Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC)
The Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center is designed to help students become
more independent, self-confident and efficient learners. In addition, it is designed
to help students respond effectively to specific academic challenges, to articulate
and attain their own education goals, and to succeed at any level of the undergraduate
Overview of Services
Each year approximately 33 percent of undergraduates take advantage of A-LEC
programs, courses and services. All A-LEC offerings are available at no cost to
full-time undergraduate students. Some services are available by appointment;
others are available on a drop-in basis. Students may be referred to the A-LEC by
their advisers, faculty or resident assistant, but most students choose to come on
The A-LEC offers subject-specific tutoring in most first- and
second-year courses. Tutorials are offered in individual, small group and review
session formats. The tutor schedule changes regularly, and updates can be found
at the A-LEC Web site.
English department faculty members assist students at any stage
of the writing process – from planning a draft to learning from previously graded
Each term, the A-LEC offers approximately 20 study strategy
workshops. Among the topics covered are note taking, time management, testtaking
strategies and textbook study-reading.
ORACLE (Optimal Reading, Attention, Comprehension and Learning Efficiency).
Each academic year, hundreds of SMU students take this one-credit course to
develop advanced reading and learning techniques. Students can register for
ORACLE at the same time they register for their other courses. ORACLE is listed
in the catalog as EDU 1110. Every fall, sections are reserved for premed students,
international students, and students with documented leaning differences.
Three full-time staff members are available to work
individually with students on study strategies. One of these three specializes in
working with students with learning differences.
Learning Disabilities Specialist.
Individual academic support is provided for
students with documented learning disabilities and ADHD. To be eligible, students
first must be registered with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.
Assistance is available in the areas of transitioning, learning strategies instruction,
coaching, educational planning and self-advocacy.
Service to Southern Methodist University students, faculty and staff is the primary
goal of all libraries at SMU. The libraries of the University contain more
than 2.9 million volumes. PONI, a fully interactive Web- and Windows-based
client-server system, features access to bibliographic records of materials housed
in all SMU Libraries and hypertext links to other databases, digitized collections
and relevant Web sites.
SMU Libraries rank first in total volumes held among non-ARL (Association
of Research Libraries) universities in the United States. The SMU Libraries comprise
the largest private research library in the Southwest and rank third within
the region in total volumes, after the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M
University. SMU Libraries are one of the greatest assets of the University.
The University’s library system is divided into a number of different units:
The Business Information Center
- Central University Libraries (reporting to the Office of the Provost)
- Underwood Law Library (reporting to the Dedman School of Law)
- Bridwell Library (reporting to the Perkins School of Theology)
- Business Information Center (reporting to the Cox School of Business)
The Business Information Center (BIC) is located in room 150 of the Maguire
Building. The mission of the BIC is to provide the SMU community with business
information, regardless of format; support the integration of information and
technology into the curriculum; and act as a center for research and development
for state-of-the-art information technology applications in the business education
field. In support of this mission, the BIC offers the SMU community both quiet
and group study areas; individual and group computer areas consisting of 70
computer workstations; a multimedia studio; a group presentation practice room;
a periodicals area; facility-wide wireless access; over 150 electronic resources;
and a variety of print resources, including the Hillcrest Foundation International
Resource Library, the Edwin L. Cox Business Leadership Center Resource Collection,
the Cary M. Maguire Energy Institute Resource Collection and the Career
Management Center Library. Librarians are available all hours that the BIC is
open, offering reference assistance both in-person and virtually via e-mail and
telephone. Librarians provide course specific, in-class instruction at the request
of instructors and lead workshops on performing business research.
Bridwell Library of the Perkins School of Theology is the University’s principal
research resource for the fields of theology and religious studies. It offers a collection
of over 350,000 volumes, 1, 200 current periodical titles, and provides
access to a wide array of online full-text journals and databases. Among the library’s
special collections are significant holdings in early printing, English and American
Methodism, theology, religion, and the book arts. The interpretation of these collections
is accomplished variously through lectures, publications and exhibitions.
Reference librarians are available to help students discover and use the many
resources of Bridwell Library.
Underwood Law Library
Underwood Law Library, one of the 30 largest law libraries in the country and
the largest private law library in the Southwest, houses more than 630,000 volumes
and primarily serves the faculty and students of the Dedman School of Law. The
collection includes state and federal legislative, judicial and administrative materials;
law periodicals; law treatises; U.S., international and foreign documents; and
U.S. government documents relating to the legal profession. Strengths of the collection
are in taxation, securities, corporate law, labor law, air and space law,
commercial and banking law, constitutional law, and law and medicine. The Kay
and Ray Hutchison Legal Resource Learning Center in the Underwood Law Library
is a computer learning lab located on the third floor.
Central University Libraries
The largest of the SMU library units is Central University Libraries (CUL), with
holdings of more than 2.1 million volumes. CUL comprises Fondren Library, the
Hamon Arts Library, the Science and Engineering Library, the DeGolyer Library
and SMU Archives, the ISEM (Institute for the Study of Earth and Man) Reading
Room and the Norwick Center for Media and Instructional Technology. CUL also
supports SMU programs at the Legacy campus and SMU-in-Taos.
with more than one million volumes of books, government
publications and bound journals, serves students and faculty in the areas of humanities,
social sciences, business and education. Its Information Commons provides
a single location within the library where students can use library books and online
resources as well as the latest computer software and technology to prepare their
assignments. Fondren Library is a selective depository for government information
resources and has large electronic collections of retrospective periodicals and
special collections in the humanities and social sciences.
Strengths of the Fondren Library include, but are not limited to, classical studies,
late 18th- and early 19th-century English literature, American history, Texas history,
contemporary biography and literature, anthropology, political science,
economics and other social sciences. Fondren Library also provides reading materials
placed on reserve by classroom faculty and access to holdings from other
libraries nationwide via interlibrary loan.
Hamon Arts Library,
located in the Owen Arts Center of the Meadows School of
the Arts, serves students and faculty in the areas of visual art, art history, cinema,
communications, dance, music and theatre. With more than 180,000 volumes of
books, sound recordings and video recordings, the library’s collections support
the Meadows curriculum and are particularly strong in European and American
arts. The library also provides conference room facilities, group audio-visual study
and presentation rooms, and public computers for research, study and arts-specific
The Jerry Bywaters Special Collections
wing has as its focus the art and artists
of the Southwest, the musical life of Dallas, regional theatre history, fashion history
and regional architecture. The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, founded
in 1967, holds over 10,000 films and videos on a wide array of subjects and in all
formats. The Jones Collection is best known for its Tyler, Texas, Black Film Collection
and for the Sulphur Springs Collection of pre-nickelodeon films.
Science and Engineering Library
contains holdings of more than 700,000 volumes
and serves students and faculty in the areas of the sciences and engineering. The
Science and Engineering Library is responsible for the University’s map collection,
which includes more than 220,000 topographic and geologic maps and aerial
photographs, and the DeGolyer Earth Sciences collection of more than 15,000
CUL has a corporate research service – IIS
– housed in the Science and Engineering
Library, providing cost-recovery, fee-based information services to the
business and corporate community outside the University.
is a non-circulating special collections branch of CUL that
contains more than 120,000 volumes. In addition to rare books, it holds over 2
million manuscripts, 500,000 photographs, 2,500 newspaper and periodical titles,
2,000 maps and an extensive collection of ephemera, including the largest collection
of Texas bank notes in the country. The DeGolyer Library is open to all students
and faculty. Great strengths of the DeGolyer Library include a large collection of
books on early voyages and travels, especially those bearing on the European
discovery and exploration of the New World. The collection of Western Americana
is numbered among the finest in the country, and the library also has exceptionally
well-developed collections in the fields of business history, such as the JCPenney
archives, and transportation history, in particular the history of railroads. Its holdings
in the history of science and technology, which include the Texas Instruments
archives, have much to offer the researcher. Literary collections include a respectable range of English and American authors and literary genres, from a
16th-century edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to dime novels and comic
books. DeGolyer collections also afford numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary
research in such fields as American studies, Southwestern studies, women’s
studies, popular culture, the history of photography and the history of the book.
