Religious Holidays
Students who participate in officially sanctioned, scheduled University extracurricular activities or observe a religious holiday should be given an opportunity to make up class examinations or other graded assignments missed as a result of this participation or related travel. The manner in which examinations or other assignments missed because of these activities are to be made up is left to the discretion of each individual faculty member. However, students should not be penalized in any way for these excused absences and should be informed by the instructor at the beginning of the term, preferably in writing, of the instructor’s makeup policy. It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements with the instructor prior to any missed scheduled examination or other missed assignment for making up this work, and to obtain any class notes or other course material missed due to absence prior to taking any subsequent examinations or submitting any subsequent graded assignments.
This statement of University policy applies for all students. To minimize the difficulties caused for both student-athletes and their instructors by excused absences due to University-sanctioned athletic activities or related travel, the Athletic Department shall 1) make available to all student-athletes and their academic advisers prior to registration a copy of the student’s activity and travel schedule for the upcoming term, so as to facilitate the student’s enrollment in class sections that will minimize activity and travel conflicts; and 2) require all student-athletes to provide a copy of that term’s activity and travel schedule, and a copy of this Statement of University Policy, to each of their instructors at the first class meeting of the term.
Other University colleges and departments whose students will miss classes because of their participation in officially sanctioned, scheduled University extracurricular activities, related travel, or observing of religious holidays are encouraged to adopt similar procedures to minimize the difficulties caused by such absences.
A list of religious holidays for use in requesting excused absences is available on the Official University Calendar . Students must notify the class instructor in writing by the 12th day of the term of any such absences that will occur during that term. Accommodations are to be made without penalty. More information can be found in the University Policy Manual, available at www.smu.edu/policy.
Absence Due to Illness
The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center does not provide documentation for granting excused absences from class. If students are absent for illness, they should talk to their professors about how they might catch up with the material missed. If students are seriously ill and require hospitalization or an extended absence, students should talk to their professors and the Office of Student Life to decide how to deal with the interruption in their studies. To facilitate communication with their professors about their absence, students may submit the Absence from Class Form available at www.smu.edu/healthcenter.
Interpretation of Course Numbers
Each SMU course has a four-digit course number. The first number indicates the general level of the course (3000-level and higher is considered advanced).
||Senior or Graduate
The second digit specifies the number of credit hours; exceptions are noted below.
||0, .5 or 10-15
||1 or 1.5
The third and fourth digits are used to make the course number unique within the department.
A student’s grades are available through my.SMU Student Homepage.
The grade of a student in any course is determined by the instructor of the course. The following grades are authorized for recording on the student’s official undergraduate academic record maintained by the University Registrar’s Office.
||Grade Points per Term Hour
|P, CR, S
||Pass, Credit, Satisfactory
||No Credit Received, Unsatisfactory W
||No Grade Received in Registrar’s Office
Note: Asterisks denote grades not included in a student’s GPA.
Grade of F, D, W, and Missing/Blank
Failing is graded F. If the student’s work is incomplete, poor quality and not acceptable, a grade of F will be given. After such a grade, credit may be obtained only by repeating the course.
The grade of D represents performance below average expectations. Students receiving a D in a course that is a prerequisite to another course should consult with their advisers about repeating the course so that they will be adequately prepared for work in the following course. Courses passed with a grade of D, D- or D+ will generally not count toward major or minor requirements.
The grade of W cannot be recorded unless completion of the official drop or withdrawal process has occurred by the applicable deadline during the term of enrollment. Only the grade of W may be recorded if the student has officially dropped courses from the schedule or withdrawn (resigned) from the University for the term. The grade of W may not be revoked or changed to another grade because the act of officially dropping/withdrawing is irrevocable.
A final official grade must be recorded for each enrollment. An F will be assigned for a missing or blank grade indicating an official grade has not been received from the instructor. Graduation candidates must receive a grade for all course enrollments prior to the deadline on the Official University Calendar . Failure to do so can result in removal from the degree candidacy list and/or the assignment of a grade of F.
Grade of Incomplete
A student may temporarily receive a grade of Incomplete (I) if at least 50 percent of the course requirements have been completed with passing grades, but for some justifiable reason acceptable to the instructor, the student has been unable to complete the full requirements of the course.
At the time a grade of I is given, the instructor must stipulate in my.SMU the requirements and completion date that are to be met and the final grade that will be given if the requirements are not met by the completion date.
The maximum period of time allowed to clear the Incomplete is 12 months. If the Incomplete grade is not cleared by the date set by the instructor or by the end of the 12-month deadline, whichever is earlier, the grade of I will be changed to the grade provided by the instructor at the time the Incomplete was assigned or to a grade of F if no alternate grade was provided.
