SMU Facts

SMU Facts

Location and facilities

Dallas/University Park/Highland Park campus

131 buildings on 234 acres, five miles north of downtown Dallas

SMU is a major contributor to the Dallas economy and enriches the community through diverse educational and cultural opportunities.

SMU generates an annual economic impact that is larger than $7 billion to the region.

  • SMU’s operating budget for fiscal year 2018 is $660 million.
  • More than 58,940 SMU alumni live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They include leaders in all fields.
  • SMU attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually for cultural and athletic events and other programs.
  • Each year SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents more than 400 events for the Dallas community and surrounding region.
  • SMU features distinguished national and international speakers through the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, Hart Global Leaders Forum and John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.
  • The Meadows Museum at SMU, housing one of the finest collections of Spanish art outside Spain, attracts nearly 70,000 visitors annually, including more than 10,000 schoolchildren.
  • SMU provides area residents with part-time degree and nondegree programs, including professional development, continuing education classes and K-12 programs.
  • Nearly 3,500 undergraduate volunteers serve annually through approximately 125 area nonprofit agencies.
  • Big iDeas is an undergraduate research program that awards grants for interdisciplinary student teams to explore solutions to challenges facing Dallas in areas such as illiteracy, poverty and environmental and health issues.

Community Outreach
SMU-in-Plano provides important outreach services, including the Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and the Center for Family Counseling. Summer programs offer learning opportunities for students in grades K-12.


SMU-in-Taos provides opportunities for adventurous study and research in a unique setting in Northern New Mexico. The property includes pre-Civil War Fort Burgwin and the remains of a 13th-century Native American pueblo. SMU began acquiring the property in l964 and reconstructed the fort to serve as an archaeology research center. Student facilities were added in 1973.

SMU’s Taos campus is 423 acres with 31 buildings, located within the Carson National Forest and surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Academic Programs
SMU-in-Taos offers summer credit courses in the natural and social sciences, humanities, arts and business. An archaeological geological research and summer field school are also offered. Short-term courses are offered in January, May and August. Emphasizing experiential learning, classes are enhanced by the region’s distinctive mix of cultures and rich natural resources.

SMU-in-Taos hosts enriching programs for alumni, friends and members of the Taos community. The annual Taos Cultural Institute provides a summer weekend of informal classes for adults taught by SMU faculty members. Other special events include lectures, concerts and art exhibitions. Facilities are available for conferences, retreats and youth groups.

About Dallas and Fort Worth

  • Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the nation’s leading business centers, a major transportation hub and the home of rich cultural programs and diverse sports events. Each year the Metro area hosts close to 49 million visitors.
  • Home to 22 Fortune 500 headquarters and 42 Fortune 1000 company headquarters.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranked Dallas-Fort Worth No. 15 as one of the “100 Best Places to Live in the USA” in 2017.

Population and Size
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is the nation's fourth-largest metropolitan area and home to more than 7.1 million residents. More than 346,000 are students in area universities and colleges, including community colleges.

Industry Giants
The Dallas-Fort Worth area includes industry giants ExxonMobil, AT&T, FedEx, American Airlines, Fluor Corporation, Kimberly-Clark, JCPenney, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, Toyota and Dr Pepper, among others.

DFW International Airport, serving over 67 million passengers a year, offers direct service to 171 U.S. markets and 57 international destinations. Love Field, 15 minutes from SMU, serves nearly 15.7 million passengers annually. One of the busiest rail stations of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit System (DART) is adjacent to the SMU campus.

Arts and Culture
Dallas offers top-tier museums and performance facilities, including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Perot Museum of Nature and Science and SMU’s Meadows Museum.

The Dallas area is home to the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, FC Dallas, Lone Star Park, Texas Motor Speedway and professional golf tournaments.

Unique Resources

Distinguished Speakers
SMU brings national and international leaders and dignitaries to the campus through the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, Hart Global Leaders Forum, John Goodwin Tower Center Medal of Freedom and other University programs. Distinguished visitors have included:

  • U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Gerald R. Ford and Barack Obama
  • U.S. First Ladies Barbara Bush, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton
  • U.S. Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore  
  • U.S. Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas
  • U.S. Senators Bob Dole, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John McCain
  • U.S. Army Generals Tommy Franks and Norman Schwarzkopf; Air Force General Brent Scowcroft
  • British Prime Ministers Tony Blair, John Major and Margaret Thatcher
  • President of Mexico Vicente Fox
  • King Juan Carlos of Spain
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  • Archbishop of Canterbury George L. Carey
  • Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Anthropologist and primatologist Jane Goodall
  • Historian and author David McCullough
  • Documentary film producer Ken Burns
  • Physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking

Internationally Renowned Museum
The Meadows Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside Spain, with works dating from the 10th to the 21st centuries by artists such as Dalí, El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso and Miró. The museum also presents outstanding traveling exhibitions and educational programming.

George W. Bush Presidential Center
SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, housing the Library and Museum and 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.