SMU Facts

SMU Facts

SMU and Dallas

Dallas Skyline from SMU

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

  • SMU expenditures for operations, capital projects and scholarships, plus spending by students, visitors and alumni, annually contribute $7 billion to the region.
  • From 1995 to 2015, the University’s capital program included approximately $1.2 billion in local spending for facility construction and renovation, furnishings and equipment.
  • SMU’s operating budget for fiscal year 2016 is $613 million.
  • About 47,000 SMU alumni live in the Dallas-Fort Worth. They include leaders in all fields.
  • More than 300,000 visitors come to SMU annually for cultural events, lectures, athletics events and other programs.
  • Each year SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents more than 400 student and professional performances of music, theatre and dance, all open to the public.
  • SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, featuring distinguished national and international speakers, attracts sold-out crowds of 2,500 for each of eight lectures annually. The Tate Lecture Series Afternoon Forums and the Hart Global Leaders Forums at SMU draw approximately 4,000 students from area schools annually.
  • The Meadows Museum at SMU, housing one of the finest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, attracts nearly 70,000 visitors annually, including more than 10,000 schoolchildren.
  • SMU serves several thousand area residents each year through part-time degree and nondegree programs, including professional development programs and noncredit continuing education classes, plus learning opportunities for students in grades K-12.
  • Nearly 3,000 undergraduate volunteers serve annually through approximately 70 nonprofit agencies in the area.
  • Big iDeas is a research program that awards grants for interdisciplinary undergraduate teams to explore solutions to challenges facing Dallas in areas such as illiteracy, poverty and environmental and health issues.
  • 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 Dallas hosts nearly 44 million domestic visitors, including many high-profile dignitaries.
  • Home to 21 Fortune 500 headquarters and 41 Fortune 1000 company headquarters.
  • U.S. News ranked DFW #15 as one of the "100 Best Places to Live in the USA" in 2017.

Population and Size

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex 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.


The Dallas-Fort Worth area includes such industry giants as ExxonMobil, AT&T, AMR Corp. (American Airlines), Fluor Corporation, Kimberly-Clark, JCPenney, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, Dean Foods, Tenet Healthcare and GameStop. Dallas ranks fifth in the number of Fortune 500 company headquarters and is the fifth largest media market in the United States.


DFW International Airport, serving over 65 million passengers a year, offers direct service to 158 U.S. markets and 56 international destinations. Love Field, 15 minutes from SMU, serves nearly eight 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.