International Graduate Student FAQs

If you are seeking or required to have an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you’re considered an international applicant. If you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident in the U.S., H1, or H4 visa holder, you are considered a domestic applicant and should use the domestic application. Any other visa holder or applicant should apply using the international student application. Please visit or for more details on the application process.

Although uploaded copies of your transcripts can be used in the review process, original copies will be required if you are admitted.

GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS scores must be official. Copies will NOT be accepted. Please make sure to submit these documents so your file can move to review.

TOEFL/GRE scores can be sent electronically via ETS to Institution Code 6660. IELTS scores should be sent directly from the testing center to SMU’s Central Admissions Office's address:

Southern Methodist University
Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building
Graduate Application Processing
6185 Airline Rd., Suite 310
Dallas, TX 75205

You’re welcome to submit a transcript evaluation with your application. While evaluation of your transcripts is not required, it helps expedite the review process.

The institution code for SMU is 6660. No department code is required. 

Fall – May 15th

Spring – September 1st

Summer – We do not admit international students for the summer term

Three letters of recommendation are required for all Ph.D. applicants.

Letters of recommendation are NOT required for master’s applications. They are optional. If you wish to submit them, you can send them via email attachment to

Letters of recommendation are submitted online, via the student portal, when you apply. If you receive recommendation letters after you have applied and need to submit them, they can be emailed to

For regular postal mail:

Southern Methodist University
Graduate Application Processing
P.O. Box 518
Dallas TX 75275-0518


For expedited mail and items being delivered:

Southern Methodist University
Graduate Application Processing
Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building
6185 Airline Rd., Suite 310
Dallas, TX 75205

No. There are no waivers for the $75 application fee. It can be paid in the portal after you apply. We accept both credit and debit cards.

Admission requirements will vary by department. You should refer to your specific department’s webpage to learn more about its programs and specific admissions requirements.

-    Civil and Environmental Engineering

-    Computer Science

-    Datacenter

-    Dual Degree MS/MBA

-    Electrical and Computer Engineering

-    Engineering Management, Information, and Systems

-    MADI

-    Mechanical Engineering

You must submit your official GRE scores via ETS for the following programs:

-     ALL Ph.D. and D.Engr. Programs

-     M.S. | Civil Engineering

-     M.S. | Environmental Engineering

-     M.S. | Computer Science

-     M.S. | Computer Engineering

-     M.S. | Security Engineering (if you do not have a minimum of two years of industry experience)

-     M.S. | Software Engineering (if you do not have a minimum of two years of software development and/or maintenance experience)

-     M.S. | Electrical Engineering

-     M.S. | Mechanical Engineering

-     M.S. | Operations Research

Typically departments look for a minimum of: 155 - Quantitative

Keep in mind some departments look at percentiles and other standards. You’ll need to check their department webpages to verify.

-    TOEFL test

-    IELTS test

-    Degree completed at an American university.

-   Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English Test can be taken online at any time. It is a fast and inexpensive alternative to other options – it takes approximately 45 minutes and costs $49. The exam uses computer-adaptive testing, meaning the questions will automatically adapt to each test-takers’ ability, generating a different set of questions for every session.

The exam requires a compatible browser and your computer’s self-facing camera and microphone. The testing session is recorded and verified by a Duolingo proctor, and the results are available within 48 hours. Please make sure you indicate on your test that you want your results sent to Southern Methodist University.

To take your test today, please visit: 

-    TOEFL: Minimum overall score of 80 out of 120

-    IELTS: Minimum overall score of 6.5

Once we have all application materials in our office, the process typically takes 3-4 weeks. At peak admissions cycles the process may take longer.

Contact Lexie Reynolds via email at

The certificate of finance is required if you are admitted. You do NOT need to submit this at the time of application.

A minimum of $46,234 must be shown.

If you’re admitted, you’ll begin the I-20 process. The process is as follows:

-    Log into your portal and ACCEPT your admission

-    Complete the international document submission form

-    Upload and submit the required documents listed in your portal

-    Complete a shipment request

-    Wait on your I-20 to arrive


-    Health Insurance: $2,800 per year (estimated)

-    Living Expenses: $18,000 per year (estimated)

-    Tuition:

         YEAR ONE:  $25,074 for one year of study full-time – 6 courses

         YEAR TWO:  $16,716 for one year of study full-time – 4 courses

Financial assistance is available to international students via teaching and research assistantships. These are limited and highly competitive. If interested, students must contact departments and faculty directly to see if there are any open positions.