How can I request to learn remotely in the fall?

Undergraduate students whose circumstances prevent them from attending courses in-person can file an “Exclusively Remote Learning” request until Friday, July 31. These students will engage in their co-curricular activities remotely. More information about the request process—including the online form and requirements—can be found on the SAES website

Graduate students wishing to learn remotely in the fall should reach out to their program directors for information.

Will I be required to wear a face covering?

Yes. SMU is now requiring that everyone on the SMU campus wear a face covering over the mouth and nose in all public indoor spaces at least through Aug. 4. This requirement—in accordance with the latest Dallas County ordinance—includes classrooms; building entrances and exits; lobbies and lounges; as well as in hallways, stairwells, restrooms and elevators and also extends to SMU’s Meadows Museum – both for staff and visitors.

Students enrolled in the Summer II session will be required to wear face coverings in their classrooms. In addition, for the following fall semester faculty members are authorized to require face coverings in their classrooms. All faculty will have access to disposable face coverings to provide to students who forget to bring one to class.

Face coverings are not required outdoors, in private spaces such as inside an office or partitioned cubicle for employees, or inside an individual residence hall room for students.

How does contact tracing work in identifying people who may have been exposed?

All individuals testing positive for COVID-19 are contacted and confidentially interviewed to identify people who came into close contact with the infected individual. University employees are trained on contract tracing by Johns Hopkins University and follow county, state, and federal guidelines. Close contact is described by the Centers for Disease Control as within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without direct respiratory droplet exposure.) 

This trace assesses the class schedule, living situation, activities, work locations including offices and job sites, face-to-face meetings and any other situations that may have resulted in close contact from 2 days before the onset of symptoms or testing (if asymptomatic).

This process will evolve as we add technology to further support these efforts.

Why can’t I get more specific information about cases that might be near the area where I work or live on campus?

 Medical confidentiality must be maintained for everyone. Managers, supervisors and others who learn of positive cases must – by law – respect privacy by not commenting on any information that could identify the person with COVID-19. Refrain from social media posts about the case.

What requirements has the University set to hold an event?

Any event or other activity of University and non-University individuals and organizations scheduled in a venue. Events include but are not limited to meetings, conferences, study groups, rehearsals, practices, receptions, catered meals, screenings, ceremonies, performances, athletic games, and lectures. Events are further categorized by SMU’s Public Safety Standards.  Credit and non-credit academic classes are not “Events.”

  1. In-person meetings of SMU students, staff, faculty can occur as long as the most current county and state guidelines can be followed within the meeting space. There must be a way for attendees to participate remotely via Zoom, conference call, etc.
  1. No events (other than meetings as noted above) will take place on campus. Instability of sanitization supplies and the ability to adhere to cleanliness protocols is a leading factor. Exceptions to this recommendation may be requested by an Event Organizer/Sponsor.

Exceptions must be sent to the Events Group no later than 10 business days prior to the event for consideration. A recommendation to approve/disapprove will be made by the Group. If further discussion is required, the exception request will be brought forth to the EOC for determination. If PEC review is required, they will make the final determination. Find the event exception request online form here.

Is SMU changing its fall schedule?

SMU is revising our semester schedule to reduce the number of students returning to campus after holiday travel and lessen the chance of contagion.

Fall classes will start on campus Monday, August 24, as originally scheduled.

However, we will not break for the September 7 Labor Day holiday and October 12-13 Fall Break; they will be in-class instruction days.

This change allows students to complete their on-campus studies and leave campus housing prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will shift to online-only for the remaining class days after Thanksgiving, and all final exams for the fall 2020 semester will be administered online.

What will classes be like on campus this fall?

Most SMU courses will be offered in-person, on campus, but some classes will follow a hybrid model, providing a virtual, off-site component and staggered attendance schedules. They’ll be taught in-person as well as online simultaneously to accommodate international students facing travel restrictions or students with health conditions that may keep them from class. The classes will also be recorded to offer greater flexibility for online students who may live in dramatically different time zones, or so students can re-watch if it’s helpful.

For classes where students are participating online, all tests will be administered online so that every student’s progress is measured under the same circumstances.

A few courses, such as large lecture classes, may be online-only. Other small classes will be offered in-person, only, in spaces adequate to health and safety guidelines. Special accommodations will be made for students in the performing arts.

I’m a student who is struggling financially due to COVID-19-related circumstances, can I get assistance from SMU?

SMU is providing support to continuing students in need.

