Each year, SMU awards academic University scholarships and school-specific scholarships to selected students for outstanding academic achievement and other qualifying factors.
University Academic Scholarship Programs
President’s Scholars Program
The President’s Scholars Program is awarded to students who have shown exemplary academic and leadership skills. The award provides full tuition and fees as well as study abroad. Students who live on campus also receive a scholarship for room and board. For consideration for the President’s Scholarships, the highest academic awards given by the University, students must have exceptional achievement on the SAT or ACT and in their high school curriculum. Admitted students are automatically reviewed; students invited to interview will be notified in the spring.
Visit the website of the President’s Scholars Program.
Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars Program
The Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars Program is awarded to students with extraordinary leadership qualities and strong academic performance. The award is full tuition and fees, less the amount of tuition and fees at the leading public university in the recipient’s state of residency, plus study abroad. An additional essay is required. Click here for the online Hunt Leadership Scholars Application.
Visit the website of the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program.
Cornerstone Scholarship, Founders' and Second Century Scholarships
The Cornerstone Scholarship, Founders’ Scholarship and Second Century Scholarship are awarded to those students who have demonstrated outstanding academic success throughout high school – most importantly by presenting a combination of high school grades and standardized test scores that together place them among the top students applying to SMU each year. Students selected as a Cornerstone, Founders’ or Second Century Scholar are recognized as potential leaders in the classroom at SMU. This designation is based on information submitted in the application for admission and may be updated by sending additional SAT or ACT scores directly from The College Board or ACT, Inc. respectively. These scholarship offers are typically included in a student’s admission packet and may be combined with some (but not all) of the other academic scholarships listed on this page. Students receive notification of other scholarship awards from each specific scholarship program directly.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Scholars
Students who complete the IB Diploma Program will receive a $5,000 per academic year scholarship. The scholarship will no longer have varying amounts based on the IB exam scores, as it has in years past. This scholarship may be combined with other scholarship or grant aid from SMU, but in no case can the combination of institutional aid exceed Tuition and Fees for that academic year.
School-specific merit scholarship programs
BBA Scholars Program
The BBA Scholars Program invites approximately 100 highly qualified students for admission to the Cox School of Business as first-year students, providing them with early access to Cox programs, advisors and career counselors. Admitted students who indicated Business as their primary academic interest will be automatically reviewed. Selection is based on academic merit. BBA Scholars are also automatically considered for Business Scholarships, with roughly half of new BBA Scholars receiving a Business Scholarship.
Visit the website of the BBA Scholars Program.
Dedman College Scholars Program
The Dedman College Scholars Program provides unique learning opportunities for selected academically strong students seeking a major in Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences. The program offers scholarship support, an actively engaged community of peers, Honors coursework and close faculty guidance. Scholars have access to faculty mentors to guide independent research and explore postgraduate academic and career paths. They can also take advantage of several workshops designed to strengthen public presentation skills and are eligible to apply for undergraduate research grants. To receive an invitation, admitted students must indicate a primary major in Dedman College. After review, a select number of students will be invited to apply.
Visit the website of the Dedman College Scholars Program.
Lyle Engineering Scholars Program
The Lyle Engineering Scholars Program is awarded to a select few students based on the candidates’ academic merit, leadership experience, extracurricular involvement and interest in majoring in engineering. Candidates are automatically considered for the Lyle Engineering Scholars Program if they list engineering as their primary academic interest on their admission application.
Embrey Academic Excellence Scholarship Program and Engineering Fellows Scholarship Program
The Embrey Academic Excellence Scholarship and the Engineering Fellows Scholarship programs were created to reward promising engineering students at SMU. Admitted students who indicated engineering as their first choice area of academic interest on their admission application are automatically considered, and selection is based on academic merit.
Meadows Scholars Program
Open to All First-Year Admitted Meadows Majors
The Meadows Scholars Program provides renewable scholarships to a group of 20-25 first-year students who have demonstrated high achievement in both the arts and academics, as well as the greatest potential for success. First-year students who have been admitted to SMU and indicate on their SMU admissions application that they plan to major in any of the performing, visual or communication arts disciplines within Meadows are considered for this award based on academic and artistic merit. Selection for this highly competitive scholarship is determined using SMU admissions application information. Artistic merit is also considered for accepted students based on their performing arts audition or visual arts portfolio review.
Meadows Artistic Merit Scholarships
Open to Accepted Dual-Admission Performing and Visual Arts Majors
Entering first-year and transfer students majoring in Studio Art, Dance, Film and Media Arts (B.F.A.), Music or Theatre who have been admitted to SMU and one of these Meadows disciplines through audition or portfolio submission are considered for renewable artistic merit scholarships. Scholarship selection is based on audition performance or quality of portfolio as well as academic merit. A separate application is not required for Meadows scholarship consideration. Award amounts vary by discipline.
Learn more about Meadows scholarships, auditions and portfolios and Meadows School of the Arts.
Pre-Law Scholars Program
Each year, a limited number of first-year students are selected to join the Pre-Law Scholars Program. Students participating in the Pre-Law Scholars Program who satisfy certain conditions will be guaranteed admission into SMU Dedman School of Law upon completion of their undergraduate degrees. Pre-Law Scholars will also have a unique opportunity to interact with current SMU Dedman School of Law students through a mentorship program and will learn about serving the community through interaction with the law school’s public service program. Admitted students who marked Pre-Law as an area of interest on their admission applications are automatically considered, and selection is based on the overall quality of a student’s application to SMU.
Visit the website of the Pre-Law Scholars Program.