FAQs | Academics

When do I register? 
You may register during orientation, which you complete after you have applied and been admitted to SMU. Orientation is available for both incoming first year students and transfer students.

How do I know what classes to take?
Upon entering SMU, you will begin fulfilling two general sets of requirements necessary to graduate: the Common Curriculum that all students must satisfy regardless of major, and the requirements specified by the major itself. First-year students are assigned to an academic advisor from Dedman College. Your advisor will work with you regarding selection of classes.

When can I see my academic advisor?
You are assigned a professional advisor at orientation and are required to connect with him/her before registration each semester. You can also set up appointments on your own time throughout the semester. SMU provides students with a well-staffed, award-winning advising center of professional, full-time advisors.

What exactly is a "liberal arts" curriculum?
The liberal arts disciplines include the humanities, the natural and the mathematical sciences, and the social sciences. With a foundation in the liberal arts, the SMU student gets a complete education - as a professional in a chosen career, a citizen in the world of ideas, and a full-fledged participant in life itself. SMU's general requirements in the liberal arts (the Common Curriculum) provide students with an exceptional educational opportunity.

How and when will I choose a major? 
SMU offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and 85 minors. Your academic advisor and many other support systems are available to help you choose your major. You will make this decision by the end of your sophomore year.

May I declare my major during my first year?
Upon entering SMU, you may declare your intended major. All students enter the university through Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. You may not officially declare your major until you have successfully completed at least 24 hours and satisfied the entrance requirements for your intended major.

Does SMU have an honors program?
Yes. Students participating in the program will take 7-8 special courses within the University Curriculum which encourage deeper understanding through interdisciplinary thinking and learning. The honors program offers small, discussion-focused classes. Entrance is by invitation.

What is the average class size at SMU? 
The average class size is 22. Seventy percent of our classes contain 25 students or less. Students don't get lost in large lecture courses conducted by graduate students. SMU students learn from senior faculty in small classes.

What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
11:1. Classes are small enough to encourage close faculty-student interaction.

Will graduate students teach most introductory classes?
No. Almost all classes at SMU are taught by faculty, not graduate students.

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?
Yes. SMU offers summer, semester and year-long opportunities to live, study and travel in foreign countries. SMU Abroad offers 148 programs in 50 countries.

Will SMU send my grades to my parents?
The Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act of 1974 states that no personally identifiable information from a student's record will be disclosed to a third party without prior written consent from the student. Grades may be released to parents if either the student completes a release form or the parent completes a Declaration of Dependency form. These releases are available in the Registrar's office. Once SMU has an approved release on file then the parent or student can request an official transcript.