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 academic unit.
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 2007, 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 51 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 available 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 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 Liberal Arts.”
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 the 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 College” section.
Successful completion of the departmental honors program earns the student “Departmental Distinction.”
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 include 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 Advising Center.
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. Further information can be obtained by writing the Admissions Officer, Dedman School of Law, PO Box 750110, Dallas TX 75275-0110, or by visiting 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, 8-14 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 non-science 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 (MCAT). The MCAT should be taken in the spring of the junior year. Candidates for dental school should take the Dental Admission Test (DAT), 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 Center.
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 unpaid and 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 three hours.
Credit-bearing internships must be based on unpaid experiences.
*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 (SBEC). 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 offered through the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, please refer to the Teacher Education section.
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 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 would offer the course, and the dean of Dedman College. A maximum of 15 credit hours of post-matriculation transfer work may be approved. Approval may be denied for educational reasons. Post-matriculation transfer 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.
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 G.P.A. of 2.00 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.
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.