Dedman College - General Information
Dedman College is the heart of SMU. It is home to the humanities, social and
behavioral sciences, mathematics and natural sciences – disciplines central to the
traditions of higher education.
In 1915 when SMU opened the doors of Dallas Hall to welcome the first class
of students, those students matriculated into the College of Arts and Sciences, the
academic unit that would eventually become Dedman College. In 1963, with the
formulation of the Master Plan, the college became the School of Humanities and
Sciences in recognition of its role in the specialized education of students in the
liberal arts. From 1963 until 1980, the basic liberal arts education for all SMU
students was provided by University College, an independent, nondegree granting
The School of Humanities and Sciences was merged in 1980 with University
College to create a new entity central to the enterprise of undergraduate education.
It would not only provide the basic foundations in liberal arts education to all SMU
students through the General Education Curriculum but also serve as a center for
the integration of specialized education in the humanities, social sciences and
natural sciences. As an indication of its centrality to the educational process, the
name was changed from school to college, emphasizing that it is a community of
students and teachers, whose life together, no matter how diversified and specialized,
is unified by the implicit and explicit values derived from a liberal arts education.
In 1981, the newly formed college was endowed by the late Robert H. Dedman,
Sr., and his wife, Nancy McMillan Dedman, and became Dedman College.
In addition to being the oldest academic unit at SMU, Dedman College is also
the largest. In 2008, it enrolled more than 2,000 undergraduate majors and more
than 350 graduate students. More than 270 full-time faculty are based in the college.
Undergraduate students in Dedman College may major in any one of 53
programs, and choose from 52 minor programs. The college offers 15 graduate
programs leading to a Master’s degree and 13 programs leading to a Doctor of
Philosophy degree. Its 16 academic departments include: Anthropology, Biological
Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Economics, English, Foreign Languages and
Literatures, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology,
Religious Studies, Sociology and Statistical Science. In addition, the college
offers two part-time multidisciplinary evening degrees: Bachelor of Humanities
and Bachelor of Social Sciences.
Majors in Dedman College include:
Minors in Dedman College include:
Specific degree requirements and additional information for any of these programs
can be found in the departmental sections of this catalog.
Dedman College students may also complete minors in other schools on campus,
including the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, the Meadows School of the Arts
and the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. Interested students should contact
the Office of the Dean in those schools concerning specific requirements.
During their first and second years at SMU, a number of Dedman College students
participate in the University Honors Program described in the Academic
Programs section of this catalog and subsequently graduate with “Honors in the
Students participating in the University Honors Program are encouraged to join
the Departmental Distinction Program to earn the designation of “Liberal Arts
Honors With Departmental Distinction” on their transcripts.
During their junior and senior years, students may participate in the honors
courses and seminars offered within their major departments. A variety of internships
and research programs are also offered in some departments to provide
practical exposure and experience within the disciplines. More specific information
on the programs in each department can be found in the Courses of Study in Dedman
Successful completion of the departmental honors program earns the student
Before arranging a program in Dedman College, the preprofessional student
should become familiar with the entrance requirements of the particular professional
school that the student intends to enter. Requirements differ to some extent
even within the same profession, and the student will find that some schools require
that specific courses be included in the preprofessional training.
To be a prelaw student at SMU does not require any particular major or academic
program. Prelaw seniors who go on to law school may have majors in all four undergraduate
schools. Success in law school requires skills in critical analysis, logical
reasoning, and written and oral expression. Students should keep in mind that the
spoken and written word are the principal tools of the legal profession. Students who
intend to study law must develop an excellent knowledge and grasp of the English
language as well as a clear and concise style of expression.
A sound liberal arts education is valuable for prelaw students. Courses in political
science, history, economics, statistics and anthropology help a student understand
the structure of society and the problems of social ordering with which the
law is concerned.
The study of philosophy, literature, fine arts, foreign languages and other cultures
imparts familiarity with traditions of universal thought and trends that have influenced
or tend to influence legal developments nationally and internationally. The
examination of human behavior in sociology and psychology will aid the prospective
law student in understanding the types and effects of human behavior with
which law is involved.
The systematic ordering of abstractions and ideas acquired by studying logic
and the sciences contributes much to a prelaw student’s capacity to analyze, understand
and rationally organize his or her thoughts. And, in some fields of law practice,
it is useful for a student to have a fundamental knowledge of technology, engineering,
computers and accounting.
Admission to Law Schools
Candidates for admission to an American Bar Association-approved school of law
must take the Law School Admission Test administered by the national Law School
Admission Council. Candidates are urged to take the test on the June, October or
December testing dates of the fall term in which they apply to law school.
Except in very rare circumstances, all approved law schools require that an
applicant for admission has been granted a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited
college or university.
