The Office of Research and Graduate Studies

About Us


The Graduate Studies office at SMU is here to help graduate students navigate the administrative requirements of their programs of study.  We oversee school-wide initiatives for graduate students such as the University Ph.D. Fellowship and Graduate Student Travel Grants.  We also manage the academic progress and graduation of graduate students in Dedman College.  

PhD GraduatesGraduate Students will find assistance with the following issues in the Graduate Studies office:

  • General admissions questions for Dedman College applicants
  • University Ph.D. Fellowships
  • McNair Scholar tuition waivers
  • Graduate student travel grants
  • Graduate student life initiatives
  • Changes in academic status, dropping/adding courses, and other forms for Dedman College students
  • Dissertation submission and graduation requirements for Dedman College students

Graduate Studies also hosts school-wide graduate student events such as Research Day and the Ph.D. Graduation Dinner.  

Graduate Studies is located in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS), directed by James E. Quick, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies.  Dean Quick has dual responsibilities of supervising research related functions at SMU and overseeing the University's non-professional graduate programs, with special emphasis on degree programs offered by Dedman College (Humanities and Sciences).

Reva Pollack, the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, oversees all recruitment efforts for graduate students entering Dedman College, manages the University PhD Fellowship program and Graduate Student Development Grant, and approves dissertations at the end of the degree process.

Dean James E. Quick


Dean James E QuickJames E. Quick is the Associate Vice President for Research, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Earth Sciences.

Dean Quick comes to SMU after a distinguished twenty-five year scientific career with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). He assumed this newly-created position at the University in August 2007 after serving as Program Coordinator for the Volcano Hazards Program with the Survey.

At the USGS he performed fundamental research on volcanic processes and was in charge of monitoring the nation's 169 volcanoes to provide critical early warning of eruptions. Threats from active volcanoes range from the dramatic destruction of property and life on the ground to eruption of volcanic-ash clouds that constitute severe risks to jet aircraft in flight. The budget for this research group was approximately $26 million per year.

Dean Quick's career with the UGSG began in 1981 after he earned his Ph.D. in geology from the California Institute of Technology. His first tour-of-duty was spent in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This six-year assignment allowed him to conduct research on some of the oldest rocks recording the formation of the oceanic crust. He also became a keen observer of the geo-political situation in this important region of the world.

Upon his return to the United States Dean Quick assembled an international team of scientists to study the magmatic evolution of deep crust, which is the birthplace of the magmas that produce the largest explosive eruptions. His research has taken him to more than 35 countries around the world, which together with experience in working with the federal government, elected officials, and academic institutions provided Dean Quick with a broad set of skills that he will bring to SMU in advancing the University's prominence in research.

Dean Quick has published widely in numerous scientific journals over the last thirty years and maintains an active research agenda on magmatic processes. Since arriving at SMU he has joined the Dallas Council on Foreign Relations and looks forward to being involved in the Dallas community. His professional affiliations include the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior.

Jim Quick received his M.Sc. in petrology in 1974 from the University of Minnesota and the B.Sc. in geology in 1972 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Reva Pollack


Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies

Dean James E QuickAs the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, Reva is responsible for oversight of Doctoral and Master’s degree candidates in collaboration with academic graduate advisors and departments in Dedman College. She oversees the recruitment and matriculation of outstanding Master’s and PhD students and serves as the primary point of contact for graduate studies inquiries.  She also coordinates graduate student life events; administrates the University Ph.D. Fellowship and Dissertation Fellowship programs; monitors graduate student progress and maintains records for Dedman College programs; provides administrative approval of dissertations; and awards Graduate Student Travel Grants.

Reva is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke Law School. Prior to joining SMU, Reva served as the Director of Student Life and Academic Counseling at Yale Law School, overseeing student life, health and wellness, and academic counseling and programming for J.D. students. Previously, Reva practiced financial regulatory law with the Washington, D.C. offices of Latham & Watkins and Sidley Austin.

Our Staff


James E. Quick Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies 214-768-1115
Karen Wray Assistant to the Dean 214-768-4336 
Reva Pollack Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies 214-768-4202 
Kerri Bennett Graduate Studies Coordinator 214-768-4345