Jun 21, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Meadows School of the Arts

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General Information

The Meadows School of the Arts educates visionary artists, scholars, and arts and communication professionals so that they may have a sustainable, transformative impact on both local and global society.

Founded through the generosity of Algur H. Meadows, his family and the Meadows Foundation, the Meadows School is recognized as one of the nation’s premier arts schools. It offers intense, specialized education in the communication, performing and visual arts to arts majors, and provides a rich variety of coursework for students from other disciplines exploring the arts as part of their liberal arts education.

In addition to working closely with a nationally renowned faculty, Meadows students have access to many eminent visiting professors, artists and scholars, as well as the annual winners of the Meadows Prize. The Meadows School also offers one of the nation’s finest university complexes for instruction, performance and exhibition in advertising, art, art history, arts management and arts entrepreneurship, corporate communication and public affairs, creative computation, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music, and theatre.


Academic, Performance and Exhibition Spaces

The Owen Arts Center houses the Greer Garson Theatre (a classical thrust stage), the Bob Hope Theatre (a proscenium theatre), the Margo Jones Theatre (a black box theatre), Caruth Auditorium (which includes a 51-stop, 3,681-pipe Fisk organ), the Charles S. Sharp Performing Arts Studio, the O’Donnell Lecture-Recital Hall and several smaller performance spaces, as well as classrooms, studios and rehearsal areas. The Doolin Gallery in the Owen Arts Center and the Pollock Gallery, housed in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, are the art exhibition spaces of the Division of Art. Student work is exhibited and critiqued in the Doolin Gallery. Exhibitions organized in the Pollock Gallery provide students, faculty, staff and the community with opportunities to experience a thoughtful and wide array of exhibitions representing diverse artists, time periods and cultures.

The Meadows Museum exhibits one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, including works of such masters as El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Montañes, Murillo, Goya, Sorolla, Picasso, Gris, Miró and Tápies. The Elizabeth Meadows Sculpture Collection includes important works by such modern sculptors as Rodin, Maillol, Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Marini, Giacometti, Noguchi, David Smith and Claes Oldenburg.

The Umphrey Lee Center serves as home to several of the communication arts areas, including a journalism complex that houses a high-definition television studio, a control room, computer labs and editing suites.

The four-story Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library is adjacent to the Owen Arts Center and houses all arts library collections, a slide library, an audio/visual center and the Mildred Hawn Exhibition Gallery. The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, a part of the library’s holdings, is housed in the Greer Garson Theatre’s 3,800-square-foot refrigerated storage vault, with screening rooms also in the building. The Bywaters Special Collections hold works on paper and archival materials illuminating the cultural history of the Southwest.

Center of Creative Computation

The Center of Creative Computation is an interdisciplinary research and teaching center exploring computation as a universal, generative medium that integrates creative development, quantitative analysis and interdisciplinary synthesis. The center offers a major and minor in creative computing, combining core coursework from the fine and performing arts with computer science and engineering. The center sponsors student and faculty fellowships, workshops and lectures, and facilitates interdisciplinary creative development and research. Examples of projects include hardware and software development, digital media/arts production, visualization, interactive performance, intermedia practice, digital humanities, and pedagogical development.

Ignite/Arts Dallas

Ignite/Arts Dallas aims to engage the Meadows School in deep relationships with the Dallas community, using the arts to foster connections among diverse groups, and to introduce its students to the arts’ critical role in social engagement.

SMU DataArts

SMU DataArts, the first of its kind in the nation, acts as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community. The center analyzes the largest database of arts research ever assembled and makes its findings available free of charge to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers, students and the general public.

The mission of SMU DataArts is to empower arts and cultural leaders with high-quality data and evidence-based resources and insights that help them to overcome challenges and increase impact. The scope of this work requires the collaboration of multiple national organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Theatre Communications Group, TRG Arts, the League of American Orchestras, OPERA America, and the Boston Consulting Group. More information is available at www.smu.edu/artsresearch.

Meadows School of the Arts and the Liberal Arts Education

All first-year undergraduates spend at least one year as SMU Pre-Majors before transferring officially to Meadows. Students are assigned an academic adviser in the University Advising Center based on their intended majors. Arts students have advisers who specialize in those disciplines. In the first year, students combine liberal arts courses with the introductory course requirements of their intended major. After entering Meadows, normally in the sophomore year, students continue to combine courses in the major with University Curriculum requirements.

