Southern Methodist University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Southern Methodist University
"SMU strives to be a comprehensive university dedicated to preparing students to become active...

Southern Methodist University

Dallas, Texas

SMU provides a great education for professionals interested in more than just their professions. It combines an expansive curriculum with core, general education requirements to ensure that students can immerse themselves in their particular interests while still benefiting from exposure to different academic disciplines. Over the last decade, SMU has reaped the benefits of explosive growth while maintaining its sense of community. SMU is large enough to offer almost unlimited opportunities and small enough for students to truly take advantage of them.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
6,411 undergraduate students
96% of undergrad students are full time
50% male — 50% female
56% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
787 full-time faculty
376 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

38% of students live on campus.

School Location

University Park – five miles north of downtown Dallas.

Retention Fall 2015

90% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

79% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 8%
Hispanic/Latino 11%
Black or African American 5%
White 65%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 7%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


NCAA Division I, Conference USA. 16 varsity sports (6 men’s: basketball, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis; 10 women’s: basketball, cross-country, equestrian, golf, rowing, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball), 17 club sports and 21 intramurals.

Other Information

Southern Methodist University is a four-year private university founded in 1911.

Academic Programs

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Economics, Economics with Finance Applications Specialization, Economics with Systems Analysis Specialization, English, English with Creative Writing Specialization, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Geology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies (African/African-American, Mexican-American), Geology, Geophysics, History, Human Rights, Individualized Studies in the Liberal Arts, International Studies, Latin American and Iberian Studies, Markets and Culture, Mathematics, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Sociology, Statistical Science, World Languages and Literatures (French, German, Italian Area Studies, Spanish).

Cox School of Business
Accounting, Finance with Alternative Asset Management Specialization, Financial Consulting, General Business, Management, Marketing, Real Estate Finance, Risk Management and Insurance

Lyle School of Engineering
Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Engineering with Networking, Hardware or Software Engineering Specializations, Computer Science, Computer Science with Game Development, Bioinformatics, Security or Research Specializations, Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering with Biomedical, Communications and Signal Processing, Computer, Microelectronics and Photonics or Telecommunications Specializations, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science with Engineering Emphasis, Management Science, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering with Engineering Management and Entrepreneurship or Manufacturing Specializations

Meadows School of the Arts
Advertising (General, Creative, Media), Art, Art History, Cinema-Television, Communication Studies, Dance, Journalism, Music, Music Composition, Music Education with Texas Teacher Certification, Music Performance, Music Therapy, Theatre (Acting, Theatre Studies, Design and Technology)

Simmons School of Education and Human Development
Applied Physiology and Sport Management

Specialized Studies
Pre-Law, Pre-Med, Education (Teacher Certification), Physical Therapy, Biomedical Research

More Distinctions

  • Cox School of Business is recognized as a leader by BusinessWeekThe EconomistFinancial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal

  • SMU is ranked in the top one-third of national universities by U.S. News and World Report

  • In 2009, Anthropology Chair David Meltzer was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences

  • Dean Geoffrey Orsak, Lyle School of Engineering, was named the 2006 Educator of the Year in Engineering and Science

An education that goes as far as you take it

SMU students have the opportunity to explore a wide assortment of subjects in an innovative, interdisciplinary way. Described as “open-minded, outgoing and friendly,” SMU students are known to be forward-looking, yet they tend to appreciate traditional values and lifestyles…


According to a survey by Inc. Magazine, Dallas is the hub of the country’s fastest-growing private companies. This gives SMU students tremendous opportunities for internships. For example, 80% of Lyle School of Engineering graduates complete an internship during their undergraduate careers. Students in Cox School of Business are offered internship opportunities both locally and nationally with top-ranking companies.


The University provides several opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research. The Richter Fellowship awards grant money to support the costs SMU students incur while researching international or multicultural topics, often in a foreign country. Students studying biomedicine can take advantage of summer research opportunities through the Biomedical Researchers in Training Experience Scholars Program. SMU psychology majors start researching and conducting experiments as early as their sophomore year.


