Historically, the top destinations for students have been the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Australia, and Denmark. SMU Abroad offers program options in all regions of the world from Latin America to Africa and the Middle East, to East and Southeast Asia.  Due to COVID-19, location options a more limited than in the past. Open an Advising Profile to be the first to know when other program options become available.
Matriculated students may apply to study abroad after completing one full semester of study (Fall or Spring term) at SMU. Students who matriculate as transfer students must complete one full semester of study at SMU in order to be eligible to apply for study abroad. Options include January, May, Summer, and the full Fall or Spring semesters. Students whose first semester is the Fall term may study abroad as early as the following Summer. Students whose first semester is the Spring term may study abroad as early as the following January.

Students are strongly discouraged from and advised against studying abroad during their final full semester of study at SMU. Doing so may affect graduation/degree conferral plans and related plans thereafter. There may be delays in the processing of abroad courses, including:

  • The abroad transcript being sent to SMU (may take up to four months)
  • Holds with partner providers/institutions abroad that may delay the transcript being released to SMU
  • Disputes or appeals about the grade(s) for any abroad courses
  • Credit matching to SMU courses if the courses taken are not pre-approved
  • The Registrar Office inputting the courses and grades on my.SMU

These delays are likely to result in the postponing of graduation. This means that students may not be able to walk with classmates at graduation, confer, or receive my diploma until a later date. 

SMU Abroad's primary academic concern is that students continue to make degree progress while studying abroad. We have crafted our programs, advising, and application process to best facilitate students meeting graduation and degree requirements. The application requirement the Proposed Plan of Study Form (PPOS) lists abroad courses the student is interested in taking. This form is completed by the student, reviewed by our advisors, and then it is sent to the student's academic advisor for review and endorsement.
The application process is online and completed in phases. Students must submit application materials to SMU Abroad for all programs. For some programs, students may be required to submit materials directly to the provider. Please review the application process for more information.
All Programs:

SMU Abroad reviews all applications for completion and accuracy, but admission decisions are made by SMU Faculty. Acceptance letters are sent via the application portal. 

January, May & Summer:

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by a Program Director or a Faculty Liaison. Response time varies, but students are encouraged to submit applications well in advance of the deadline.

Certain hybrid programs have additional provider admission requirements. See program for details or ask your SMU Abroad Advisor. 


Applications are reviewed by the Semester Application Review Subcommittee immediately following the Early Decision and Regular Decision deadlines. Students are encouraged to submit applications well in advance of one of these deadlines. 

May & Summer Programs

May/Summer program webpages list all course offerings with pre-requisites and any other eligibility requirements on the “Academics” tab. Please work with your program director if you have questions on course pre-requisites and eligibility for a specific course

Semester Programs

Semester programs offer a variety of course options. To see approved courses visit the Course Search on our website. You can read more about the course approval process on that page. Keep in mind your program may offer more courses than what is listed there. If you are interested in one of those courses, contact your SMU Abroad Advisor. 

Yes, you are eligible to apply. Please review our scholarships page for more details.
Students can simultaneously apply for more than one program in different terms. For programs in the same term, students cannot open an additional application on their own and students are not permitted to have a back-up application. You may apply to more than one May/Summer program only if program dates do not overlap, and you truly intend to participate in both. Please email abroad@smu.edu if you are interested in applying to more than one May/Summer program.
Yes, it is possible for a non-SMU student to apply and study abroad on one of our January/May/Summer programs. First, you need to apply as a VUS (Visiting Undergraduate Student). The Undergraduate Visiting Student Services website is available here: https://www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/VisitingStudent. Once your VUS application has been accepted, you will be notified and can then apply to one of our abroad programs via our website. If you have any questions about the application process or requirements, please contact Elizabeth Neel: eneel@smu.edu.
Without Education Abroad Council (EAC) approval, SMU students who are U.S. citizens may not take courses at institutions located outside of U.S. (whether at an international institution or at an international campus of a U.S. institution), with the exception of direct enrollment through SMU on an approved SMU Abroad program. This policy applies whether courses are taught remotely or face to face. Students who take such courses without permission will not receive SMU credit. SMU does not accept transfer credit from non-approved study abroad programs.
All Programs:

All tuition is paid directly to SMU through the Bursar.

January, May & Summer: 

Fees vary based on program and are paid in the student's application. Exact amounts and amenities included can be found on the Cost & Aid page. 


General student fees are paid directly to SMU through the Bursar. Additional program fees (housing, deposit, etc.) are paid directly to the provider.

The SMU Abroad Scholarship Application is also used to determine eligibility for other sources of aid around campus. Other scholarships may be available depending on program type. Please visit our scholarships page for more information.

Visa requirements depend on program location, program duration, and student’s citizenship. Please refer to the consulate website of the host country for your abroad program. For example, if you are participating in IAU Barcelona, check the Spain consulate website for specific visa requirements.

Our office is not typically involved in the visa process. Accepted applicants will receive visa details and requirements when it is time to apply for the visa. Only a few January/May/Summer programs require a visa of U.S. citizens. Most semester programs require a visa of U.S. citizens. The program provider is a resource in the visa application process and will provide instructions for your specific program's visa requirements. International students may have additional visa requirements. It is your responsibility to research your visa requirements and apply for one if needed.

International travel before your program start date may negatively impact your ability to apply for and receive a visa for your program. Depending on program location, visa processing times can take at least eight weeks. It is your responsibility to plan accordingly, and ensure that you have ample time to secure any visa for your program if needed. 

Airfare is not included in the price of programs. You will make your own travel arrangements and pay the travel agency or airline directly. Be sure to check on the program brochure what is included and what is not included in the program fee. Please refer to the Cost & Aid page for additional information on the cost of study abroad. 
If you are asked where to send your transcripts, they must be sent directly to SMU Abroad, not to the registrar's office. SMU Abroad sends the transcript to the registrar's office after performing initial processing.

Electronic transcripts should be sent to abroad@smu.edu. Physical transcripts should be sent to:

SMU Abroad
PO Box 750391
Dallas TX 75275-0391

Yes, grades earned abroad will be posted to the student's SMU transcript and will be calculated into the student’s cumulative and SMU GPA. Academic credit earned abroad counts as credit earned in residence.

Grade Options for Courses Taken on SMU Abroad Programs

Courses taken on SMU Abroad fall and spring term programs may not be taken on a no-credit or pass/fail basis. The only exception to this policy is for courses designated by SMU’s academic departments with no credit or pass/fail as their only grading basis option. Students who study abroad on SMU Abroad fall and spring term programs are enrolled in a SMU placeholder course to denote full-time enrollment. This placeholder course (designated with a Z) is taken on a credit/no-credit basis. SMU Abroad must receive their transcript from the study abroad program showing successful completion of credit hours to award a grade of CR in the ZPRV course.

Courses taken on SMU Abroad summer programs and during Jan Term (January) may not be taken for a grade of NC (No Credit), but students may petition for one of these courses to be graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must petition approval for the pass/fail option from the program director and the faculty member teaching the course. The deadline to complete the Undergraduate Pass/Fail Option Declaration form to petition for a course taken on an SMU Abroad summer program is the payment deadline for the program; for Jan Term classes, the deadline is no later than the second day of classes for Jan Term. Forms are available in the schools’ records offices.