Meadows Academic Units

The Meadows School consists of 11 undergraduate and graduate academic units. Each is outlined in detail in individual sections of this publication. They are as follows:

Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research Dance
Art Film and Media Arts
Art History Journalism
Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship Music
Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Theatre
Center of Creative Computation  

Programs of Study

Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts
-Art History  
-Corporate Communication and Public Affairs  
-Creative Computing  
-Fashion Media  
-Film and Media Arts  
-Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts  
-Public Relations and Strategic Communication  
-Film and Media Arts  
Bachelor of Music
-Music Composition  
-Music Education  (includes Texas teacher certification)
-Music Performance  
-Music Therapy  (approved by the Amer. Music Therapy Association; leads to eligibility to sit for Music Therapy Board Certification exam)

Academic Minors

University students may complete a minor in various divisions within Meadows School of the Arts. The minor will be noted on the student’s transcript. Interested students should contact the office of the academic dean of their school of record for procedures concerning minor declaration. The minors are as follows:

Advertising   Graphic Design  
Art   History of the Visual and Performing Arts  
Art History   Journalism  
Arts Entrepreneurship   Music  
Arts Management   Music Industry Practices  
Corporate Communication and Public Affairs   Musical Theatre  
Creative Computing   Photography  
Dance Performance   Songwriting  


Various academic units in Meadows School of the Arts have special admissions criteria such as auditions, portfolio reviews and specified coursework that are in addition to meeting general University admission criteria. Admissions criteria pertinent to each instructional unit are stated in the section of this publication devoted to that unit.

Admission Procedures

Prospective students interested in undergraduate degrees in Meadows School of the Arts apply for undergraduate admission to SMU as first-year students or transfer students through the SMU Division of Enrollment Services, Office of Undergraduate Admission, PO Box 750181, Dallas TX 75275-0181. Application deadlines and information on performing and visual arts consideration are in the Admission to the University section in the front of this catalog.

Test Optional Policy for Dual Admit Applicants to SMU Meadows School of the Arts:

An SAT or ACT score report is not required for admission consideration from applicants who are seeking admission to Dual Admit programs in the Meadows School of the Arts (Music, Theatre, Dance, Art, Film-B.F.A.). Applicants should only submit an SAT or ACT score report for academic merit scholarship consideration. The recommended combined score to be considered for academic merit scholarships is 1330 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT.

Note that students who do not submit test scores will be considered only for artistic scholarship and need-based aid; they will not be considered for scholarships based on academic merit.

Students who do not submit test scores should list their Meadows major first on their application for admission. Students not admitted to Meadows via their portfolio or audition, but who still wish to be considered for admission to SMU, will be required to submit test scores at that time.

Admission as an SMU Interschool Transfer Student

SMU students enter as pre-majors and then transfer to Meadows School of the Arts when they complete requirements for the major declaration. A student transferring to the Meadows School from Dedman College (or other schools of the University) must secure a Student Change of Degree Program form from the academic records office of the student’s current school to present to the Student Academic Services Office of Meadows School of the Arts.

Students must have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours of study, including successful completion of the DISC sequence through DISC 1312 (or its equivalent), with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000. Students in various academic units also must receive formal recognition of suitable scholarly or creative ability and talent in the performing arts.

Advertising, corporate communication and public affairs, film and media arts (B.A. only), and journalism students must successfully complete the prerequisite subset of courses with the appropriate GPA to be admitted to their degree programs. Advertising students must additionally complete a written on-site application to the program.

Art students who were not dually admitted prior to matriculation must take three 1300-level courses and then meet with their pre-major advisor in order to declare the B.A. in Art.  Art students who were not dually admitted prior to matriculation must take four 1300-level courses and then meet with their pre-major advisor in order to declare the B.F.A. in Art.

Art history students are strongly encouraged to contact the chair of the Art History Department for a conference.

Students interested in pursuing the B.F.A. in film and media arts must submit a portfolio online (see details at smu.edu/filmadmission). The portfolio must include at least one film/video sample in which the student was a primary creative voice (such as writer or director), and no more than five works.

Students in dance, music and theatre will have auditioned/interviewed prior to entering SMU.

Admission as an External Transfer Student

Students applying for admission to Meadows School of the Arts by transfer from another accredited educational institution should request a transfer application from the Division of Enrollment Services. Transfer applicants who have completed 30 transferable hours with a GPA of 2.700 or better are often successful in gaining admission to the University. Once admitted, a transfer student must be prepared to earn at least 60 hours of credit through enrollment at SMU. That is, 60 hours of credit must be earned in SMU courses or SMU-approved international programs.

