Academic Planning

Making a plan for your time at SMU can be very helpful, especially if you want to complete a pre-professional track, minor, or double major. Since the planning process is fluid, you may add or delete items as your time at SMU progresses.

To start, there are several tools you need to have readily available:

  1. Your current Degree Progress Report (DPR) is found under the Academic Progress tile on my.SMU.
  2. A UC Tracker (UC 2012 or UC 2016) to identify the UC requirements you've taken and are yet to take.
  3. The SMU Catalog for your academic year of entry (ask your advisor if you're unsure).
  4. A Four-Year Planner.
  5. The web page for UC Approved Courses.
  6. A blank document (paper or electronic, whichever you are most comfortable with).

Using the SMU Catalog and the blank document, list the course requirements for all majors and minors you are interested in. If you are completing a pre-professional track, add those courses to this list. Read through each course description and list the prerequisites they may have. Identify any courses that overlap (keep in mind that some majors limit the number of courses that can be double counted).

On the UC Tracker, record what courses from your list satisfy UC requirements by using the UC Approved Courses web page. Note any UC requirements that aren't covered by classes for your major(s), minor(s), or pre-professional track and add those requirements to your list.

Pull up the PDF version of your DPR by clicking the button "View as PDF." Go to the end of your DPR and look at the section titled "Course History." This is a list of all courses you've taken or are currently enrolled in and the number of credits each course is worth.

On the Four-Year Planner, list any AP/IB, dual enrollment, or transfer credit you received. Note the total number of hours you brought to SMU. Under the corresponding terms on the Four-Year Planner, list all the courses you've taken or are currently taking since you started at SMU. Note the total number of hours you earned for each year. Cross off any requirements you've already completed from your list.

Plot out the major, minor, and UC courses remaining to complete your degree on the Four-Year Planner. Please note that it may be necessary to consult with a faculty advisor for the correct sequencing of upper-level courses. In the meantime, you can list "Major Course" on your Four-Year Planner.

Using your list, add up the number of hours remaining to see if it can be accomplished within your time frame. To meet SMU's minimum 122 credit requirement, plan on earning 15-16 credit hours each semester to graduate in four years. You may use Jan Term, May Term, and summer terms to earn more than 122 credits in four years.