Southern Methodist University

2014 Quick Stats
PO Box 750181

Dallas, TX 75275-0181

Phone: (214) 768-2000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Mar. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#60 Overall Score: 59 out of 100. National Universities

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Southern Methodist University is a private institution that was founded in 1911. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,249, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 231 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Southern Methodist University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 60. Its tuition and fees are $43,800 (2013-14).

Despite its name, this private university in Dallas is a secular institution when it comes to classes. The school was founded by what became the United Methodist Church in 1911, but it is now home to students of many religious affiliations. Outdoor activities are plentiful in Dallas, a city that boasts an average of 232 days of sunshine a year. Students can check out the Dallas International Film Festival, which draws 40,000 viewers annually, or explore the more than 400 parks in the city. Students are required to live on campus for their first two years at SMU. The campus is also home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which comprises a Bush administration museum, library and public policy institute, and frequently hosts speakers. The SMU Mustangs sports teams play in the Division I American Athletic Conference, supported by mascot Peruna, a black stallion Shetland pony. About 2,000 students are involved in SMU Greek life, and all students can participate in annual events such as the Festival of Lights, a candlelit assembly on the school’s Main Quad each December, and the Mane Event, a celebration of spring complete with bands and food.

SMU has well-regarded graduate offerings at the Cox School of Business and its law school. Undergraduates can get a unique education through the SMU-in-Taos program, which sends students to the school’s campus in the mountains of New Mexico. In historic Fort Burgwin, students gain hands-on learning in courses such as anthropology, biology and astronomy. Notable SMU alumni include former first lady Laura Bush and the late television producer Aaron Spelling.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

SMU cultivates well-rounded leaders with a strong liberal arts foundation. The University offers nationally competitive undergraduate, graduate and professional programs through seven degree-granting schools in humanities and sciences; business; engineering; performing, visual and communication arts; education and human development; law; and theology. Distinctive multidisciplinary undergraduate programs include international studies, environmental science and human rights. Also offered are an honors program with individualized studies, joint programs with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, study abroad through 150 programs in 50 countries, funded student research and a living/learning program in urban studies. SMU is one of the few universities in the U.S. to have a voting student member on its Board of Trustees. SMU-in-Taos (New Mexico) offers credit courses and includes excavation of a 13th-century Indian pueblo. One of the top collegiate lecture programs in the nation brings national and international leaders to campus. Student leadership opportunities include internships, community service and involvement in 180 student organizations. SMU's campus is five miles from downtown Dallas, a center of commerce and culture offering opportunities for careers locally and throughout the world. SMU's Meadows Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The George W. Bush Presidential Center, which opened on the SMU campus in spring 2013, consists of a library, museum and independent institute that conducts research and programs on national and international issues.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1911
Religious affiliation United Methodist
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment $1,162,415,000


When applying to Southern Methodist University, it's important to note the application deadline is March 15, and the early action deadline and the early decision deadline are November 1 and November 1, respectively. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due March 15. The application fee at Southern Methodist University is $60. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 53.8 percent and an early acceptance rate of 53.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 53.8%
Application deadline March 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by March 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Southern Methodist University is 11:1, and the school has 60.2 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Southern Methodist University include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Social Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Psychology; and Visual and Performing Arts. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 89.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 11:1
4-year graduation rate 68%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 27%
Social Sciences 14%
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 8%
Psychology 7%
Visual and Performing Arts 6%

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Student Life

Southern Methodist University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,249, with a gender distribution of 49.1 percent male students and 50.9 percent female students. At this school, 32 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 68 percent of students live off campus. Southern Methodist University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 10,893
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Southern Methodist University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Southern Methodist University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Southern Methodist University.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Southern Methodist University, 40.1 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $18,730.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $43,800 (2013-14)
Room and board $13,955 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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