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How to Apply

For your SMU application for semester study abroad, please consider:

Eligibility Factors

Good academic and disciplinary standing are required both at the time of application and during the term abroad.

In addition you must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7
  • Language requirements (depends on program)
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months past your program's end date
  • Visa eligibility
  • All application deadlines have been met

Program Selection

Your study abroad advisor will assist you in determining the best program for your academic needs. You will need to:

  • Consider the compatibility of your chosen program with your academic needs.
  • Consider the program’s other requirements (language courses, prerequisites for certain courses, etc.)
  • Consult with your academic advisor about how the courses abroad will fit into your four-year plan and meet requirements.
  • Some programs are more competitive than others. If you have questions about your chosen program’s competitiveness, please consult your study abroad advisor.

Semester Study Abroad Essay

In this part of the application, tell us about your chosen program and how study abroad on this program will impact your academic growth, your personal development, and your intercultural competence. Be sure to describe any direct experience in the foreign culture or educational system that this program facilitates (homestay, language immersion, classes at the local university, internship, research experience). 

We recommend that students consult the Writing Center for help in creating their application essay.

Letter of Recommendation

The letter required for the application must come from an instructor who has taught you in class. When you request this letter, give the instructor a copy of your application essay and let them know the application deadline.


All students interested in semester study abroad must complete an SMU Abroad application and be selected by the faculty Education Abroad Council to participate.

You must complete the online Study Abroad application by the SMU deadline.
The SMU deadlines are:
Fall Term: March 1
Spring Term: October 1

Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete and all proposed courses have been petitioned. Applications submitted before the deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

If you are participating in an “SMU-in-Spain” program in Madrid or Barcelona, or “SMU-in-France” in Aix-en-Provence, you will be invited to interview once your application is complete. If accepted by SMU, you will not have to seek a second acceptance from the provider of the program. 

If you are participating in any other semester program, you will need to complete two applications: one on the SMU Abroad website and one with the program provider. Once you have been selected to participate by SMU, we will submit a home school nomination to the program provider and you will be able to complete their application.



Applications will be accepted from August 15 to October 1 for January programs. 

Applications will be accepted from November 15 to February 1 for summer programs. Please consult the Summer Programs page for exceptions.


  • Select your Program and click the "Apply Now" Button when ready. You will be taken to a login that asks you for your SMU ID and Password.
  • Please do not apply for two programs unless you intend to participate in both. This means that the dates must not overlap.