Transfer credit is not given for work completed at a non-accredited school. Only grades of C- or better in comparable courses are transferable to SMU.

Transfer into Meadows School of the Arts is not automatic. Consideration is also given to creative or scholarly potential for the program to be undertaken and to particular talent in performing areas. Admissions criteria pertinent to each instructional unit also must be satisfied.


Students should contact the Division of Enrollment Services, Office of Undergraduate Admission regarding readmission. A student who has been readmitted after an absence of more than three years will be expected to meet all current requirements for graduation. Dance, music or theatre students may also be required to re-audition. Detailed information is in the Admission to the University, Readmission of Students section of this catalog.

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid

For many SMU students, scholarships and other aid make the cost of attending a distinguished university no more, and often less, taxing on their families’ financial resources than attending a public university. More than 75 percent of SMU students receive some type of financial aid. More information is available in the Student Financial Aid section of this catalog or through the Division of Enrollment Services, Office of Financial Aid: www.smu.edu/financial_aid, phone 214-768-3417.

SMU has a generous program of merit scholarships, grants, loans and part-time jobs to recognize academic achievement and talent in specific fields and to meet financial need.

Meadows Undergraduate Artistic Scholarships

The divisions and centers comprising Meadows School of the Arts annually award scholarships for outstanding achievement in a particular discipline. Candidacy for scholarship considerations may require an audition, review and/or interview. No student with ability should hesitate to apply to SMU and Meadows because of financial need.

For information regarding artistic scholarships, please visit our website: smu.edu/affordmeadows.

To receive primary consideration for all SMU merit scholarships and other aid, students should comply with the following schedule:

By January 15

By March 1

  • Complete auditions and/or interviews.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for Graduation

Students who are candidates for a degree in Meadows School of the Arts must submit a formal application for graduation to the Student Academic Services Office by the end of the first week of class for December and May graduation, and by the second day of summer school for August graduation. In addition to University-wide requirements and requirements for the major, candidates for graduation must also fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Credits
    A minimum total of 122 credit hours. Additional credit hours are required by some programs as needed to fulfill University-wide requirements. No more than two credit hours from Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses count toward degree completion.
  2. Grades
    1. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 on all attempted SMU work and a minimum 2.000 GPA in the major area of study.
    2. A maximum of 12 credit hours at the student’s election with a grade of P (Pass).
  3. Credit Requirements:
    1. A minimum total of 60 credit hours through enrollment at SMU.
    2. A maximum of 30 credit hours of transfer work after matriculation.

A degree from Meadows School of the Arts is awarded by the faculty only in recognition of developed abilities, demonstrated knowledge of the student’s particular field of study and the capacity to express an understanding of the art medium. Merely passing all courses is not necessarily sufficient.

Requirements for the Major

Candidates for undergraduate degrees must complete the requirements for an academic major in one of the academic units in Meadows. Students usually declare a major at the end of the first year. Students may major in more than one program within Meadows or combine a major in Meadows with one in a different school. All course-work counting toward a major must be taken for a letter grade, except for those courses that are routinely designated as pass/fail. Students must process appropriate forms in the Student Academic Services Office to change majors or declare a second major.

University-wide Requirements

University-wide requirements (University Curriculum) must be met by all undergraduate students, regardless of degree program or major. All courses used to meet University-wide requirements must be taken for a letter grade, unless the course is offered only on a pass/fail basis. Questions concerning University Curriculum requirements may be directed to the Student Academic Services Office.

Double Majors

A student who wishes to double major (majors in two departmental areas or in two schools) must satisfy the requirements of each department or school.

Graduation Honors

There are three classes of graduation Latin honors: summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude. Eligibility for graduation honors will be based upon a student’s total academic program. All academic work attempted at other colleges or universities equivalent to SMU work will be included in the calculation of the GPA. For students who have transferred to SMU or who have transferred coursework following matriculation at SMU, two GPAs will be calculated: that for all work attempted and that for work completed through enrollment at SMU. Latin honors will be based on the lower of the two averages.

Commencement Activities Prior to Completion of Degree Requirements

Participation in May graduation activities is allowed for students who are within six hours of completing graduation requirements and are enrolled to complete all degree requirements during the summer following graduation activities. Students who meet the above requirements may petition to participate in commencement activities.

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