Accepting Applications Now for Summer and Fall 2023

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Preferred Deadlines for Admission

The preferred deadlines for applications are May 1st for Summer admission, December 15th for Spring admission and July 1st for Fall admission. If you have missed one of our deadlines but are still interested in applying, call our office at: 214-768-4273 for information about a possible extension.

Criteria for Admission

SMU strives to enroll motivated and enthusiastic students prepared and interested in rigorous graduate education. All applicants must have a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university.

Apply now for Master of Liberal Arts Studies (MLS) degree-seeking application

Apply now for Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) application

Apply now for MLS non-degree application

Degree-Seeking MLS Admission Information

Criteria for admission to the Master of Liberal Studies program:

  • Online MLS Degree application
  • Official transcripts from all the colleges and universities you attended. We are requesting at this time, that official transcripts be sent electronically to Master of Liberal Studies at or
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    • Academic (if possible)
    • Professional (supervisor or administrator) - two professional recommendations may be submitted if an academic reference is unavailable.
  • A personal interview is required.
  • Two Essays:
    (1) Provide an academic writing sample or prepare a book essay (about 3-5 pages type written, double-spaced). If choosing the book essay option, using a book of your choice, write an essay in which you could describe the author's central argument, proposal, or theme. Please be sure to describe how this is developed in the book as well as any conclusions you may have reached.
    (2) Write a short essay (about 3 pages type written, and double-spaced) in which you describe at least two personal and/or professional achievements in your life and explain why you wish to pursue a master’s degree in liberal studies at SMU.
  • A resume is recommended.
  • Application fee.
  • The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required, but applicants are welcome to submit their scores if they feel the scores would add to the strength of their application.
  • English Proficiency Requirements: If English is not your native language you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). SMU requires a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (80 computer test) or an IELTS test of 6.5 or higher.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study Admission Information

Criteria for admission to the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies Certificate:

  • Online CAGS application
  • A 750 word proposal that identifies the student's interest area, purposes for advanced study, previous study or background knowledge of the topic, and a tentative course of study. This document will be used to determine whether the student's study proposal is appropriate for the program.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. We are requesting at this time, that official transcripts be sent electronically to Master of Liberal Studies at or
  • Application fee.

Non-Degree MLS Admission Information

The SMU MLS program offers to help students explore graduate interdisciplinary study with a non-degree option. This could be a great way to discern whether the MLS program is the right graduate program for you! Non-degree students may take up to 6 credits of coursework with good achievement apply these credits to a future degree program.

Criteria for non-degree admission:

  • Online MLS Non-Degree application.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all the colleges and universities you attended.
  • Brief personal statement.
  • Application fee.

If you have any questions about the online admissions process

Please contact the Graduate Liberal Studies office at:
Email: | Request Information
Phone: 214-768-4273