The grade of I is not given in lieu of a grade of F or W, or other grade, each of which is prescribed for other specific circumstances.
The grade of I in a course does not authorize a student to attend or enroll in the course during a later term. Graduation candidates must clear all Incompletes prior to the deadline on the Official University Calendar , which may allow less time than 12 months. Failure to do so can result in removal from the degree candidacy list and/or conversion of the grade of I to the grade indicated by the instructor at the time the grade of I was given.
Grade Options for Courses Taken on SMU Abroad Programs
Courses taken on SMU Abroad fall and spring term programs may not be taken on a no-credit or pass/fail basis. The only exception to this policy is for courses designated by SMU’s academic departments with no credit or pass/fail as their only grading basis option. Students who study abroad on SMU Abroad fall and spring term programs are enrolled in a SMU placeholder course to denote full-time enrollment. This placeholder course (designated with a Z) is taken on a credit/no-credit basis. Students must submit their transcript from the study abroad program showing successful completion of credit hours to receive a grade of CR in the Z course.
Courses taken on SMU Abroad summer programs and during Jan Term (January) may not be taken for a grade of NC (No Credit), but students may petition for one of these courses to be graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must petition approval for the pass/fail option from the program director and the faculty member teaching the course. The deadline to complete the Undergraduate Pass/Fail Option Declaration form to petition for a course taken on an SMU Abroad summer program is the payment deadline for the program; for Jan Term classes, the deadline is no later than the second day of classes for Jan Term. Forms are available in the schools’ records offices.
Grade Point Average
A student’s grade point average (cumulative GPA) is computed by multiplying the credit hours of each course attempted by the grade points earned in the particular course and then dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of hours attempted, excluding those hours for which grades are shown with an asterisk on the grade chart. The GPA is truncated, not rounded, at three decimal places.
For assistance estimating a student’s GPA see the GPA calculator on the SMU website.
Changes of grades, including change of the grade of I, are initiated by the course instructor and authorized by the academic chair and by the academic dean of the school in which the course was offered. If a student requests a grade change, the instructor may ask the student to provide the request as a written petition, which may become an official part of any further process at the instructor’s discretion. Changes of grades may be made only for the following authorized reasons: to clear a grade of I, to correct a processing error or to reflect a re-evaluation of the student’s original work. A change of grade will not be based on additional work options beyond those originally made available to the entire class.
Changes of grades of I should be processed within a calendar year of the original grade assignment. Other changes of grades must be processed by the end of the next regular term. No grade will be changed after 12 months or after a student’s graduation, except in cases where a grade is successfully appealed - provided that written notice of appeal is given within six months following graduation - and in extenuating circumstances authorized by the academic dean and approved by the University Registrar’s Office.
Grades for Repeated Courses
Grade Replacement Repeat
Effective for courses taken Fall 2017 or later, undergraduate students may repeat up to six courses taken at SMU for which grades of D+ or lower were received. The grade from the repeated course, even if lower, will be the grade used to calculate the student’s GPA. A course may be repeated only once under this policy.
Students must repeat the exact same course originally taken to be considered a repeat. The course must be taken at SMU. Not every course is offered again and thus may not be available to be repeated. Students cannot take or repeat a course that is a prerequisite for a course already satisfactorily completed.
The first six courses repeated will be coded as Grade Replacement repeats. A course being repeated that is dropped (W) will not count as a grade replacement repeat. Only the credit hours of the repeated course and not the initial credit hours count toward the number needed for graduation. Both the initial and the second grades are shown on the student’s permanent academic record. Probation, suspension and dismissal, as determined by the initial grade, stands. Students are cautioned that for some purposes, such as admission into an academic program, both grades or only the initial grade could be used.
Note: This undergraduate policy replaces the former First-Year Repeat policy. Any repeats taken under the First-Year Repeat policy will count against the total Grade Replacement Repeats allowed.
*Students who entered SMU during 2016-17 under the 2016-2017 First-Year Repeat policy may repeat classes taken before Fall 2017, per the guidelines of that policy.
Grade Average Repeat
In all other cases, students will be allowed to repeat courses according to the following rules: Both the initial and the second grades will be recorded on the student’s permanent academic record. Both grades will be included in the calculation of the GPA and in the determination of academic probation, suspension, dismissal, honors and graduation. Only the repeated course and not the initial credit hours count toward the number of hours needed for graduation.
Note: Students cannot take or repeat a course that is a prerequisite for a course already satisfactorily completed.
The courses a student can repeat are determined by the school of record:
Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Students can repeat courses in which the original grade was D+ or below. Other requests to repeat courses can be made by petition in consultation with the academic adviser/department through the Dedman Office of Records and Academic Services.
Cox School of Business. Students can repeat only those courses in which the original grade was a D+ or below.
