New SMU May Term to launch in 2013

SMU students at the Bishop Boulevard gateway marker

SMU’s Office of the Provost has approved a relaunch of the University’s May interterm program on the main campus this spring. The Office of Summer Studies will accept course proposals for the 2013 May Term on the Dallas Campus through Friday, Feb. 15.

All proposals must demonstrate how the courses will be adapted to 11 class days of 4 hours each. Courses offered at the SMU-in-Taos campus may not be offered on the Dallas campus during May Term. Before a proposal is submitted, the instructor must receive approval from his or her department chair and dean.

Students must meet with their academic adviser before enrolling for any May Term on the Dallas Campus course. Enrollment forms will be available at in early February. The deadline to enroll for 2013 May Term on the Dallas Campus is noon Wednesday, May 1.

The University’s previous May interterm on the Dallas campus ended in 1990 due to declining revenue, but the time is ripe to reboot the program, says Kathy Rowe, director of Summer Studies.

“The campus hasn’t changed, but our students have,” Rowe says. “They are trying to make room for Engaged Learning projects, for study abroad, for internships and other endeavors that enhance their college experience. More and more, they need the ability to take required courses at different times of the year. The growing success of the J Term program is one indicator of that.”

The new May Term on the Dallas Campus will offer the same discounted tuition as all other non-Fall and Spring terms, Rowe confirms. With no general student fees attached, these classes cost about 33 percent less than a regular-term course. For the 2013 pilot year, Rowe hopes to schedule 10 courses that will accommodate 15-20 students in each.

The interterm’s May 31 end date is an advantage for students who live off campus, Rowe says; many upper-class students have apartment leases that last through the end of the month. She is also working with Senior Executive Director of Residence Life and Student Housing Steve Logan about the possibility of extending on-campus housing for students who enroll in May Term on the Dallas Campus. 

Rowe also has plans to recruit new kinds of students to the program. Possibilities include certificate programs in topics such as human rights that can be completed in consecutive May Terms over a student’s undergraduate career or in one summer. Such programs could be very attractive to visiting students who live in Dallas but attend other colleges and universities, Rowe says.

“One concern about launching a new program like this is that there are a certain number of SMU students each year who are trying to finish on time or get a second major or minor, and we’re just moving them around,” she says. “With May Term on the Dallas Campus, we’re looking to draw in students beyond that relatively stable market.”

For more information on the course proposal process, contact Kathy Rowe, Director of Summer Studies, 214-768-2736.

> Download an SMU May Term on the Dallas Campus course proposal form (PDF format)