The Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Dedman College Applications - Frequently Asked Questions

SMU is decentralized on the graduate level with six graduate schools and separate admissions offices for each school. After identifying the program or program(s) of interest, consult that specific school for information.

Application requirements vary by school and in some cases, by department. Consult the school/program of your interest for admissions information by school/program.

You are required to submit standardized test scores for admission to most, but not all, graduate programs at SMU. The particular test required varies by school and/or department. Please consult the school to which you wish to make application.

Application is made to the school or schools that house the program, and applications are specific to each school. For dual degree programs (J.D./M.B.A.) or Arts Administration /M.B.A. for example), the applicant applies to both schools. You may download applications from most schools through the Web, and some schools may have an online application. To view a list of graduate programs and schools, please click here.

It does take some time for your test scores to be sent from ETS, and then for our graduate applications office to link your scores with your application.  If it has been more than two weeks since you requested your test scores to be sent to SMU and they are still not showing up in your application checklist, you can email to inquire about the status.  If your scores or transcripts are under a different name, that also might cause a delay, and it is helpful for you to email and make sure we have both your old and new names.  Please note that SMU is closed for the holidays from approximately Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, which causes an additional delay around that period.  

TOEFL waivers are available for students who have received undergraduate degrees from an English-language institution located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.  This does not apply for graduate degrees received from those institutions.  If you are eligible for a TOEFL waiver, you can emaill and ask that the waiver be applied to your application.  

The time it takes for a department to review applications can vary greatly depending on how many applications are received and what the review cycle looks like.  Decisions are released sometime in the spring, but this could be anywhere from February to May.  As soon as there has been a decision made on your application, you'll receive an email letting you know that there is an update to your status and inviting you to log in to your application and see the update.  If you are in need of further information about the department's review timeline, you should contact the department directly.  The departmental Director of Graduate Studies has the most up-to-date information on their review process.  

Applicants may be considered for scholarships or assistantships based on the merit of their application and on need. These decisions are made as part of the admissions process, which is defined by each school. To apply for a loan, contact Enrollment Services.

You can arrange a campus visit through Enrollment Services, or by contacting the department to which you will be applying.

The Video Essay is an opportunity for applicants to speak directly to the admissions committee for your program.  It is designed to be an informal video – no special preparation is necessary.  The Video Essay is required for the following students: (a) all Ph.D. applicants that: (1) must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, and (2) have received a TOEFL speaking score below 23, or an IELTS speaking band below 6.5; and (b) all international Statistics or Biostatistics graduate applicants, in either the Ph.D. or MASDA programs.  For all other applicants, the Video Essay is optional.  If you received a TOEFL or IELTS score above the required minimum, please email for a waiver of the Video Essay requirement.  If you have not yet taken the TOEFL or IELTS, you must complete the Video Essay or you will not be able to submit your application.