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Course Approval Process

Courses taken on SMU Abroad programs count as SMU credit, not transfer credit. Pre-approved courses have been reviewed and deemed to be of SMU quality by the academic department that owns the course. For a complete listing of pre-approved courses, see the SMU Abroad Course Database.

For courses not yet approved, there is a petition process in place that begins with the student requesting course approval. This process takes time and results in the course either being approved or denied for credit. In rare cases, conditional approval may be granted providing that the student brings back all course materials and assignments for review after the semester abroad.

Courses can be petitioned for approval at any time, prior to a student's acceptance to an SMU Abroad Program or afterwards. Ideally all courses should be pre-approved BEFORE the program begins.  
Choosing Courses
When deciding what courses you would like to take while abroad, try to select twice the amount that you will actually take. This provides a buffer should any of the courses not be approved or not be offered during the semester you hope to study abroad. Be sure to list the courses in order of preference.

Once you have made your selections, review the current list of approved courses on the SMU Abroad Course Database. If the course you want to take is already on the database, you will receive credit for the SMU course indicated. No further action is required. If the course is not listed, you will have to petition for credit through SMU Abroad.
Petitioning for SMU Credit 

Click here to download the
SMU Abroad Course Petition Form.

1) Review the form and complete the top section.

2) Attach both a description of the course from the program materials and a copy of the full syllabus to the petition form. At a minimum, the course materials being reviewed must include details about the lecture, topics, required textbooks, and assignments including readings, papers, exams, and other assessments. If the syllabus for the intended term is not available, a syllabus from the previous term may be submitted for review providing that the course information remains the same.

Some syllabi are published on the program provider's or host university's website. If you need help securing the syllabus, contact your SMU Abroad Advisor. If it is necessary to request the syllabus from the host university abroad, be advised that it can take several weeks to receive this information. You are encouraged to start this process as soon as possible. As mentioned above, courses can be petitioned for approval prior to a student's acceptance to an SMU Abroad program.

3) Submit the petition form, course description and full syllabus to your SMU Abroad Advisor. SMU Abroad will forward the petition and course materials to the academic department that owns the course. Only academic departments make decisions on course approvals.

4) Once a decision is made, and SMU Abroad is informed, SMU Abroad will post the course online under the link SMU Abroad Course Database.

It can take several weeks for the appropriate department to review the course materials. Check the online SMU Abroad Course Database and the list of recently approved courses regularly. 

Note: Students wishing for a course to fulfill a Perspectives or Human Diversity requirement must petition the Office of General Education. Individual Petition Forms are available on the General Education website.
Policy on "No Credit" and "Pass/Fail" Options for Courses Taken on SMU Abroad Programs
Courses taken on SMU Abroad Semester programs may not be taken for "No Credit" or as "Pass/Fail." The only exception to this policy is for courses designated by SMU's academic departments with No Credit or Pass/Fail as their only grading basis option.

Courses taken on SMU Abroad Summer and J Term programs may not be petitioned for "No Credit", but may be petitioned as "Pass/Fail." Students can only take one course "Pass/Fail" per term. Students must petition approval for the "Pass/Fail" option from the Program Director and faculty member teaching the course prior to the payment deadline for the program.

Undergraduate Pass/Fail Option Declaration forms are available on the SMU Registrar website.

Last modified 03/18/2014