For additional prelaw information, as well as assistance in the application process,
undergraduate students may consult the prelaw services in the Dedman College
Admission to Dedman School of Law
Admission to Dedman School of Law is by selection based upon the academic
record of the applicant, the applicant’s Law School Admission Test score and other
available data. For more information, contact the Admissions Officer, Dedman
School of Law, PO Box 750110, Dallas TX 75275-0110, or visit www.law.smu.edu/admissions.
Medical and dental schools seek students who have demonstrated strength in
their major – any major of the student’s choosing – and in the sciences. There is
no preferred major. Honors work is appropriate.
Most medical and dental schools require the following coursework for entry.
These courses should be completed by the end of the junior year:
English, six hours; mathematics (including calculus), six hours; biology, eight
to fourteen hours (14 for Texas medical schools); chemistry, 16 hours; and physics,
eight hours. In addition, some schools require biochemistry. This coursework may
be done as part of a major or minor in the sciences or as electives in a nonscience major or minor. Some will apply toward SMU’s general education curriculum requirements.
Candidates for admission to medical school must take the Medical College
Admission Test; the test should be taken in the spring of the junior year. Candidates
for dental school should take the Dental Admission Test, also in the spring of the
junior year. All students intending to apply to medical or dental schools should
contact the Health Professions Advising Office in the Dedman College Advising
The Dedman College Undergraduate Internship Program helps students begin
to prepare for employment. Internships are designed to demonstrate and reinforce
the valuable and highly marketable skills that our students develop.
The following guidelines apply:
- Credit-bearing internships are supervised by faculty, department or program.*
- Dedman Internship Program Orientation and Standardized University Release
of Liability for Education Internship are required.
- Internships are based on a written learning contract signed by the student and
faculty supervisor and approved by the department chair or director of undergraduate
studies. (Students and site supervisors will complete evaluations of
the experience. These evaluations would not be considered in determination
of the grade.)
- Internships require a written component based on and reflective of the experiential dimension.
- Internships are available only through approved internship courses.
- Internship credit may range from one to three hours.
- The maximum total internship credit that may be applied toward a degree is
* Noncredit-bearing internships may either be paid or unpaid and are without faculty, department or program supervision. Internship orientation is strongly suggested. A University Release of Liability is required.
The University offers a program of studies in teacher education and recommends
candidates for certification by the State Board of Educator Certification. The
recommendation is based on a candidate’s successful completion of 24 term hours
in education (EDU) courses and six hours of student teaching. In addition, candidates
must pass the TExES examinations. Education courses are designed to include
all standards tested on the TExES and to prepare students for the requirements
including a major. (Prospective secondary teachers must have majors in appropriate
teaching fields.) For more information, please contact the Teacher Certification
Office at 214-768-2346. For a general description of the program in teacher education,
please see the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human
Development section of this catalog.
Students are encouraged to broaden their education by taking full advantage of
the University’s diverse undergraduate programs. Although only one major is
required for graduation, with careful planning students may complete two or more
majors and/or multiple minors within the prescribed total hours.
Students may also qualify for baccalaureate degrees from two schools in the
University. Some characteristic pairings are: English or political science in Dedman
College and journalism in Meadows School of the Arts; physics or mathematics
in Dedman College and electrical engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering;
and foreign language in Dedman College and a major or minor in the Cox School
of Business. Since all requirements for both degrees must be met, students should
confer with advisers in both schools at an early date in order to prepare a proposed
plan of study.
Students are individually responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations
and requirements that may apply to their respective programs.
Once matriculated at SMU, students wishing to enroll for and transfer in courses
offered at other institutions in subject areas within the Dedman College curriculum
must receive prior approval from their adviser, the chair of the SMU department
that normally offers the course, the dean of Dedman College and their dean of
record. A maximum of 30 credit hours of post-matriculation transfer work may be
approved. Approval may be denied for educational reasons. Post-matriculation
work from two-year institutions will not be approved.
All incoming first-year students to the University are admitted to Dedman College.
Please see the Admission to the University section of this catalog for requirements.
Students wishing to pursue majors in the humanities or in the social or
natural sciences or in various multidisciplinary programs remain in Dedman College
for their undergraduate education. Specific degree requirements and additional
information for any of these programs can be found in the departmental sections
of this catalog. Admission is open to qualified undergraduate and graduate applicants
without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability,
veteran status or sexual orientation.
Admission From Other Schools Within SMU
An individual enrolled in another school of the University may apply to the dean
of the school in which the student is currently enrolled for permission to transfer
into a degree-granting program in Dedman College. A student who has achieved
a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on all SMU work attempted will normally
be admitted to candidacy for a degree in Dedman College. Additional requirements
for programs with subset curriculums may exist. Please consult the catalog section
and/or the department for more information.
Readmission of Former Students
If three or more years have elapsed since the last enrollment at SMU, the student
must meet any new requirements and is subject to any new regulations that have
been instituted in the interval.