Academics

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The Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development offers Doctoral and Master's degrees, graduate-level certifications, undergraduate programs, and enrichment courses and includes research institutes and community service centers.

Admission information, application forms, and curricula for these programs can be found on their respective websites.

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Ph.D. Research

Whom does this program serve?

The Ph.D. program in the Simmons School leads to a broad research-oriented Ph.D.

What will I learn?

Graduates of the program are prepared to make significant contributions to research, policy, and practice through academic and research careers in their fields of interest.

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Whom does this course of study serve?

Practicing educators who wish to broaden their academic preparation and classroom skills.  Students may specialize in any 1 or 2 of the following areas:  bilingual education, ESL, gifted and talented, mathematics, Montessori, literacy, and STEM education.

What are the benefits of completion?

Mastery of the content and skills should enable the graduate to be more effective and efficient in his/her job.  Additionally, the specialization knowledge may allow the educator to pursue new career opportunities.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) with Certification Preparation

Whom does this course of study serve?

The individual who would like to teach and already has a bachelor's degree but who does not have the appropriate teaching certification credentials to teach. This program allows students to pursue a graduate degree and teaching credentials simultaneously.

What are the benefits of completion?

Graduates often find that they have better presentation and organization skills, but more important, they have a Master’s degree and a new career opportunity.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education

Whom does this course of study serve?

Practicing educators interested in working with students with special needs.

What are the benefits of completion?

Content mastery equips graduates to work with special-needs students; they are able to employ evidence-based practices, monitor response to intervention, individualize intervention based on assessed needs, understand special education law and policy, deliver positive-behavior support, and collaborate with the colleagues and families of special-needs individuals. 

Master of Bilingual Education (M.B.E.)

Whom does this course of study serve?

Ideal for pre-service and in-service Spanish/English bilingual educators who have a near-native or native command of Spanish and English. MBE courses integrate the language and culture of students in the Spanish-speaking world, particularly students of Hispanic heritage living in the United States.

What are the benefits of completion?

Successful graduates are prepared to work as expert bilingual teachers, bilingual coaches, or leaders of bilingual programs in their schools or districts.

Bilingual Education Supplemental Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Teachers who work with students who do not speak English as their native language.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Students who succeed in this 4-course sequence are qualified to take the TExES supplemental certification exam in bilingual education, a passing score on which qualifies them to work with students who do not speak English as their native language.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Supplemental Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing educators interested in working with ESL populations. The programs 4 courses may be applied toward SMU’s 36-credit hour Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a specialization in ESL.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Graduates are prepared to take the TExES English as a Second Language (ESL) supplemental certification exam, a passing score on which qualifies them to work with ESL students populations.  

Gifted and Talented Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Ideal for teachers of the gifted and talented, both specialists and regular classroom teachers. 

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the 4-course sequence (12 credits) are prepared to take the Gifted and Talented TExES (Texas Examination for Educator Standards); those who pass the exam earn GT certification.  Additionally, the program‘s courses can be applied to requirements for the M.Ed. degree.

Literacy Studies Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Teachers who desire to advance their knowledge of literacy instruction and assessment specifically for early literacy and late literacy and for those who desire to pursue Reading Specialist certification.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program will be more effective teachers, improving student outcomes in literacy.  The program's coursework can be applied toward SMU's M.Ed. degree.

Early Literacy Scholars Program

Whom does this program serve?

K-2 classroom teachers in high-need public schools (including charters).

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program’s 18-credit hours are equipped to provide comprehensive, coherent, and complete early-literacy programs in regular classrooms.  The program’s coursework applies to the requirements of SMU’s M.Ed. program.

Learning Therapy Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Individuals interested in working with children or adults who have dyslexia or related language learning disorders.  

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the specialization are qualified to take the Alliance National Registration Exam for Multisensory Structured Language Education at the therapy level, a passing score on which qualifies the individual for membership in ALTA as a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT).

Master Mathematics Teacher (MMT)

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing educators who wish to advance their content knowledge or pedagogical skills for the purpose of teaching mathematics.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program’s four-course sequence,  pass SMU’s Qualifying Exam, and have 3 years teaching experience are eligible to take the Texas MMT certification exam, a passing score on which allows the individual to be employed as a Master Mathematics Teacher. Additionally, the program's 4 courses can be applied to the requirements for SMU’s M.Ed.

STEM Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing educators who wish to advance their content knowledge or pedagogical skills for the purpose of teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content. 

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program are equipped to be more effective STEM educators. Additionally, the program’s 4 courses can be applied to the requirements for SMU’s M.Ed. program.

Montessori Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing Montessori teachers or individuals interested in enhancing or pursuing Montessori teaching skills.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program should be more effective Montessori instructors.

