Updates for Fall 2020

Dear SMU students and families,

SMU is here for you! As we work to keep learning during this evolving COVID-19 situation, many of SMU's academic services and resources are available online to ensure your continued academic success.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact our office:

Student Academic Engagement and Success


Fall 2020 Request to Be Remote or Cancel Remote Request

August 31: Update to REMOTE status process for undergraduate students Fall 2020

In order to continue to provide flexible solutions for students while also maintaining the appropriate socially distancing procedures established for fall 2020, the Office of Student Academic Engagement and Success has made the following updates to all requests by undergraduates to change their method of course engagement during the fall of 2020. 

Beginning August 31, we will be using the survey linked here Request To Be Remote or To Cancel Remote Request, Fall 2020 for students to request to transition to the REMOTE status or to cancel an existing REMOTE status. 

11/25/2020 Update: As all students are now learning virtually, this survey is closed. Students may still request to be fully remote for Spring 2021.

Students should only make this request if they intend to maintain REMOTE status for the rest of the semester for all of their courses. Once a student is coded to REMOTE status after September 4, we may not be able to reassign them to a Red-Blue rotation schedule.


After approval it is the student’s responsibility to communicate this change in enrollment status to their professors in order to determine if any adjustments that need to be made.

Requests to become REMOTE will be updated each Monday by 5 p.m.  This means if you submit your request on Tuesday it will not be processed for 7 days.  If you submit your request on Sunday, it will be the processed next day.

Students who received a fall 2020 housing exemption to live off-campus due to their desire for a REMOTE semester may not cancel their request unless they are ready to return to on-campus housing.

All other students may request to be assigned to a Red-Blue rotation but they must first ask their faculty member if there is sufficient space on both Red and Blue days for them to join the class in person (students are not assigned a color for each class but one color for all of their classes).

  • After completing the survey, students will receive an email request with instructions for documenting there is sufficient space in each course.
  • Students may not return to in person instruction until they have completed their documentation and received approval.
  • After approval is complete,students will be assigned to a rotation schedule.
  • Requests to be assigned to Red-Blue rotation will be updated each Monday by 5 p.m.

Fully remote students take ALL of their classes remotely and also live away from campus. Students approved for a fully remote academic experience will also engage in their co-curricular activities remotely (e.g. student organizations, Greek life, and Student Senate). Students will have full access to all University services such as Fondren Library, Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center, Academic Advisors and the Health Center. A student will continue to utilize services such as the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports through remote offerings. SMU will provide remote students with regular opportunities for campus engagement and offer feedback if additional support or services are needed.

  • Stay in touch with the Associate Provost’s Office to provide any follow up documentation (if needed)
  • The Associate Provost’s Office will provide students with a letter to share with their faculty, indicating that they are approved to be fully remote for the entire semester
  • Students who are fully remote will receive additional communications from the Associate Provost to ensure necessary access to technology and software to support academic success
  • Remote students can access resources available to them by visiting smu.edu/remote

We want to make sure everyone understands that any student who requests a letter of support to be fully remote can change their mind and return to on-campus instruction assuming you are enrolled in SMUFlex courses and not virtual (fully online) courses.  However:

  • Students who requested and were granted an on-campus fall housing exemption on the basis of being remote may not cancel their status as a remote student unless they are ready to move back on-campus.
  • Students may not attend in-person classes until they are assigned to a red/blue schedule AND the faculty members for any in-person classes they wish to attend have confirmed there is space in the class on the days of the student's red/blue designation.

 To cancel your request to be fully remote, email remote@smu.edu