Lyle Distance Education FAQ's

Below are a few of the most common questions regarding Lyle Distance Education. If you have additional question, please contact us

  • Course handouts, syllabi and assignments are distributed by the department via Canvas, SMU's learning management system. 
  • Live lectures in regular graduate courses are recorded at the same time they are taught. This classroom format includes the lecture and questions from students in the classroom, as well as the instructor’s answers and comments. 
  • High-quality recordings are loaded to our server within 24 hours of the on-campus course. Students are encouraged to download the lecture to their computer and watch it within 48 hours to keep current with course content and requirements. 
  • Graded coursework is returned as directed by the professor. 
  • Students are encouraged to contact the instructor to ask questions, share ideas and clarify points from the lecture by email, telephone or web-conference. 
  • Credit courses operate on a schedule that parallels the on-campus semester. While students have considerable flexibility in when they view class recordings, they are expected to complete the coursework within provided deadlines. This ensures the academic integrity of each course and replicates the in-person classroom experience. 
  • At some companies and military locations, there are site coordinators responsible for receiving and disseminating testing material. 
  • Students at sites without a coordinator must assume responsibility for procuring an appropriate individual to serve as their proctor, who should be an impartial third party.
  • Proctors are verified and vetted in accordance with SMU’s academic standards and are required to agree and abide by the SMU Honor Code

Lyle expects DE students to fully meet the rigorous demands of its master’s degree programs. For many students, this means a weekly time investment averaging about three (3) to four (4) hours for each credit hour of graduate registration. Each student should bear this in mind when working out a study schedule.

The school recommends that a part-time student, professionally employed, take no more than two (2) courses per term or six (6) total credit hours. We encourage all students to stay up-to-date with their courses by viewing lectures promptly and by interacting with the instructor and other students whenever possible.

We recommend that students meet the minimum technical requirements below when accessing distance education content. Additional criteria may be needed to complete coursework. Contact your instructor or refer to the course syllabus for further information on course-specific needs. 


  • A computer (desktop or laptop) or smartphone device that is less than three years old
  • Speakers or headphones for listening to the audio portion of the recordings
  • A webcam with a microphone to participate in interactive course activities such as web-conferencing and video proctoring


  • A current internet browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
  • A VLC media player is recommended for viewing distance videos on either a Mac or PC
  • A stable internet connection of 1.5 Mbps or higher is required. A faster connection will further enhance your online experience. 

Please see SMU’s Bursar’s Office for posted tuition information.

Lyle is in the process of providing all alumni access to view graduate course content through the Distance Education program. If alumni are interested in brushing upon the latest trends, they will be able to access our library of course offerings at little to no cost. In this way, Lyle will establish itself as a true partner in lifelong learning for every alum an invaluable relationship for both parties. Stay tuned for future announcements regarding this alumni benefit.