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Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 FAQs
Temporary Test-Optional
Admission Requirements
Financial Aid
Tuition, Fees & Deadlines
Transfer Information
Academics
Living on Campus
Student/Campus Life
General Information
Self-reporting of Standardized Test Scores to SMU
Superscoring the ACT at SMU

COVID-19 FAQs

ADMITTED STUDENTS

Visiting Campus/Connecting with Staff and Other Students
Can I schedule a remote meeting with my SMU Admission Counselor?
Absolutely! Find your SMU Admission Counselor. At the top of your SMU Admission Counselor’s page, you will find a link to schedule a one-on-one virtual meeting.

Because on-campus events for admitted students are cancelled, what are the other ways for me to meet and connect with other admitted students?
We encourage you to join the SMU Office of Undergraduate Admission Admitted Student Network. Your personalized link to join the network was emailed to you. If you cannot find your email invitation, please contact your admission counselor or email ugadmission@smu.edu. You can also be in the know by joining the SMU Class of 2024 Facebook and Instagram groups.

If I cannot visit campus this spring, is there still a way for me to talk with a current student?
Yes! Email your SMU Admission Counselor, who will connect you with one of our Student Ambassadors. Find your SMU Admission Counselor here. Get to know other admitted students through the SMU Office of Undergraduate Admission Admitted Student Network or by joining the SMU Class of 2024 Facebook and Instagram groups.

Can I schedule a visit to see SMU in person?
All visits to campus are currently suspended because the University is closed until further notice by the State of Texas and the City of Dallas to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our staff members, who are working from home are still here to support you and are available for one-on-one virtual meetings. Schedule a one-on-one meeting today. Find your SMU Admission Counselor here. At the top of your SMU Admission Counselor’s page, you will find a link to schedule a one-on-one virtual meeting. If you are not receiving emails from us, please complete this short form to ensure you’re in our system.

Are there any options for students who do not have a smartphone or are without internet access to still connect with SMU and the Office of Undergraduate Admission?
Feel free to call 1-800-323-0672 during normal business hours to speak with a member of our team.

Tuition Deposit Deadline/Applying Now
What is SMU’s deadline to submit my enrollment deposit?
SMU’s deadline is Friday, May 1. We understand it’s more challenging to make a college decision without being able to make a campus visit. We want you to have the time you need and will not penalize you for a deposit deadline extension request. If you need more time to make a decision, please have a conversation with your SMU Admission Counselor by the May 1 deadline and they will support and work with you. Find your SMU Admission Counselor here.

Due to current financial hardships, can my deposit be waived or reduced?
We are here for you. If you are facing a hardship that makes it difficult to submit your deposit, don’t hesitate to reach out to your SMU Admission Counselor, who will work with you to find potential solutions. Find your SMU Admission Counselor here.

I have changed my mind and now want to stay close to home. Can I still apply to SMU?
During these unprecedented times, we will absolutely be flexible with you. If you plan to submit a late application, please contact your SMU Admission Counselor to discuss this option. Find your SMU Admission Counselor here and start the application process.

Financial Aid
My family’s financial situation has changed drastically. Can I resubmit my financial aid information to be considered for more grants, scholarship awards, or need-based aid?
We are here for you. If you are facing a hardship that makes it difficult to enroll at SMU, don’t hesitate to reach out to your SMU Admission Counselor, who will work with you to find potential solutions. For questions about merit-based scholarships, contact your SMU Admission Counselor. Find your SMU Admission Counselor here. Or if you have questions about financial aid, you can find your personal SMU Financial Aid Advisor here to e-mail and schedule a 1:1 appointment.

Will my financial aid award package be delayed because of COVID-19?
If you have filed both the CSS PROFILE and the FAFSA, your financial aid award package should have already reached you. If you have questions, please contact your SMU Admission Counselor or you can find your personal SMU Financial Aid Advisor here to e-mail and schedule a 1:1 appointment. 

Orientation
Are there any changes with orientation? If so, how will I register for classes?
Due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19, AARO (Academic Advising, Registration, and Orientation) sessions in their traditional form (in-person, mandatory sessions) are not able to occur for the Summer of 2020. Orientation will take place virtually, including advising and class registration. At this time, Stampede (August 20-23) is still expected to occur on campus. Click here for additional information. Additionally, the form below is only accessible to students whose deposit has been paid and processed. To pay your deposit, please visit smu.edu/deposit.

Health Records/Living On-Campus
I am concerned about living on campus. Can I live at home?
All first- and second-year students live on campus in our Residential Commons, a signature living-and-learning element of the SMU experience. However, if you have submitted your deposit AND your housing application, you may request an exemption to live at home with a parent or a guardian in their primary residence. Exemptions to live at home may be granted due to a hardship based on a medical need or disability or financial or personal circumstances. Learn more about SMU’s Residential Commons.

How can I get my health records and meningitis vaccinations if doctors are not seeing people who are not ill?
SMU’s Dr. Bob Smith Health Center can provide the required vaccinations if you’re unable to be seen by a physician prior to arriving to SMU. Visit Health Requirements for All Incoming Students for more information. You can also contact the Health Center directly by calling +1-214-768-2141 during normal business hours or by email at healthcenter@smu.edu.

Other Related Admission Questions
Will SMU take these recent events into consideration when reviewing my senior year spring semester grades and resume?
Absolutely! We know the impact of COVID-19 will have long lasting effects on many facets of life and the SMU Office of Undergraduate Admission understands that there will be disruption in school and community-based activities. Academically, though, SMU still expects our admitted students to successfully complete their senior year, we know that students are encountering unique challenges, we will certainly take everything into account. So, we encourage you to remain engaged academically through the end of your school year.