Lyle School of Engineering. Students can repeat courses in which the original grade was a C- or below. Such courses can be repeated only once.
Meadows School of the Arts. Students can repeat courses in which the original grade was a C- or below. Such courses can be repeated only once.
Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Students majoring in applied physiology and sport management can repeat a course once in which the original grade was a D+ or below. Students in the Department of Teaching and Learning’s educational studies degree program must repeat all required teacher education courses if they earn below a grade of C. Students pursuing a major or minor in Applied Physiology and Sport Management must repeat a course if they earn below a grade of C-. All students in the Simmons School may elect to repeat a course once if the original grade was a C- or below.
Students may elect to take one course per term on a pass/fail basis. The maximum total credit with a grade of Pass that may count toward a degree is 12 hours. In addition to these courses, students on the University Curriculum (UC) may take up to four additional Personal Responsibility and Wellness (PRW2) courses beyond the courses required for their degree requirements. Only one additional PRW2 course may be taken per term. For students on the UC, these additional PRW2 courses are graded on a pass/fail basis only and do not count toward the minimum hours for a student’s degree requirements or toward the one pass/fail course per term limitation.
A student must indicate intention to take a course pass/fail no later than the 12th day of classes (the fourth day of classes in summer sessions; the second day of classes in intersession terms) by filing a form available in the school’s records office. Students participating in SMU Study Abroad should review the deadlines under Grade Options for Courses Taken on SMU Abroad Programs. After the declaration of intent, students may not change their pass/fail declaration back to a letter grade. If a department grades a course pass/fail for all students, a declaration by the student is not required. A failed course cannot be repeated on a pass/fail basis, except for those courses designated as pass/fail-only courses.
Students should consult with their academic advisers before declaring the pass/fail option for any course, as some courses may not be taken pass/fail. In general, elective courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis. With the exception of courses only offered on a pass/fail basis, courses required to fulfill the Common Curriculum may not be taken pass/fail. Courses in the academic majors and minors also are excluded; however, in some programs, courses may be taken pass/fail after the minimum program requirements have been met. SMU schools may have different pass/fail policies for major and minor courses; students should see the academic requirements in each school’s section of this catalog for information on pass/fail grading. There may also be other courses required to meet certain professional accreditation standards or entrance requirements, such as teacher preparation and preprofessional studies, that may not be taken pass/fail by a particular student. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of such limitations and requirements.
Under the pass/fail option, pass (P) grades are A, B and C (including C-); failing (F) grades are D+, D, D- and F. A student who declares pass/fail is not entitled to know the regular letter grade, and a pass/fail grade cannot be changed to a regular letter grade (or vice versa) after the pass/fail grade has been assigned. The grade of P is not calculated in the GPA, although the credit hours are included in the total number of hours earned. The grade of F is calculated in the GPA. No courses in the Simmons School’s educational studies degree program may be taken on a pass/fail basis.
A student who feels that an assigned grade is other than the grade earned must first discuss the matter with the course instructor to determine if the discrepancy is caused by error or misunderstanding. At the time of the initial discussion, the student may be asked to provide a written petition requesting the change of grade.
A student who is not satisfied by the instructor’s decision on a request for a grade change, and who maintains that the original grade was capriciously or unfairly determined, may appeal to the chair of the department in which the course was offered (or, in the case of a nondepartmental course, to a faculty agent designated by the dean of the school offering the course). After discussing the matter with the student, and bearing in mind that the final authority in matters of academic judgment in the determination of a grade rests with the course instructor, the chair (or faculty agent) will consult with the course instructor, who will subsequently report to the student the disposition of the appeal.
A student who is not satisfied by the disposition of the appeal may appeal the decision to the dean of the school offering the course. The dean will take action as he or she deems appropriate. A student may appeal the dean’s decision to the provost. In their actions, the dean and the provost must respect the principle that the determination of a grade rests with the course instructor.
SMU’s policy for omitting courses from a student’s GPA is found under Academic Forgiveness in the General Policies section of this catalog.
Academic Advising and Satisfactory Progress Policies
Academic advising is an important process for each undergraduate student at SMU. Each student must meet with his or her assigned academic adviser prior to enrolling for an academic term. At this meeting, the adviser will assist the student in planning a program of study, understanding the Degree Progress Report, and scheduling courses that will count toward graduation requirements. After the initial required advising session, the student is encouraged to seek assistance from the adviser when considering whether to add or drop courses.
For an effective advising relationship, the student must be prepared when meeting with the adviser. The student must initiate the advising appointment. Prior to the meeting, the student should obtain through my.SMU a Degree Progress Report that provides detailed information concerning completion of degree requirements. The student should also be familiar with different academic programs of interest. The adviser will give assistance to the student, but the student has the final responsibility for the accuracy of the enrollment, the applicability of courses toward the degree requirements, and his or her academic performance.