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation

Whom does this program serve?

Individuals who would like to teach, have completed their undergraduate studies, but do not have the appropriate teaching credentials.  These are often students who hold bachelor’s degrees in the humanities and social sciences and return to college to take only the courses required to be recommended to take the Texas Education Agency’s certification exam. 

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Career opportunities in professional education.  Those who successfully complete the program are recommended to take the Texas State Board for Educator Certification exams, passing scores on which enable them to pursue credentials for teaching careers in the private and public sectors, graduate work in the social sciences, and informal education paths in non-profit organizations. 

Teach for America Educator Preparation Program

Whom does this program serve?

TFA-approved Corps Members who wish to pursue Texas teacher certification.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program are recommended to take the Texas State Board for Educator Certification exams, passing scores on which enable them to pursue teaching credentials.  Additionally, the credits earned through participation in this program apply to the requirements for SMU’s M.Ed. degree.

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed for educators, public officials, and non-profit administrators who are interested in expanding their leadership in service to Pre-K-to-12 students.

What will I learn?

The curriculum includes study of ethics in leadership, legal concerns, community engagement, change management, technology, district complexities, talent management, educational policy and politics, and budgeting and finance.

Master of Education: Accelerated School Leadership

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed to prepare educators for a variety of leadership positions in pre-K through grade-12 public, charter, private secular, and religious schools.

What will I learn?

Through classroom instruction, individual study, collaborative projects, and the application of research-based principles in field settings, students learn about the instructional, ethical, organizational, and administrative aspects of school leadership.

Master of Education: Urban School Leadership

Whom does this program serve?

The M.Ed. in Urban School Leadership program is designed for educators who are interested in becoming leaders of urban schools. 

What will I learn?

Students learn the unique and complex academic and administrative skills and knowledge required to lead an urban school. The program is offered through a unique partnership between SMU and Teaching Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to leadership development in urban schools. 

Educational Studies Undergraduate Major

Whom does this course of study serve?

Undergraduates who wish to become teachers.

What are the benefits of completion?

Successful graduates are recommended to take the Texas State Board for Educator Certification exams, passing scores on which enable them to pursue credentials for teaching careers in the private and public sectors, graduate work in the social sciences, and informal education paths in non-profit organizations. 

Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution

Whom does this program serve?

Because conflict is a natural and recurring part of all aspects of society, students from all walks of life benefit from a Master of Arts in the study of conflict management.   Dispute resolution skills can enhance current career paths or launch new careers.

What will I learn?

Rooted in the social and behavioral sciences, the curriculum provides in-depth study of conflict theory with options for specialization in traditional conflict management, organizational conflict, and international conflict resolution as they apply to business, family, education, public policy, religion, law and healthcare.

Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution

Whom does this program serve?

Because conflict is a natural and recurring part of all aspects of society, training in dispute resolution can enhance the lives of individuals in a variety of professions and industries.

What will I learn?

The 21-credit-hour program offers a solid foundation in conflict theory and skill development. Students learn the skills of negotiation, problem solving, mediation, arbitration, and systems design through classroom instruction that includes role-playing.   Field-based opportunities in clinical settings further enhance the skills of conflict resolution.

Executive Coaching Certificate

Whom does this program serve?

One of the fastest-growing fields of management consulting in America, SMU’s Executive Coaching program is designed for individuals who want to work as executive coaches or coaching consultants.

What will I learn?

The 3-course curriculum offers theoretical and applied training in the areas of assessment and interviewing, transitional coaching (used with individuals who need to adapt to new work environments), developmental coaching (used for accelerating the development of high-potential leaders), and performance coaching (used with leaders who need to overcome performance issues).

Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Collaboration and Conflict Engagement

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed for physicians, healthcare administrators, nurses, healthcare human-resource professionals, and those who seek healthcare leadership roles.

What will I learn?

The three-course curriculum teaches engagement and collaborative skills that are grounded in evidence-based social science, fundamentals of neuroscience, emotional and social intelligence, and the fundamental concepts of conflict and conflict escalation and de-escalation.

Master of Science in Counseling

Whom does this program serve?

Most students in the M.S. in Counseling program earned their undergraduate degrees in psychology, sociology, social work, ministry work, or education. 

What will I learn?

The developmental and social sciences comprise the foundation of the curriculum. Students can choose to focus their studies on one or more of the following specialties: Clinical Mental Health; Marriage, Couple, and Family; and School Counseling with additional opportunity for concentrated study in Addiction Counseling, Child and Adolescent Counseling, Expressive Arts Therapies, and LGBT Affirmative Therapy.