Because my school has been out of session, I have not been able to take part in my regular extracurricular activities. Will this affect my application?
SMU’s Office of Undergraduate Admission will continue to provide a truly holistic review of a student’s application. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted school and community-based activities and anticipate that there may be potential gaps in involvement on a student’s resume.

What am I supposed to do if I’m not able to take the SAT or ACT now?
Have conversations with your high school college counselor to identify your best options. Currently, the June SAT has been cancelled. The ACT test date for June is still valid, but there is an alternate testing plan if schools/test centers have not reopened. We encourage you to find a future test date that works for your schedule and register as soon as possible because test dates tend to fill up quickly.

If my final exams for the IB Diploma are canceled, will I still receive my scholarship?

If you successfully graduate and your high school college counselor can verify that you were on track to obtain the IB Diploma, we will honor your scholarship award.

If I am not able to take my IB exams at the end of the spring semester, how will it impact the amount of credit awarded?

The amount of credit awarded is based on the results of a student’s higher level IB exams. IB will be calculating senior year scores based off of their course work and some other factors and will still receive a score 1-7 for their subjects. They will still have the ability to send their scores for both AP and IB at the end of the school year.

 

What is your current policy for AP exams and credit?

In response to school closings due to the impact of COVID-19, the College Board has developed AP Exams that can be taken at online this year from May 11-22, 2020. Free online AP classes and review sessions are available at youtube.com/advancedplacement to help students prepare for the 45-minute exams.

 

SMU recognizes both the need for these changes and the effort that students have already made in these challenging courses. The University remains committed to granting students academic credit for the successful completion of 2020 AP Exams and our current policy for awarding credit will remain in effect for students who test in 2020. We appreciate students’ efforts to do their best under the difficult circumstances.

 

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS - High School Seniors in Fall 2020

Temporary Test-Optional

Submitting Test Scores
Why is SMU adopting a temporary test-optional policy?
This one-year policy adjustment helps to relieve anxiety about testing and its availability for those students applying to college during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

How long is the temporary test-optional policy in place?

At this time, this policy is only for students applying for admission for Spring 2021 and the following Fall 2021.

 

How do I know if I should submit my test scores or not?
Admission and scholarship decisions are based on many factors including information from applicants’ high school transcript, personal essay, letters of recommendation, and record of personal achievements in addition to SAT or ACT scores. Under this policy, applicants who choose not to submit ACT or SAT scores will be evaluated on the other factors.


Do you superscore standardized test scores? 
For those who choose to submit scores, SAT and ACT scores are superscored. Self-reported test scores are also accepted.

 

If I choose to self-report test scores, will I be able to report one specific section of the SAT or ACT?  
For self-reported scores, provide scores for each section of the exam. Partial scores will not be considered. 

  

If I submit test scores will I be looked at more favorably than those who do not? 
No preference is given to applicants who submit or do not submit test scores.   
 
Grade/GPA-Related Questions 
If my grades were impacted by COVID-19, what should I do? 
All application materials are looked at in context. Many students have seen their academic record impacted by COVID-19, and items will be viewed through that lens. 
 
What if my school uses Pass/Fail grades during the Spring 2020 semester? 
Pass/Fail grades or any other official grading system submitted by your school will be considered in our admission review. 
 
If I do not submit test scores, will you put more weight on my GPA? 
Without test scores, all other elements of your application become more important, including grades, résumé, essays and recommendation letters.   
 
Extracurricular Activities 
My extracurricular activities have been put on hold because of COVID-19, how will they be evaluated during the admission process since many were cancelled? 

It is understood that most extracurricular activities will be affected in the foreseeable future, and the potential gap in activities will not affect admission to SMU. 
 
Cox School of Business 
If I do not submit test scores, will I be considered for admission to the Cox School of Business? 
Yes, the Cox School of Business will review all students who list business as an academic interest/major on their application. 
 
Scholarship Consideration
If I choose not to submit my test scores, will it impact my ability/chances of receiving a merit award? 
No, academic merit scholarships are awarded to over half of the students in its entering class each fall. They range in value from $20,000 to $30,000 per year and more. These scholarships do not require a separate application and will also follow a test-optional process.


If I take the SAT or ACT after I am admitted, can I submit those scores later for scholarship consideration? 
Yes, additional information for scholarship consideration can be submitted until the scholarship deadline date (typically January 15).  

 

If I choose not to submit my scores, how will that impact my ability/chances of receiving departmental scholarships? 
All students who apply to SMU and list an academic interest or major will be evaluated for departmental scholarships regardless of whether test scores are submitted or not.
 
International Students
I am an international student. Are you also waiving English proficiency requirements (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)? 
Proof of English proficiency will still be required if your four years of high school education was not in English. 
 
Honors Programs
If I do not submit test scores, will I be considered for the University’s honors programs? 
Yes, without standardized test scores, consideration for the University's honors program will still be given.

   
Future Applicant - Entering SMU in 2022 and Beyond
Will SMU consider going to test-optional in future years? 
At this time, the policy is only temporary and applies to students who apply to start in the Spring or Fall of 2021.

  

If I graduate in 2021 but decide to wait a year to apply to SMU, will this policy still apply to me? 
This policy was approved only for students starting in the Fall or Spring of 2021. If a gap year is desired, apply for admission under the current test-optional policy for the 2020-2021 admission cycle and, if admitted, request a gap year. 

 

How will you review the second semester of my junior year?
This is a challenging, uncertain time and SMU will continue to provide a truly holistic review of your application. It is the hope that all applicants will stay actively engaged in their academics to prepare for future academic success as well as for standardized testing.

 

If schools go to a Pass/Fail system of grading (or credit/no credit), how will SMU review this during the application process?
Many schools have planned to take this approach. There are no penalties for any adjustment to grading methodology during this period of time.

