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Welcome to the University Curriculum

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University Curriculum

SMU's motto, Veritas Liberabit Vos, which means "The truth shall make you free," is the UC's fundamental principle. 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 SMU seeks to instill.

The UC has two main coursework components: Foundations and Pillars. In addition, there are eight different Proficiencies and Experiences that can be satisfied either by course-based or non-course-based experiences.

The UC emphasizes Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), which the faculty have designed to identify what they expect students to think about, learn and experience. Credit-hour accumulation is the primary way most students will fulfill these outcomes, but some students may choose non-course or non-credit activities.

The UC can be met through work in a student's major(s) or minor(s), elective courses or approved activities. The list of courses that satisfy various UC requirements will vary by semester.

Note: SMU's Council on General Education unanimously approved the following modifications:

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  1. Students who entered AS FIRST YEAR STUDENTS in fall 2012 through summer 2016 are required to complete three of the five level-two Pillars (in 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 fall 2012 through summer 2016 must complete the Second Language Requirement but are required to complete no more than six of the other 10 Proficiencies and Experiences with one each in Writing and Oral Communication and four additional from the list of 10 with no repetitions among them;

  3. FIRST-YEAR TRANSFER STUDENTS who entered in spring 2013 through summer 2016, and TRANSFER STUDENTS who entered in summer 2014 through summer 2016 will be granted the same consideration as non-transfer students who entered in fall 2012 through summer 2016 terms: they are required to complete three of the five level-two Pillars (in 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 10 Proficiencies and Experiences with one each in Writing and Oral Communication and four additional from the list of 10 with no repetitions among them.