Students are assigned an academic adviser by their academic dean’s office, records office or major department. A student who enrolls without first meeting with his or her assigned academic adviser may be subject to sanctions including, but not limited to, cancellation of the term enrollment and restriction from the self-service enrollment functions.
Mandatory Declaration of Major
Students officially declare their major when they have made a firm choice and when they have met the specific program entrance requirements for their intended school and department. For most students, the declaration of the major occurs in the sophomore year. Students are expected to qualify for and to declare a major no later than upon completion of 75 credit hours, including credits by examination and transfer credits, in order to continue their studies at SMU. Students in the Simmons School’s educational studies degree program have a primary major prior to declaring the secondary educational studies major; they cannot graduate with an educational studies degree alone.
Change of Academic Program
Undergraduate students who desire to change their academic program - that is, transfer from one school to another within the University, change their degree objective, change their major or change their minor - should first notify the records office of the school in which they are currently enrolled. Students can change their academic program at any time during a term. The program change is effective on the date received, approved and processed. However, changes should be made at least one week prior to enrollment for a term for the change to be effective for that enrollment.
A visiting student who wishes to be admitted to an undergraduate program offered by a school of the University must meet all standard University admission requirements.
Concurrent Degree Programs
Students can simultaneously earn degrees from multiple schools of the University with approval of the records offices of each school. The requirements for each degree must be met. Students should meet with advisers in each school at an early date to prepare a proposed plan of study and to complete the processing of all necessary forms.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence is a temporary leave from the University - a kind of “timeout” - that may be necessary during an academic career. Students may elect to take leaves of absence for a variety of reasons, including 1) medical reasons due to accident or illness, 2) family crises or other personal situations that require an extended absence from school, 3) financial issues that may take time to resolve, and 4) academic difficulties that may best be handled by taking time to refocus on college work.
Typically, a leave of absence is for one term or one academic year. A student may extend a leave of absence by contacting Enrollment Services. The process to return to SMU after a leave-of-absence period can be an easy one, especially if the student has gone through the steps to file for a leave of absence and planned ahead for the return. Following SMU’s leave-of-absence guidelines helps 1) assure that the degree requirements per the catalog of record when the student initially matriculated at SMU still apply upon return, 2) assist with financial aid processing, and 3) provide the support needed to return to SMU and successfully finish the degree.
The SMU Leave of Absence Policy provides students with a formal process to “stop out” of SMU for either voluntary or involuntary reasons. Typically, a leave of absence is for a temporary departure from the institution; however, intended permanent withdrawals from SMU will also be processed under the Leave of Absence Policy.
In addition, students who are participating in study-away programs that do not fall under the auspices of SMU should complete the Leave of Absence Form. The completion of this process will assist all respective offices at SMU to create and monitor a formal, centralized record of the status for all students who are not enrolled. The Leave of Absence Form and Leave of Absence procedures are available at www.smu.edu/registrar (“Forms Library” link). The University Policy Manual is available at www.smu.edu/policy.
The first step to effect a leave of absence is for the student to contact the Office of Student Success and Retention (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will then assist the student with the process.
The University sets the goal and expects that all undergraduate students will make regular and satisfactory progress toward their degrees. There are three categories that may apply when an undergraduate student is not making satisfactory academic progress: 1) academic probation, 2) academic suspension or 3) academic dismissal. This policy sets out the standards and procedures for each of these categories. In addition, a student who has been suspended may seek academic reinstatement under the standards set out in this policy.
Definitions: Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, Academic Reinstatement and Academic Dismissal
Academic Probation. Academic probation is a serious warning that the student is not making satisfactory academic progress. A student on academic probation is still eligible to enroll and is considered in good standing for enrolling in classes and for certification purposes. Academic probation is not noted on the permanent academic record; however, a student on academic probation may be subject to certain conditions during the period of probation and will be subject to academic suspension if he or she does not clear academic probation. For academic probation periods and guidelines, students should see the Academic Probation sections below under the appropriate school of record.
Academic Suspension. Academic suspension is an involuntary separation of the student from SMU. Academic suspension is for at least one regular term. The term of suspension might be for a longer period depending on the policy of the school of record or the terms of the individual student’s suspension. Students suspended from one school are suspended from the University.
The status of academic suspension is recorded on a student’s permanent academic record. While on academic suspension, a student is not in good academic standing for certification purposes and is not eligible to enroll at SMU. Students who have served their suspension and who are eligible to return may not enroll for any intersession terms without permission from their school of record.
Credits earned at another college or university during a term of suspension may not be applied toward an SMU degree. A grade point deficiency must be made up through enrollment at SMU.