 

Events/Visiting Campus/Connecting with Staff 
Will you still be hosting SMU Previews in my city in the fall?
We plan to resume our on- and off-campus events as soon as it is safe to do so in light of COVID-19. You will receive invitations to our events by email and/or snail mail. If you are not receiving emails from the SMU Office of Undergraduate Admission, please click here to provide your information.

Because I can’t attend a college fair this spring, how do I still get information about SMU and ask questions?
First, if you currently don’t receive important emails from us, please complete this short form to get more information about SMU. We encourage you to find your SMU Admission Counselor here.

Will SMU add more summer tours and information sessions?
After campus reopens, we will return to providing two information sessions and campus tours Monday – Friday (almost every weekday that the University is open) as well as occasional Saturday visit options. For the latest updates, follow @SMUAdmission on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you are not getting emails from us, please complete this short form to ensure you’re in our system.

Will SMU visit more schools in fall 2020 since many spring school visits were cancelled?
We will make every effort to cover as much ground as possible while also hosting our daily visits and larger admission events on campus.

When will I be able to visit campus?
Although the University is closed for the foreseeable future following the guidance of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s latest executive order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are still available for you and hope to welcome students and families to the Hilltop as soon as possible. Call 1-800-323-0672 (toll-free) during normal business hours to speak with a member of our team. Take virtual tour of our campus at smu.edu/admissionFor the latest updates, follow @SMUAdmission on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you are not receiving emails from the SMU Office of Undergraduate Admission, please click here to provide your information.

Can I schedule a campus visit?
All visits to campus are currently suspended because the University is closed through April 30 following the guidance of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s latest executive order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But our staff members, who are working from home are still here to support you and are available for one-on-one virtual meetings. Schedule a one-on-one meeting today. Find your SMU Admission Counselor here. At the top of your SMU Admission Counselor’s page, you will find a link to schedule a one-on-one virtual meeting. For the latest updates, follow @SMUAdmission on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you are not getting emails from us, please complete this short form to ensure you’re in our system.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Will unofficial college transcripts be acceptable if there is a delay in receiving official college transcripts?
Yes, we will work with you! We are temporarily accepting unofficial transcripts for an initial application review. However, any offers of admission based on unofficial transcripts are conditional upon later receipt of an official transcript.

Are international transfer students still required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?
All international applicants must provide proof of English proficiency. We know that our international students have the greatest potential for success when they have an effective comprehension of the English language. The following are ways to demonstrate English proficiency:

  • The completion of SMU’s Intensive English Language Program.
  • A minimum TOEFL iBT score of 90 with specific minimum sub-score requirements or an IELTS test of 6.5 or higher.
  • The completion of two college-level, academic English courses and earn a total of 6 credit hours with a grade of B or better in BOTH courses at an accredited college or university in the U.S.

Is your office still receiving mail and processing as normal? Should I assume my admission status and checklist are current?
Yes. Transcripts and test scores sent in the mail will be accepted and processed. There may be a slight delay in processing transcripts and test scores sent through the mail. When possible, send transcripts and test scores electronically to ugadmission@smu.edu. You may track whether we have received your materials at admission.smu.edu/apply/status. If you know your documents have been submitted but don’t see it updated in your admission portal, please give it several business days from its submission for it to be processed.

Will there be a delay in processing my application due to the physical office being closed?
We are still processing applications in a timely matter. We encourage you to track your application status at https://admission.smu.edu/apply/status.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

What should I do if there are travel restrictions in August, when I am scheduled to arrive on campus?
SMU has a task force of faculty and staff who are making alternate plans should this be the case. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) continues to issue I-20s for students who have made their deposit. We encourage you to monitor updates issued by your local U.S. Embassy.

If my final exams for the IB Diploma are canceled, will I still receive my scholarship?
If you successfully graduate and your high school college counselor can verify that you were on track to obtain the IB Diploma, we will honor your scholarship award.

What do I do if I receive conditional admission and the TOEFL exam has been canceled or postponed?
If you are conditionally admitted to SMU’s Intensive English Program (IEP), the only way you can have this conditional admission decision changed to direct admission would be by submitting an official TOEFL or IELTS score that meets our minimum requirements.

Will SMU offer online classes to international students who cannot come to the U.S.?
A task force of faculty and staff are considering all options, including the potential for online courses for all students who plan to study at SMU.

Admission Requirements

What are the minimum requirements for admission?
There are no absolute minimum requirements, but SMU considers GPA, grade pattern, standardized test scores, rigor of high school curriculum, counselor recommendation, extracurricular activities, essay, talents, life experiences and personal qualities. Typically, a student who has a strong academic record and has exhibited a variety of academic and personal interests gains the most from the SMU experience.

Which standardized tests does SMU require for admission?
During the application process, SMU requires all applicants to submit SAT and/or ACT scores as either self-reported or official. We do not have a preference as to which of the two tests you take. Once enrolled, all students must send the official score for the test submitted and used during the evaluation of their application for admission. SMU now super-scores both the SAT and ACT. We will take the highest subset of scores from either test. Additional testing requirements for International students can be found on the Admission website.

Will you be waiving the SAT requirement for Fall 2021 applications?
SMU knows how much disruption COVID-19 has caused high school students – both in their high schools and in their college admission process. We are looking at several opportunities to remove some of the anxiety this has caused. Right now, we have not made a firm decision about any changes for students applying for Fall 2021, but we want to work with you to understand your experiences. Please reach out to your admission counselor and let us know how we can help you.

