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.

Degrees, Certificates, and Specializations

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

Explore Our Programs

Program Type

  • Doctoral Programs
  • Master’s Degrees
  • Undergraduate Programs
  • Graduate Specializations & Certificates

Area of Interest

  • Applied Physiology & Health Management
  • Counseling
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Higher Education
  • Liberal Studies
  • PK-12 School Leadership
  • Research
  • Sport Management
  • Sport Performance Leadership
  • Teacher Education
  • Wellness

Ph.D. Research

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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.)

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

Practicing educators interested in working with students with special needs.

Career and Personal Benefits

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.)

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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).

Mathematics Specialization

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

Those who successfully complete the 4-course sequence will have the skills and knowledge to model effective mathematics instruction, translate evidence-based research into classroom teaching, differentiate with diverse learners, and instill creative problem solving. The program’s coursework can be applied to SMU’s M.Ed. degree.

Montessori Specialization

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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

STEM Specialization

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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.

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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.

Urban Education Specialization

Prospective Students

Urban Education courses are most applicable for pre-service, in-service and other educators who serve diverse student populations, wish to cultivate a justice-oriented culturally responsive classroom environment, and/or are eager to learn relevant classroom and behavior management approaches.

Career and Personal Benefits

Educators who complete these courses can expect to acquire in-depth knowledge surrounding culturally responsive curriculum development, reducing student behavioral infractions, enhancing teacher-guardian and teacher-student relationships, and inevitably increasing student outcomes. Additionally, educators can expect to garner an all-encompassing historical context of urban education.

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

Undergraduates who wish to become teachers.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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 dispute resolution and conflict management. These skills can enhance current career paths or launch new careers.

Career and Personal Benefits

Rooted in the social and behavioral sciences, the curriculum provides in-depth study of conflict theory with options for concentration in alternative dispute resolution, organizational transformation and conflict management, executive coaching, and healthcare collaboration and conflict engagement as they apply to business, family, education, public policy, religion, law and healthcare. Field-based opportunities in a variety of settings further enhance the skills of dispute resolution and conflict management.

Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

The seven-course 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 simulations.

Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Collaboration and Conflict Engagement

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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.

Executive Coaching Certificate

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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).

Master of Science in Counseling

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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.

Master of Science in Health Promotion Management

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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.

Master of Science in Sport Management

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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.

Personal Responsibility and Wellness

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

The curriculum is largely research and statistics based.

Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology & Sport Management

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

The B.S. in APSM degree program explores health, fitness, and human performance from the perspectives of business, physiology, and ethics. Students focus their studies in one of the following areas.

• Sport Management: equips students with the business skills necessary for a variety of careers in the sports industry - including media, marketing, facilities, equipment, and apparel sport professions.

• Applied Physiology and Health Management: provides in-depth study of the research-based training methods that are used to develop effective lifestyle prescriptions and that equip students with the skills to design and manage fitness and health facilities for a rapidly-growing older population.

• Sport Performance Leadership: designed for students interested in sport leadership, instruction, and coaching.

UG Minors in Applied Physiology & Sport Management

Prospective Students

Undergraduate “minors” serve students pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in departments other than Applied Physiology and Wellness.

Career and Personal Benefits

An undergraduate “minor” provides an opportunity to explore an academic area other than and in addition to the undergraduate “major” area. The Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness offers four APSM minors: applied physiology, sport management, applied physiology and health management, and sport performance leadership.

Doctor of Liberal Studies

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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)

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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.

Career and Personal Benefits

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

Prospective Students

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

Career and Personal Benefits

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