Goals and Objectives

I. Enhancing Undergraduate Education

Dedman College is understandably proud of its accomplishments in undergraduate education. Talented teachers, small classes, individual attention and a wealth of curricular options distinguish the College's undergraduate program.


National and International Achievement

Dedman College students have recently been awarded the most prestigious recognition, including:

  • Five Fulbright Scholars
  • Two Truman Scholars
  • Four Goldwater Scholars or Honorable Mentions
  • Six Gilman Scholars
  • Five French Government Teaching Assistants

Key Metric

The average SAT of incoming first-year students intending to major in Dedman College will reach 1300.

Other Metrics

  • Number of funded Dedman College Scholars, up to the current goal of 10 new scholarships per year.
  • Average SAT scores of incoming Dedman College Scholars.
  • Percentage of incoming SMU first-year students who indicate an intention to major in Dedman College.
  • Number of undergraduate research projects completed and number of resulting publications and presentations at scholarly conferences.
  • Satisfaction with academic advising, as measured by student surveys.
  • Percentage of undergraduates participating in SMU Abroad programs.

In the highly competitive environment of American higher education, however, Dedman College must do more to keep pace with leading institutions nationally, strengthen recruitment initiatives, define a distinctive identity in the educational marketplace and offer students the richest undergraduate experience possible. Dedman College also must strive, as part of a university with several high-caliber professional schools that offer attractive undergraduate programs, to provide the kinds of curricula and educational experiences that can draw the best students to the liberal arts. Since learning does not stop at the classroom door, the College must enhance advising, programs for high-achieving students and international options. Technology that enriches the total learning experience should be embraced. Particular emphasis should be placed on expanding research opportunities for undergraduates. Participation in the process of discovery is an intense and uniquely valuable experience for students, and Dedman College, with its commitment both to cutting-edge research and individualized education, should elevate undergraduate research as a distinguishing feature of its educational programs.


  • Build endowed scholarship funds to attract the best students to Dedman College and to the liberal arts. The expansion of the Dedman College Scholars Program is especially important in guaranteeing a strong student body for the College.

  • Promote undergraduate research across the College. Existing initiatives should be aligned, and new opportunities should be created to engage students in creating and applying knowledge. Endowed funding will be critical to making research experiences accessible to more Dedman College students.

  • Develop new minors and majors that meet the interests and needs of current and future students and that can become signature programs for Dedman College. The Embrey Human Rights Program, which boasts the largest undergraduate minor in human rights in the United States, has captured student and faculty interest and attracted national attention. Other outstanding degree programs of this nature that leverage the strengths of Dedman College and its faculty should be encouraged.

  • Champion the University Honors Program and support the development of honors/distinction tracks in majors. Dedman College should ensure that programs are in place to engage and challenge highly motivated and high-achieving undergraduates.

  • Support the successful implementation of the new University Curriculum. As home to the Office of General Education, and as the largest provider of general education courses, Dedman College must take the lead in realizing the ambitious vision of the University Curriculum.

  • Participate in the creation of academic programs and enrichment activities in the new Residential Commons. SMU's evolution to a more residential campus offers the College new ways of engaging with and serving undergraduates.

  • Strengthen recruitment activities. Dedman College needs a polished, professional and adequately staffed team to recruit the best qualified and most exceptional students to the liberal arts.

  • Enhance advising and student records based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Undergraduate Services. High-quality and personalized advising and mentoring are critical to the undergraduate experience and should be prioritized by the College.

  • Create a "sense of place" in Dedman College. In contrast to most of SMU's schools, Dedman College's departments, programs and administrative units are widely dispersed across campus. To undergraduates, and even Dedman College majors, the College seems to lack a physical core, a central meeting place for students and faculty, and a real sense of spatial identity. Unified signage in College buildings and improved spaces for informal interaction among students and faculty are important first steps in establishing a more welcoming "sense of place."

  • Provide more opportunities for international exposure, both inside the classroom and through education abroad, and for service learning. New and enhanced options in experiential learning and building global awareness will contribute to the undergraduate experience.