part of the DeGolyer Library, is the official repository for
SMU records and other materials of historical importance. The Archives contains
manuscripts, photographs, documents and memorabilia concerning the establishment
and growth of the University. SMU administrators, faculty, local historians
and media representatives are its principal users but students and visiting scholars
often use its materials for a variety of research projects.
ISEM Reading Room,
with 10,000 volumes, serves students and faculty of the
Institute for the Study of Earth and Man. It contains a wealth of information relating
to anthropology and geological and geophysical sciences.
The Norwick Center for Digital Services.
The Norwick Center for Digital Services
in CUL encompasses student multimedia and collaborative technology areas,
digitization/production services and a screening room. The Student Multi-media
Center provides students with access to high-end computers, software, collaborative
spaces and staff assistance to develop a variety of digital projects such as
DVD’s and web video, digital portfolios, and other media-intensive projects. Digital
Projects focuses on digitizing library collections for preservation and increased
access. The screening room allows for video screenings and computer projection
for instruction and training.
Laboratories and Research Facilities
The University provides many laboratories and much equipment for courses in
accounting, anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, languages, earth sciences, communication
arts, psychology, physics, health and physical education, dance, music,
theatre, statistics and civil, computer, electrical, environmental and mechanical
engineering. (Descriptions of the engineering laboratories can be found in the Lyle
School of Engineering section. Other University facilities are described in sections
for the individual schools.)
The teaching laboratories of the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry,
Earth Sciences and Physics are housed in the Fondren Science Building
and in the
Dedman Life Sciences Building.
Virtually all teaching laboratories and support
facilities in the buildings have been remodeled and updated.
Students have access to a wide array of specialized instrumentation and laboratory
equipment fundamental to studies in the natural sciences, including spectrophotometers,
high-performance liquid chromatographs, scintillation counter,
fluorescence-activated cell sorter, scanning laser confocal microscope, electron
resonance spectrometer, X-ray diffractometers, mass spectrometers and an atomic
absorption spectrometer. Advanced undergraduate research is also supported by
tissue culture and animal care facilities, as well as several departmental computer
SMU-in-Taos, Fort Burgwin,
is located 10 miles south of Taos, New Mexico, at
an elevation of 7,500 feet. The facility includes classrooms, laboratories, offices,
a computer center and a library, as well as living accommodations for students and
faculty. The Fort Burgwin archaeology curation facility houses over one million
archaeological specimens from research projects conducted by SMU faculty and
students. Northern New Mexico offers a multiplicity of research opportunities for both natural and social scientists. Pot Creek Pueblo, located on the fort’s property,
is one of the largest prehistoric archaeological sites in the Taos region.
The N.L. Heroy Science Hall
houses the departments of Anthropology, Earth
Sciences, Sociology and Statistical Sciences, as well as the Institute for the Study
of Earth and Man.
The Institute for the Study of Earth and Man
was created in 1966 by a gift from
W.B. Heroy Sr. Its purpose is to support research at the interface of humans, Earth
and the environment.
The Department of Earth Sciences
operates several unique laboratories, including
The Dallas Seismological Observatory,
established by the Dallas Geophysical
Society, is maintained and operated by the University and now monitors remote
seismic and infrasound stations in southwest Texas near Lajitas, seismically one
of the world’s quietest regions. The Lajitas array is used to test technology designed
to detect small earthquakes from great distances. In addition to the Lajitas seismic
array, SMU operates seismic and infrasound arrays at Mina, Nevada, Grenada,
Mississippi, and overseas locations. Data collected by the observatory are available
to the faculty and advanced students who wish to undertake basic research in
seismology, tectonics, or infrasound.
The Ellis W. Shuler Museum of Paleontology
is a research museum affording opportunities
for advanced study of fossil faunas and floras and their climatic and
paleoecologic significance. The collection, which specializes in vertebrate paleontology,
includes more than 150,000 fossils from the United States, Central
America and northeastern Africa.
The Pollen Analysis Laboratory
is operated in conjunction with the Shuler Museum
of Paleontology. The laboratory serves SMU research projects focused on the
reconstruction of past vegetation, past climate and paleoecology at localities around
the world. The facility includes two fume hoods, glassware, centrifuges, scales, a
convection oven and storage space necessary for the dry and wet processing of
sediment samples for their pollen content. Microscopic analysis of the resulting
pollen sample residues takes place in a separate laboratory housing transmitted
light microscopes, a comparative collection of modern pollen, and a small paleobotany
and palynology research library. Work in this laboratory is often supplemented
by facilities in the SEM laboratory.
The Geothermal Laboratory
is the focus of an extensive program of research in the
thermal field of the Earth. Geothermal energy resources and the thermal fields of
sedimentary basins are special topics of concentration. The research is worldwide
in scope. Specialized equipment for the measurement of thermal conductivity of
rocks, and for the measurement of accurate, precise temperature logs in deep wells
is available for research purposes. Services are provided to other institutions and
research centers on a contractual basis.
The Hydrothermal Laboratory
contains equipment to reproduce the pressures and
temperatures existing to mid-crustal depths. It contains two extraction-quench
sampling bombs that permit withdrawal of solution during the progress of a run
to pressures of 3 kbar and 750ºC. There are also 10 cold-seal reaction vessels. In
addition, 1 atm furnaces are available that can be used to temperatures of 1400ºC.
The Electron Microprobe Laboratory
contains a fully automated JEOL 733 electron
microprobe with four wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometers, a Link eXL
energy dispersive X-ray and associated sample preparation equipment. It is available on a regular basis for various research projects in the Institute for the Study of Earth
and Man, the University and other research institutions.
The Stable Isotope Laboratory
is a general research facility available to support both
academic and student research in the University and in other research centers. The
laboratory contains three automated gas-source, magnetic-sector isotope ratio mass
spectrometers as well as vacuum extraction lines for converting natural materials
(solids, liquids and gases) into gases suitable for measuring the isotope ratios of
hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen at natural abundance.
The Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Laboratory
Zeiss SMT 1450 VPSE SEM used for generating electron photomicrographs with
5 nanometer resolution. The facility is open to researchers and students from Earth
Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Engineering and Chemistry. The SEM is also
equipped with an Edax energy dispersive X-ray system for quantitative determination
of chemical compositions of the imaged materials.
The X-ray Diffraction Laboratory
houses a Rigaku Ultima III diffractometer for the
X-ray identification of materials with a crystalline structure and is open to researchers
and students from Earth Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences and
The Meadows Museum,
founded by the late philanthropist Algur H. Meadows
and located at 5900 Bishop Boulevard, houses one of the finest and most comprehensive
collections of Spanish art outside of Spain as well as selected masterpieces
of modern European sculpture from Rodin and Maillol to David Smith and
Claes Oldenburg. The permanent collection of 670 objects includes paintings,
sculpture, decorative arts and works on paper from the Middle Ages to the present.
Artists represented include El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Zurbarán, Murillo,
Goya, Picasso and Miró. The Meadows Museum hosts a regular program of loan
exhibitions each year in its temporary exhibition galleries and sponsors an active
program of public lectures, tours, films, concerts and symposia, as well as children’s
art programs and family days throughout the year. Museum collections are
often utilized by SMU faculty in their courses. The museum membership program
includes exhibition previews, tours of private collections and opportunities for
travel. Docent tours of the collection are available to school, University and adult
groups. The Meadows Museum, in addition to its collection, houses a museum
store and special event rooms.