Areas of Study

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Mock Trial and Debate

Mock Trial

Building work ethic, critical thinking and leadership

SMU Mock Trial is a great way for students interested in public speaking, acting and law to explore their talents and possible career interests. Students compete in a mock courtroom case, taking on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and competing against other universities at multiple tournaments throughout the year. The SMU Mock Trial team typically places in the top 10 percent of Mock Trial programs nationwide.

While Mock Trial is open to all SMU students regardless of major, students must try out in order to be a member of the competitive SMU Mock Trial team. Tryouts are held in early fall.

Students taking COMM 4342 class (Competitive Mock Trial) can receive course credit and up to three credit hours.

For more information about Mock Trial, contact:

Dr. Chris Salinas
Lecturer and Director of Public Discourse


SMU's award-winning debate program provides the strongest preparation for developing a student's voice. With competitions based on intense research concerning important national and international policy questions such as immigration, energy and human rights, students participate in tournament debate to test themselves against the best advocates at colleges and universities around the nation.  SMU's debate program has a unique service emphasis that promotes debate as a civic virtue.  Good societies depend upon public debate as a civic basis for moral and ethical progress.  Service learning connected to the debate program brings students in contact with Dallas Independent School District (DISD) students associated with the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance (DUDA).  DUDA, in collaboration with SMU debate, prepares at-risk students in DISD for debate at a variety of special events hosted on the SMU campus.  DUDA was recently selected as the top national chapter with the help of SMU.  Various public debates provide opportunities for students to lead their peers in important civil discussions.  SMU debate is led by award-winning coaches and directors Dr. Chris Salinas and Dr. Ben Voth.  Students can gain academic credit for participating in debate.

For more information about debate at SMU, contact Director of Debate Dr. Ben Voth, 214-768-3028.

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Communication Studies

Undergraduate Studies


Faculty and Staff

Student Resources


Mock Trial and Debate

Dallas Resources


Advisory Board


Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts