This school year, we're rising to the challenges posed by COVID-19 in a way that embraces both the outstanding personalized education that is our hallmark, and our community’s health and safety. We've adapted our instruction to be more flexible, upgraded technology and re-assessed policies to better meet the needs of our students. 

About The Upcoming Spring Semester

  • SMU will begin its spring semester one week later than previously planned—now on Monday, January 25—and will conclude it on Wednesday, May 12, without a spring break.
  • Good Friday will remain a university holiday.
  • The University will continue to offer courses in the SMUFlex, fully in-person and virtual-only course formats.
  • A limited number of undergraduate classes, such as labs and performance-based courses, will be offered in-person.
  • Spring enrollment for the spring will take place November 16-20.
  • Open enrollment will continue until the end of the add period.

Fall Semester Highlights

  • High-quality SMUFlex and Virtual options
  • Staggered course schedules 
  • Evening and Saturday classes to allow students additional flexibility 
  • Facilities temporarily refitted for classroom use 
  • Classroom capacity limited and marked to promote safe social distancing measures  
  • Extensive use of SMU’s Canvas learning management system


  • SMUFlex courses are conducted in real-time with some students attending in-person and others participating remotely via Zoom
  • Ensures that only half of the student population will be on campus at any given time
  • Most courses will be offered in this mode
  • For courses with a larger enrollment, students will be assigned into Red and Blue cohorts, in which instructors will meet in person with approximately half of their students, while the other half of the class will simultaneously attend virtually via Zoom.
  • Recorded lectures will be available to students, as needed, via Canvas.
  • Gives the University flexibility to adapt to changing situations and accommodate short-term absences from the in-person experience.
  • Classrooms will be outfitted with hardware and software that allows for teleconferencing via Zoom  
  • Students will not be able self-select meeting-to-meeting whether they attend in-person or via Zoom
  • SMU pre-assigns the method they use meeting-to-meeting.


  • Virtual courses are fully online and accommodate students and faculty who may not be able to attend on campus courses due to extenuating circumstances
  • Virtual courses follow a regular schedule in normal time
  • Fewer courses offered in this mode
  • The University will work with students taking remote only classes to help them meet their degree requirements.

Red/Blue Cohorts

Red blue calendar

  • SMUFlex courses will follow a Red-Blue rotation schedule in which students attend class in person on their assigned day and engage virtually on the alternate days. 
  • For example, suppose you are an undergraduate student assigned into the Blue cohort and are enrolled in Sociology 1300 course that meets every M/W/F. In the sample schedule above – for the week of September 6-12 – you would attend your course in-person. The following week, September 13-19, you would attend virtually. If you are assigned into the Red cohort, the opposite is true.
  • In the event that an SMUFlex class has been assigned to a classroom with sufficient seating to accommodate all students, the faculty may choose to meet in person on all assigned class days. 
  • A student, however, has the ability to decide if they want to adhere strictly to their assigned Red-Blue schedule or if they would like to attend in-person if the faculty member presents that option.
  • Students may not request to change their rotation schedule. 
  • Students who have requested to be fully remote will not be assigned to the Red-Blue rotation schedule. 
  • SMU will publish the Red-Blue calendar to the SMU website and it will be a feature on your course calendar in Canvas.
  • The Red-Blue rotation schedule allows SMU to further de-densify the classroom and the campus and minimizes the need for a student living away from the University to come to campus every day.

Classroom Expectations

  • SMU is requiring that everyone on the SMU campus wear a face covering over the mouth and nose in all public indoor spaces
  • Students who chose not to wear a face covering will be asked by faculty to participate in class remotely in a designated “Zoom Rooms”
  • Continuous refusal to wear a face covering may result in additional consequences through the Student Code of Conduct process
  • Eating in class will not be permitted, though drinks will be permitted with the use of a straw


All tests, exams, and other assessments will be offered remotely/fully online (even for face-to-face students in SMUFlex courses)


Students planning to intern in the fall should contact their department chair for procedures and policies