Welcome to the University Curriculum

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The motto of Southern Methodist University, Veritas Liberabit Vos (“the truth shall set you free”), epitomizes the ideals of an SMU education and is the fundamental principle for the University Curriculum.   The wisdom to acquire and critically reflect on existing knowledge and the insight and capacity to create new knowledge are the hallmarks of an educated person and exemplify the characteristics we seek to instill at SMU.

The UC consists of two main coursework components: Foundations and Pillars. In addition to these coursework components, there are eight different Proficiencies and Experiences that can be satisfied either by coursework or by out-of-class experiences through which students develop and demonstrate the proficiencies.

The UC emphasizes Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). In designing the UC with this focus on SLOs, the faculty have identified what they expect you to think about, learn, and experience, but just how you choose to do so will be up to you, in consultation with your academic advisors and your professors. 

Every student’s path through the UC should and will be different.  Any course may satisfy one or more UC requirements if faculty committees determine that the course provides ample opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate the SLOs associated with the requirement.   Credit-hour accumulation will remain the primary way most of you will fulfill these outcomes, but some of you may choose to meet some requirements through non-course or non-credit activities.

The UC can be met through any part of your undergraduate career, including work in the major or minor, elective courses, or approved and reflected-upon activities.

The list of courses that satisfy various UC requirements will vary by semester, especially with respect to identified and approved Proficiencies and Experiences. 

Note: At their meeting on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, the faculty on the Counil on the University Curriculum unanimously approved the following temporary curricular modifications:

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  1. Students who entered AS FIRST YEAR STUDENTS in the fall 2012 through spring 2014 are required to complete three of the five level-two Pillars (in the case of the Pure and Applied Science Pillar the course can either be a level-one Pillar course with a lab or a level two Pillar course possibly without a lab);
  2. Students who entered AS FIRST YEAR STUDENTS in the fall 2012 through spring 2014 must complete the Second Language Requirement but are required to complete no more than six of the other ten Proficiencies and Experiences with one each in Writing and Oral Communication and four additional from the list of ten with no repetitions among them;
  3. FIRST YEAR TRANSFER STUDENTS who entered in spring 2013 and TRANSFER STUDENTS who entered in summer 2014 through summer 2015 will be granted the same considerations as non-transfer students who entered in the fall 2012 through the spring 2014 terms: they are required to complete three of the five level-two Pillars (in the case of the Pure and Applied Science Pillar the course can either be a level-one Pillar course with a lab or a level two Pillar course possibly without a lab), the Second Language Requirement, and no more than six of the other ten Proficiencies and Experiences with one each in Writing and Oral Communication and four additional from the list of ten with no repetitions among them.