Academic Reinstatement. A student who has been on academic suspension once may apply for reinstatement to SMU. If reinstated, the student may enroll in classes, and he or she is considered in good academic standing for purposes of certification. A student who is reinstated remains on academic probation until the conditions of academic probation are satisfied.
Academic Dismissal. A second suspension results in an academic dismissal from the University. Academic dismissal is final, with no possibility of reinstatement or readmission to the University. Academic dismissal is recorded on the student’s permanent academic record.
Academic Probation. For all undergraduate students, a student will be placed on academic probation if he or she fails to meet the following:
- For a student who enters SMU directly from high school or a student who enters SMU with fewer than 15 transfer hours, when the student fails to complete the Discernment and Discourse sequence and/or the Quantitative Foundation requirements of the University Curriculum after the completion of 60 units earned as SMU credit.
- For a part-time student or a student who enters SMU with at least 15 transfer hours, when the student fails to complete the Discernment and Discourse sequence and/or the Quantitative Foundation requirements of the University Curriculum after completion of 30 units through enrollment at SMU.
Academic Suspension. For all undergraduate students, a student will be placed on academic suspension if he or she fails to meet the following:
- For a student who enters SMU directly from high school or a student who enters SMU with fewer than 15 transfer hours, when the student fails to complete the Discernment and Discourse sequence and/or the Quantitative Foundation requirements of the University Curriculum after the completion of 75 units earned as SMU credit.
- For a part-time student or a student transferring more than 15 hours, when the student fails to complete the Discernment and Discourse sequence and/or the Quantitative Foundation requirements of the University Curriculum after completion of 45 units earned as SMU credit.
Academic Probation. For SMU Pre-Majors, once a student’s cumulative SMU GPA falls below 2.000, the student is placed on academic probation at the beginning of the next enrolled term (fall, spring or summer). The student has the next two enrolled regular terms (fall, and spring) and the first summer term following the probation start date to raise his or her cumulative SMU GPA to at least a 2.000. A student has the opportunity to enroll only for one summer term while on academic probation. The summer term must be at SMU.
When the student is placed on academic probation because his or her cumulative SMU GPA is below 2.000, then the student will be assigned to a designated probation counselor. At the beginning of his or her next term at SMU, the student will be required to complete a self-assessment and share this self-assessment with the probation counselor, who will then work with each student to determine the appropriate academic interventions. These academic interventions can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Re-evaluation of course enrollments and pre-major objectives.
- Biweekly academic counseling sessions with the probation counselor (or his or her designee).
- Enrollment in courses, such as HDEV 1110 - Reading and Learning Strategies or HDEV 1211 - Success Strategies , aimed at improving academic performance.
- Evaluation of medical and/or psychological needs such as the need for drug or alcohol education.
- Participation in tutoring and/or study skills workshops.
The student will sign a contract that stipulates the agreed-upon academic interventions.
Academic Suspension. If a student does not achieve a cumulative SMU GPA of at least a 2.000 according to the stipulations stated above, then he/she will be placed on academic suspension. A student is suspended effective the first day of the next term (fall, spring or summer), and the suspension period includes a minimum of one regular term (fall or spring). Credits earned at another college or university during a term of suspension may not be applied toward an SMU degree. A grade point deficiency must be made up through enrollment at SMU.
A student may petition to the University Committee on Academic Petitions for an additional, consecutive probationary term if the term GPA during the student’s probationary period indicates academic improvement and if the student has undergone all academic recovery efforts agreed upon in the contract with the probation counselor.
As soon as possible after the student is placed on academic suspension, the student should contact the probation counselor if he/she has any desire or intent to seek reinstatement after the period of academic suspension. The probation counselor will work with the student to determine appropriate conditions that the student should satisfy to be eligible for reinstatement. These conditions might include the completion of coursework with a certain minimum GPA; however, reinstatement is not guaranteed.
Academic Reinstatement. A student who has been academically suspended once may apply for academic reinstatement to the University. Reinstatement to the University is not guaranteed. A student is not eligible to request reinstatement until the end of the time period of academic suspension. The request for reinstatement should be submitted to the University Committee on Academic Petitions, which will make a decision on the request. Ordinarily, the decision whether to grant reinstatement will be based primarily on whether the student has satisfied the conditions set out for the period of academic suspension.
A student who is reinstated after academic suspension has two regular enrolled terms (fall and spring) in which to earn a cumulative SMU GPA of at least a 2.000. A student will return on academic probation and may not be reinstated for a summer term. Students who do not earn a cumulative SMU GPA of at least a 2.000 within two regular terms (fall and spring) after having been academically suspended will be permanently dismissed.
Academic Dismissal. A second suspension is final, resulting in dismissal from the University with no possibility of readmission.
Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
Academic Probation. Students who have a declared major in Dedman College and whose cumulative SMU GPA falls below 2.000 are placed on academic probation. Academic probation is for a minimum of one regular term (excluding intersessions and summer sessions). The dean may impose special conditions in exceptional probationary situations. Students are removed from academic probation status when they achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher.
Academic Suspension. Declared Dedman students whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.000 following a term of academic probation will be suspended. Suspension is for a minimum of one term, not counting intersessions or summer sessions. Credits earned at another college or university during a term of suspension may not be applied toward an SMU degree. A grade point deficiency must be made up through enrollment at SMU.
Reinstatement on Probation Following Suspension. Students who have been suspended once may apply for reinstatement to the University, but reinstatement is not guaranteed. In certain cases, prescribed conditions, including the completion of coursework elsewhere, must be met before a student will be approved for reinstatement. Students who have been reinstated to the University following suspension remain on probation and are normally allowed two regular terms (fall and spring) within which to make up their academic deficiencies and return to good standing. However, special conditions for the first term may be set in individual cases.
Academic Dismissal. A second suspension is final, resulting in dismissal from the University with no possibility of readmission.
Cox School of Business
Academic Probation. A student will be placed on academic probation for one regular term following the term in which the SMU term, cumulative or business GPA falls below 2.000. The business GPA is effective at nine business credits earned. A student on probation must enroll for a minimum of nine credit hours and a maximum of 12 credit hours in the term of probation, will not be allowed to enroll for an internship or directed study, and must meet with the director of academic advising for the B.B.A. program or a designee at appropriate intervals during the term, to be determined by the director. Coursework taken in intersession or summer terms will not affect probationary status. Students who do not meet all requirements of probation will not be removed from probation even if the GPA rises to 2.000 or higher.
Academic Suspension. A student on academic probation who fails to maintain an SMU term, cumulative or business GPA of 2.000, or who fails to complete successfully a minimum of nine credit hours in the term of probation, will be suspended. A student who has been suspended must petition the director of the B.B.A. program for reinstatement, but this petition will not be considered until the student has been suspended for at least one full regular term (summer sessions and intersessions excluded). For example, a student suspended at the end of the spring term may petition for reinstatement for the beginning of the next spring term, but no sooner.
Reinstatement on Probation Following Suspension. Petitions for reinstatement must set forth clearly the reasons for the previous unsatisfactory academic record and must delineate the new conditions that have been created to prevent the recurrence of such performance. Each petition is considered individually on its own merits. After consideration of the petition and perhaps after a personal interview, the student may be reinstated on academic probation if the suspension was the student’s first. Reinstated students must meet all requirements of academic probation.
Academic Dismissal. A second suspension is final, resulting in dismissal from the University with no possibility of readmission.
Failure at Other Colleges. Students who are on academic probation or academic suspension from other colleges will not be admitted to the Cox School of Business until they are no longer on probation or suspension with their home school. Students who have received academic suspension twice from any college or university will not be admitted to the Cox School. Failure to disclose any such suspensions will be grounds for dismissal from the Cox School.
Lyle School of Engineering
Academic Probation. A declared Lyle student whose SMU term or cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 may be placed on academic probation. The minimum period of probation is one regular term (excluding intersessions and summer sessions). The student remains on probation until the overall GPA is 2.000 or higher or until he or she is suspended. A student on probation may enroll in a maximum of 13 credit hours per fall or spring term and a maximum of eight credit hours per summer term during the term(s) of probation. The student is not allowed to serve as an officer of any organization representing either the Lyle School of Engineering or SMU. The student on probation may not participate in any extracurricular activities that might interfere with or detract from academic efforts.
Academic Suspension and Reinstatement on Probation Following Suspension. A student on probation who fails to maintain a GPA of at least 2.000 during an academic term will be suspended. A student who has been suspended may petition the dean for reinstatement, but this petition will not be considered until the student has been suspended for at least one full regular term. For example, a student suspended at the end of the spring term may petition for reinstatement for the beginning of the next spring term, but not sooner. Petitions for reinstatement must set forth clearly the reasons for the previous unsatisfactory academic record and must delineate the new conditions that have been created to prevent the recurrence of such performance. Each petition is considered individually on its own merits. After consideration of the petition and perhaps after a personal interview, the student may be reinstated on academic probation if the suspension was the student’s first.
Academic Dismissal. A second suspension is final, resulting in dismissal from the University with no possibility of readmission.
Meadows School of the Arts
Academic Probation. A declared Meadows student who fails to maintain an SMU cumulative or term GPA of 2.000 in a regular term (excluding intersessions and summer sessions) will be placed on academic probation for the following regular academic term. A student on academic probation may enroll for a maximum of 13 credit hours and must achieve a term and cumulative 2.000 GPA at the end of the term.