Successful graduates are able to pursue credentialing as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), or Certified School Counselors and work in community agencies, churches, hospitals, private practices, and schools. The opportunity to be licensed as Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in the State of Texas is also available.

Sport Performance Leadership

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed for undergraduate students interested in developing the academic and practical skills necessary for the leadership and instruction of sport in elementary, secondary, and collegiate settings; with elite-level students; and through private-practice coaching.

What will I learn?

Students develop coaching and leadership skills.

Master of Science in Sport Management

Whom does this program serve?

SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management degree is designed for students who have a passion for the business of sport and who aspire to hold senior-management positions in the billion-dollar sports industry.

What will I learn?

Cox School and Simmons School faculty members with real-world experience in professional leagues and teams, media and broadcasting, marketing and sponsorship, facilities and sports equipment, and apparel teach the essential business skills of sport management.

Sport Management Undergraduate Program

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed for undergraduates interested in understanding management principles required of professionals in the world of sport.

What will I learn?

Academic coursework and experiential learning opportunities equip students with skills suitable for a variety of career paths including sport marketing, management of sport organizations, representation of professional athletes, public relations, and sport facility and event management.

Personal Responsibility and Wellness

Whom does this program serve?

As part of the University Curriculum, all SMU undergraduates are required to take PRW1 and PRW2 Wellness courses, which serve to enhance the social, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of students.

What will I learn?

All department offerings challenge students to think critically about the decisions they make and teach skills to deal with potential imbalances in lifestyle. Learning opportunities encourage an attitude of personal responsibility and lifelong comprehensive wellness.

Ph.D. in Education - Applied Physiology

Whom does this program serve?

The program is designed for the student interested in pursuing a Ph.D. with a strong research design and statistics focus in applied physiology.

What will I learn?

The curriculum is largely research and statistics based.

Master of Science in Health Promotion Management

Whom does this program serve?

This program serves corporate wellness coordinators, account executives, project managers, community health workers, health service managers, and health coaches and educators.

What will I learn?

The Master of Science in Health Promotion Management is a collaborative program that combines foundational health promotion courses taught by industry experts with the world-class management courses provided at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. Graduates typically work in corporate wellness offices, serve as project managers for health programs, work in community health centers, manage health services, and serve as health coaches and educators.

APHM Major

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed for undergraduate students interested in working in the fitness, wellness, health, and sports industries.

What will I learn?

The curriculum provides an understanding of the biological basis of health and fitness and the business background required of professionals in the sport, health and fitness industries. Academic coursework and experiential learning opportunities within this program prepare students for a variety of possible career paths.

Doctor of Liberal Studies

Whom does this program serve?

The Doctor of Liberal Studies (D.L.S.) degree is designed for adult learners who want to challenge themselves with rigorous advanced study on a part- or full-time basis in a variety of topics with the goal of benefitting their workplace, professions and society.

What will I learn?

Under the guidance of senior faculty, DLS students engage in focused scholarly reading and research on an interdisciplinary topic or issue, culminating in a doctoral thesis that demonstrates interdisciplinary analysis, synthesis, and interpretation.

Master of Liberal Studies

Whom does this program serve?

The pursuit of a Master of Liberal Studies degree from SMU is an adventure in intellectual freedom, unique to graduate-level programs of advanced education in America. Each journey is guided by personal passion and scholarly curiosity. Every individual passage is accompanied by fellow seekers of knowledge who collectively enrich the experience.

What will I learn?

Designed to offer freedom and flexibility to students in planning their master’s level study, MLS coursework encourages critical and imaginative thinking on intellectual, social, political, historical, literary and artistic issues within a broad humanistic perspective. 

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) 

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed for students with a Master's degree who wish to pursue advanced graduate work in a focal area of interdisciplinary study.

What will I learn?

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study serves to provide adults the opportunity to pursue advanced study in the liberal arts in a focused and disciplined manner. The program encourages in-depth study of a core topic, while drawing upon various disciplines to provide a broad understanding of the subject.

Master of Education in Higher Education

Whom does this program serve?

This program serves students who want to understand and analyze how institutions of higher education are structured and administered. Graduates are prepared to assume a wide range of roles including positions in student affairs, academic affairs, university administration, education non-profits and more. 

What are the benefits to completing this program?

Our master's degree in higher education provides students with a holistic understanding of how universities and colleges function. Students will examine theory and engage in practical experiences that will provide them with the skills necessary to lead within varied organizational structures and to serve diverse communities.

Ed.D. in Higher Education

Whom does this program serve?

This program is designed for mid-career professionals from postsecondary settings and institutions who want to assume advanced leadership roles.

What are the benefits to completing this program?

Students graduate as higher education practitioners equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve contemporary problems in their organizations and beyond.