Office of Curricular Innovation and Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Credit earned by examination may be used to fulfill some requirements.
  2. With the exception of courses that are only offered with pass/fail, courses taken to fulfill UC requirements cannot be taken pass/fail.
  3. Following SMU matriculation, students must meet UC Foundations requirements through SMU coursework.
  4. PRW1 should be completed during the first 30 hours of undergraduate work.
  5. A minimum grade of C- is required in all DISC-sequence courses.
  6. CF, CFA, and CFB will count toward Ways of Knowing UC requirement through Summer 2016
  7. CF, CFA, and CFB may NOT count toward Pillar(s) requirement, even if departmental co-listing has been approved.
  8. Students may request that coursework transferred from another regionally accredited institution satisfy UC requirements. All UC student requests must include concrete evidence that the proposed coursework satisfies the specific Student Learning Outcomes associated with the requirement. The request is then vetted by the student's academic advisor before it is submitted to the Assistant Provost for the University Curriculum for approval consideration. Appeals may be made to the Committee on Academic Petitions.


FAQs Pertaining to Course Proposals


Q: Where can I find an up-to-date list of courses with approved UC components?

A: This can be found on our Approved Courses page. Note: if a course doesn't have an approval date, it hasn't been approved.

Q: What does the “Effective Date” on the course proposal page mean?

A: This is the first term that the course-specific component is officially approved for the UC.

Q: Will I automatically get retroactive approval for a UC component if I took the course before the officially approved “Effective Date”?

A: No. Students seeking retroactive credit for UC components must email  theuc@smu.edu and attach a current Degree Progress Report.

Q: According to the Approved Courses page, a course I enrolled in has been approved for a specific UC component but is not appearing on my DPR. What should I do?

A: UC components are approved throughout the semester.  If you have any inquires email theuc@smu.edu and attach a current Degree Progress Report.

Q: I’m enrolled in (or interested in taking) a course that has “TBD” listed next to it. What does that mean?

A: “TBD” means that the requested component is still in the proposal review process.

Q: A course I’m enrolled in (or interested in taking) has “Reconsideration” listed next to it. What does that mean?

A: “Reconsideration” means the home department is either requesting additional UC components or seeking to adjust the components associated with that course. You will receive UC credit for components that were approved when you took the course.

Q: A course I’m enrolled in (or took previously) lists several UC components and different approval dates. Which UC components apply to me?

A: You will receive whatever components were approved at the time you took the course. If, for example, you took a course in Fall 2013 that was approved for Pillars/Individuals, Institutions and Cultures, level one (IIC1) credit from May 1, 2013 through Fall 2014, you will receive IIC1 credit for the course. If this same course was reconsidered and approved for IIC2 credit effective Spring 2015 and you enrolled in the course in the Spring 2015, you will receive IIC2 credit for the course. You will not receive both IIC1 and IIC2.


FAQs Pertaining to Activity Proposals


Q: I was involved in one of the activities listed as “approved” on the Activity Approval Page. Why doesn’t my DPR show that I have completed the UC component associated with that activity?

A: Completing the activity makes you eligible for the UC component(s). If you have participated in one of these approved activities and want to use it to satisfy one or more UC proficiencies, contact the office or department sponsoring the activity to obtain the cover sheet, include any supporting documentation, and bring these documents to the UC Office so we can update your DPR.


Transfer Students and the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) Requirement


Q: I am a transfer student who is not transferring in any courses with the DISC prefix. How do I satisfy the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) Requirement?

A: Either by taking DISC 1312 and DISC 1313 or by taking DISC 2305 and DISC 2306.

Q: I am a transfer student who is transferring in DISC 1311. What do I take to complete the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) Requirement?

A. If you have taken the equivalent of DISC 1311 at your previous school, you will complete the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) Requirement by taking DISC 1313 (or, in rare cases, DISC 2305).

Note: After you successfully complete DISC 1313, email us at theuc@smu.edu attaching a PDF of your full DPR, not just the summary report, so that we can update your record to show that the D&D requirement is satisfied.

Q: I am a transfer student who is transferring in DISC 1312 only. What do I take to complete the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) Requirement?