Note: A student who fails to meet divisional artistic standards may be placed on artistic probation at any time.
Academic Suspension and Reinstatement on Probation Following Suspension. A student who fails to meet the terms of academic probation will be suspended for one regular academic term, after which the student may apply for reinstatement. A student may petition the senior associate dean for reconsideration, and the student may be reinstated on academic probation.
A student who fails to meet divisional artistic standards may be suspended from the division at any time.
Academic Dismissal. A second suspension is final, resulting in dismissal from the University with no possibility of readmission.
Simmons School of Education and Human Development
Academic Probation. Declared Simmons School students in the applied physiology and sport management major whose cumulative SMU GPA falls below 2.000 are placed on academic probation. Academic probation is for a minimum of one regular term (excluding intersessions and summer sessions). The dean may impose special conditions in exceptional probationary situations. Students are removed from academic probation status when they achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher.
Declared Simmons School students in the educational studies degree whose cumulative SMU GPA falls below 2.500 and whose SMU education courses GPA fall below 3.000 are placed on academic probation. Academic probation is for a minimum of one regular term (excluding intersessions and summer sessions). The dean may impose special conditions in exceptional probationary situations. Students are removed from academic probation status when they achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.500 or higher and an education courses GPA of 3.000 or higher.
Academic Suspension. Declared Simmons School students in the applied physiology and sport management major whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.000 in any regular term following a term of academic probation will be suspended. Declared Simmons School students in the educational studies degree program whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.500 in any regular term following a term of academic probation will not be permitted to continue in the educational studies degree program. While not suspended from the University, these students are not permitted to pursue an educational studies degree. Suspension is for a minimum of one term, not counting intersessions or summer sessions. Credits earned at another college or university during a term of suspension may not be applied toward an SMU degree. A grade point deficiency must be made up through enrollment at SMU.
Reinstatement on Probation Following Suspension. Students who have been suspended once may apply for reinstatement to the University, but reinstatement is not guaranteed. In certain cases, prescribed conditions, including the completion of coursework elsewhere, must be met before a student will be approved for reinstatement. Students who have been reinstated to the University following suspension remain on probation, and they are normally allowed two regular terms within which they can make up their academic deficiencies and return to good standing. However, special conditions for the first term may be set in individual cases.
Academic Dismissal. A second suspension is final, resulting in dismissal from the University with no possibility of readmission.
Disciplinary actions recorded on the academic record are noted below. For more information on these items, see the Student Handbook.
a. Disciplinary Suspension. A student is separated from the University for an assigned time period, and under the conditions deemed necessary by the conduct review process. A student suspended from the University before an academic semester ends will not receive a refund of any monies paid and is not relieved of any financial obligations to the University, including tuition, fees, and room and board. No academic credit earned during the period of suspension at any other institution may be transferred to SMU. A conduct suspension and its effective dates are recorded on a student’s academic transcript. The notation remains for the time the student is enrolled in the University and may be removed three (3) years after graduation. If the student leaves the University before graduation, the notation may be removed three (3) years after the anticipated date of graduation from the University. During the period of suspension the student is considered not in good standing. The removal of the notation must be requested by the student after the designated time period and approved by the Office of the Dean of Students before the notation will be removed.
b. Disciplinary Dismissal (aka, Expulsion). A student is separated from the University on a permanent basis. A student’s dismissal will be permanently recorded on his/her academic transcript. A student dismissed from the University will not receive a refund of any monies paid and is not relieved of any financial obligations to the University, including tuition, fees, and room and board. A student expelled from the University may not enter campus grounds for any reason without express written permission from the Office of the Dean of Students. The dismissed student is considered not in good standing.
c. Disciplinary Violation (DV). A notation indicating a disciplinary violation will be recorded on a students’ academic transcript at the direction of the Dean of Students. The notation will remain for the time he/she is enrolled at the University and for three (3) years following his/her graduation. If the student leaves the University before graduation, the notation may be removed three (3) years after the anticipated date of graduation from the University. A student with a DV notation is considered in good standing. The removal of the notation must be requested by the student after the designated time period and approved by the Office of the Dean of Students before the notation will be removed.
d. Temporary Suspension. Pending a conduct hearing, a student is banned from campus and participation in any SMU-related activities. Student may contact faculty members to request permission to continue individual academic assignments virtually, but faculty are not required to grant the request. A notation is recorded on the student’s academic transcript that a conduct matter is pending.
e. Honor Code Violation (HV). A notation indicating an honor code violation will be recorded on a students’ academic transcript at the direction of the Dean of Students. The notation will remain for the time he/she is enrolled at the University and for three (3) years following his/her graduation. If the student leaves the University before graduation, the notation may be removed three (3) years after the anticipated date of graduation from the University. A student with a HV notation is considered in good standing. The faculty member retains complete discretion to award a grade for the course he or she deems appropriate. The removal of the notation must be requested by the student after the designated time period and approved by the Office of the Dean of Students before the notation will be removed.
