Admission Process and Timelines

    To allow prospective graduate students sufficient time for long range planning, the Department of Teaching and Learning has a rolling admissions policy. The admissions committee reviews applications every month during the fall and spring terms. Applicants may check the status of their applications via the online application system.  

    Even with rolling admissions, students should complete their application and credentials at least three months prior to the term in which they seek to begin graduate study. Completed applications must be submitted by:

    • November 1, if you would like to be considered for admission for spring term.
    • March 1, if you would like to be considered for admission for summer term.
    • June 1, if you would like to be considered for admission for fall term.

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    Application Resources

    Website to apply:
    Please send electronic application resources to:

    Application resources sent through the physical mail can be sent to:
    SMU Graduate Application Processing
    P.O. Box 518
    Dallas, TX 75275-0518 

    Graduate Readmission/Deferral Policy

    1. A matriculated student who formally withdraws in good standing from the university may request readmission within two years by completing only the cover page of the graduate application
    2. A newly accepted student dropped from a graduate program for failure to register may be re-admitted by submitting a new application cover page and fee with two years of acceptance date.
    3. A matriculated student who fails to maintain continuous enrollment and has not formally withdrawn may be readmitted by submitting a new application cover page and fee within two years of being dropped from the program.
    4. A student may request a deferment of enrollment in writing up to one year beyond the date when he or she was scheduled to begin his or her graduate program. If the one-year time period is exceeded, the student must submit a new application and fee. Deferral must be requested before the start of the term for which the student is accepted.
    5. While all applicants will be reviewed as received, specific master cohort programs may have a set beginning term.

    Graduate Admission Requirements

    Admission to the graduate programs for educators focuses on K-12 education in the areas of reading and writing literacy; language acquisition; math, science, and technology education; bilingual education; learning theory; and giftedness. Admission is based upon evaluation for academic success and commitment to intellectual inquiry in the field of education. Applications are also evaluated on the basis of undergraduate (and any prior graduate) preparation, academic writing, and congruence between the applicant's objectives and the program interests.

    Any application with missing pieces of information will be considered incomplete and will NOT be considered for admission until complete.

    • Online application
    • Application fee, submitted via online payment. This fee is non-refundable. This fee is waived if you have previously applied to a program within the Simmons School of Education.
    • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent training at a foreign university.
    • Official transcript(s) showing degree confirmed. Transcripts from countries outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from a recognized SMU evaluation agency. You may find a list of those agencies here.
    • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Note: Applicants whose GPA falls below 3.0 must request an exemption to this requirement by attaching a letter explaining why an exception should be made (such as long-term experience, expertise in a related specialized field, or the Graduate Record Examination score).
    • Writing Component: Applicant will submit an essay response to ONE of the writing prompts on the application. See example below.
      Tell us how earning a master's degree will help better your career as an educator.
      Tell us your best story.
    • Two letters of recommendation, submitted via online application system. Select respondents who can attest to your academic ability, your teaching abilities, and your personal qualities. If you are currently teaching, one recommendation must be from your principal or other supervisor. A family member cannot provide a recommendation.
    • Submission of a current resume, uploaded via online application system.

    Complete Financial-Need Scholarship requirements prior to submitting your SMU Application.  To be considered for a financial-need scholarship, complete the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and upload your Student Aid Report (SAR) or EFC Estimate to your SMU application. Since SMU's graduate program application typically takes a little more time to complete than the FAFSA, you are encouraged to submit the FAFSA before the application. The sooner the FAFSA is processed, the sooner we can determine your need for tuition assistance and find scholarship support for you. Just to assure you, FAFSA information is never used in the admission decision process. Please know that completion of the FAFSA does not require you to accept any loans through federal aid.

    Transfer Credit

    Applicants should not expect to receive more than six hours of transfer credit from other institutions. Students will need to submit a letter requesting transfer credit describing the course content along with an official transcript with these hours during the first semester of enrollment. Only courses with a grade of B or above can be transferred. Generally, no credit will be allowed toward the Master's degree for courses taken more than six years before acceptance into the program. Any exceptions to the requirements and policies stated above must have approval.

    FAQs for International Applicants

    The following is a list of questions that are frequently asked by international students applying to programs in the Department of Teaching and Learning.

    • Do I need to have my transcript evaluated? Yes! All prospective international students must have their undergraduate transcripts evaluated by one of the following companies:

      International Academic Credential Evaluators
      Telephone: 940-383-7498

      Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.

      World Education Services, Inc.

      The transcript evaluation must include the following:
      3.0 GPA as validated by the course by course evaluation
      Equivalency of degree conferred
    • Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS? International students pursuing a Master's Degree must have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL (IBT) score of 92. International students pursuing the Master of Education with Educator Preparation must have a minimum TOEFL (IBT) score of 92 with a minimum score of 26 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing. Additionally, if you have graduated from a university or college in the United States, you do not need to take the IELTS or TOEFL for admission; this requirement will be waived.

    • Are there scholarships available? The Department of Teaching and Learning offers some scholarship support to eligible students. Scholarship award information is provided with acceptance letters.

    • May I complete my degree online? We have no online degree program offerings.

    • When will my application be reviewed? Only students who have completed all admission requirements will be considered for admission.

    • What are the application deadlines? International students must have their applications submitted six weeks prior to the regular application deadline.