Updates for Spring 2021

Your Spring 2021 Student Experience 

During Spring 2021, SMU will continue to offer students as many options to attend courses as possible. Learn more about your choices below and be sure to discuss them with your academic advisor to ensure the best schedule for you.

While most can expect some level of virtual engagement, students may choose to attend some courses and co-curricular activities in-person or opt-in to a fully remote experience.

SMUFlex (Red-Blue) vs. Fully-Remote Attendance

Please note that all students can enroll in both SMUFlex and Virtual courses.

Red-Blue Designation

  • Students may attend their SMUFlex courses in person on their assigned red/blue days and attend virtually on alternate days
  • Students may live on- or off-campus, keeping in mind any residency requirements
  • Students participate in co-curricular activities in person and virtually
  • Students continue to access campus resources in person and virtually

Learn More

Fully Remote Status

  • Students participate in courses remotely
  • With some exceptions, students typically live off-campus
  • Students participate in co-curricular activities virtually
  • Students may still access campus resources in person

Learn More

SMUFlex vs. Virtual courses

SMU Flex

  • SMUFlex courses are conducted in real-time with some students attending in-person and others participating remotely via Zoom
  • Most courses will be offered in this mode
  • Students who are not fully remote attend courses in-person on their assigned red/blue days
  • Recorded lectures will be available to students, as needed, via Canvas.


Learn More


  • Virtual courses are fully online and accommodate students and faculty who may not be able to attend on campus courses due to extenuating circumstances
  • Virtual courses follow a regular schedule in normal time
  • Fewer courses offered in this mode
  • The University will work with students taking remote only classes to help them meet their degree requirements.


Virtual Course Database

On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing


  • First-year students must live on campus for their first two years at SMU and are assigned to 1 of 11 Residential Commons.
  • New transfer students who are under 20 years old have a one-year residency requirement and are assigned either to a Residential Commons or to Upper-Division Housing.
  • New transfer students who are over 20 years old have no requirement to live on campus but may apply and be assigned on a space-available basis.
  • See "Off-Campus" for residency exemption.


  • New students from the Dallas area who wish to live at home with their parent or guardian may request an exemption from the residency requirement on the basis of financial, medical/disability, or personal hardship.
  • Exemption requests are available after completion of the housing application.
  • Students who are required to live on-campus (see "On-Campus") but intend to be fully remote may apply for an exemption.Students who are granted an exemption maynotlater request to return to in-person courses and activities.

For those living and/or studying on-campus, the Office of Residence Life and Student Housing has provided information about its commitment to a healthy campus

Healthy Campus

Housing Information



Important Dates

Monday, January 18
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. University Offices closed.

Wednesday, January 13 to Sunday, January 24
January Stampede (virtual)

Saturday, January 23 to Sunday, January 24
Residential Communities open for Spring term for continuing and new residents.

Sunday, January 24
Spring Rotunda Passage

Monday, January 25
First day of classes for Spring 2021.


View SMU Academic Calendar

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