A: If you have taken the equivalent of DISC 1312 at your previous school, you will complete the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) requirement by taking DISC 1313 (or, in rare cases, DISC 2305). 

Q: I am a transfer student who is transferring in DISC 1311 and 1312. Do I need to take any additional courses to complete the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) Requirement?

A: No. If you have transferred in both DISC 1311 and DISC 1312. The Office of the Registrar will update your DPR soon after you matriculate to SMU.

Q: Does AP/IB credit count toward the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) requirement?

A: Yes. AP/IB scores can be used to meet DISC 1311 and DISC 1312, but not DISC 1313. These equivalencies will appear on your DPR. All SMU students (first-year and transfer) must take at least one college-level writing course after graduating from high school. No students can fulfill the Discernment and Discourse (D&D) requirement solely with AP/IB credit.

Q: I took one or more expository writing courses at my previous school, but they didn’t transfer in with the DISC prefix. What can I do?

A: You can use Side Two of the Re-Evaluation of Transfer Work form to submit your request.


Personal Responsibility and Wellness FAQs


Q: I am/was an athlete or pom squad/cheerleader and was told that I could receive Personal and Responsibility and Wellness credit, but I don’t see the credit on my DPR. What do I do?

A: UC athletes and pom squad/cheerleaders are asked to enroll in PRW-II 2190 to obtain the appropriate UC credit. If you did not enroll in this course, please contact the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.


Second Language FAQs


Q. Does AP credit count toward the Second Language Requirement?

A: Yes. Students with AP scores of 4 and 5 earn credit for the 1st and 2nd semester courses and satisfy the Second Language requirement.

Students with AP scores of 4 also receive automatic placement in the 3rd semester course.

Students with AP scores of 5 receive automatic placement in the 4th semester and receive credit for the 3rd semester course once they take and pass the 4th semester course.

Students with AP scores of 4 or 5 are also encouraged to take the departmental placement assessment. If they place higher than their automatic placement, they are encouraged to enroll there, and they are eligible for additional credit, based on where they place.

Finally, students with AP scores of 3 are also encouraged to take the departmental placement assessment. if they place into and take the 2nd semester course, they will receive credit for the 1st semester course upon completion of the 2nd semester course, and if they place into and take the 3rd semester course, they will receive credit for the 1st and 2nd semester courses.

 

Q. DASS approved my taking alternative courses to satisfy the Second Language Requirement. What form do I use to ensure that these courses populate my DPR?

A: During your accommodation intake interview, your DASS counselor gave you information that explained the process.

 

Q: I speak more than one language fluently. Can I request a waiver of my Second Language Requirement?

A: Students may demonstrate proficiency through college-level coursework, credit exam, or placement exam. Visit the Department of World Languages and Literatures website for information on satisfying your Second Language Proficiency requirement.

 

Q: Can I satisfy the UC’s Second Language Requirement by taking courses at a college or university other than SMU after I have enrolled at SMU?

A: Yes. Complete an Advance Approval of Transfer Work request, which requires a syllabus from the course(s), obtain the pre-approval signatures, and then deliver the request to the UC office.

Note: Most SLR requests need pre-approval from the Department of World Languages and Literatures. Requests for American Sign Language need pre-approval from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

In most cases, credit hours for course(s) taken at an accredited four-year college or university will transfer to SMU. Credit hours for course(s) taken at an accredited two-year community college will not transfer to SMU, but UC 2012 students may still fulfill the SLR requirement with non-credit courses. After matriculation, UC 2016 students cannot satisfy the Second Language requirement with community college coursework.

After successfully completing the pre-approved course(s), it is your responsibility to provide the SMU Registrar’s Office with an official transcript (signed and sealed by the institution where you completed the coursework).You can either request that an official transcript be mailed to SMU or you can deliver it to the SMU Registrar’s Office in the original sealed envelope in person. Our office cannot process your SLR request if this step is not completed.

A comprehensive description of the Second Language Proficiency requirement can be found here.

Q: What form do I use to request that one of my SMU courses satisfy a UC Pillar or Breadth/Depth requirement?

A: There is no form for this. Only the Council on General Education can approve these requirements.

