Proficiencies and Experiences

As part of the Common Curriculum at SMU, Proficiencies and Experiences give students the skills they need to succeed in the workplace with diverse colleagues and audiences. Many opportunities for students to fulfill Proficiency and Experience requirements exist within the Division of Student Affairs!


Select the option below that best fits your needs.

Students seeking to fulfill Proficiency and Experience requirements Student Affairs staff interested in proposing activities 


All SMU students on the Common Curriculum must complete each one of the graduation requirements (aka Proficiencies and Experiences) in addition to the General Education requirements (Foundations and Breadth requirements). Unlike Foundations and Breadth requirements, however, students have the option of using either coursework or activities to fulfill Proficiencies and Experiences requirements.

There are two ways to fulfill Proficiency and Experience requirements through your involvement in Student Affairs activities: 

  1. You may propose your own, individualized plan to complete any type of Proficiency and Experience. To learn more about the process to propose, complete and petition to have your Student Affairs-related Individual Activity fulfill any of the seven Proficiency and Experience requirements, visit the Office of General Education Curriculum’s Proficiencies and Experiences webpage.

  2. You may participate in a pre-approved club or organization. As of 2023-2024, the Division of Student Affairs offers 8 pre-approved activities that fulfill various Proficiency and Experience requirements. Current pre-approved activities are listed below. The Division seeks more pre-approvals on a regular basis, so check this list often for updates!

Whether you choose to fulfill Proficiency and Experience requirements by proposing your own or participating in a pre-approved Student Affairs activity, you will need to follow all requirements set forth by the Office of General Education Curriculum’s Proficiencies and Experiences.

Student Affairs Staff

Obtaining Proficiency and Experience pre-approval for your Student Affairs programming is an excellent way to help students meet graduation requirements and connecting their learning in and out of the classroom. Plus, it’s a great way to build buzz for your programs, resources, and services!

In general, the process to obtain pre-approval is as follows: 

The program sponsor (i.e., the staff member proposing an activity for fulfillment of a Proficiency and Experience requirement) completes training to overview the pre-approval application process.

A virtual training and resources can be found in the Staff Resources and Support webpage under Staff Resources/Procedures and Tools. In-person informational sessions and training will also be offered throughout 2023-2024—check Division events on SMU360 and see the weekly Snapshot, distributed by Student Affairs Administration every Monday to all Division staff, to learn about specific events.


The program sponsor reviews: 

Through this review, sponsors align activities with best-fitting Proficiency and Experiences and determine which proposal form(s)* to complete.

*Note: In most cases, one activity is proposed to fulfill only one Proficiency and Experience requirement. In some cases, however, a sponsor may choose to apply for more than one requirement. In those cases, multiple proposal forms (one for each Proficiency and Experience requirement) may be included with one application.


The program sponsor overviews, drafts and revises the appropriate proposal form(s).

Within the Division of Student Affairs, support for drafting and reviewing Proficiency and Experience proposals is provided by the Director for Student Affairs Assessment and Analytics (, Dr. Kim Nelson Pryor. 

In addition to providing proposal forms and experience rubrics for sponsors to use to propose their activities for pre-approval and then track student involvement to fulfill requirements, staff in SMU’s Office of General Education ( can also provide assistance. 


One finalized, the program sponsor submits their proposal form(s) online for consideration by the Council on General Education (CoGE)

Convening approximately 10 times per year, the CoGE considers Proficiency & Experience applications four times—twice in the fall and twice in the spring. During 2023-2024, application deadlines and review sessions occur on the following dates:

  • Review Session #1: Friday, September 29 (Proposals Due: Monday, September 18)
  • Review Session #2: Friday, November 10 (Proposals Due: Monday, October 30)
  • Review Session #3: TBD in Spring 2024
  • Review Session #4: TBD in Spring 2024
If an activity is not approved, the program sponsor receives constructive feedback from the CoGE and can resubmit an application for pre-approval at a later date.

If an activity is approved, the sponsor meets with the Office of General Education to develop a Memorandum of Understanding as to how to the activity will operate and track student involvement to fulfill requirements. 

After this initial set-up, pre-approved activity sponsors/department representatives meet with staff from the Office of General Education at least once per year to touch base on the program fidelity to rubrics and to review data generated from the activity (e.g., survey responses, reflections, training materials, etc.). During some years, more meetings occur to aid in assessment of the Proficiencies and Experiences requirement program. 

Have questions about fulfilling Proficiency and Experience requirements in the Division of Student Affairs? 

Email the Director for Student Affairs Assessment and Analytics, Dr. Kim Nelson Pryor at