Quantitative Applications (QA)

Students will demonstrate an ability to solve problems within a specified domain through quantitative reasoning.

Learn more about the Quantitative Applications graduation requirement.

student at computer

The Value of Quantitative Applications

Quantitative Applications courses provide students the ability to apply the tools of mathematical and/or statistical analysis to a wide range of subject areas. Students in these courses use information to solve problems in disciplines ranging from the Sciences and Engineering, to Business, to the Social Sciences and Humanities. These courses promote numeracy and data literacy as skills that enhance the understanding of any topic or subject. Quantitative Applications courses reinforce the quantitative skills developed in the Quantitative Reasoning Foundation.


Student Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate an ability to solve problems within a specified domain through quantitative reasoning. 

Fulfill Quantitative Applications 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 (theccmail@smu.edu). 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 Quantitative Applications-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 Quantitative Applications

Search courses in my.SMU:

  1. Go to my.smu.edu 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 Quantitative Applications
  6. Select Search and the available courses will be displayed

Students may apply to fulfill the Quantitative Applications requirement through a co-curricular activity. These criteria apply to experiences that meet the Quantitative Applications 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:

  • Research assistant for an international mathematics journal

Before the Individual Activity:

  1. Write up a narrative summarizing the plan to fulfill all Quantitative Applications 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. Complete at least 15 hours of involvement during which students will solve problems through the manipulation or analysis of numerical data within a specific domain.

After the Individual Activity:

  1. Submit EITHER copies of substantial work completed as part of the activity that clearly demonstrates the use of quantitative reasoning and analytical data to solve domain-specific problems, or, in cases where that is not possible (such is in cases where an activity is completed prior to matriculation at SMU), a written reflection of at least 1000 words that responds to the following prompt:

Please describe in detail the activity you used to complete the Quantitative Applications requirement. In your reflection, answer the following questions. How did you meet the requirement of using quantitative data to solve problems? What resources did you use to understand how best to solve the problems through quantitative reasoning? Who provided feedback on your problem-solving method? How did your ability to solves problems through quantitative reasoning improve?

  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, 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 Quantitative Applications.

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. Related and relevant student assignments completed for the course which demonstrate obtainment of the requirement.
  5. A final supporting statement, using the provided template, on how the course achieved the Student Learning Outcome, Supporting Skills, and Course Content Criteria. Where possible, providing specific examples.