Frequently Asked Questions

Admission Requirements
Financial Aid
Tuition, Fees & Deadlines
Transfer Information
Living on Campus
Student/Campus Life
General Information
Self-reporting of Standardized Test Scores to SMU
Superscoring the ACT at SMU

Admission Requirements

What are the minimum requirements for admission?
There are no absolute minimum requirements, but SMU considers GPA, grade pattern, standardized test scores, rigor of high school curriculum, counselor recommendation, extracurricular activities, essay, talents, life experiences and personal qualities. Typically, a student who has a strong academic record and has exhibited a variety of academic and personal interests gains the most from the SMU experience.

Which standardized tests does SMU require for admission?
During the application process, SMU requires all applicants to submit SAT and/or ACT scores as either self-reported or official. We do not have a preference as to which of the two tests you take. Once enrolled, all students must send the official score for the test submitted and used during the evaluation of their application for admission. SMU now super-scores both the SAT and ACT. We will take the highest subset of scores from either test. Additional testing requirements for International students can be found on the Admission website.

How do I apply to the Cox School of Business?
Incoming first-year students who want to pursue a major in finance, accounting, management, marketing and other areas of business administration in SMU’s Cox School of Business apply for direct admission. This admission model paves the way for incoming first-year students to gain opportunities for early access to important coursework in their fields.

For those who seek a successful career in business, our outstanding liberal arts and sciences tradition opens pathways that expand your career options – whether you pursue a major at Cox or in another college at SMU. Employers value the signature elements of the SMU experience, which includes

  • the flexibility to explore multiple passions with a double or triple major
  • the opportunity to land career-boosting internships
  • the preparation to lead, solve problems and communicate with emotional and cultural intelligence

Learn more here. Click here to download a Cox admission FAQ document for students.

What is the Test Optional Policy for Dual Admit Applicants to SMU Meadows School of the Arts?
An SAT or ACT score report is not required for admission consideration from applicants who are seeking admission to Dual Admit programs in the Meadows School of the Arts (Music, Theatre, Dance, Art, Film-BFA). Applicants should only submit an SAT or ACT score report for academic merit scholarship consideration. The recommended combined score to be considered for academic merit scholarships is 1320 on the old SAT (critical reading and math sections only), 1380 on the new SAT, or 29 on the ACT. 

Note that students who do not submit test scores will be considered only for artistic scholarship and need-based aid; they will not be considered for scholarships based on academic merit.

Students who do not submit test scores should list their Meadows major first on their application for admission. Students not admitted to Meadows via their portfolio or audition, but who still wish to be considered for admission to SMU, will be required to submit test scores at that time.

Why has SMU adopted a Test Optional Policy for Dual Admit Applicants to SMU Meadows School of the Arts?
Like other top-tier visual and performing arts schools, SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has adopted a Test Optional Policy for Dual Admit applicants in Music, Dance, Theatre, Art and Film-BFA. These students complete auditions or submit  portfolios that, after careful review, provide stronger indication of their likelihood to succeed in their academic program at SMU.

I want to pursue a double or triple major. In my SMU application, how many areas of study may I show that I am most interested in pursuing?
At the time you apply for first-year admission, you will have the opportunity to indicate the two areas of study you are most interested in pursuing. If you want to be considered for admission to the Cox School of Business, you need to indicate that at the time you apply. When students get to SMU, they work with their academic advisors to determine the best course of study for all the majors they would like to pursue.

How does SMU plan to work with students taking both the new and old SAT?
The College Board will begin offering its redesigned SAT exam in Spring 2016. SMU will accept scores from any one of three tests options (new SAT, old SAT, or ACT) in order to be considered for admission and scholarship consideration. The new SAT, like the ACT, will offer a writing component as an optional section of the test. SMU will continue the policy of not requiring a student to submit the optional writing component. In addition, SMU will continue to super score the old SAT with the old SAT and new SAT with new SAT. We will not mix old and new scores for the SAT in order to create a super score. SMU will continue to only look at the highest composite score for the ACT.

What is the GPA requirement?
There is no absolute "cutoff" for grades. Classroom performance would generally present competitive applicants in the top quarter of their high school class. The difficulty of curriculum and competitive nature of the high school are also important factors in the admission process.

What are the minimum high school course requirements?
We strongly recommend a minimum of 17-18 solid academic units including 4 English, 3 math (algebra I, II, geometry), 3 social science, 3 science (2 lab science), and 2 foreign language (of the same language). Students who present programs in excess of minimum requirements generally have an advantage in the admission process.  Competitive applicants present an average of 20 high school academic units.

Are the SAT IIs required for admission?
Although a large percentage of applicants submit SAT II scores, they are not required.

How and when will SMU receive my test scores?
When the ACT or SAT is taken, students may indicate three schools to receive their scores. When SMU is indicated, the College Board sends us a record of your scores four to six weeks later. SMU's code for the ACT is 4174, and our code for the SAT is 6660.

