University Advising Center Policies & Procedures

SMU has some important policies and procedures of which all students should be aware. Here are some of them:


Please check the specific dates to add/swap/drop classes on the official University calendar. The approximate deadline for adding or swapping courses is the end of the first week of classes and the approximate deadline for dropping courses without grade record is the end of the second week of classes. You may drop a course with a grade of W (Withdrew) through approximately midterm. We encourage you to talk with your academic advisor when you are considering whether to add or drop a course. 

Student-Athletes: You must consult with your Athletic Academic Counselor in ADSA prior to adding, dropping, or swapping a course.

International Students: You must consult with the International Student & Scholar Services office prior to dropping a course.

Students on Merit or Need-based Financial Aid: You should consult with your Financial Aid counselor prior to dropping a course. If you drop below full-time, this may affect your financial aid status.

Full-Time Status

Being a full-time student depends on the term you are taking classes. For fall and spring semesters, you need to take at least 12 hours. For summer sessions, you need to take at least 9 hours (all summer terms combined).

If being full-time could impact you due to Financial Aid, Visa, Student-Athlete status, or for Greek recruitment, please check with one of these offices: Financial Aid, International Student & Scholar Services,  ADSA, or Fraternity & Sorority Life.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that grants students the right to inspect, obtain copies of, challenge, and, to a degree, control the release of information contained in their education records. In general, this means that no personally identifiable information from a student’s education record will be disclosed to any third party without written consent from the student. Additional information is available on the Registrar's FERPA website.

Grade Replacement Repeat

Effective for courses taken Fall 2017 or later, students may repeat up to six courses taken at SMU for which grades of D+ or lower were received. The grade from the repeated course, even if lower, will be the grade used to calculate the student’s GPA. A course may be repeated only once under this policy. Students must repeat the exact same course originally taken to be considered a repeat and the course must be taken at SMU.

Grade of Incomplete

A student may temporarily receive a grade of Incomplete (I) if at least 50 percent of the course requirements have been completed with passing grades, but for some justifiable reason acceptable to the instructor, the student has been unable to complete the full requirements of the course. For more information, please check the SMU Catalog's Enrollment and Academic Records page.

Pass/Fail Option

Students may take one course per term on a pass/fail basis. The maximum total credit with a grade of Pass that may count toward a degree is 12 hours. A student must indicate intention to take a course pass/fail no later than the published deadline in the academic calendar (the last day to declare pass/fail is also the drop/withdrawal deadline for the respective term) by completing the Undergraduate Pass/Fail Option Declaration Form. Students should consult with their academic advisors before declaring the pass/fail option for any course, as some courses may not be taken pass/fail. For more information, please check the SMU Catalog's Enrollment and Academic Records page.

Transfer Coursework

University policy requires that of the 120 minimum credit hours required for a degree, at least 60 hours must be SMU credit hours.

Prior to matriculation to SMU: Credit may be awarded for college courses a student takes if the courses meet the criteria for transfer work.

After matriculation to SMU:
Students may transfer a limited number of hours to SMU from accredited, four-year colleges and universities. Post-matriculation transfer work must be completed at accredited, four-year colleges and universities. Post-matriculation work at institutions that award principally Associates and Bachelor of Applied Science degrees will not be considered for credit. To ensure in advance that a course taken at another accredited college or university will transfer and that proper credit will be awarded, the student should work with their academic advisor to submit the necessary petition.

For more information on transfer credit, please check the SMU Catalog's Enrollment and Academic Records page.

Declaration of a Major

Students officially declare their major when they have made a firm choice and when they have met the specific program entrance requirements for their intended school and department. For most students, the declaration of the major occurs in the sophomore year. Students are expected to qualify for and to declare a major no later than upon completion of 75 credit hours, including credits by examination and transfer credits, in order to continue their studies at SMU. Pre-Majors who have successfully completed their subset requirements will work with their academic advisor to complete the necessary paperwork.

Please note that all student-athlete academic transactions must be reviewed and processed through ADSA Academic Counselors.