Southwestern University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Southwestern University
Changing lives since 18840, Southwestern University is a private, selective national liberal arts and...

Southwestern University

Georgetown, Texas

Changing lives since 18840, Southwestern University is a private, selective national liberal arts and sciences institution, committed to maintaining a dynamic residential community where students are challenged, supported, and engaged. Southwestern fosters a community whose values and actions encourage meaningful contributions to the wellbeing of humanity.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,515 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
14% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
113 full-time faculty
49 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

More than 75% of students live on campus.

School Location

Southwestern’s location in the heart of Central Texas, just 30 miles north of Austin, allows students to enjoy the warm, small-town feel of historic Georgetown as well as the close proximity of Austin with its vibrant, innovative, and creative culture.

Retention Fall 2015

87% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

75% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 22%
Black or African American 5%
White 62%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 4%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%


Member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, NCAA Division III

Men and Women: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track & field
Men: baseball, football, and lacrosse
Women: softball and volleyball

22 intramural sports, and four club sports: SU Cheerleaders, SU Dancers, Handball, and Fencing.
More than 80 percent of students participate annually in some form of organized physical activity.

Academic Programs

Accounting, Animal Behavior, Anthropology, Art, Art History, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Classics, Communication Studies, Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Education, English, Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, French, German, Greek, History, Independent Major, International Studies, Kinesiology, Latin, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physical Science, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Spanish and Theatre.

Certification Programs: Education
Pre-professional Advising: pre-med, pre-dental, pre-vet, pre-law, pre-engineering.

More Distinctions

  • Washington Monthly rates schools based on their contribution to the public good. Southwestern is one of 40 colleges included in the new edition of "Colleges That Change Lives."

  • Southwestern is included in the 2014 Guide to Military Friendly Schools®.

  • Southwestern Office of Career Services was ranked #8 in the country by the Princeton Review.

  • Forbes has recognized Southwestern as one of the top 200 collegesin the nation and 7th among Texas institutions.

  • Southwestern is included in Kiplinger’s 2014 list of the 100 top values in liberal arts colleges.

  • Southwestern is one of 44 colleges and universities in the country to be a named a Best Buy school in the 2015 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Southwestern #1 National Liberal Arts Colleges in Texas.

  • Money’s Best Colleges lists Southwestern in the top 25 percent of four-year colleges in the nation based on value.

Study Abroad

More than a third of Southwestern students study abroad at least once throughout their college career. A London experience is available each fall along with summer programs in locations such as Argentina, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Peru, and Spain. Students have access to universities around the world through the International Student Exchange Program. In addition, Southwestern also offers opportunities semester-length studies in New York and Washington, D.C., as well as both national and international internships.

Tremendous Service

At a rate that is twice the national average, Southwestern students give more than 39,000 service hours annually to more than 100 local nonprofits and agencies.

Paideia Curriculum

Paideia, Southwestern’s uniquely designed curriculum is interdisciplinary, integrative, and intentional. Courses are organized as “Paideia Clusters” in order to draw focus around thematic questions. These cluster courses help students become more aware of the ways that different disciplines consider the same questions. Interdisciplinary exploration begins in the Paideia Seminar, where students and faculty integrate various perspectives all together. Paideia moves student and faculty understanding beyond the disciplines themselves, forming connections between learning experiences as they seek creative solutions to the global challenges of today.  

Inquiry Initiative

The Southwestern Inquiry Initiative, funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is transforming science and math at Southwestern University. Faculty throughout the Natural Sciences are incorporating the process of inquiry into introductory classes and laboratories, and a new cadre of specially-trained peer mentors, the SCI Guides, help students maximize their learning and critical thinking skills. Learning through discovery continues especially for students who conduct research with faculty mentors in SCOPE, the Inquiry Initiative’s summer research program. Through intentional, evidence-based practices, Southwestern builds an ever-growing scientific community that is increasingly strong and exploratory. The Inquiry Initiative supports Southwestern’s natural sciences in generating a creative, accomplished, and diverse pool of Southwestern student scientists.

Student Organizations

Southwestern has approximately 100 student organizations that span topics across scholastic and honorary, government, Greek, special interests, and departmental fields of interest.

Guest Lectures and Symposia

Students also have the opportunity to attend several lectures and symposia throughout the year, including Brown Symposium Series; The Roy and Margaret Shilling Lecture Series; The Writer’s Voice; The Lurlyn and Durwood Fleming Scholar in Residence Program in Religion; The A. Frank Smith, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Program; The Jessie Daniel Ames Lecture; and The Willson Lectureships.

Paideia Connections: Engaging in Scholarly Conversations series is a new series on campus that features short talks by two faculty members from diverse fields about their recent scholarly work. Following their talks, members of the campus community and the general public are encouraged to engage in thought-provoking discussions and share connections they make between the presentations. “Paideia Connections” takes its name from Southwestern’s Paideia curriculum, which encourages students and faculty members to make connections between various disciplines and disparate ideas.

Graduate Success

In a recent survey, 91 percent of Southwestern graduates reported having obtained employment or having been accepted into graduate or professional school within 10 months.

Happy Alumni

Southwestern’s Office of Career Services collected several testimonials from alumni, discovering that the University’s graduates leave feeling satisfied and inspired by their college experience.

Aaron Rohre ‘03 earned a master of divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. “Southwestern almost over-prepares you for grad school,” he said. “The high requirements for writing, reading, and participation put me in a place that almost seemed a little bit unfair in a field that has a lot of second-career people who are coming back to academics.”

“In the long run I do feel like [a Southwestern education] serves us very well, and we’re able to move ahead of our peers who didn’t have the experience that we had, and who weren’t necessarily forced outside of their comfort zones, or forced to market themselves a little bit more, or to use the resources that they have available.” Whitney Griffin Randolph ‘03, Senior Vice President in the Energy Finance group at OneWest Bank in Dallas


Admissions Fall 2015

3,736 Total Applicants 
1,652 Total Admissions 
359 Total Freshman Enrollment

44.22% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 520 640
SAT Math 520 630
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 23 29
ACT Math 22 27
ACT English 23 30
ACT Writing    




Tuition $37,560
Room and Board (on campus) $11,324
Room Only $5,350
Board Only $5,974
Estimated Total On Campus $48,884


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
55% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$23,691 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$9,094 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


Southwestern believes in investing in its students.  Whether somebody is a First-Year, Transfer, or Continuing student – making the Southwestern Experience possible through a comprehensive offering of merit scholarships and need-based financial aid for great students is the goal.

Southwestern offers a variety of scholarships to first year and transfer students who demonstrate academic excellence regardless of a family’s financial circumstances.

The Brown Scholarship is Southwestern’s most prestigious and competitive award. Candidates must rank minimally in the top 5% of their high school class (or if high school does not rank, have the equivalent of a 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale). In addition, students must score at least a 1400 on the SAT (CR+M) or 31 on the ACT. A personal interview with a member of the admission staff is required to be considered. Interviews must be conducted by February 1.

The Texas Methodist Foundation, in partnership with Southwestern, administers
competitive supplemental scholarship program to benefit high-achieving African-American, Hispanic and Native American students. Scholarship amounts are added to other Merit Scholarships and start at $2,000 per year. Applicants must rank minimally in the top 10% of their high school class (or if high school does not rank, have the equivalent of a 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale). There is no testing minimum. A personal interview with a member of the admission staff is required and must be conducted by February 1.

Students are also eligible for awards in vocal/instrumental music, theatre and art.

For more details about all of Southwestern’s scholarships, grants and aid visit: