Programs and Interdisciplinary Studies

Programs and Interdisciplinary Studies

Asian Studies

The Asian Studies Program is the University's institutional focus for experts, events and programs related to Asia and is the key contact point for the media and the greater Dallas community.


The Biochemistry Program reflects the interdisciplinary nature of modern biochemistry and includes courses in physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology.

Classical Studies

Classical Studies is an integrated program studying the various aspects of the civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.

Discernment and Discourse

The Discernment and Discourse Program offers SMU’s courses in college-level composition. More than simply “writing classes,” however, Discernment and Discourse presents courses that develop students’ critical reading and analytical skills and prepares them to write and think from a wide range of perspectives and about disparate genres and content areas. 

Embrey Human Rights Program

The Embrey Human Rights Program is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to providing opportunities for learning about and promoting human rights in Dallas and throughout the world.

English as a Second Language

Students whose first language is not English may encounter special challenges as they strive to function efficiently in the unfamiliar culture of an American university setting. It is in this spirit that SMU’s English as a Second Language Program offers resources to students from all schools at SMU.  In addition, the Intensive English Program is designed to prepare students and professionals outside of the SMU community for academic success at the university level. 

Environmental Sciences

The Environmental Science Program at Southern Methodist University is an interdisciplinary program with a technical core of biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics and physics.

Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies Program is an interdisciplinary curriculum for students who are interested in studying the environment at a societal and policymaking level but do not intend to become scientists. Complex environmental issues are considered from multiple perspectives such as anthropology, business, economics, engineering, science and sociology.

Ethnic Studies

The Ethnic Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary program that examines the African/African-American and Mexican-American experiences through the social sciences and humanities.

European Studies

The European Studies Program provides students with an opportunity to design an interdisciplinary program of study that will give them an in-depth knowledge of European history, culture, politics and society. 

Geothermal Laboratory 

The SMU Geothermal Laboratory provides students with an opportunity to study the use of the Earth’s resources for electricity generation and work on related research projects associated with grants and contracts.  Through the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences students can major in geophysics with an emphasis in geothermal energy along with oil and gas resources.

International and Area Studies

The International and Area Studies Program provides students with the opportunity to design an interdisciplinary program of study that facilitates an understanding of the human experience in a global perspective, while at the same time allowing them to develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific geographical area. 

Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies offers students of all backgrounds a broad range of courses in history, religious studies, popular culture, literature, music and art history that examine Jewish culture and religion as well as the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Monthly lunch and guest lectures provide additional learning opportunities. Students can explore the contributions Jews have made to human civilization around the world, from the Bible and Maimonides to Sondheim and Seinfeld, as well as pivotal chapters in Jewish history. Beginning Fall 2015, students may elect a minor in Jewish Studies.

Markets and Culture

Markets and Culture curriculum provides students with an opportunity to learn about the world’s marketplaces from an interdisciplinary vantage point. Students take core courses in a variety of the innovative fields including economic sociology. The curriculum is also designed to easily facilitate study abroad opportunities, studies at the SMU Taos campus and completing a second major.

Medieval Studies

The Medieval Studies Program affords students an opportunity for a “classically” liberal education within a broad subset of “Western” (Celtic, Franconic, Italic, Germanic, Visigothic) and “non-Western” (Byzantine, Islamic, Persian) contexts.

Pre-Health Program

Pre-Health students pursue admission to dental, medical, optometry, pharmacy, podiatry, physical therapy, physician assistant, veterinary medicine and chiropractic medicine training programs. In addition to a core curriculum, the program consists of advising, support tools such as the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center and student organizations (including Alpha Epsilon Delta, the pre-health honor society, and the Pre-Dental Discussion Group).

Pre-Law Program

The pre-law program consists of advising services, lectures and exclusive access to the SMU Law Fair. Advisors boast that 70-80% of pre-law seniors have been accepted at law schools including the University of Chicago, Cornell University, Duke University, the University of Texas and Dedman School of Law at SMU.  

Public Policy

The Public Policy Program is an interdisciplinary program in economics and political science that is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and historical context to understand and deal with contemporary policy issues.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students of all majors the ability to experience academic challenges beyond their majors, by choosing courses that offer an enhanced version of SMU’s University Curriculum.

Women's and Gender Studies

The Women's and Gender Studies Program enables students to explore the social and cultural effects of gender difference.  The courses, covering several disciplines, introduce students to scholarship on the long-overlooked social and cultural contributions of women, on the social meanings of masculinity and femininity, and on sexual identity.