Students experiencing financial hardship or food insecurity may request support from the Student Emergency Fund. To initiate the application process, please complete a Caring Community Connections form for yourself and select “economic hardship” at the very bottom. An application for support from the Student Emergency Fund will then be sent to you. 

After it is submitted, your application will be reviewed and a decision made on support that can be provided in 3-5 business days. 

Does SMU plan to have football games and other athletic team events this fall?

We are planning for athletics on campus this fall. The health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans is our highest priority. Athletics is following the guidance from SMU officials, the NCAA, the American Athletic Conference, state and local public health departments and medical experts to establish appropriate safety measures for practice and competition sites.

How do I know if my class is being offered remotely or in-person in July?

All students enrolled in courses to be delivered in a hybrid in-person/remote format will be notified by email, so please keep an eye out for a message from your professor. 

You may also check your course schedule in my.SMU.  Each course will follow one of the two meeting plans:
1) Courses that have “Remote course” listed as the room location will only be offered remotely.  
2) Courses that still have a classroom building and room number listed will offer the flexibility to be taken in-person or remotely.  If your course falls into this category, more information will be sent by email from your professor & the University.

Is SMU planning to open this fall?

Yes, SMU intends to safely open our University for on-campus teaching, learning and student living for the fall semester. We will work within the boundaries of governmental guidelines and every phase of our return to campus will launch with the health and safety of our campus population in mind, using data and verifiable research to make good decisions. We are examining how we will safely gather and learn together in the age of social distancing. The President’s Task Force for a Healthy Opening Fall 2020 is mapping out plans for managing the density of our campus population, from the classrooms to the residence halls. The start of this new academic year will be different in some ways, but what makes us SMU will stay the same. 

What is SMU doing to make sure my work and education environment is safe?

In addition to health and safety measures by employees of social distancing, face coverings and daily self-screenings, SMU put in place enhanced cleaning protocols designed to keep University students, faculty and staff healthy while on campus. Enhancements include a 94% increase in hand sanitizer availability, a 10% surge in custodial staff hiring, and an increased emphasis on disinfecting high-touch areas like light switches and door knobs. Additional measures, including the use of hospital-grade disinfectants, are outlined in the custodial response guide.

What is the deadline to sign up for July term classes?

Students signing up for Summer Session at the SMU Dallas Campus may continue enrolling in July sessions right up to the start of class meetings. July 22-day courses (Summer 2) and 11-day courses (July A) begin on July 6.  

The second 11-day session (July B), begins July 21.  Here are the Intersessions Dates & Deadlines

The University is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment for a small community of students coming on campus in July. To prepare for classes, employees are returning to work on campus by June 1 and will have to receive training on safety and health practices that includes daily health self-assessments, face coverings, enhanced cleaning protocols, social distancing guidelines in work spaces, restrooms and elevators, as well as contact tracing. All these safety procedures will be in place for students as well.

Can visitors come to campus?

Visitors are currently welcome to campus on a limited basis. Exterior building doors will remain locked, requiring those hosting visitors to make special arrangements to provide them with access.

Facilities that welcome visitors as a general course of business will need to create plans to open that to meet any federal, state, or local requirements specific to their function and should plan to be open to visitors by July 6, 2020.  Examples of these campus facilities are the libraries, the Meadows Museum and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

How are graduate classes being handled?

Each school will responsible for the rollout of online instruction to their graduate students. If you are ever in doubt please reach out to your faculty directly or program director. Here are the website instances we have so far:

For Cox graduate students, click here.

For Perkins graduate students, click here.

For Dedman graduate students, please consult with the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

I was possibly exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19). What do I do?

If you are a student or are concerned about a student, please contact a healthcare provider or the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center to determine what steps to take to protect your health. They will make recommendations whether you should self-quarantine or self-isolate. Please also submit a CCC form so SMU can reach out and offer resources and support. 

If you are a staff or faculty member, please contact your health care provider, and whether working from campus or from home, please report the information to the University through this form.  

Your information will be kept confidential and your privacy will be respected. 

What if I test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

SMU will follow the guidance of local and national health organizations in deciding the next steps for someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

How do I sign up to receive SMU alerts by text?

Parents may register for SMU Alert by texting SMUParent to 888777. Visitors may register for SMU Alert by texting SMUVisitor to 888777. Check out the Office of Risk Management site for more information.

SMU students, faculty, and staff should already be signed up, but may login to my.smu.edu to add/update their SMU Alert contact information.