SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies

The SMU GLS Program is a customizable unconventional graduate program that focuses on your personal and professional growth.

The Department of Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies at SMU
Doctor of Liberal Studies
Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution
Master of Liberal Studies
Graduate Certificates

Operating as usual


Mark your calendars! Register for the Texas Graduate Liberal Studies Symposium by June 15. Hosted by the Graduate Liberal Studies Programs of SMU and Rice University, this event is a fantastic opportunity for students and alumni to share their research and creative works, explore deep questions across various disciplines, and network with peers. Don’t miss out on this chance to connect and collaborate!


There’s still time to enroll in Family Conflict: The 21st Century with Dr. Angela Mitakidis! Learn to dissect and analyze conflicts, enhance family resilience, and apply successful strategies for emotional management. Featuring lectures, videos, exercises, role plays, and guest speakers, this elective course equips you with essential intervention skills and conflict resolution techniques. Enroll today!

Photos from SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies's post 05/29/2024

Thank you to all of our DLS Students who presented their research at ! Mary Margaret, Greg Crawford, Rheagan Humphrey, Diem Dao, and Maria Castenada - We are proud of you for representing SMU and SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development in Tokyo!


Attention DLS and MLS Students! There is one week left to submit your proposal to the 2024 AGLSP Virtual Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Putting the ‘I’ in AI in the Age of Digital Cultures”. Don’t miss the chance to showcase your work at the conference this fall – apply online today!

Photos from SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies's post 05/24/2024

Congratulations to Dr. Kate Montgomery and the DLS students and alumni joining her at the 15th Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities! Dr. Montgomery and her students will be presenting their research at the conference this weekend, with topics including ‘Human Condition Matters: Applying Humanities-Based Scholarship Across Cultures and Sectors for Societal Impact’. Thank you for representing SMU and SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development at !


Congratulations to Dr. John Potter on his promotion to Full Clinical Professor! Dr. Potter has been an incredible asset to students in our Dispute Resolution classes, as he has mediated thousands of disputes and has over 60 peer-reviewed publications in his name. Earlier this year, he was recognized as a Faculty Affiliate by the Center for Teaching Excellence at SMU, as he lent his expertise to other faculty members across the SMU campus. Congrats again and thank you for all you do Dr. Potter!
SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Photos from SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development's post 05/14/2024

Congratulations, we are proud of you!


We are excited to congratulate Dr. Ashley Mag Gabbert on the formal appointment as Poet Laureate for the City of Dallas by Mayor, Eric Johnson.

“SMU is proud to have Dr. Gabbert on our faculty and delighted that she will be able to share her considerable talents with the City of Dallas,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In an age where social media tends to drive us to instant reactions, poetry gives us a reason to slow down and think. It’s a great gift that she shares with us.”

Dr. Stephanie Knight, Dean of SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development, says “Dr. Gabbert’s students know her as an outstanding professor and now they have further confirmation they are being taught by the best ̶ a poet laureate.”

Click here to read more:

City of Dallas - City Hall

Photos from SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies's post 03/28/2024

We wish to thank our alumni ambassadors for hosting an HCIS celebration event for students, faculty, staff, friends, and family. Distinguished alumni shared TEDTalk-style presentations relating to their human-centered research and how they are applying it since graduating. Presenters included Drew Dickens DLS ’23, Kevin Dilliard DLS ’22, Malcolm McGuire MADR ‘14, Ann Marie Dell DLS ’23, and Mary Margaret Carrillo DLS ’23 and MLS ‘17. The event also included complimentary HCIS swag and informative graduate program updates. We expect this to be the beginning of wonderful programming the HCIS alumni will be sharing for years to come!

Photos from SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies's post 03/27/2024

Congratulations to Dr. Mag Gabbert, who recently took part in SMU's inaugural Symposium on Poetic Form. This two-day event featured A-List poetry scholars, critics, and poets such as Stephanie Burt and Pulitzer Prize winner, Jericho Brown. Attendees came from all around the country for two full days of readings, roundtable discussions, academic presentations, and an off-campus poetry reading including performances by Chen Chen, Tarfia Faizullah, Stephanie Burt, Evie Shockley, Katie Condon, and Dr. Gabbert, sponsored by The Southwest Review.

Thank you to all the DLS and MLS students that attended!

Photos from SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies's post 03/08/2024

Thanks to Dr. Gary Clayton for organizing this special lecture event with Colin Rule, CEO of and Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at UMass-Amherst. What a great audience of SMU alumni from every decade since 1998, current students, and faculty.

Photos from SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies's post 02/19/2024

Very special day celebrating the life of Dr. Njoki McElroy who taught in the SMU Master of Liberal Studies program for over 30 years. MLS alumni delivered a staged reading of the “Ninth Day of May" written by Dr. McElroy and her daughter, Marian.

Photos from SMU Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies's post 02/16/2024

Dr. Mag Gabbert attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference (AWP) last weekend in Kansas City, Missouri. The "S*x Depression Animals" author also had a book signing and sat on the “Sight Singing: Poetry and the Visual” panel.


Doctor of Liberal Studies student and SMU Meadows faculty member, Jenny Davis, invites the community to join her for a conversation with Beyonce's stylist, KJ Moody, tomorrow, Feb. 6th, 5:30pm in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. They will discuss his career and then she’ll open the floor for questions. We hope you’ll join!

Join Us For Open House 11/06/2023

Join us for a Graduate Liberal Studies & Dispute Resolution open house event.
November 11th from 2:00p.m. – 4:00p.m.
SMU Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall
RSVP for Details:

Join Us For Open House Graduate Liberal Studies and Dispute Resolution


Happy SMU Giving Day!

We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating SMU’s annual giving day in which we are all encouraged to take part in giving back to the university – all donations will make a difference!

There are two Simmons School of Education funds in particular, Simmons Scholars Fund and SMU Fund for Simmons, in which your donation would be applied towards the GLS program. And, some additional funds that celebrate our collaborations around campus such as with the Dr. Dennis M. Simon Civil Rights Pilgrimage, SMU Human Rights Program, Center for Presidential History, and Friends of the SMU Libraries Fund. We invite you to choose one area or spread the love across several projects!

Please use this link for direct access to our project list, SMU Giving Day. Also, please share the link and help us spread the word!

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