How do I apply to the Cox School of Business?
Incoming first-year students who want to pursue a major in finance, accounting, management, marketing and other areas of business administration in SMU’s Cox School of Business apply for direct admission. This admission model paves the way for incoming first-year students to gain opportunities for early access to important coursework in their fields.

For those who seek a successful career in business, our outstanding liberal arts and sciences tradition opens pathways that expand your career options – whether you pursue a major at Cox or in another college at SMU. Employers value the signature elements of the SMU experience, which includes

  • the flexibility to explore multiple passions with a double or triple major
  • the opportunity to land career-boosting internships
  • the preparation to lead, solve problems and communicate with emotional and cultural intelligence

Learn more here. Click here to download a Cox admission FAQ document for students.

What is the 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-BFA). 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 1380 on the SAT (critical reading and math sections only) 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.

Why has SMU adopted a Test Optional Policy for Dual Admit Applicants to SMU Meadows School of the Arts?
Like other top-tier visual and performing arts schools, SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has adopted a Test Optional Policy for Dual Admit applicants in Music, Dance, Theatre, Art and Film-BFA. These students complete auditions or submit  portfolios that, after careful review, provide stronger indication of their likelihood to succeed in their academic program at SMU.

I want to pursue a double or triple major. In my SMU application, how many areas of study may I show that I am most interested in pursuing?
At the time you apply for first-year admission, you will have the opportunity to indicate the two areas of study you are most interested in pursuing. If you want to be considered for admission to the Cox School of Business, you need to indicate that at the time you apply. When students get to SMU, they work with their academic advisors to determine the best course of study for all the majors they would like to pursue. 

What is the GPA requirement?
There is no absolute "cutoff" for grades. Classroom performance would generally present competitive applicants in the top quarter of their high school class. The difficulty of curriculum and competitive nature of the high school are also important factors in the admission process.

What are the minimum high school course requirements?
We strongly recommend a minimum of 17-18 solid academic units including 4 English, 3 math (algebra I, II, geometry), 3 social science, 3 science (2 lab science), and 2 foreign language (of the same language). Students who present programs in excess of minimum requirements generally have an advantage in the admission process.  Competitive applicants present an average of 20 high school academic units. 

How and when will SMU receive my test scores?
When the ACT or SAT is taken, students may indicate three schools to receive their scores. When SMU is indicated, the College Board sends us a record of your scores four to six weeks later. SMU's code for the ACT is 4174, and our code for the SAT is 6660.

Do I have to take a foreign language class before or after I come to SMU?
As a requirement of the University Curriculum (UC), all students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language. Students who do not enter with the equivalent of four semesters of college-level second language proficiency prior to matriculating at SMU are required to improve their proficiency by two semester levels or to the meet the four semester proficiency requirement, whichever comes first. Proficiency can be demonstrated in numerous ways; to determine which path applies to you, please click here to refer to the detailed description of the requirement.

What do I write my essay about, and how long should it be?
We want to learn more about you and evaluate your writing skills. Each application (The Common Application, ApplyTexas, the SMU Online Application and the MyCoalition application) has its own set of essay prompts with varying length requirements, but essays are generally 250 – 650 words in length.  No matter which application method you choose, all essays are reviewed equally.

Does my choice of major influence my chance of admission?
If you are planning to major in the performing arts, a required audition is a critical factor influencing your chance of admission. Otherwise, all first-year SMU students are accepted as "pre-majors" in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, regardless of their intended major.

If you want to pursue a major in finance, accounting, management, marketing and other areas of business administration, you must indicate that interest on your application to be considered for direct admission to the Cox School of Business.

If you are planning to major in the performing arts, a required audition is a critical factor influencing your chance of admission. Otherwise, all applicants are considered for admission to SMU regardless of their intended major.

Does SMU consider students who have been home-schooled?
Home school graduates must submit the application for admission, SAT I and/or ACT scores, an academic portfolio/transcript, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, activities resume and the Home School Supplement.

How are athletes recruited to SMU?
Prospective athletes may call the recruiting coordinator in the SMU Department of Athletics to make arrangements with the coach of the particular sport. For more information, visit http://www.smumustangs.com.

Do I have to be Methodist to attend SMU?
No. Actually about 16% of the SMU student population is Methodist, while 26% is Roman Catholic. The remainder of the population represents other Protestant denominations and other religions, including Judaism, Buddhism, Greek Orthodox and Islam, and includes non-religious students.

For what Advanced Placement tests or International Baccalaureate tests can I get credit?
SMU grants credit and placement for scores of 4 or 5 on most AP examinations taken in high school. Six to eight credits will be awarded for scores of 5, 6 or 7 on International Baccalaureate higher-level exams, with a maximum award of 32 credits. For more information, click here.

How may I receive credit for an Advance Placement test in high school?
Arrange for an official copy of your test scores to be sent to SMU's Registrar Office. Upon receipt of this information, SMU will determine the credit you will receive.

Does SMU accept correspondence course credit?
No. However, such coursework may represent to the Admission Committee a commitment to study beyond the minimum high school curriculum.

How do you treat concurrent (dual credit) high school/college programs?
SMU first-year students may request college credit for coursework taken during high school.  In order for this credit to be transferable to SMU, the course(s) must meet all regular transfer requirements:

1) The course(s) must be completed at an accredited school;

2) The course(s) must be grades of C- or better in comparable SMU courses;

3) The course(s) must be submitted on an official college/university transcript; and

4) The course(s) must NOT be a correspondence course.

To process your concurrent credit, please request that official college/university transcripts be sent from each institution you have attended. Please note that even though you may not be granted course credit, SMU must receive official transcripts from any college or university you have attended. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that a professional evaluation and an official transcript accompany all foreign transcripts. Send all college-level transcripts to:

Concurrent/Dual Credit Processing
Southern Methodist University - DES
PO Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181

If you are an admitted student, and are planning to enroll in college-level coursework the summer after your high school graduation, please be prepared to inform your Academic Advisor of this intent during your session which will occur during orientation.

