Southern Methodist University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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School of Engineering
Dallas, Texas

Distance Learning Program

The School of Engineering's distance learning program serves more than 600 graduate students. Master of Science degree programs are offered nationally via DVD. No campus attendance is required to complete the degree programs. Twenty M.S. degrees can be earned via DVD.

Delivery Media

Distance learning students are enrolled in classes that are given on the SMU campus. The lectures are recorded on DVD and sent once a week to the distance learning student. Distance learning students interact with their professors via phone, fax, e-mail, or the Internet. Many professors make course materials available to the student via the School of Engineering's Web site.

Programs of Study

Engineering schools have an obligation to be responsive to challenges and opportunities in a technological society. As a private university, SMU can respond quickly to engineering needs with high-quality academic programs.

The School of Engineering offers the following Master of Science degree programs via distance learning: civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering management, environmental engineering, environmental science, environmental science (major in environmental systems management), environmental science (major in hazardous and waste materials management), facilities management, information engineering and management, manufacturing systems management, mechanical engineering, operations research, packaging of electronic and optical devices, security engineering, software engineering, systems engineering, and telecommunications.

The Master of Science degree requires 30–36 (depending on the program) semester credit hours for completion, with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Distance learning students may meet the credit requirement entirely by course work or have the option of preparing a thesis for 6 semester hours of credit.

Special Programs

The School of Engineering offers a certificate program in telecommunications. This program is designed for students who have extensive experience but do not hold a bachelor's degree or who do not wish to pursue a master's degree. Admission to the telecommunications certificate program requires 60 semester credit hours of college study with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, three years of related work experience, and three letters of recommendation. Certificate students must complete six courses with a minimum grade of 70 percent in each course. All courses are available to the distance learning student via DVD.

Founded in 1911, SMU is a private, comprehensive university. SMU comprises six degree-granting schools: the School of Engineering, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Meadows School of the Arts, the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, the Dedman School of Law, and Perkins School of Theology. Southern Methodist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more than thirty years, the School of Engineering has been a national pioneer in offering distance education courses for graduate study. In 1964, the School of Engineering established one of the first two regional closed-circuit TV distance learning networks in the nation. In 1978, it instituted its own for-credit videotape program for students living outside the Dallas–Fort Worth area. Today, the program is delivered via DVD and students are enrolled nationally from coast to coast.

Credit Options

Generally, up to 6 semester hours of graduate courses may be transferred from an institution approved by the School of Engineering's Graduate Division, provided that such course work was completed in the five years prior to matriculation, that the transferred courses carried graduate credit, that those courses were not used to meet the requirements of an undergraduate degree, and that grades of B–or higher were received in the courses to be transferred.


Of the 485 full-time faculty members, 88 percent hold the doctorate or terminal professional degree in their fields. In addition, in the professional degree programs, the School of Engineering utilizes outstanding adjunct faculty members to bring into the classroom valuable experience from industry and government.


Admission to a Master of Science degree program requires the bachelor's degree appropriate to the program to which the student is applying, as well as a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in previous undergraduate and graduate study. Scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for the M.S. programs in civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, environmental science, mechanical engineering, and security engineering.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for distance learning students is $882 per credit hour or $2646 for a 3-credit-hour course.

Financial Aid

Financial aid opportunities are available to distance learning students, including Federal Stafford Student Loans. SMU's distance learning programs are approved for Veterans Administration educational benefits.


J. Kim McNutt
Director, Distance Education
School of Engineering
Southern Methodist University
P.O. Box 750335
Dallas, Texas 75275-0335
Phone: 214-768-1929
800-601-4040 (toll-free)
Fax: 214-768-3778
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


Distance learning students must complete an application for admission to the Graduate Division of the School of Engineering and submit transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work. Application deadline dates are as follows: for the fall semester, July 1; for the spring semester, November 15; and for the summer semester, April 15.

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Southern Methodist University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Southern Methodist University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth