SMU ranks among the top 20% best national universities by U.S. News & World Report (2020) and first among Dallas-area universities. The Princeton Review ranks SMU as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education in “The Best 386 Colleges” and among its “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” College Factual (2021) ranked SMU among the top 5% Best Nationwide Colleges and top 3% Best Texas Colleges. The publication counts SMU alumni among the top 5% in pay for graduates across a range of fields. College Factual rankings are highly focused on outcomes, including graduation rates, high salaries for graduates and low student loan default rates. In PayScale’s 2020-21 College Salary Reports, SMU ranks in the top 19% of Best Colleges Based on Salary Potential, and the top 7% of colleges with the highest paid graduates.
SMU ranks among the top 20% best national universities by U.S. News & World Report (2020). The publication also ranked SMU third in Texas in its comparison of 389 colleges and universities (2020), and first among Dallas-area universities. U.S. News & World Report ranked SMU among the top 26% Best Colleges for Veterans (2020).
SMU is ranked the top 11% (No. 88 out of 800) of U.S. universities by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (2020).
The Center for World University Rankings 2020 placed SMU in the top 1.5%, at No. 299, for universities worldwide. The publication ranked SMU No. 100 nationally and No. 29 for alumni employment.
SMU placed No. 31 in Learn.org 2020 rankings of the best accredited online colleges in Texas.
The Princeton Review ranks SMU as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education in “The Best 386 Colleges” and among its “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”
SMU placed in the top half of Stacker’s list of 50 best colleges in big cities.
The Center for World University Rankings 2020-21 placed SMU at 299 for universities worldwide, 100 nationally and 29 for alumni employment.
College Factual 2021 SMU Rankings
College Factual rankings (2021) are highly focused on outcomes, including graduation rates, high salaries for graduates and low student loan default rates.
- Best Nationwide Colleges: No. 87 (out of 1,727)
- Best Texas Colleges: No. 3 (out of 80)
- College Factual counts SMU alumni among the top 5% in pay for graduates across a range of fields.
- SMU tied for No. 1 on the 2021 College Factual list of Highest Paid Music Graduates.
Best Texas Colleges
U.S. News & World Report ranked SMU third in Texas in its comparison of 389 colleges and universities (2020), and first among Dallas-area universities.
The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (2020) ranked SMU fourth in Texas in its comparison of 800 colleges and universities, and first among Dallas-area universities.
SMU ranked No. 4 on the Niche.com list of 2021 Best Colleges in Texas, and No. 1 among Dallas area universities. The neighborhood review site rankings are based on information from the U.S. Department of Education and reviews by students.
SMU ranked in the top five Best Colleges & Universities in Texas 2020, according to College Consensus.
Best College Values
In PayScale’s 2020-21 College Salary Reports, SMU ranks in the top 19% of Best Colleges Based on Salary Potential, and the top 7% of colleges with the highest paid graduates.
SMU is one of only 300 schools nationwide that are worth the investment, according to Forbes’ 2019 Best Value Colleges ranking, which is based on quality; net price; net debt; alumni earnings; timely graduation and access for low-income students.
SMU is one of 100 private colleges in the nation with the best return on investment, according to Stacker, which ranks colleges by the highest 40-year ROI.
Best Colleges for Veterans
U.S. News & World Report ranked SMU among the top 26% Best Colleges for Veterans (2020).
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
“Higher research activity” classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Most Beautiful College Campus
Conde Nast Traveler ranked SMU among “The 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America” in 2020.
Perkins Chapel at SMU
College Rank named Perkins Chapel at SMU No. 16 out of 35 of the nation’s most beautiful college churches and chapels. The rankings are based on factors including student programming, campus architecture and aesthetic, tradition and history in addition to community outreach.
No. 11 on Money’s “2019 Best Colleges for Merit Aid”.
SMU is among the colleges with the largest merit-based aid, according to road2college.com.
Cox School of Business
- In winter 2019-20, Poets & Quants for Undergrads ranked Cox School No. 18 among the nation’s top 97 B.B.A. programs. The ranking is based on admission standards, academic experience and employment placement.
- U.S. News & World Report ranked SMU ranked among the top 10% best business schools in 2020. The Cox School’s Full-Time M.B.A. program ranked No. 41, up two spots from No. 43 last year. In spring 2020, the Cox School’s Executive M.B.A. program ranked No. 27 in the nation.
- In spring 2020, The Economist ranked the Cox School Executive M.B.A. No. 27 in the United States and No. 47 in the world.
- In fall 2019, The Economist ranked Cox School’s full-time M.B.A. program No. 10 in the world for faculty quality. The publication also ranked Cox School No. 6 in the world for “potential to network” and No. 19 in the world for “breadth of alumni network.”
