Program Outline and Selection Process

The Dedman Scholars' academic program is composed of four years, each of which is designed to expose students to the many academic and intellectual opportunities at SMU.

Year 1: New Scholars are introduced to the SMU campus resources, faculty, students and SMU community through events designed exclusively for them.

Year 2: Scholars are introduced to faculty in their major. They continue to participate in specially designed events and workshops. Some may begin to conduct research in their major or field of interest.

Years 3 and 4: Scholars are guided toward the completion of long term research projects that can originate from many options such as the completion of a Senior Distinction Thesis, study abroad, study at SMU-in-Taos or from resources such as the Richter Fellowship Program, the Hamilton Research Fund, Mayer Interdisciplinary Fellowship Program, Tower Center Fellowship Program and Tower Scholars Program, Engaged Learning Projects and Big iDeas Grants. Scholars will be guided through career or graduate school options via on campus resources such as The Hegi Family Career Center.

Selection Process

A limited number of entering first-year students are selected to the Dedman College Scholars Program each year. Selection is competitive and based upon academic merit. To be considered, a student must be admitted to SMU as a first-year student whose primary major lies within Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and qualify academically for the University Honors Program. After a review of all eligible prospective students a select number are invited to submit a written application and interview with a committee of Dedman College faculty, staff, and current Dedman College Scholars. 

First-year transfer and transfer students are not eligible for consideration. If a candidate is reviewed as a first-year applicant and is chosen as a recipient of the Dedman College Scholarship but elects to take a gap year, the scholarship cannot be carried over to the new entry date. The candidate will need to reinterview.

The Dedman College Scholars who are entering SMU in the Fall of 2020 have an average SAT (math and critical reading) of 1512, an average ACT composite of 34, and an average unweighted GPA of 3.94 in a challenging high school curriculum as well as extracurricular involvement.


The Dedman College Scholars Program provides undergraduate students merit-based scholarships annually for four years, eight consecutive fall and spring semesters, or until the student graduates, whichever comes first provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 GPA, full-time enrollment with a primary major in Dedman College, membership in the University Honors Program (UHP), and engages in an approved research project.