Note: You can, however, request that work they have done satisfy the proficiency requirements. Please see consult both the Course-Based Proficiency Request and the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request.


General Proficiency and Experience Forms FAQs


Q: What is the Course-Based Proficiency Request Form, and how can I use it?

A: The Course-Based Proficiency Request form is used to request that work you’ve done in credit-bearing college classes (both SMU and transfer) satisfy one or more of these UC proficiencies: Community Engagement, Global Engagement, Human Diversity, Information Literacy, Oral Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Writing.

Note: When you click on the proficiency, you’ll be directed to a link that explains the criteria used to evaluate the requests.

Q: What is the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request form, and how can I use it?

A: The Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request form to request that activities and programs in which you have participated satisfy one or more of these UC proficiencies: Community Engagement, Global Engagement, Human Diversity, Information Literacy, Oral Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Writing.

Note: When you click on the proficiency, you’ll be directed to a link that explains the criteria used to evaluate the requests.

 


Global Engagement FAQs


Q: What form do I use to request that my experiences with SMU Abroad satisfy the Global Engagement proficiency?

A: You can use either the Course-Based or the Non-Course Based proficiency request form.

Q: I am an international student. Can I request a waiver of the Global Engagement proficiency?

A: No, but you can use the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request to have your experiences living and studying in the United States satisfy this requirement.

Q. Which form do I use to request that a transfer course satisfy the Ways of Knowing requirement?

A: There is no form for this. Ways of Knowing courses must be taken either at SMU or through SMU Abroad courses officially sponsored by SMU.


General Questions about Request Forms


Q: What form do I use to request that one of my SMU courses satisfy a UC Pillar?

A: There is no form for this. You can, however, request that work you have done satisfy the proficiency requirements. Please see both the Course-Based Proficiency Request and the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request.

Q: What form do I use to request that my experiences with SMU Abroad satisfy the Global Engagement proficiency?

A: You can use either the Course-Based or Non-Course Based proficiency request form.

Q: What is the Course-Based Proficiency Request form, and how can I use it?

A: You can use the Course-Based Proficiency Request form to request that work you’ve done in credit-bearing college classes (both SMU and transfer) satisfy one or more of these UC proficiencies: Community Engagement, Global Engagement, Human Diversity, Information Literacy, Oral Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Writing.


Questions about the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request


Q: What is the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request form, and how can I use it?

A: You can use the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request form to request that activities and programs in which you have participated satisfy one or more of these UC proficiencies: Community Engagement, Global Engagement, Human Diversity, Information Literacy, Oral Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Writing.

When you click on the proficiency, you’ll be directed to a link that explains the criteria used to evaluate the requests.

Q. Can the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request be used for consideration of activities I was involved in before I started college?

A: No.

Q. Can the Non-Course-Based Proficiency Request be used for consideration of activities I was involved at my previous college?

A: Yes.

Students who entered AS FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS in fall 2012 through summer 2016 are required to complete three of the five level-two Pillars (the Pure and Applied Science Pillar course can be either a level-one Pillar course with a lab or a level-two Pillar course possibly without a lab).

Q. My Degree Progress Report (DPR) identifies me as a UC2012 student, and I have completed two level-two Pillars in the same Pillar. Can I change one of them to a level one?

A: Yes, by emailing theuc@smu.edu, identifying the two courses, specifying which completed level-two course you want changed to level one and attaching a copy of your full DPR (not just the summary report).

Note: If you are a UC 2012 student and you have completed one and are enrolled in one, you can still make this request. In this case, we will change the Pillar level of the in-progress course but not the completed course.

 

Q. My Degree Progress Report (DPR) identifies me as a UC2012 student, and I have completed four different level-two Pillars, but I need only three. Can I change one of the level-two Pillars to a level-one Pillar I still need to satisfy?

A: Yes, by emailing theuc@smu.edu, listing the four level-two Pillars you have completed, identifying the course that you want changed from level two to level one (in the same Pillar) and attaching a copy of your full DPR.

Note: this request will take a little longer to process, because the UC 2012 DPR makes it difficult to tell if you have completed four upper-level Pillars. If you tell us which classes have met the four different pillars, we can process your request more quickly.