- In fall 2016, the last year Bloomberg Businessweek ranked B.B.A. programs, Cox School ranked No. 21 in the nation, and No. 5 in the nation for post-graduation B.B.A. salaries. The publication no longer ranks undergraduate business programs.
Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
- SMU ranks No. 14 on GradReports list of 25 Best Colleges for Math 2020, based on median salary one year after graduation.
- DIVERSE Issues in Higher Education ranks SMU No. 15 in the nation in Mathematics and Statistics.
Dedman School of Law
- National Law Journal/Law.com “Go-To Law Schools” – Dedman School of Law ranked No. 20 for the highest percentage of graduates promoted to partner in 2019 at the nation’s 100 largest law firms; and No. 30 in hiring of 2019 graduates into associate jobs at the nation’s 100 largest law firms (2020).
- Among the Top 50 law schools with the highest average salaries of first-year graduates, SMU ranks No. 23 according to data released in April 2020 by the U.S. Department of Education (based on 2016 salaries).
- U.S. News & World Report (2020) ranked Dedman School of Law No. 33 for Class of 2018 employment rate 10 months after graduation.
- Among the Top 5 Graduate Schools to study Game Design
- The Princeton Review ranks SMU Guildhall fourth out of 25 in its annual report on the best graduate game-design programs (2020.)
Lyle School of Engineering
- U.S. News & World Report ranked SMU among the top 26% of Best Undergraduate Engineering programs (2020).
- Women make up 34% of Lyle School’s undergraduate population, with 10+ consecutive years of Lyle enrolling more than 30% women engineering students.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks Lyle No. 9 among private universities for conferring engineering bachelor’s degrees to women (2019).
- The Master's Programs Guide ranks Lyle No. 19 among Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering Degree programs; and No. 30 among Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Degree programs.
- The Guide to Online Schools ranks Lyle School No. 11 among Online Master of Science in Computer Engineering degree programs, and No. 22 among Online Master of Science in Systems Engineering degree programs.
- Lyle School has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education for 15 years – from 2006 through 2021.
- A gift commitment by Linda and Mitch Hart to create the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship that operates jointly between the Lyle School and Cox School.
- 72% of Lyle students reported securing a job within 90 days post-graduation.
- DIVERSE Issues in Higher Education ranked SMU No. 39 in the nation in Computer and Information Sciences and No. 48 in the nation in Engineering among its annual list of Top 100 Producers of Minority Graduate Students in STEM (2020).
Meadows School of the Arts
- Dance Teacher Magazine named SMU one of the “14 College Dance Programs You Should Know.”
- OnStage named Meadows School of the Arts dance program among the top 30 dance B.F.A. programs in the country.
- The Hollywood Reporter ranked SMU’s theatre program among its Top 25 list of best graduate acting programs in the world.
- Turbo Scholars ranked SMU No. 2 in its list of top 15 film schools in Texas.
- SMU tied for No. 1 on the 2021 College Factual list of Highest Paid Music Graduates.
Simmons School of Education and Human Development
SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 private graduate schools of education (2020.)
The Dallas area is home to 21 Fortune 500 companies and 300 corporate headquarters. Of Forbes’ largest privately held companies, seven are located in the Dallas area.
DFW is the No. 1 metro area for STEM jobs, according to an American Enterprise Institute study (2020).
Dallas ranked among the top 3% of the world’s 500 best cities for innovation by global data analysis firm 2thinknow (2020).
The Dallas area ranked second among the best places nationally for business and careers, according to Forbes (2019).
Dallas ranks among the top 15% (#55 out of 415) of “Best College Towns & Cities in America,” according to WalletHub 2020.
Dallas ranks as the No. 14 best city in the country, and one of the top cities in Texas, according to Resonance Consultancy’s America’s Best Cities study of top 100 U.S. cities to live, work and visit. The study, published in 2020, reviews cities based on 26 performance and quality factors.
Other Dallas highlights from this study:
- First in the nation for airport connectivity for its direct flight access into a principal airport.
- Largest concentration of corporate headquarters (10,000+).
- Ranks third nationally for Fortune 500 companies.
- Home to America’s sixth-largest LGBTQ+ community.
- Home to the nation’s largest contiguous urban arts district.
Best foodie town, Bon Appétit declared Dallas the “2019 Restaurant City of the Year.”
Dallas is among the top North Texas cities named the best places to live in the state, according to a 2020 study by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine Real Estate and HomeCity. The cities were ranked based on quality of life, affordability, growth, food and parks.