Hands-On Learning

The unique experiential learning that you'll find at SMU Cox ensures that you'll graduate with tangible skills, global awareness and career connections — all key to lifelong success.

The best way to gain know-how and confidence is by immersing yourself in challenging business environments.

At SMU Cox, we bring opportunities for hands-on experience to life outside the typical classroom setting. Whether you’re learning from our dynamic Centers and Institutes — hubs for today’s cutting-edge business research — or connecting with global leaders in Dallas and beyond via the Cox Mentorship Academy, you'll be preparing to succeed in today’s fluid global marketplace. Theory and application are both central to a business education.


Sheffield Lab Energy Investing

Experience Energy Investing

Dallas is one of the best places in the world to study the energy industry. At SMU Cox, you'll get a unique education in energy investment through our student-managed energy investment fund and the Maguire Energy Institute's state-of-the-art Sheffield Lab. In this hands-on learning space, you'll make team-oriented investment decisions using highly specialized energy specific data feeds and analytical tools, including Drilling info — the same type that you'll use as you build your career

See the Sheffield Lab

Brierly Institute Customer Engagement

Advance Customer Engagement

Work on real cases for corporations that want to make their Customer Engagement programs more insight-driven through the Brierley Institute — the nation's first academic institute devoted to the study of customer engagement. Exchange ideas with peers, professors and practitioners, leveraging media and analytical tools. You'll build advanced knowledge and improve business outcomes while you learn why customers engage with brands, and how engagement drives long-term loyalty and value.

See the Brierley Institute

Real Estate Institute

Dive into Real Estate

Investment, risk assessment, development — career opportunities in real estate are diverse and in flux. The Margaret and Robert Folsom Real Estate Institute gives you hands-on learning in the industry. You'll work directly on urban related issues, go on company visits and property tours (including a real estate focused trip to London), and attend conferences and academic case study competitions — travel expenses are covered by Folsom. You'll also have access to industry-specific data sources and training in the latest software applications.

See the Real Estate Institute

Become a Better Leader

You'll spend plenty of time with the Business Leadership Center getting specialized training in leadership and communication — critical skills not always covered in an MBA curriculum but valued by corporate recruiters. Three off-campus learning programs give you a chance to study with experts and apply your newly acquired skills. Favorite among Cox students is the Disney Institute, a five-day program that takes you backstage and into Disney's corporate offices to study the Disney Approach to customer service and leadership. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from the company that exemplifies best-in-class management training worldwide.

Explore the BLC's offerings

Highlight: The Nonprofit Consulting Program

Each spring, you and a team of your classmates can spend six weeks helping a local nonprofit organization solve its core business challenges. You'll research, benchmark, gather and analyze data to develop a plan that your team will present to staff and board members. This Business Leadership Center offering gives you an opportunity to test your business skills while you make an impact.

Find out more about the Nonprofit Consulting Program

More Hands-On Opportunities

Expand your experiential learning at SMU Cox with these options.

Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship

Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship

The Caruth Institute offers three unique experiential programs:

  • Private Equity & Venture Capital Practicum - Partner with local venture capital firms to get hands-on-venture capital experience. You’ll meet weekly outside of class to identify, qualify, analyze and present recommendations for investments for the Cox MBA Venture Fund.
  • Cox MBA Venture Fund - Get the hands-on experience of making debt and equity investments to fund select business ventures developed by Cox students and alumni.
  • Southwest Venture Forum - Meet with venture investors to solicit financing and obtain advice in this bimonthly nonprofit forum.

Learn what you can do at the Caruth Institute

Kitt Investing Trading Center

Kitt Investing and Trading Center

Get hands-on experience with industry-standard data feeds and financial software, along with a 360-degree LED stock ticker, three video walls, 27 high-end desktop work stations and 10 Bloomberg Professional dual-monitor terminals in this state-of-the art simulated trading room.

Learn what you can do at the Kitt Center

Niemi Center for American Capitalism

Neimi Center For American Capitalism

The dynamics of American capitalism are changing. How can today's business leaders drive positive change in the world? The Niemi Center’s flagship program gives you opportunities to explore the question by getting involved in impactful and world-changing research on campus and at the George W. Bush Institute. The center also awards paid research fellowships.

Learn what you can do at the Niemi Center