SMU offers 100 majors and 75 minors as well as 148 study abroad programs in 48 countries. SMU’s campus in northern New Mexico, also known as SMU-in-Taos, offers summer and fall credit and noncredit courses in disciplines such as anthropology, geology, biology, art history, music, music history, photography, painting, sculpture, literature, and history. Additionally, the program offers a variety of wellness activities, including hiking, biking, river rafting, rock climbing, horseback riding, and fly-fishing.

SMU offers students a galaxy of outstanding academic opportunities revolving around a core curriculum that equips students to succeed in more than just their chosen professions…

An academic program that’s innovative and comprehensive

“One-on-one interaction is the heart of an SMU education,” says one faculty member. Every first-year student takes a rhetoric class with 18 or fewer students to ensure that the classroom experience is mutually beneficial for both the students and the professor. The SMU faculty is known for their accessibility to students outside scheduled office hours. Some professors even offer their home or cell phone numbers for students who need assistance after hours.


The Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC) offers an array of programs to help students stay on track, including seminars for time and stress management, writing tutorials from full-time faculty, and a course titled ORACLE (Optimum Reading, Attention, Comprehension and Learning Efficiency). These services are offered to students Sunday through Friday, free of charge.

With so much going on, finding something to do on the SMU campus is as simple as getting out of bed in the morning…


The SMU campus features beautiful classic Georgian architecture, perfectly groomed landscape and smiling students, but the University is definitely a 21st-century college. Students can find their home in one of several living arrangements, including first-year halls, four-year halls, honors halls, and a community for the fine arts.


Honors students have the opportunity to live in special communities. The Hilltop Scholars Program is a live-and-learn community for first-year students. These students live together in Perkins Hall and take up to three classes together. The University Honors Program also offers honors students the option to live in Virginia-Snider, a hall dedicated to the honors community. Students interested in community service can live in the Service House, paying for room and board through volunteer work.


SMU is home to about 200 student organizations in which students can get involved in community service, student government, professional associations, and more. SMU also hosts an active intramural athletics program. About 36% of SMU students are involved in the fraternity and sorority system. In addition, students can stay active at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, which includes a 3,000-square-foot cardio and weight room, an indoor soccer field, racquetball courts, two sand volleyball courts and a three-story rock-climbing wall. Varsity athletic events also help bring the students together—SMU is a Division I school and a member of Conference USA. In addition to student clubs and intramurals, the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series hosts world famous guests such as Colin Powell, Anderson Cooper, Tony Blair and Katie Couric.


In addition to all the exciting activities on campus, there’s also a lot to do in both the neighborhood across the street and within the city (accessible by a nearby light-rail system!). There are numerous shops and restaurants within walking distance of campus. Some of the best shopping, art and cultural activities in the world can be found in Dallas. SMU’s Meadows Museum houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The Dallas area is also home to the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, and FC Dallas.

SMU’s record of highly successful graduates spans a wide range of disciplines…


Whether students are planning to attend graduate school or join the workforce, the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center is prepared to help. The center provides comprehensive testing services, academic guidance, seminars on résumé building, and mock interviews. The career center also has a job and internship placement program and is proud to say that there are more internships available to SMU students than there are students to fill them.


SMU has approximately 100,000 alumni worldwide who continue to show their appreciation for the education they received at SMU. They stay connected to the University through donations, guest lectures, and mentoring opportunities.


Nearly 40,000 SMU alumni live and work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dallas is home to more than 10,000 businesses and is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best locations for its thriving environment for commerce. Because of SMU’s close ties with the community, area companies and other organizations, students can gain valuable work experience through internships and part-time jobs. In addition, many top executives serve as student mentors and visit campus for lively exchanges of information and ideas.


Admissions Fall 2015

12,992 Total Applicants 
6,360 Total Admissions 
1,374 Total Freshman Enrollment

48.95% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 600 690
SAT Math 620 720
SAT Writing 600 690
ACT Composite 28 32
ACT Math 27 31
ACT English 28 33
ACT Writing 8 9




Tuition $42,770
Fees $5,420
Total $48,190
Room and Board (on campus) $15,575
Room Only $10,045
Board Only $5,530
Estimated Total On Campus $63,765


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

73% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
25% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$27,113 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$10,785 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates

Getting Involved: My Transition Experience

After braving the chaos of college residence hall move-in, I bid farewell to my family and it was time to start my college career, meeting lifelong friends, learning my purpose, and preparing for the world...