of Southern Methodist University,
Veritas Liberabit Vos
(“the truth shall set you free”), epitomizes the ideals of an SMU education
and is the fundamental principle for the University Curriculum. The wisdom
to acquire and critically reflect on existing knowledge and the insight and
capacity to create new knowledge are the hallmarks of an educated person and
exemplify the characteristics we seek to instill at SMU.
The UC emphasizes Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). In designing the UC with this focus on SLOs, the faculty have identified what they expect you to think about, learn, and experience, but just how you choose to do so will be up to you, in consultation with your academic advisors and your professors.
Every student’s path through the UC should and will be different. Any course may satisfy one or more UC requirements if faculty committees determine that the course provides ample opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate the SLOs associated with the requirement. Credit-hour accumulation will remain the primary way most of you will fulfill these outcomes, but some of you may choose to meet some requirements through non-course or non-credit activities.
The UC cannot be reduced to a checklist of specific required courses in specific departments. The number of courses and/or credit hours needed to complete the UC will vary according to your individual academic background, preparation, major, and curricular choices. The UC can be met through any part of your undergraduate career, including work in the major or minor, elective courses, or approved and reflected-upon activities.
The UC consists of three main course work components: Foundations, Pillars and Capstone. In addition to these course work components, there are eight different Proficiencies and Experiences that can be satisfied either by coursework or by out-of-class experiences through which students develop and demonstrate the proficiencies.
The list of courses that satisfy various UC requirements will vary by semester, especially with respect to identified and approved Proficiencies and Experiences.