Southwestern University

2014 Quick Stats
PO Box 770

Georgetown, TX 78627-0770

Phone: (512) 863-6511
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#65 Overall Score: 62 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Southwestern University is a private institution that was founded in 1840. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,394, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 700 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Southwestern University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 65. Its tuition and fees are $35,240 (2013-14).

With the distinction of being the first institution of higher learning in the state of Texas, Southwestern University prides itself on its rich history that dates back to 1840. Located just 30 miles north of Austin and the much larger University of Texas—Austin, the United Methodist-affiliated university resides on a small portion of 700 acres in central Texas. Students admitted to the college can choose from 40 majors, 36 minors and more than 90 student organizations. Greek life is mildly popular on campus, with about one-third of the student body participating in a fraternity or sorority. First-year students are required to take a two-credit course during fall semester that enlightens them on academic resources and expectations at the university. Students are required to live on campus during their first four semesters at Southwestern but can move off campus once they have achieved junior status. However, more than 85 percent of students live on campus during their college career. Southwestern is a member of the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and its teams, known as the Pirates, compete in 16 varsity sports.

Southwestern University consists of The Brown College of Arts and Sciences and The Sarofim School of Fine Arts. More than half of the student body studies abroad or participates in an off-campus program, with academic and service opportunities in major cities like New York and London and countries like Germany and Jamaica. Civic engagement is a key feature of the university that is embraced by the student body. More than 70 percent of Southwestern students volunteer on campus or participate in service activities around the community. Those interested in music are within a short distance of Austin, the "Live Music Capital of the World." Notable alumni of the university include U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, former Major League Baseball pitcher Mike Timlin and former U.S. Sen. John Tower of Texas.

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

Changing lives since 1840, 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 is defined by its core purpose: fostering a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions toward the well-being of humanity, and shaped by its core values: cultivating academic excellence, promoting lifelong learning and a passion for intellectual and personal growth, fostering diverse perspectives, being true to oneself and others, respecting the worth and dignity of persons, and encouraging activism in the pursuit of justice and the common good.

Southwestern is comprised of the Brown College of Arts and Sciences and the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. We are distinguished by being one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa chapters in Texas (where there are more than 100 colleges and universities), and by our century old Honor Code, which commits students to academic integrity and holds them accountable to each other in their endeavors.

Central to the University's curriculum, Paideia is an intentional, interdisciplinary, and integrated academic experience that transcends conventional approaches to teaching and learning by promoting connections among academics, intercultural experiences, civic engagement, and collaborative research and creative works.

Southwestern faculty are excellent teachers, nationally known scholars and artists, and dedicated to student success. Our small classes (average of 14) and low student/faculty ratio (10/1), allow Southwestern faculty to work closely with students to ensure each gets the most out of their undergraduate experience.

A survey of 2011 graduates shows that more than 95 percent of them have found employment or have been accepted to a graduate/professional school. Typically, eighty percent of our graduates who apply to medical, dental, or veterinary school are admitted.

Southwestern students have multiple opportunities to participate in research projects with fellow students and faculty members. Southwestern commits substantial funds to support faculty-student collaborative research, including student travel to national and international conferences. Those projects commonly lead to student-faculty conference presentations and have produced many student coauthored publications.

A Southwestern education often extends beyond campus with more than half of our students studying abroad in places like Rwanda, Greece, Peru, Bulgaria, Germany, Costa Rica, and Spain. Specialized programs in cities including New York, London, and Washington, D.C., offer additional opportunities for students. In addition, while attending Southwestern 60 percent of the class of 2011 completed at least one internship and 29 percent completed two or more.

On campus and off, civic engagement is a high priority. In the most recent academic year, 76 percent of our students participated in service projects, often through Southwestern's many student organizations, collectively logging more than 28,000 hours in community volunteerism and activism.

Southwestern students are environmentally aware and active. This activism has led to many sustainable advances on campus. For example, President Schrum has signed both the Talloires Declaration and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. In 2010, Southwestern agreed to meet all of its electric needs for the next 18 years through wind power and the two newest buildings on campus are LEED certified.

Ninety percent of Southwestern students are also active as members of 20 men's and women's varsity athletics teams, numerous club sports, intramurals, and outdoor activities. The Southwestern "Pirates" participate in NCAA Division III athletics as part of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1840
Religious affiliation United Methodist
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment $250,622,946


When applying to Southwestern University, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling, and the early action deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due March 1. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 60.5 percent and an early acceptance rate of 78.8 percent.

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

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 60.5%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by March 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Southwestern University is 10:1, and the school has 79.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Southwestern University include: Social Sciences; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Education; and Visual and Performing Arts. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 85.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 10:1
4-year graduation rate 67%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 14%
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 13%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 11%
Education 8%
Visual and Performing Arts 8%

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Student Life

Southwestern University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,394, with a gender distribution of 39.2 percent male students and 60.8 percent female students. At this school, 78 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 22 percent of students live off campus. Southwestern University is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 1,394
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 III

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Campus Info & Services

Southwestern University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Southwestern 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). Of the students at Southwestern University, 85 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Southwestern University.

Students who have cars on campus 85%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Southwestern University, 62.6 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $24,309.

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 $35,240 (2013-14)
Room and board $10,420 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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