SMU Students

The University recognizes that there are times when students need to complete courses elsewhere. To increase the likelihood that students will succeed in subsequent courses at SMU and to ensure the quality of SMU degrees, the university has established the following transfer course policies:

  • Transfer credit is only granted for coursework taken at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Equivalent courses are determined based upon a review of the following course characteristics: course description, textbook, course objectives, assignments, number of credit hours, course prerequisites, and program quality. Current SMU students must submit an Undergraduate Petition for Advance Approval of Transfer Credit - UC prior to enrolling in courses at other institutions.
  • Coursework completed at another college or university is evaluated for equivalent transfer credits, not necessarily for degree requirements. Students are responsible for working in conjunction with their advisors to determine if equivalent courses satisfy specific degree requirements.
  • In addition to working with an advisor, students should refer to the SMU Undergraduate Catalog and/or the academic dean within the appropriate college or school for additional information on degree requirements.
  • Students who fail to get prior approval for transfer work may petition later for transfer credit, but they have no assurance that it will be awarded.

SMU students considering taking courses at another institution after matriculating at SMU should:

  • select courses as similar as possible to what they would experience at SMU.
  • not defer basic required courses in the expectation of taking courses elsewhere.
  • best ensure that they will be prepared for subsequent courses at SMU by completing foundational courses at SMU.

Once students have matriculated (officially enrolled) at SMU, students may transfer no more than 30 hours to SMU. This limit does NOT apply to transfer hours earned prior to matriculation.

Students who complete more than 30 transferable hours after matriculating can designate which of their courses apply to the 30-hour limit. Students may change the designation of the courses. Students should make these transfer-credit designations in consultation with their records offices.

To ensure that a course taken at another college or university transfers and that proper credit is awarded, continuing SMU students should complete an Undergraduate Petition for Advanced Approval of Transfer Credit - UC available online or in your Dean's office. Approval from the following people is required:

  • Academic Advisor
  • Chair of SMU department offering equivalent course
  • Course's Records Office/Academic Dean/Director
  • Student's Records Office/Academic Dean/Director
  • Assistant Provost for General Education (required for any course numbers that have UC implications - even if UC component is not being requested)

Students who fail to get prior approval for transfer work may petition later for transfer credit, but they have no assurance that it will be awarded. Permission may be denied for educational reasons.

Most post-matriculation transfer work taken by continuing SMU students must be completed at accredited, 4-year institutions. It is imperative that SMU students petition ALL post-matriculation transfer courses PRIOR to enrollment in courses. Students who fail to get prior approval for transfer work have no assurances they will receive credit for their courses.

Official college transcripts are required for all college-level work attempted, regardless of courses ability to transfer.

  • To be considered "official," transcripts must be received at SMU directly from the transferable institution.
  • A transcript issued to a student is acceptable provided it is received by SMU in a sealed, letterhead envelope with the Registrar’s Office stamp.
  • SMU only accepts electronic transcripts sent from the transferable institution. We will not accept electronic transcripts sent by students.
  • Transcripts must be dated fewer than three years prior to processing.
  • Coursework from one institution which appears on an official transcript from another institution will not be accepted for transfer credit. An official transcript must be issued by each institution attended. Also, copies of transcripts provided by other institutions are not acceptable.
  • For standards applied to transcripts issued by non-U.S. institutions, see our International Transfer Students page.

New transfer students from U.S. institutions should have their transcripts sent to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
SMU
P.O. Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181

Electronic transcripts from the transferable institution via a secure means (e.g., Scrip-Safe, NSC) should be sent to ugadmission@smu.edu.

Transfer students from foreign institutions should have their transcripts and related documents sent to:

The International Center
SMU
6185 Airline Road, Suite 216
Dallas, TX 75205
USA

Current SMU students should have their transcripts sent to:

University Registrar
SMU
P.O. Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181

Electronic transcripts from the transferable institution via a secure means (e.g., Scrip-Safe, NSC) should be sent to ugadmission@smu.edu.

SMU accepts a grade of "Pass" for transfer courses based on the grading scale used at the awarding institution. For example, if the transferring institution defines "P" as passing and earning credit, then we will evaluate it as a "P" and award credit. All SMU students are limited to a total of 12 hours of Pass credits. This includes grades earned for accepted transfer courses. This requirement cannot be waived.

Courses taken at a U.S. institution where the instruction is in an international location and courses taken at a non-U.S. institution: Students must obtain approval for the transferability and applicability of coursework prior to completing courses where the instruction is at an international location, both where the course enrollments are through an accredited U.S. institution and where they are through an international institution recognized as offering the equivalency of U.S. college-level work. Completed requests must be submitted to the SMU Abroad office by March 1 for fall term abroad; April 1 for summer term abroad; and, October 1 for spring term abroad. Detailed instructions and approval forms can be found on the SMU Abroad website. The approval review will consider the collegiate quality of the program and/or institution. Approval for transferability will not be given after the coursework is started.