Do I have to take a foreign language class before or after I come to SMU?
As a requirement of the University Curriculum (UC), all students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language. Students who do not enter with the equivalent of four semesters of college-level second language proficiency prior to matriculating at SMU are required to improve their proficiency by two semester levels or to the meet the four semester proficiency requirement, whichever comes first. Proficiency can be demonstrated in numerous ways; to determine which path applies to you, please click here to refer to the detailed description of the requirement.

What do I write my essay about, and how long should it be?
We want to learn more about you and evaluate your writing skills. Each application (The Common Application, ApplyTexas, and the SMU Online Application) has its own set of essay prompts with varying length requirements, but essays are generally 250 – 650 words in length.  No matter which application method you choose, all essays are reviewed equally.

Does my choice of major influence my chance of admission?
If you are planning to major in the performing arts, a required audition is a critical factor influencing your chance of admission. Otherwise, all first-year SMU students are accepted as "pre-majors" in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, regardless of their intended major.

If you want to pursue a major in finance, accounting, management, marketing and other areas of business administration, you must indicate that interest on your application to be considered for direct admission to the Cox School of Business.

If you are planning to major in the performing arts, a required audition is a critical factor influencing your chance of admission. Otherwise, all applicants are considered for admission to SMU regardless of their intended major.

Does SMU consider students who have been home-schooled?
Home school graduates must submit the application for admission, SAT I and/or ACT scores, an academic portfolio/transcript, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, activities resume and the Home School Supplement.

How are athletes recruited to SMU?
Prospective athletes may call the recruiting coordinator in the SMU Department of Athletics to make arrangements with the coach of the particular sport. For more information, visit

Do I have to be Methodist to attend SMU?
No. Actually about 16% of the SMU student population is Methodist, while 26% is Roman Catholic. The remainder of the population represents other Protestant denominations and other religions, including Judaism, Buddhism, Greek Orthodox and Islam, and includes non-religious students.

For what Advanced Placement tests or International Baccalaureate tests can I get credit?
SMU grants credit and placement for scores of 4 or 5 on most AP examinations taken in high school. Six to eight credits will be awarded for scores of 5, 6 or 7 on International Baccalaureate higher-level exams, with a maximum award of 32 credits. For more information, click here.

How may I receive credit for an Advance Placement test in high school?
Arrange for an official copy of your test scores to be sent to SMU's Registrar Office. Upon receipt of this information, SMU will determine the credit you will receive.

Does SMU accept correspondence course credit?
No. However, such coursework may represent to the Admission Committee a commitment to study beyond the minimum high school curriculum.

How do you treat concurrent (dual credit) high school/college programs?
SMU first-year students may request college credit for coursework taken during high school.  In order for this credit to be transferable to SMU, the course(s) must meet all regular transfer requirements:

1) The course(s) must be completed at an accredited school;

2) The course(s) must be grades of C- or better in comparable SMU courses;

3) The course(s) must be submitted on an official college/university transcript; and

4) The course(s) must NOT be a correspondence course.

To process your concurrent credit, please request that official college/university transcripts be sent from each institution you have attended. Please note that even though you may not be granted course credit, SMU must receive official transcripts from any college or university you have attended. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that a professional evaluation and an official transcript accompany all foreign transcripts. Send all college-level transcripts to:

Concurrent/Dual Credit Processing
Southern Methodist University - DES
PO Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181

If you are an admitted student, and are planning to enroll in college-level coursework the summer after your high school graduation, please be prepared to inform your Academic Advisor of this intent during your session which will occur during Academic Advising, Registration, and Orientation (AARO).

You will be notified of your transfer work as quickly as possible. If your concurrent credit does not meet the above criteria, you may choose to take AP exams offered by the College Board, or you may choose to take optional departmental exams when you arrive for AARO.

How may I get credit for a course taken at another college?
Arrange for the college to forward an official transcript to SMU. If you are a transfer or first-year applicant, send the transcript to the SMU Division of Enrollment Services. If you are a continuing SMU student, send transcripts to the SMU Office of the Registrar.

Are there special requirements for students interested in music, dance, theatre, art, or film?
All music, theatre, dance, studio art and film B.F.A. applicants are considered “dual-admission” students, which means they must apply to and be accepted by both SMU and the Meadows School of the Arts. In addition to their SMU application, “dual admission” students must also audition or submit a portfolio to Meadows.

Find out more about admissions, auditions and portfolio requirements for:

What are the application deadlines? When will I be notified of my decision?
Early Action Applicants (non-binding)
Application deadline: postmarked November 1
Notification date: December 31
Deposit deadline: May 1

Early Decision I Applicants (binding)
Application deadline: postmarked November 1
Notification date: December 31
Deposit deadline: Within 2 weeks of admission notification (An exact date will be listed in your admission packet.)

