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SMU Facts

SMU Facts

SMU Facts

SMU is a private university dedicated to educating students to have an impact on their professions and communities and the world. Students benefit from small classes, research opportunities and leadership development. The University is strengthened by its partnership with the Dallas region, a global center of commerce and culture. SMU students, faculty and alumni are changing the world through their chosen fields, civic engagement and service to society.

General Profile

  • SMU is a private university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional programs through seven schools.
  • SMU is celebrating the centennial of its founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915. The University was founded by what is now The United Methodist Church, with support from Dallas leaders. SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to freedom of inquiry.
  • SMU enrolls more than 11,000 students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and nearly 100 foreign countries. Students represent diverse geographic, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
  • The University’s main campus, five miles north of downtown Dallas, comprises 101 buildings on 234 acres, including 15 acres with 19 buildings east of North Central Expressway. Other campuses are at SMU-in-Plano, with four buildings on 25 acres north of Dallas, and SMU-in-Taos, with 33 buildings on 423 acres in Northern New Mexico.
  • SMU’s endowment is now $1.4 billion.
  • SMU received a record $31 million in external funding during fiscal year 2013-14 for research in the sciences, engineering and education conducted throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
  • The University's nine libraries house the largest private collection of research materials in the Southwest, with more than four million print and electronic volumes.

Academic Rankings

  • The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies SMU as a university with “high research activity.”
  • SMU ranks in the top one-fourth of the “best national universities” in U.S. News & World Report rankings. In the 2015 report, SMU ranks 58th among 280 national universities.
  • Cox School of Business ranks among the top business schools nationally and globally, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and Forbes.
  • In 2014 Meadows School of the Arts was named in College Factual rankings as the number one music school in the U.S.
  • Dedman School of Law ranks 42nd among 194 fully accredited law schools in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
  • In 2014 Forbes ranked SMU 15th among the nation’s most entrepreneurial universities, based on the number of alumni and students who start and own businesses.

Academic Offerings

  • SMU offers 104 bachelor’s degrees, 113 master’s degrees, 27 doctoral-research degrees, one doctoral-professional degree and one specialist degree, through seven schools:
    • Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
    • Meadows School of the Arts
    • Cox School of Business 
    • Lyle School of Engineering
    • Dedman School of Law
    • Perkins School of Theology
    • Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
    • Specialized centers and institutes include the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, Family Research Center, National Center for Arts Research, Center for Presidential History, Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security, Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education and seven legal clinics serving diverse community needs.
  • Specialized centers and institutes include the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, Family Research Center, National Center for Arts Research, Center for Presidential History, Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security, Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education and seven legal clinics serving diverse community needs.

Students

  • SMU’s fall 2014 enrollment of 11,272 includes 6,391 undergraduates and 4,881 graduate students.
  • Minority students compose 25 percent of the total enrollment and 26.9 percent of undergraduates in fall 2014.
  • Approximately 50 percent of SMU undergraduates come from outside of Texas, with California, Florida and Missouri following Texas as the leading home states.
  • In fall 2014 SMU enrolled 1,483 international students (13 percent of total enrollment) from 92 foreign countries, with the largest numbers from China, India and Saudi Arabia.
  • Among students reporting a religious preference, 25 percent are Catholic and 16 percent are Methodist.
  • The average SAT score of entering first-year students has risen significantly over the past decade, reaching 1308 in 2014.
  • Seventy percent of SMU undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance, including merit- and need-based aid.
  • SMU students have access to more than 150 study abroad programs in 50 countries, plus research and service projects overseas. 

Faculty

  • SMU’s full-time faculty totaled 727 in fall 2013.
  • The student-faculty ratio is 11:1.
  • Faculty members have been named to prestigious academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and National Academy of Engineering.

Alumni

  • SMU has approximately 119,000 alumni worldwide, with 71,000 living in Texas, including more than 45,000 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Unique Resources

  • SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, housing the Library and Museum and the independent Institute. The Bush Center is a valuable source of research materials and offers programs for scholars, students and visitors. The Bush Institute sponsors programs that promote economic growth, education reform, global health and human freedom.
  • The Meadows Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, with works dating from the 10th to the 21st century. The museum presents outstanding special exhibitions and educational programming. A partnership with Madrid’s Prado Museum includes the loan of major paintings from the Prado and an internship exchange. The Meadows Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015.
  • SMU-in-Taos offers credit courses at the University’s campus in Northern New Mexico. Built on the site of a pre-Civil War fort, it includes the excavation of a 13th-century Indian pueblo. The annual Taos Cultural Institute offers a summer weekend of informal classes for adults, taught by SMU faculty members.

Fundraising Success

  • SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, launched in 2008, is the largest fundraising effort in the University’s history, with a goal of $1 billion. To date, it has raised more than $902 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. Campaign gifts are providing funds for 511 scholarships; 40 academic programs, including schools, departments, institutes and centers; 38 endowed faculty positions; and seven major capital projects.

Campus Growth

  • Facilities funded by The Second Century Campaign include new academic buildings for engineering, theology and education and human development; a new basketball practice center; renovated and expanded Moody Coliseum, home of SMU’s basketball program and academic ceremonies; and new housing at SMU-in-Taos. The new Residential Commons Complex, consisting of five residence halls, a dining hall and a parking center, opened in fall 2014. Construction is nearing completion on a new indoor and outdoor tennis complex. Construction has begun on a second building for education and human development and a new health center.

Athletics

  • SMU competes in the American Athletic Conference at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics – Division I, Football Bowl Subdivision.
  • SMU sponsors 17 sports and had 10 teams compete in post-season play in 2013-14.
  • In its 2013-14 season, SMU men’s basketball set a record for home victories and season attendance and reached the championship game of the 2014 National Invitation Tournament.