New Student Information


Welcome to Southern Methodist University!

The International Student & Scholar Services team is excited to welcome you to SMU, Dallas and the United States. Please review this page as it contains information on what you need to do before you arrive to campus and during your first week at SMU.


If you have any questions, checkout our International Student Handbook or you can email your question to Lastly, we want to stay connected with you so make sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram @smuinternational.


Step 1: Request I-20 from SMU

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

Step 3: Apply for an F-1/J-1 Visa

Step 4: Arrival to the U.S., Orientation and Compliance Course

Step 5: Complete Mandatory Government Document Check-In

Airport and Transportation Assistance for Incoming Students:

For those seeking airport assistance and transportation to SMU from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), please click here

Special Updates for Spring 2021 New International Admitted Students: 

If you are planning to attend SMU in-person for Spring 2021 see the deadlines below:

Academic Program

Deadline to have visa appointment secured

Deadline to Enroll in Classes

Deadline to Arrive at SMU and Complete Government Document Check-In

Law and Intensive English Program (IEP)

January 4, 2021

Law: January 20, 2021

IEP: January 25, 2021

No later than the start date of your program.

Once you are in the U.S. you are required to complete a virtual government document check-in. Register in advance here:



January 6, 2021

January 22, 2021


Dedman Graduate, Lyle, Guildhall and Undergraduate

January 14, 2021

January 29, 2021

If you are planning to attend SMU virtually for Spring 2021 see the instructions below to clear the “International Check-In Hold” to proceed with course enrollment:

Undergraduate and Graduate Student

Outside of the U.S.

To Remove Enrollment Hold

Before your Arrival to the U.S.

If you are engaging in fully remote/virtual studies for Spring 2021 or deferring until Fall 2021.

Notify your admitting department that you are requesting an I-20 deferral. Once ISSS processes the request the “International Check-In” enrollment hold will be removed.

Undergraduates: You must complete the International Student Compliance Canvas course by January 6, 2021. You will also complete the Pre-Advising Canvas Course (PACC) before you can enroll in classes.

You must complete the Government Check-In when you arrive to SMU.




The university will be closed from December 21, 2020 - January 1, 2021 for the winter holidays. Therefore, any communication received after December 18th will be responded to as it arrived beginning January 4, 2021.