Global Perspectives

Students will demonstrate an informed perspective on the challenges contemporary societies face in the broader global context.

Learn more about the Global Perspectives graduation requirement.


four women smiling

The Value of Global Perspectives

Effective and transformative global learning gives students an ability to analyze and explore complex global challenges, collaborate respectfully with diverse others, apply learning to take responsible action in contemporary global contexts, and evaluate the goals, methods, and consequences of that action. Global learning enhances students’ sense of identity, community, and perspective taking. Global learning expands knowledge of human and natural systems, privilege and stratification and sustainability and development that help students gain a better understanding of societies and cultures other than their own and cultivate their important roles as global citizens.

Student Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate an informed perspective on the challenges contemporary societies face in the broader global context. 

Fulfill Global Perspective by:

Students may use pre-matriculation transfer coursework to satisfy Graduation requirements. The coursework must be college-level, credit-bearing work, taken and passed for a letter grade. Students must receive SMU transfer credit for the course.

Courses that transfer in with an SMU equivalent number (for example FREN 2401) will automatically satisfy any Proficiency & Experience requirements fulfilled by the course. The same is true for many courses on the listed on the SMU Transfer Equivalency Guide


Courses that transfer in with generic course numbers (for example, ENGL 10XX) will not automatically satisfy Proficiency & Experience requirements and must be petitioned using the Proficiency & Experience (PE) Fulfillment Verification petition.


Students must submit one petition for each graduation requirement, even if they are using a single course to petition multiple requirements. Students may use a single course to satisfy up to three Proficiency & Experience requirements (assuming the course meets the criteria for all three).  


How to petition generic transfer coursework:

  1. Fill out the Proficiency & Experience (PE) Fulfillment Verification petition, selecting the requirement they are hoping to fulfill and checking the second option that says “A transfer (non-SMU) course that I completed after high school and prior to matriculation at SMU.”
  2. Attach a complete syllabus which includes a daily schedule, grade breakdown, assignments, and assigned readings.
  3. Attach a copy of the Transfer Evaluation Report (TER), showing that the course being petitioned has transferred to SMU for credit. Visit my.SMU > Academics > Request Transfer Evaluation
  4. Attach a brief supporting statement, using the provided template, that explains how the course fulfills the Proficiency & Experience being petitioned.

Petitions are electronic and are usually reviewed within two weeks of receipt. Students should not assume that a petition has been completely processed until they receive a formal notification of approval or denial from the Office of General Education via The Common Curriculum email ( The formal notification, in cases of approval, follows the formal update to the students Degree Progress Report (DPR), noting that the petitioned requirement is satisfied.

Use the course search options below to find Global Perspectives-tagged courses at SMU. Following successful completion of the course, your Degree Progress Report (DPR) will be updated to reflect satisfying this graduation requirement. Learn how to find tagged courses below via one of two means. 

Search courses on the Common Curriculum website:

  1. Go to Course Search on the SMU Common Curriculum website
  2. Click Filter by Graduation Requirements and select Global Perspectives

Search courses in my.SMU:

  1. Go to and select “Students”
  2. Login using your username and password
  3. Once logged into your Student Dashboard, select Class Information on the left-hand side bar
  4. Under Class Information, select Advanced Class Search
  5. In the Search Criteria boxes:
    1. select the term you want to take the class
    2. in Course Attribute, select Common Curriculum P & E
    3. in Course Attribute Value, select Global Perspectives
  6. Select Search and the available courses will be displayed

Students may apply to fulfill the GPS requirement through a co-curricular activity. These criteria apply to experiences that meet the GPS curricular requirement and describe the characteristics of the experience, the steps a student must follow to seek approval, and the number and types of assignment students must submit to satisfy the requirement. Some activities that have been previously approved include:

  • Military services that include being stationed in a foreign country
  • 14-day trip to a different country
  • Being an international student
  • Internship with an international jewelry company in London
  • Backpacking and volunteering throughout Western Europe

Before the Individual Activity:

  1. Write up a narrative summarizing the plan to fulfill all Global Perspectives Experience Criteria requirements.
  2. Submit a Common Curriculum Proficiency and Experience Pre-Approval Petition with your plan.
  3. Once approved, begin the individual activity.

During the Individual Activity: 

  1. Student experiences must involve at least fourteen days of an immersive experience in a global culture. An immersive context is one in which students live like members of the local population, following local customs, eating local food, taking local transportation, etc.

After the Individual Activity:

  1. Students must submit a reflection of at least 1000 words that responds to the following prompt: 

Please describe in detail the activity you used to complete the Global Perspectives requirement. In your reflection, answer the following questions, what global culture or society did you experience through this activity? What did you come to understand about this culture or society and its perspectives? In what ways are the views and values of this culture similar to those of your home culture? In what ways are these views and values different? What did you come to understand about the impact of this society or culture on the world? What did you come to understand about your own impact?

  1. Request third-party verification of hours in the form of a letter, engagement portal screenshot, etc.
  2. Submit the Common Curriculum Proficiency and Experience Fulfillment Verification petition with the above reflection.




Sometimes students complete, or desire to take, an SMU course which was not tagged with the desired Proficiency & Experience, but after reviewing the Student Learning Outcomes, Supporting Skills, Course Content Criteria (outlined above), they believe they may have satisfied the requirement. Use this process below to petition credit for the graduation requirement. 

Current SMU students who wish to take an SMU course that they believe has activities that satisfy this Proficiency & Experience, must submit, prior to beginning the course:

  1. The Proficiency & Experience (PE) Pre-Approval petition and request individual activity-based fulfillment.
  2. Attach a complete syllabus which includes a daily schedule, grade breakdown, assignments, and assigned readings.
  3. A detailed supporting statement, using the provided template, of how the activities in the course meet the requirements for Global Perspectives.

Upon completion of the course and a posting of the student's grade, students must submit:

  1. A Proficiency & Experience (PE) Fulfillment Verification petition.
  2. A copy of the student's Degree Progress Report (DPR) with the letter grade of the course. 
  3. A complete syllabus which includes a daily schedule, grade breakdown, assignments, and assigned readings.
  4. A final supporting statement, using the provided template, on how the course achieved the Student Learning Outcome. Supporting Skills, and Course Content Criteria. When possible, providing specific examples.

There are a number of pre-approved clubs or organizations which can fulfill the Global Perspectives Proficiency & Experience. Review them below and get in touch with their organizers to begin.

SMU Abroad

All approved programs of SMU Abroad can fulfill this requirement. Get world ready and study abroad. Expand your worldview by studying, interning, and researching abroad. Learn more on their website.