Mar 29, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

University Curriculum Pathway Guide for Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) (Including Dallas, Collin and Tarrant County Community Colleges)

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

An Introduction for Transfer Students

SMU welcomes transfer students from all colleges and universities! Transfer students comprise a large and important component of the total student body and their diverse academic backgrounds enrich the educational experience for all students. SMU’s Transfer and Transition Services assists prospective transfer students with planning programs of study that are compatible with SMU degree requirements.

The University Curriculum

At SMU, all undergraduates complete a program of study called The University Curriculum (UC), which emphasizes the values of a liberal arts education – learning to read, write and think critically while acquiring a basic understanding of human society. The following outline represents Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) courses which satisfy requirements of SMU’s University Curriculum. If you are transferring from a college or university outside of Texas, click on the SMU course for a course description which may be used to select/compare courses at your current institution. Careful review of these equivalencies should facilitate a seamless transfer to the University and minimize the likelihood of lost credits in the process.

The UC consists of three main coursework components:

  • Foundations
  • Breadth and Depth
  • Proficiencies and Experiences


Foundations courses teach students how to read and write critically, develop basic quantitative reasoning skills, expose them to a second language, introduce the concepts of life-long personal responsibility and wellness, and explore how different academic disciplines define and create knowledge.

Discernment and Discourse (6 Hours Required)

Seminar-style writing courses which encourage students to develop critical reading, expository and analytical writing, oral communication and research skills.

Quantitative Foundation (3 Hours Required)

Designed to ensure that students have the ability to understand, evaluate, and use quantitative information.

Ways of Knowing (3 Hours Required)

KNW courses develop students’ understanding of the multiple approaches whereby different disciplines define, acquire and create knowledge, including the ethical considerations involved. No transfer equivalency. This course must be taken at SMU.

Second Language Sequence (0-8 Hours Required)

SMU students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding a second language equal to the first years’ study of the language at the university level. May be satisfied by one of the following:

  1. Transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language or American Sign Language.
  2. Placing out of a world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit.
  3. Being literate in a native language other than English.

Personal Responsibility and Wellness (2 Hours Required)

PRW courses are designed to ensure students’ development of life-long habits of wellness, responsibility, and fitness. Two one-hour physical education (PHED) activity courses in different disciplines may transfer to satisfy this Foundation.

Breadth and Depth

Breadth and depth courses introduce students to the ways in which intellectual traditions organize and construct knowledge. Breadth courses introduce students to fundamental ideas in various disciplines. Depth courses provide more advanced knowledge of subjects or the application of fundamental ideas to other disciplinary areas.

One course from each of the 7 Breadth categories is required. Depth courses are satisfied by 3 upper-level courses, although a second lower-level science course with a lab may be used to meet the Natural and Applied Science Depth. Breadth and Depth courses may be double-counted with majors and minors.

Breadth Courses (1 Course From Each Area)

Breadth - Creativity and Aesthetics (Choose One)*

Breadth - Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics (Choose One)*

Breadth - Language and Literature (Choose One)*

  • COSC 1415 (Intro Comp Science and Prog) transfers as CSE 10U2
  • COSC 1436 (Programming Fundamentals I) transfers as CSE 10U2
  • ENGL 2321(British Literature) transfers as ENGL 20U1
  • ENGL 2322 (British Literature) transfers as ENGL 20U2
  • ENGL 2323 (British Literature) transfers as ENGL 20U3
  • ENGL 2326 (American Literature) transfers as ENGL 20U4
  • ENGL 2327 (American Literature) transfers as ENGL 20U5
  • ENGL 2328 (American Literature) transfers as ENGL 20U6         
  • ENGL 2331 (World Literature) transfers as WL 20U1
  • ENGL 2332 (World Literature) transfers as WL 20U2
  • ENGL 2333 (World Literature) transfers as WL 20U3    
Breadth - Historical Contexts (Choose One)*

Breadth - Individuals, Institutions and Cultures (Choose One)*

Breadth - Technology and Mathematics (Choose One)*

  • COSC 1301/1401 (Microcomp Concepts and Apps) transfers as CSE 10U1
  • BCIS 1305 (Business Computer Applications) transfers as CSE 10U1
  • COSC 1309 (Programming Logic and Design) transfers as CSE 10U1
  • MATH 2318/2418 (Linear Algebra) transfers as  
Breadth - Science and Engineering (Choose Two)*

May satisy Breadth and Natural and Applied Science Depth requirement with two courses with labs. 


*Note: Course numbers ending in U1, U2, U3, etc. are generic course numbers of which there is not an SMU equivalent. These courses are approved to meet specific Breadth requirements.

Proficiencies and Experiences

In addition to the above courses, all students on the UC must demonstrate certain Proficiencies and Experiences (P&E) which may be met through credit-bearing course work or approved, non-credit activities that have been identified as meeting that requirement.

P&E’s are not specific courses but instead demonstrate that students have developed and refined writing, quantitative reasoning, oral communication and information literacy skills beyond the introductory level. The UC also encourages all undergraduates to apply curricular knowledge to the diverse, global communities in which they will live and work. Unless indicated below, transfer credit does not automatically satisfy P&E’s. If you believe a transfer course meets the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for a particular P&E, you may petition the office of the UC. SLOs may be found here.  Students must complete one of each of the P&Es in bold typeface below (4), and 2 more P&E’s from the list of: Oral Communication, Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, Community Engagement and Global Engagement, for a total of 6.

  • Human Diversity - ANTH 2351
  • Information Literacy
  • Oral Communication - Introductory Speech course
  • Writing
  • Quantitative Reasoning - ECON 2302, MATH 2320 or PHIL 2303
  • Community Engagement
  • Global Engagement

An Undergraduate Degree

An undergraduate SMU degree is comprised of:

  1. Courses in your major
  2. Courses that fulfill the University Curriculum requirements (which may also count for your major and/or minor)
  3. Elective courses (which may be used towards a second major or minor)

By carefully using specific SMU Equivalency Guides for colleges and universities in Texas and across the country, all of your work should transfer to SMU and fall into one of these three categories.

UC Protocols

Please keep in mind the following policies and information about the UC when planning your program of study at a Texas college or university using TCCNS or elsewhere:

  • UC requirements can be met through any part of your undergraduate career, including work in the major or minor, elective courses and approved activities. The number of courses and/or credit hours required to complete the UC will vary according to your academic background, preparation, major, curricular and co-curricular choices.
  • Most second-level Depth courses and the Ways of Knowing course must be taken at SMU, but many individual SMU courses could satisfy two different second-level Depth and Proficiencies and Experiences requirements and many Depth courses apply to the major.
  • TCCNS courses approved for the UC have been carefully vetted. Courses not listed as approved must demonstrate specific Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) to satisfy requirements. Credit earned by examination such as AP or IB credit may only satisfy Foundations, the Second Language sequence and Breadth courses. AP/IB courses may satisfy only one Science and Engineering requirement.
  • Students must be continuously enrolled in the appropriate Discernment and Discourse course each term until completion of the Foundations requirement.
  • Keep syllabi from all of your transfer courses. You will need them to determine transfer applicability once you arrive at SMU.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.