Graduate students laughing and working together at laptops at a table

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants are not required to have a specific background in network engineering or computer science, but it is preferred. Students admitted without a background in either field may be required to take articulation coursework and/or satisfy the competency requirements.

Our online programs are available to students around the country, and you are not expected to be in Dallas in order to enroll or succeed in the online programs. However, if you are in the DFW area there are on-campus benefits and resources available to you.

Yes, our courses are built with the working professional in mind. You will be able to keep your existing job as our programs are flexible and designed to be paced out according to your schedule.

Both online and on-campus students complete the same courses and participate in the same amount of hands-on experience during their studies. The only difference between the two is the method of delivery.

Online courses are delivered through synchronous lectures that mimic the traditional on-campus lecture setting. In online learning approximately half of this class material is available through recorded videos and downloadable content. This enables you to be prepared when you come to class via your zoom sessions. These sessions are approximately 90 minutes per week and are engaging and collaborative since students spend time reviewing the content before class. Additionally, students have direct access to faculty during these weekly “sync sessions” to ask any additional questions about their coursework and gain face-to-face instruction. In comparison, on-campus instructional time is held in-person for about 3 hours per week, to make time for collaborative student discussion and dissemination course materials by the professor. Similar to online courses, professors are readily available to assist students with questions face-to-face.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in internships if they choose to do so, but there are no required in-person activities.

Live class sessions will be done through Zoom Video Communication, while homework and assignments will be completed through Canvas.

We recommend committing at least 6 to 8 hours in addition to time spent in class each a week per course.

You will need to attend one live 90-minute session per week.

90 minutes in length.

Our online courses are taught by a number of full-time and adjunct faculty members who also teach in our on-campus programs.

Yes, you can apply to our online programs from anywhere in the world!

Once admitted, students are encouraged to select one modality for the duration of the program. However, pending the availability of seats in residential classes, online students have the option to enroll in on-campus courses. Fees may apply to enroll in residential classes as an online student.

Yes, but only with approval and as space allows.

We encourage online students to engage with one another, and faculty members are happy to connect students with potential networking opportunities and employers.

Online students are eligible for the same number of internships as on-ground students and have access to the numerous guest lectures SMU Lyle hosts.

Yes, we provide our online students with access to most of our campus resources. Please chat with an Enrollment Adviser to gain more information about what resources are available.

Yes, you can! As soon as you have completed the recommended supplementary work to improve your application, whether that be test scores, classes, certificates, etc., we encourage prospective students to apply again.

Current and former service members, as well as military dependents, may be eligible to use VA education benefits to pay program costs. For more information, please visit our Veterans page or contact Robert Hurst, SMU veterans assistance coordinator, at 214-768-1104.

We encourage online students to reach out to our Enrollment and Financial Aid representatives to help in the process of applying for and securing financial aid. Please email lyleonline@smu.edu, call (469) 613-0778, or schedule a meeting with us anytime.

Each program comprises 10 classes and is usually completed in around two years.