The Office of the Student Experience

January AARO

Check In for January AARO will begin on January 9th at 4pm CST in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. See details below! 

January AARO

  • Check in is Thursday, January 9, 2020.
  • Complete information will be sent to students on December 20 (via Residence Life & Student Housing).
  • Students who submit their ID Photo prior to January 6 will pick up their ID card at residential check in. Learn how to submit your photo here.
    • Students who do not submit a photo by the deadline must go to Parking & ID Card Services prior to check into their residential community.

Academic Advising, Registration, & Orientation (AARO) is part one of the two-part orientation process at SMU.

At AARO students will: 

  • Meet with their advisor both in group and one-on-one meetings
  • Register for fall classes
  • Meet other new students in small groups led by Orientation Leaders
  • Learn about connecting to the SMU Academy, Spirit, People, Campus, and Community

Registration for January AARO 2020 opens Monday, December 2, 2019 at 12:00pm CST. 

 Here are a couple of tips to make sure your AARO registration goes smoothly!

  • Pay your deposit - Only students who have paid their deposit can register for AARO. Note: it may take up to 48 hours for deposits to process. To see if your deposit has processed, log into your Admissions Portal with the email and password you used to apply. 
  • Know your SMU ID and password - You will use these credentials to log into my.SMU where AARO registration is housed. You can find your SMU ID and SMU email in your Admissions Portal.
  • Update Personal Information - All students are required to keep their personal information current.  This information includes addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts and some demographic data.  Incoming students must review and update, if necessary, this information before registering for AARO.
  • Prior to registering for AARO - ALL students must enroll a mobile device to Duo. Duo is a Two-Factor Authentication platform required by all SMU students to log-on to my.SMU accounts.
  • Look at your calendar - AARO sessions fill up quickly, be sure to have backup dates 
  • Make a plan - Food allergies? Are family members joining you? You will indicate all of these preferences in your registration. Do not make travel arrangements until after you registered for AARO. 
  • View the AARO Registration Step-by-Step - this PDF shows step-by-step instructions of the registration process

January AARO Schedule

  • Please note that this schedule is tentative and subject to change. Please do not print this schedule and bring with you to AARO as we will provide an updated schedule upon your arrival.
  • Check In will begin in Hughes-Trigg Student Center at 4pm CST on January 9th following move in.

During AARO, students will meet with their advisors three times:

  1. Group Meetings: An opportunity for students to meet their Academic Advisor and learn more about how advising at SMU works. 
  2. Enrollment Workshops: A student-only workshop where you will learn how to navigate the my.SMU system and enroll in fall classes. The purpose of enrollment workshops are a way to familiarize yourself with my.SMU. Your schedule may not be perfect when you leave but your advisor can help you adjust your classes in your individual advising appointment following the workshop. 
  3. Individual Advising: A 30 minute, one-on-one meeting with the student and advisor; advisors will review and edit classes the students enrolled in during Enrollment Workshops.

Important Note About Advising at AARO

Please plan to bring a laptop to your AARO session. In the Enrollment Workshop, you will use your laptop to enroll for classes. 


Students' AARO fee is included in their deposit. Guest fees are added to the students' account following AARO. 

Important: Students' accounts will be charged the guest fee even if the guest does not show up. To avoid being charged a fee for someone who does not attend AARO, please update your guest registration in my.SMU five business days before your AARO session. 

January AARO

The guest fee is $30 and covers meals and AARO supplies.

All parents & family members are encouraged to attend AARO with their new student!

During AARO, there are assemblies beneficial for both students & families, but there is also family specific programming to prepare you to support your student as a Mustang. Families will have the opportunity to get all their questions answered, network with other families, & join the Mothers' & Dads' Club - a tradition for SMU Families. 

AARO is $70 for first-year families & $30 for transfer families. Students' accounts will be charged the guest fee even if the guest does not show up. To avoid being charged a fee for someone who does not attend AARO, please update your guest registration in my.SMU three business days before your AARO session. 

Families should make reservations at our AARO host hotel, The Highland or another hotel close to campus. Click here for the AARO booking link. 

Please view the Residence Life & Student Housing website to learn more about the Residential Commons, move-in, decorating, & more!

These resources are dedicated to you, our first-year and transfer students. The links below are important resources & will help answer questions you may have coming to SMU. 

Starting Points


Telephone Directory 
(214) 768 - 2000

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Undergraduate Admissions Office
Phone: (214) 768-2058
High school transcript questions, campus tours

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Academic Resources

Academic Advising 
Phone: (214) 768-2291
Registration, general placement tests, advanced placement test credit, General College requirements 

Learning Enhancement Center
Phone: (214) 768-3292
Tutoring, academic workshops, skills and time-management assessment

Writing Center
Phone: (214) 768-4253
Questions Concerning: paper proofing and development

International Student and Scholar Services

Website: www.smu/international



Visa/immigration related questions, International AARO,  welcome events or programs, I20/DS2019 questions


Registrar's Office


Phone: (612) 860-6999

Explanation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and impact on the Release of Education Records

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Financial Matters

Financial Aid
Phone: (214) 768-3417
Financial aid applications, notification of aid, deferment of payment, scholarships, grants, loans, work study, emergency loans, off-campus employment

Student Financial Service
Phone: (214) 768-3417
Billing, tuition, and fees

Student Employment - Handshake
Phone: (214) 768-2414

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Opportunities for New Students

Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports
Phone: (214) 768-3374

Office of the Chaplain & Religious LIfe
Phone: (214) 768-4502

Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement 

Greek Life
Phone: (214) 768-4400

Student Activities
Phone: (214) 768-4400

Office of Transfer & Transition Services
Phone: (214) 768-2703

Veteran Affairs

Women & LGBT Center
Phone: (214) 768-4792

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For Parents

Director of Parent & Family Programs
Deanie Kepler 
Phone: (214) 768-4797


Mom and Dad's Club

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Student Services

Dean of Student Life Office
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life
Phone: (214) 768-4564
Student crisis issues, honor council, student code of conduct, emergency loans, general student concerns

SMU Dining Services
Phone: (214) 768-2367
Meal plan options, meal cards, cafeteria and dining areas

Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies
Phone: (214) 768-1470
Special accommodations, testing

Residence Life and Student Housing
Phone: (214) 768-2407
Residence halls, housing placement, and roommate assignments

Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement 
Phone: (214)-768-4580
Ethnic minority orientation, ethnic minority councils, ethnic minority student mentors

Police Department
Phone: (214) 768-3333
Parking, public safety, after-hour escort services, educational seminars

SMU Health Center
Phone: (214) 768-2141 
Medical forms and medical clearance for registration, facilities, services, fees and charges, student group insurance plan

SMU Parking and ID Services
Phone: (214) 768-7669

SMU Information Technology Services
Phone: (214) 768-4357
Computer issues, repairs, installations, and email accounts

Substance Abuse Prevention & Education

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January Stampede will occur from Saturday January 11th - Thursday January 16th. 

  • January stampede will have programming occurring on most days between January AARO and the first day of class in order to help new Mustangs connect to SMU both academically and socially. There will be several different events dedicated to helping new students meet one another and to meet upperclassmen leaders.You can find more information about the schedule here!