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Home-Schooled or Non-Traditional High School Students

SMU happily accepts and reviews applications from students attending non-traditional high schools, including homeschools and online high schools. A student who has been homeschooled is subject to the same review as a student applying from a traditional high school (please follow the application instructions). We ask that all homeschooled students complete the Home School Supplement.

The SMU Admission Committee makes the following additional recommendations for homeschooled students to help them be as competitive as possible in the admission process:

Curriculum

In our review of applicants, we like to see students challenging themselves academically. Regardless of which curriculum you follow, the committee would like to see, at minimum:

  • Four units of English
  • Three units of mathematics (suggested: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
  • Three units of science (including two units of laboratory science)
  • Three units of social science
  • Two units of a foreign language (full two-year sequence)

Please be aware that students who go above and beyond in the rigor of their academic curriculum generally have an advantage in the admissions process. The average number of core academic courses for an admitted student is 20 units.

Official Transcript

The admission committee will need something to help us measure your success as a student in your homeschool program. We understand that an official transcript may not be available. If this is the case, please submit a transcript with a consistent grading scheme and/or course descriptions including textbook titles so that we can fully understand your program and what was used to determine proficiency in each academic area.

You can use the space provided on the Home School Supplement or provide a document in your own format. While not required, it may be beneficial to have your transcript notarized.

Recommendation Letters

As you will see on our application checklist, a counselor recommendation is required and a teacher recommendation is highly recommended.

  • The counselor recommendation should come from the individual who has coordinated your educational experience and can provide information about the curriculum you used.
  • The teacher recommendation can be completed by a teacher, tutor, or the advisor of an activity in which you participate.

If you and your educational coordinator (i.e. “counselor”) feel that your application would be better served through your teacher/tutor recommendation, you are welcome to waive the counselor recommendation by submitting a statement. The wording for this statement can be as follows:

I, [Full Name of Educational Coordinator], would like to waive my right to provide a counselor letter of recommendation for [Applicant’s Legal Name] on account that the teacher recommendation letter by [Full Name of Teacher/Tutor] is a better representation of the academic merits of this applicant. Under the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the applicant has waived his/her right to access the teacher’s recommendation form and letter. We understand that we may not be eligible to review or otherwise inspect the letter of recommendation prior to submission to SMU.

Dual-Credit & AP/IB/SAT II Exams

Many home-schooled applicants challenge themselves by taking dual-credit courses from  local accredited colleges or recommended standardized exams. Because each home-school experience is different, SAT II subject test and/or AP/IB scores and college-level courses can provide the committee with an additional measure of your ability in core academic subject areas such as English literature, math, and science.

We look forward to working with you and reviewing your application for admission. Please feel free to contact Abby Chu, with any homeschool-related questions.