Innovative. Interdisciplinary. Self-Designed.

The Doctor of Liberal Studies (DLS) degree is designed for adult learners who want to challenge themselves with rigorous advanced study on a part- or full-time basis in a variety of topics with the goal of benefiting their workplace, professions, and society. 

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The priority application deadline for Fall 2023 admission is March 1st. Applications may be accepted after this deadline by permission of the department on a space-available basis.

students in class

SMU's Doctor of Liberal Studies evening program serves the needs of working professionals who seek intellectual challenge at the doctoral level with an eye to contributing to their community, workplace and the world in new and creative ways.

Under the guidance of senior faculty, DLS students engage in focused scholarly reading and research on a topic or issue, culminating in a doctoral thesis that demonstrates interdisciplinary analysis, synthesis, and interpretation.

This part- or full-time degree is for the experienced adult learner who has earned a master’s degree but craves an opportunity to do more by pursuing rigorous interdisciplinary study guided by their own intellectual passion and commitment to community.

Students graduate as experts in their chosen topic or issue prepared to make high-level contributions to their workplace, society and the world.

To see our students in action perform their CRED talks (Creativity, Diversity, Empathy & Discovery), watch the videos below.

“The Spark of Creation.”

– Emmeline Miles, Doctor of Liberal Studies Student

“Creativity: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

– Michael Noble, Doctor of Liberal Studies Student

Application Deadlines

Applications for Fall 2023 will be accepted beginning September 1, 2022 with a priority deadline for all application materials due by March 2023.

If you have questions, please call the DLS office at 214-768-4273 to discuss your application and/or candidacy for admission.

Information Session

If you have any questions about the DLS admissions process, please contact the Graduate Liberal Studies office at:

Email: | Request Information
Phone: 214.768.4273