You will be notified of your transfer work as quickly as possible. If your concurrent credit does not meet the above criteria, you may choose to take AP exams offered by the College Board, or you may choose to take optional departmental exams after you complete orientation.

How may I get credit for a course taken at another college?
Arrange for the college to forward an official transcript to SMU. If you are a transfer or first-year applicant, send the transcript to the SMU Division of Enrollment Services. If you are a continuing SMU student, send transcripts to the SMU Office of the Registrar.

Are there special requirements for students interested in music, dance, theatre, art, or film?
All music, theatre, dance, studio art and film B.F.A. applicants are considered “dual-admission” students, which means they must apply to and be accepted by both SMU and the Meadows School of the Arts. In addition to their SMU application, “dual admission” students must also audition or submit a portfolio to Meadows.

Find out more about admissions, auditions and portfolio requirements for:

What are the application deadlines? When will I be notified of my decision?
Early Action Applicants (non-binding)
Application deadline: postmarked November 1
Notification date: December 31
Deposit deadline: May 1

Early Decision I Applicants (binding)
Application deadline: postmarked November 1
Notification date: December 31
Deposit deadline: Within 2 weeks of admission notification (An exact date will be listed in your admission packet.)

Regular Decision/Priority Merit Scholarship Applicants
Application deadline: postmarked January 15
Notification date: March 31
Deposit deadline: May 1

Early Decision II Applicants (binding)
Application deadline: postmarked January 15
Notification date: March 31
Deposit deadline: Within 2 weeks of admission notification (An exact date will be listed in your admission packet.)

Spring Decision Applicants (on a space-available basis only)
Application deadline: postmarked March 15
Notification date: Rolling
Deposit deadline: May 1

When is my admission deposit due?
May 1 is SMU's and the national deposit deadline.  Students admitted through Early Decision I and II must pay their deposit within two weeks of receiving their admission decision.  An exact due date for those students will be listed in their admission packet.

How much is the admission deposit, and what does it cover?
The nonrefundable $685 Orientation, Housing and Matriculation deposit includes:
$335 orientation fee
$100 housing deposit
$250 matriculation fee

When do I need to have my health form filled out?
You must complete the Health History Form by the time you complete orientation.

Can my $60 application fee be waived?
An individual decision will be made on the part of the admission counselor in extreme cases, if need is demonstrated. Students should have their high school counselor write a request on school letterhead or provide some sort of documentation that a need exists.

Self-reporting of Standardized Test Scores to SMU

When did SMU begin accepting self-reported standardized test scores?

SMU began accepting self-reported standardized test scores in fall 2018.

When do I provide SMU my official test scores?

Official test scores are required at the time of enrollment.

How do I report self-reported test scores on The Common Application and on the MyCoalition Application?

Enter your test scores on the testing page of the application.

How do I report self-reported test scores on the ApplyTexas application?

You will not be prompted to enter your test scores on the ApplyTexas application. Once you submit the application, you will be able to self-report your scores using the form on your personalized application status page.

How do I submit new self-reported scores after I have submitted my application?

After your application has been submitted, you can submit additional self-reported scores through your personalized application status page.

Will SMU accept test scores from my high school transcript as official scores?

Yes!

What are the other ways to provide official test scores to SMU?

Official scores can be provided by the testing agency or by an applicant’s high school counselor. We will also accept as official the scores reported on a high school transcript.

Is SMU accepting self-reported transcripts/grades?

No, not at this time.

Is SMU accepting self-reported scores other than those for the ACT and the SAT?

No. Only ACT and SAT scores will be accepted as self-reported scores. This excludes the TOEFL and IELTS.

Superscoring the ACT at SMU

An ACT superscore is a new final composite score that is made up of your best individual section scores across all ACT tests you took. The average of these best individual section scores is calculated to create a brand-new composite ACT score. Writing is not counted.

When did SMU begin using an ACT superscore for admission decisions?

It began in fall 2018 for the 2018-2019 academic year and beyond.

Should I report a superscore that I have calculated?

One can report a superscore you have calculated, but at the time of enrollment you must produce each official sitting that would calculate to the score you self-reported.

What does SMU need to officially superscore my ACT?

We will need results from each sitting of the ACT to be able to superscore. For example, if three different ACT testings get you to your superscore, we will need at the time of enrollment the results from each of your three testing administrations.

Does SMU superscore the SAT?

Yes. This practice has been in place for several years.

Financial Aid

How do applicants apply for scholarships?
SMU offers a range of merit and leadership scholarships. These are based on competitive standing within the SMU class and are offered without regard to family financial circumstances. In order to apply, a student should submit his or her application for admission by January 15. There are no additional documents to submit other than the application for admission. To be considered for the Hunt Leadership Scholarship, a student must submit an additional essay outlined on the admission application.  Visit smu.edu/huntapply for more information.

What can I expect in the way of a scholarship?
Applications that are received by January 15 are automatically considered for merit scholarships. Scholarship committees review all applications and award scholarships to many applicants. We do not publish the qualifications of the different scholarship levels because they are based on the applicant pool every year. The majority of merit scholarship awards are mailed with admission decisions.

