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SMU-Approved Semester Study Abroad Programs

SMU charges SMU tuition and fees for all SMU-approved semester study abroad programs, at tuition and fee rates set by the university. Through an affiliation agreement with the program provider, SMU is able to provide institutional merit and financial aid to semester program participants, accept the courses as SMU courses, and count the credits as resident credit towards the SMU degree.

Semester program costs not covered by tuition and fees (e.g., non-refundable deposit, housing, orientation, and local insurance) must be paid directly to the program provider. As program costs can vary widely according to program, the student will work with their Study Abroad Advisor to create an individualized Estimated Student Budget during the application process. The Estimated Student Budget accounts for all costs involved in semester study abroad, from SMU-billed costs to program costs to international airfare and personal expenses.

Semester programs may cost up to $6,000 more than a semester of study on the SMU campus.

Summer and January Study Abroad Programs

SMU charges SMU tuition and fees for all Summer and January programs. Tuition and fees for these programs are set by the university. Though it varies from program to program, fees generally cover basic in-country program costs (such as housing, excursions, and some meals), but do not cover international airfare, visas, or personal miscellaneous expenses. For this reason, there is a customized Estimated Student Budget available online for each individual Summer and January program.   

Beyond the cost of SMU tuition, students are billed for program fees. These fees vary by program and are listed in the Estimated Student Budgets. 

They type of program will determine where payment is made. Tuition and fees are paid to SMU.

For semester programs, program fees will be paid to both SMU and the provider. The fees to the provider (housing, deposit, etc.) will be paid through a system designated by the provider.

There is a non-refundable Initial Commitment Fee of $1000 for all SMU Summer and January programs. Programs carrying more than three credit hours also charge a Remaining Commitment Fee. (Amount varies; please see the Summer Payments page for more information.) These fees hold the student's place in the program and cover housing and other program costs listed in the Estimated Student Budget Sheet.

Students participating in SMU-affiliated semester provider programs pay the program deposit directly to the provider.

No. Students are responsible for paying all Commitment Fees and may not use scholarships or financial aid to offset these costs. 

Deadlines can be found on individual program pages.

If you receive merit-based scholarships awarded upon your entry into the university, you may be eligible for merit-based scholarships abroad. Please refer to our Funding page, and consult with your Financial Aid Advisor to discuss your individual eligibility.

Students attending SMU Abroad programs for a semester will receive the same financial aid and scholarships that they are eligible for during a semester at SMU. Additional loan monies may be available – please discuss eligibility and application process with your financial aid advisor.


Students attending SMU Abroad programs during the summer are eligible for a pro-rated amount of their merit scholarship(s) and SMU Opportunity Grant. Federal loans, if not utilized during the fall/spring of that academic year, may also be used.

  • Student must have been awarded financial aid for the academic year preceding the summer term
  • Student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 cumulative hours for the summer (if your summer abroad program is only 3 credit hours, you must take an additional 3 hours during the summer to be eligible for financial aid)
  • Summer Financial Aid requires a separate application and will not be awarded automatically. SMU Summer Financial Aid Applications are available on the FAO website.
  • Students attending summer abroad programs may find their expenses exceed their pro-rated scholarships and financial aid. Additional loan monies may be available – please discuss eligibility and application process with your financial aid advisor.

SMU offers Summer Studies Loans to eligible students for a maximum amount of $5,000. These loans have 0% interest and a six month deferment. Please click here for more details. Students should see their Financial Aid Advisor to discuss the availability of loans and the application process.


If you decide to go on a non-SMU affiliated study abroad program for transfer credit: Federal financial aid may be transferred to the hosting University through a Consortium Agreement. SMU scholarships and SMU need-based aid will not be applied to the cost of attending a non-SMU affiliated study abroad program. Please contact your financial aid advisor at least 30 days prior to the start of your program if you need to apply for a Consortium Agreement.


Please view the polices on our Funding page.