Academic Petitions and Waivers
Petitions and/or requests for waivers concerning University requirements, graduation requirements and the evaluation of transfer work should be submitted to the student’s school of record office. Additional information is found under Grade Appeals in the Grade Policies section of this catalog. Petitions and/or requests for waivers concerning a major or a minor should be submitted to the appropriate department chair or program coordinator/director for consideration.
SMU Credit Requirement
University policy requires that of the 120 minimum required credit hours for an undergraduate degree, at least 60 hours must be earned as SMU credit through enrollment at SMU’s Dallas campus, SMU online offerings, SMU-in-Plano, SMU-in-Taos, SMU Abroad programs (both faculty led and provider offerings), and SMU credits awarded based on SMU departmental examination, audition and portfolio reviews.
Credit hours earned in venues not listed above that are applied toward the 120 minimum will be recorded as transfer or test credits. Therefore, regardless of the number of transferable or test credits completed, to receive an SMU undergraduate degree, students must earn 60 credit hours through enrollment at SMU. Of the 120 minimum required credit hours for an undergraduate degree, only two hours may be Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses. For further degree requirements, students should refer to the individual school sections of this catalog.
Policies for transfer coursework are found under Transfer Courses From Other Institutions in the General Policies section of this catalog.
Apply to Graduate
Students must file an Application for Candidacy to Graduate with their schools’ records offices no later than the last day of the first week of the term in which they will complete all degree requirements. Applications are filed through my.SMU by the deadline date on the Official University Calendar .
Students who file an application after the published deadline may be required to pay a nonrefundable late fee. Late applications may be denied after the start of the next term, and the Application for Candidacy to Graduate applied to the next conferral date. Students taking coursework at another institution and transferring the course(s) back to SMU are responsible for ensuring that the University Registrar’s Office receives their official transcript in order for their degree to be conferred for the anticipated graduation term.
SMU has three degree conferral periods for most programs: fall (December), spring (May) and summer (August). In addition, students who complete their degree requirements during a Jan Term (January), May term or August term will have their degrees conferred at the conclusion of the intersessions.
An All-University Commencement Convocation is held in May for students enrolled and on schedule to complete degree requirements during the spring term. Students enrolled and on schedule to complete all degree requirements during the following summer session or May Term may also participate in the University Commencement Convocation, although their degrees will not be conferred until August or following May Term. Students who completed degree requirement during the previous fall or January term who did not participate in the previous all-university December commencement convocation may also participate. Students may also participate in departmental or school ceremonies according to the policies of the departments or schools. Doctoral candidates may participate in commencement only after all degree requirements are complete.
An All-University December Commencement Convocation is held each year for students enrolled and on schedule to complete degree requirements during the fall term. Students who completed degree requirements during the previous summer session may also participate. Students on schedule and enrolled to complete all degree requirements during the following Jan Term (January) intersession may also participate in the December ceremony, although their degrees will be conferred in January.
A student may participate in either the fall or spring All-University Commencement Convocation for a given degree, but not in both.
To participate in a ceremony, a student must apply online and file an Application for Candidacy to Graduate or Intent to Participate Form. Students earning majors in multiple schools must file separately with each school.
There are three classes of graduation honors: summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude. The awarding of graduation honors will be determined by GPAs announced at the beginning of each academic year for each of the five undergraduate schools - Dedman, Cox, Lyle, Meadows and Simmons. The required GPAs generally represent the top 5 percent, 10 percent and 15 percent of graduates in the school. Students earning a degree with majors in two or more schools will receive the highest degree honors for which they are eligible.
The required GPAs for each school will be determined by pooling all graduates in the school from the previous three academic years. The GPA used is the lower of the student’s SMU cumulative GPA and all-college GPA (this includes transfer work). Only undergraduate coursework is calculated.
Students may obtain information about minimum GPAs required in past years from their academic schools or online at www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/Registrar/AcademicRecords.
Separate from earning graduation honors, students who have completed the requirements of the University Honors Program may earn honors in the liberal arts. Departmental distinction may also be awarded in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, and Simmons School of Education and Human Development; the Cox School of Business awards the honors in business distinction to students who have successfully completed the requirements for the Cox B.B.A. Honors Program. These honors require completion of requirements prescribed by the department or school. Further information may be obtained from the individual departments and schools.
Statute of Limitations for Degree Plans
A student who has been readmitted to the University following an absence of more than three years will be expected to meet all requirements for graduation current at the time of readmission.