Graduate Studies at Southern Methodist University

Application Instructions

Southern Methodist University - Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences - All Programs

We are pleased that you are interested in pursuing graduate studies at Southern Methodist University. Please assist us by reading the instructions below carefully so that we can expedite processing your application.

Note that the responsibility of securing and submitting the application materials, transcripts, test scores, and other necessary information rests upon you. You will find a checklist of the items requested on page three of this application.

All documents, requests, and correspondence should be sent to the
Office of Research & Graduate Studies, P O Box 750240, Dallas TX 75275-0240
(Street Address: 6425 Boaz Lane, Suite 101 Dallas TX 75205)


Ph.D. Psychology – Deadline is December 1
M.A., Ph.D. Religious Studies – Deadline is December 31
Ph.D. English – Deadline is January 15
M.A., Ph.D. Anthropology – Deadline is January 15

NOTE: Applications received after February 1 will be considered for any remaining funds or openings with the exception of the programs listed above.


Fall semester...............................................................May 1
Spring semester...............................................................Nov 30


You are required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent training at a foreign university. All applicants must have adequate subject preparation in the chosen major field. This includes having at least 12 semester hours of advanced study in the chosen field, a 3.0 overall grade-point average, and a satisfactory score on the GRE. After an application is complete, ultimate approval for admission to graduate study is given by the Dean of Research & Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the department.


General Requirements:

  1. Complete the online application form ( All questions must be answered with correct information.
  2. A $75 application fee is collected online.
    1. Official Transcripts - Send official transcripts, certified and translated if from a foreign institution, directly from each school of higher education you have attended. When sending an electronic transcript, please note that SMU will only accept electronic transcripts sent from the transferable institution via a secure means (e.g., Scrip-Safe, NSC).
    2. NEW – Unofficial Transcripts - We now accept unofficial transcripts online. Please note: Upon admission official documents are required.
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation online. Select respondents who can attest to your academic ability.
  4. Request the official scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to be sent to electronically to SMU (code 6660). Taking the GRE (within five years of application) is required for most graduate programs. Check the last page of the application form for a list of exceptions.

Additional Requirements for International Students:

  1. International students applying from countries where English is not the native language are required to provide scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Teaching Assistants are required to show proficiency in spoken English by a satisfactory score on the TSE (Test of Spoken English) exam or passing English as a Second Language course after matriculation. The score from the TWE can strengthen your application and provide an additional distinguishing measurement. The TOEFL requirement will be waived for international students who have received a degree from a U.S. degree-granting university or institution. Test scores from IELTS are also accepted.
  2. If admitted, foreign students must provide a Certification of Finance Form/Letter of Financial Backing as evidence of financial support. This should represent that sufficient money will be available to the applicant to cover all expenses while at the University. This letter may be signed by a parent or sponsor but must be certified by a bank. The document must be notarized and on file before the process for visas and passport can proceed. (See last page for additional information regarding foreign applicants.)

Special Notes:

Psychology: The Statement of Purpose should include the names of two faculty members with whom the student would like to work.

Religious Studies: Final deadline is December 31. No applications accepted after this deadline. Applicants need to identify a field of interest: Old Testament, Religion and Culture, Systematic Theology, Religious Ethics, New Testament, or Christian Tradition.

Applied Economics and Eco/Law: GRE general is waived with a 3.0 or higher GPA.

English, History and Religious Studies Departments require writing samples as part of the application. The English Ph.D. requires a sample consisting of 15 or more pages on a literary topic. The History requirement is an essay, chapter, or some other substantial piece of historical writing. Religious Studies requires 10-20 pages of scholarly writing.

Financial Information:

Tuition fellowships and teaching and research assistantships are available from the departments. These are awarded on a competitive basis for both merit and need. Assistantships pay tuition and fees and can, in addition, pay stipends for designated work in the departments. In most cases, the application for admission serves as the application for financial support. Any additional information will be sent to the student from the departments, as decisions regarding assistantships will come directly from departments.


Admission ----- Only the Office of Research & Graduate Studies is authorized to notify the applicant of his or her acceptance to a graduate program in the University. Applicants should not interpret any statement made in casual correspondence with any University faculty member to mean that he or she has been admitted. Official notification will be sent through this office, signed by the Dean of Research & Graduate Studies.

Financial Obligations ----- Students are responsible individually for their financial obligations to the University through the Office of the University Cashier, SMU, Dallas, Texas 75275, USA. Questions regarding financial procedures at SMU should be taken up with the cashier's office.

Transfer Students ----- Graduate students wishing to transfer to Southern Methodist University from another graduate school in the U.S. must have maintained a "B" average on all graduate work previously attempted, in addition to satisfying the other admission requirements of the University.

For International Students

Passports and Visas ----- Before the international student may depart for SMU, both a passport and a visa are required. The government of the student's home country is responsible for issuing the passport. If the international student is accepted by Southern Methodist University, a letter of acceptance will be sent from the Graduate Office. The SMU International Advisors’ Office will send an I-20 form (F-1 visa or J-1 visa) once the financial support has been verified. It is important that the name on the application matches exactly the name on the student's passport. To meet U. S. government regulations, the international graduate student on the F-1 or J-1 visa must take at least nine semester hours each semester to qualify as a full-time student.

Health Insurance ----- All international students must be covered by hospitalization insurance and must show proof of such insurance at the time of registration. Coverage may be obtained individually or through the University for an annual fee. In addition, students purchasing this insurance are required to be eligible to use the Student Health Center, which may require an additional amount per semester. Additional information about this requirement can be obtained through the International Advisors' Office - Students will need to provide a record of immunizations on the SMU health form, which can be downloaded from Please visit the Student Health Center website for current health insurance fees

Living Accommodations ----- Many international students live in University residence halls and in University operated apartments while some live in off-campus housing.

Degrees from Foreign Universities ----- International applicants who hold a bachelor's degree should not assume that these degrees will be automatically accepted in U.S. universities. Decisions will be made on the academic standings of the institutions from which the applicant graduated. Professional diplomas and higher certificates from technical or vocational schools are normally not considered as equal to a bachelor's degree.

Offices for Assistance:

General Information: Office of Research & Graduate Studies, Southern Methodist University, P.O. Box 750240, Dallas TX 75275-0240, USA E-mail:

Visas and Foreign Students: Director, International Advisors’ Office, Box 381, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275, USA E-mail:

Housing: Office of Housing and Residence Life, Boaz Hall, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX 75275, USA

Health Insurance: Memorial Health Center, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 75275, USA

Financial Aid Office, SMU, Dallas, TX 75275 E-mail:

Email contact:
Mail: Office of Research and Graduate Studies
P O Box 750240
Dallas TX 75275-0240
Street Address: Office of Research and Graduate Studies
6425 Boaz Lane, Suite 101
Dallas TX 75275

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