What types of scholarships does SMU offer?
SMU offers academic-based and leadership-based scholarships. These options include, but are not limited to, the following: President's Scholars, Hunt Leadership Scholars, SMU Founders’ Scholars, Second Century Scholars, Cornerstone Scholarships, National Merit Scholarships, Mustang Scholars, Dedman College merit scholarships for first-year students and departmental awards for continuing studies, School of Engineering Honors Scholarship Program, Co-op Education Program, Meadows full and partial scholarships based on artistic merit, Athletic Scholarships, and Mustang Band Scholarships. We do not publish the qualifications of every scholarship level because they are based on the applicant pool each year. More information can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Are there special scholarships for Methodist students?
Methodist applicants receive the same consideration as all other students for SMU financial aid programs. They also can receive consideration for specifically dedicated programs. These include: The Methodist Student Loan Fund, Minister's Family Tuition Awards ($3,500/term), and United Methodist Scholarships (vary in amount).

What kind of financial aid is available?

A student who demonstrates financial need is awarded an aid "package" that combines SMU funds with governmental sources. Grants, low-cost loans, and part-time work opportunities typically appear in need-based packages. Middle- or upper-level income families who may not meet federal need standards can apply for family loan programs and extended payment plans. See the Financial Aid website for more information on Student Loans and Federal Work Study (Student Employment).

Do I apply for financial aid before or after I apply for admission?
File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as close to February 15 as possible for federal need-based aid consideration. The FAFSA application is available online at fafsa.ed.gov. You also need to file the College Scholarship Service CSS/PROFILE® to further assess your financial need for need-based programs. This form can be found at student.collegeboard.org/profile. There is a $25 fee to file the CSS/PROFILE.

After I file the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE, how will I know if SMU has received my information?
The federal processor will mail you the Student Aid Report (SAR) on FAFSA information. If you listed SMU on your FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE, SMU will receive your information electronically.

What kind of financial aid will I receive because I filed the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE?
You will be considered for all federal, state (Texas residents only), and SMU need-based funding. These programs are awarded on the basis of documented financial need and funding availability.

When will I receive my financial aid award letter notification?
Generally, award letters are mailed beginning March 15. SMU must receive and review your electronic FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE before mailing an award letter.

What do I do after I receive my financial aid award letter?
The award letter packet provides details regarding financial aid, as well as instructions on how to respond to SMU's offer. Please read and review the information and instructions carefully. If you have questions, contact your SMU financial aid advisor.

How does SMU determine the amount of financial assistance?
FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE information are sent to SMU, which compares the cost of attending SMU with the amount of money a family is estimated to still need after all state, federal, and scholarship money is factored in. Financial aid advisors begin packaging financial aid in March, starting with students who applied early.

What are my chances of receiving financial aid?
You need to apply to SMU and file a FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE to help the University determine eligibility for financial aid. We have no way of knowing your chances until you apply. SMU has many financial aid avenues, including options for middle-income families.

What is the difference between grants and loans?
Grants are gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Loans must be repaid.

How will I receive the financial aid funds that are awarded?
Before each term begins, the scholarships and grants are applied to your student account. If you have applied for and completed necessary loan processing, those funds will be applied each term to your student account when received from the lender.

What should I do if I have a special financial circumstance (such as the loss of a job) since I filed my FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE?
Contact your financial aid advisor to discuss any special or unusual circumstances.

Are on-campus jobs available, and how do I get paid for working?
Yes, there are many on-campus jobs available as part of Work Study (Student Employment). You will be paid every two weeks for the hours you work. Your work program financial aid will not be applied to your student account.

Tuition, Fees & Deadlines

Does SMU have a tuition payment plan?
SMU offers several monthly payment plans. Please refer to the Bursar’s Office website for detailed information. 

What methods of payment are acceptable to take care of my bill?
You may pay your bill with cash, personal check, cashier's check, money order, traveler's check, major credit cards (MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) or wiring direct funds. SMU provides a secure website through which you can make credit card (MasterCard, Discover and American Express) and electronic check payments to your SMU accounts.

What major credit cards may I use?
SMU accepts MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Credit card payments will be processed through Nelnet Business Solutions, Inc. If you choose this option, a service-charge fee will be added for each transaction. The service-charge fee is 2.75% and is subject to change with a 30-day notice.

When is my payment due?
Payment for tuition, general student fees, on-campus room and board, and any optional fees is due before the beginning of each term. These dates are available on the SMU Bursar website, smu.edu/bursar. You also may call the Bursar’s Office at 214-768-3417 for information.

What are the costs for tuition, general student fees, on-campus housing, meal plans, and optional fees?
A detailed listing of tuition costs and fees is posted at smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/FinancialAid/Costs 

Transfer Information

What are the minimum requirements for transferring to SMU?
SMU’s Office of Undergraduate Admission separates transfer students into two categories, transfer and first-year transfer, based on the number of transferrable hours completed at the time of application. For full details on transfer requirements, visit our Transfer Admission page. 

What is the maximum number of units that can transfer?
A minimum of 60 credit hours must be completed at SMU to earn your degree. However, if you have more than 62 transferable hours, they will all “transfer” and be used in the admissions, scholarship and financial aid process. You and your SMU academic advisor will determine which hours will apply to your degree.

Which courses transfer to SMU?
Each academic department determines which courses will transfer. Based on your credit transfer evaluation and several other factors, the Admission Office determines your admissibility. Generally, if SMU has a comparable course (equal in content and level), you are likely to receive credit for the course. If you attend Dallas County Community College, Tarrant County College, or Collin College, transferability can be easily determined because we have equivalency guides for those colleges.

Is transfer credit given for correspondence courses?
No.

Who determines which courses will transfer?
The individual academic departments for each school determine course transferability.

Do I need to submit my high school transcript?
Yes, we use the high school transcript for several reasons: 1) to verify math readiness (algebra I, geometry, algebra II) when the college transcript does not show college algebra or higher, 2) to determine admissibility of a transfer student who has less than 30 transferable hours and 3) to register and to verify two years of the same foreign language.

How is my transferable GPA calculated?
Your transferable GPA is determined by including all courses that are considered comparable to SMU courses from every college attended. The number of grade points earned is divided by the number of attempted hours. If you receive a D or F in a comparable course, the D or F will be used in the calculation of your GPA, but you will not actually be awarded transfer credit for that course, since SMU does not award credit for grades lower than C-. If you receive a D or F in a course that is not comparable, then it will not be counted in the GPA.

What kinds of scholarship opportunities are available for transfer students?
Full tuition opportunities exist for students from Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, Grayson, Kaufman and Navarro County Community College Districts with 50 transferable hours and a 3.70 GPA. Half tuition opportunities also exist for transfer students coming from any college or university with 50 transferable hours and a 3.70 GPA. For more information, visit Transfer Scholarships. First-year transfers with a competitive high school profile and less than 30 transferable hours may be eligible for First-Year Scholarships.

On what should I write my essay, and how long should it be?
While an essay is not required for transfer admission, it is strongly encouraged.  The essay provides a chance to move beyond the numbers and statistics. It's your chance to set yourself apart from all the other applicants. A thoughtful, well-written essay can positively influence the admission committee's final decision and is a critical element in the selection of winners for competitive scholarships. The essay topic and length will be determined by the application method (The Common Application, ApplyTexas, SMU Transfer Application) you choose.  All essays will be reviewed equally, regardless of application type.

Do foreign transcripts require additional documentation?
Yes. Any student who submits a foreign transcript is responsible for submitting the additional documentation required for evaluation. Keep in mind that for SMU to convert the courses to US credits, we need very specific information about the term calendar year, grading scale, course descriptions, length of class, etc. To understand more about the documentation required, see Transfer Credit Policies for International Students.

What kinds of resources are available to U.S. Veterans transferring to SMU?

Veterans must meet general admission requirements for transfer. For information on benefits and financial assistance, see our Veterans Affairs page.

Do I have to reapply if I have previously applied?
You do not have to fill out another application, but you do need to complete a Transfer Update Form (PDF).

How do I seek readmission to the University?
If you were previously enrolled at SMU, but have not been enrolled for two or more regular terms (regular terms are fall and spring), or if you have been suspended, then you must be readmitted to SMU. To begin the readmission process, you must complete the Readmission Application (PDF). 

Academics

When do I register? 
You may register during orientation, which you complete after you have applied and been admitted to SMU. Orientation sessions are available for both incoming first year students and transfer students. Contact the Student Transitions & Orientation Office for detailed information.

How do I know what classes to take?
Upon entering SMU, you will begin fulfilling two general sets of requirements necessary to graduate: the University Curriculum that all students must satisfy regardless of major, and the requirements specified by the major itself. First-year students are assigned to an academic advisor from Dedman College. Your advisor will work with you regarding selection of classes.

When can I see my academic advisor?
You are assigned a professional advisor at orientation and are required to connect with him/her before registration each semester. You can also set up appointments on your own time throughout the semester. SMU provides students with a well-staffed, award-winning advising center of professional, full-time advisors.

What exactly is a "liberal arts" curriculum?
The liberal arts disciplines include the humanities, the natural and the mathematical sciences, and the social sciences. With a foundation in the liberal arts, the SMU student gets a complete education - as a professional in a chosen career, a citizen in the world of ideas, and a full-fledged participant in life itself. SMU's general requirements in the liberal arts (the University Curriculum) provide students with an exceptional educational opportunity.

How and when will I choose a major?
SMU offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and 85 minors. Your academic advisor and many other support systems are available to help you choose your major. You will make this decision by the end of your sophomore year.

May I declare my major during my first year?
Upon entering SMU, you may declare your intended major. All students enter the university through Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. You may not officially declare your major until you have successfully completed at least 24 hours and satisfied the entrance requirements for your intended major.

Does SMU have an honors program?
Yes. Students participating in the program will take 7-8 special courses within the University Curriculum which encourage deeper understanding through interdisciplinary thinking and learning. The honors program offers small, discussion-focused classes. Entrance is by invitation.

What is the average class size at SMU?
The average class size is 22. Seventy percent of our classes contain 25 students or less. Students don't get lost in large lecture courses conducted by graduate students. SMU students learn from senior faculty in small classes.

What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
11:1. Classes are small enough to encourage close faculty-student interaction.

Will graduate students teach most introductory classes?
No. Almost all classes at SMU are taught by faculty, not graduate students.

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?
Yes. SMU offers summer, semester and year-long opportunities to live, study and travel in foreign countries. SMU Abroad offers 148 programs in 50 countries.

Will SMU send my grades to my parents?
The Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act of 1974 states that no personally identifiable information from a student's record will be disclosed to a third party without prior written consent from the student. Grades may be released to parents if either the student completes a release form or the parent completes a Declaration of Dependency form. These releases are available in the Registrar's office. Once SMU has an approved release on file then the parent or student can request an official transcript.

Living on Campus

Who is required to live on campus?
All first- and second-year students are required to live on campus in SMU’s Residential Commons.  The on-campus requirement is also met by second-year students who are eligible to reside in SMU Greek housing.

First-Year Transfer students who are under the age of 20 by the first day of classes must also live on campus.  Traditional Transfer students may request, but are not guaranteed, housing.

How many students live on campus?
Approximately 2,640 first- and second-year undergraduate students live in 11 Residential Commons. Three hundred (300) upperclass and graduate students live in seven residence halls.

When do I sign up for housing?
After you've been admitted to SMU and we receive your nonrefundable $685 Orientation, Housing and Matriculation deposit ($335 Orientation Fee, which includes orientation and Stampede and the $100 Housing Deposit and $250 Matriculation Fee), you will receive an email with directions on how to apply for housing.

When do I get my health form?
The Health History Form is downloaded from the Health Center website and must be completed before you complete orientation.

Can I request a roommate?
Yes, as long as you and your friend request each other. Preferred roommate's name and social security number must be provided.

Do you have co-ed housing?
Yes, all residence halls are co-ed, by wing, floor, or suite, depending on the layout of the hall.

Where do I eat on campus?
Residential dining facilities are located on the lower level of the Umphrey Lee Center and at Arnold Dining Commons. Additional restaurants are located at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, McElvaney Hall, Owen Arts Center, and the Fincher Building.  For more information, visit smudining.com.

What kind of facilities are available at the Health Center?
The SMU Memorial Health Center is a professionally staffed outpatient primary care clinic, including pharmacy, lab and x-ray facilities, as well as counseling, testing, and alcohol and drug education centers. For more information, visit the Health Center website.

What is the alcohol policy on campus?
SMU expects all students to be responsible citizens and to abide by all federal, state, and local laws. More information can be found in the SMU Student Handbook.

Are first-year students allowed to register cars on campus?
First-year students are allowed to have cars on campus, although parking space is limited. The car must be registered with the SMU police. For more information, visit SMU Park 'N Pony.

When may I rush a fraternity or sorority?
SMU has a deferred rush that starts in January for first-year students. Students interested in pledging a fraternity or sorority must have successfully completed at least 12 semester hours in residence at a college or university during their last semester enrolled in that college or university preceding the pledging period and must have a minimum 2.50 GPA for that previous semester and a cumulative 2.50 GPA at all colleges or universities previously attended at the time of beginning pledgeship/new member education.

Student/Campus Life

How many students attend SMU?
On average, SMU enrolls approximately 6,350 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate and professional students. The first-year class is between 1425-1450 students.

What is the percentage of minority students?
SMU's undergraduate minority enrollment averages approximately 27%, with an additional 7% from international countries, meaning that more than one in every three students on campus comes from a diverse background. SMU thrives on the dialogue and understanding created by this global community.

What is the male-to-female ratio?
The SMU undergraduate population is nearly 50/50 male and female. On average, the graduate population is slightly higher in the number of males.

What percentage of first-year students return in their second year?
SMU students continue to return for their second year an average of 89-90%.

What kinds of student organizations are on campus?
There are approximately 230 student organizations in which students can explore new interests or expand upon old ones. Students have many opportunities to serve and lead, and the freedom to experiment and follow. For more information on campus organizations, visit the Student Activities website.

What kinds of activities take place on the weekends?
Weekend activities on campus include sports, social events, academic lectures, fine arts productions, and more!

What types of athletics does SMU offer?
SMU offers 17 NCAA Division I-A teams in basketball, cross-country/track and field, swimming and diving, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball (women only), equestrian (women only), crew (women only), and football. SMU also offers several special interest sports clubs and an extensive intramural sports program. For more information on SMU athletics, visit smumustangs.com. For more information on SMU recreational sports, visit smu.edu/recsports.

How many students participate in the Greek system, and when is recruitment?
Approximately 48% of female undergraduates participate in sororities, and about 32% of male undergraduates participate in fraternities. Greeks are a positive force on campus: involved, service oriented, and academically competitive. SMU has deferred recruitment, meaning that recruitment week is the last week of the winter break.

How important is community service to SMU students?
Building a sense of social responsibility through community service is central to SMU's mission. SMU offers service-learning courses, fall and spring Community Service Days, an Inter-Community Experience (ICE) program, SMU Service House residence, an Alternative Spring Break program, as well as many other service opportunities through various campus organizations.

What type of career services are provided?
The Hegi Family Career Development Center offers advising, testing, internships, job postings, interviews, etc. For more information, visit smu.edu/career.

What types of student support services are provided?
SMU provides students with several different types of services, such as Counseling Services, the Testing Center, the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC), the Career Center, the Advising Center, as well as services for students with disabilities

General Information

What is SMU's connection with the United Methodist Church?
SMU was founded in 1911 by what is now known as the United Methodist Church. Today, SMU is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. The ties with the church are strong. SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching. Enrollment is religiously diverse. Courses in religion are offered but not required. Management is vested in a Board of Trustees comprising civic, business, educational, and religious leaders who represent various faiths and geographic areas.

Are religion courses required? Is chapel attendance mandatory?
No, religious studies are not required. A chapel service is offered in Perkins Chapel every Sunday, but attendance is voluntary.

How large is the campus?
There are 101 buildings on 278 acres. You can walk from one end of the campus to the other in less than 15 minutes.

How safe is the campus?
SMU is located in the city of University Park in a largely residential neighborhood of single-family homes and parks.  SMU is committed to fostering a safe learning and working environment for our campus community. As part of that commitment, the SMU Police Department prepares and distributes an annual security report in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.  You may view or request a copy of this report here.

Are first-year students allowed to have cars?
Yes, although all necessary services are within walking distance. Additionally, a good bus/light rail system exists in Dallas, and students ride free using their SMU student IDs after paying a one-time $5 fee. Many first-year students find that they do not need a car. The cost for a full-year parking permit is $290. For more information on having vehicles on campus, visit SMU Park 'N Pony.

How do I receive a certificate of enrollment to respond to requests, for example, from my insurance carrier, a scholarship donor or a lender?
Current students can request Enrollment Verifications through our online student center, my.SMU.edu. Complete details can be found on the Registrar’s Office website.

Does SMU have campus security?
Campus security is handled by the SMU Police Department, which can be reached on campus by calling 911. SMU Police is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by state-certified law enforcement officers. Support also is provided by police and fire departments for the city of Dallas and the city of University Park. For more information, visit smu.edu/pd.