Regular Decision/Priority Merit Scholarship Applicants
Application deadline: postmarked January 15
Notification date: March 31
Deposit deadline: May 1

Early Decision II Applicants (binding)
Application deadline: postmarked January 15
Notification date: March 31
Deposit deadline: Within 2 weeks of admission notification (An exact date will be listed in your admission packet.)

Spring Decision Applicants (on a space-available basis only)
Application deadline: postmarked March 15
Notification date: Rolling
Deposit deadline: May 1

When is my admission deposit due?
May 1 is SMU's and the national deposit deadline.  Students admitted through Early Decision I and II must pay their deposit within two weeks of receiving their admission decision.  An exact due date for those students will be listed in their admission packet.

How much is the admission deposit, and what does it cover?
The nonrefundable $685 Orientation, Housing and Matriculation deposit includes:
$335 orientation fee
$100 housing deposit
$250 matriculation fee

When do I need to have my health form filled out?
You must complete the Health History Form by the time you come for your AARO session in July.

Can my $60 application fee be waived?
An individual decision will be made on the part of the admission counselor in extreme cases, if need is demonstrated. Students should have their high school counselor write a request on school letterhead or provide some sort of documentation that a need exists.

Self-reporting of Standardized Test Scores to SMU

When did SMU begin accepting self-reported standardized test scores?

SMU began accepting self-reported standardized test scores in fall 2018.

When do I provide SMU my official test scores?

Official test scores are required at the time of enrollment.

How do I report self-reported test scores on The Common Application and on the MyCoalition Application?

Enter your test scores on the testing page of the application.

How do I report self-reported test scores on the ApplyTexas application?

You will not be prompted to enter your test scores on the ApplyTexas application. Once you submit the application, you will be able to self-report your scores using the form on your personalized application status page.

How do I submit new self-reported scores after I have submitted my application?

After your application has been submitted, you can submit additional self-reported scores through your personalized application status page.

Will SMU accept test scores from my high school transcript as official scores?


What are the other ways to provide official test scores to SMU?

Official scores can be provided by the testing agency or by an applicant’s high school counselor. We will also accept as official the scores reported on a high school transcript.

Is SMU accepting self-reported transcripts/grades?

No, not at this time.

Is SMU accepting self-reported scores other than those for the ACT and the SAT?

No. Only ACT and SAT scores will be accepted as self-reported scores. This excludes the TOEFL and IELTS.

Superscoring the ACT at SMU

An ACT superscore is a new final composite score that is made up of your best individual section scores across all ACT tests you took. The average of these best individual section scores is calculated to create a brand-new composite ACT score. Writing is not counted.

When did SMU begin using an ACT superscore for admission decisions?

It began in fall 2018 for the 2018-2019 academic year and beyond.

Should I report a superscore that I have calculated?

One can report a superscore you have calculated, but at the time of enrollment you must produce each official sitting that would calculate to the score you self-reported.

What does SMU need to officially superscore my ACT?

We will need results from each sitting of the ACT to be able to superscore. For example, if three different ACT testings get you to your superscore, we will need at the time of enrollment the results from each of your three testing administrations.

Does SMU superscore the SAT?

Yes. This practice has been in place for several years.

Financial Aid

How do applicants apply for scholarships?
SMU offers a range of merit and leadership scholarships. These are based on competitive standing within the SMU class and are offered without regard to family financial circumstances. In order to apply, a student should submit his or her application for admission by January 15. There are no additional documents to submit other than the application for admission. To be considered for the Hunt Leadership Scholarship, a student must submit an additional essay outlined on the admission application.  Visit for more information.

What can I expect in the way of a scholarship?
Applications that are received by January 15 are automatically considered for merit scholarships. Scholarship committees review all applications and award scholarships to many applicants. We do not publish the qualifications of the different scholarship levels because they are based on the applicant pool every year. The majority of merit scholarship awards are mailed with admission decisions.

What types of scholarships does SMU offer?
SMU offers academic-based and leadership-based scholarships. These options include, but are not limited to, the following: President's Scholars, Hunt Leadership Scholars, SMU Founders’ Scholars, Second Century Scholars, Cornerstone Scholarships, National Merit Scholarships, Mustang Scholars, Dedman College merit scholarships for first-year students and departmental awards for continuing studies, School of Engineering Honors Scholarship Program, Co-op Education Program, Meadows full and partial scholarships based on artistic merit, Athletic Scholarships, and Mustang Band Scholarships. We do not publish the qualifications of every scholarship level because they are based on the applicant pool each year. More information can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Are there special scholarships for Methodist students?
Methodist applicants receive the same consideration as all other students for SMU financial aid programs. They also can receive consideration for specifically dedicated programs. These include: The Methodist Student Loan Fund, Minister's Family Tuition Awards ($3,500/term), and United Methodist Scholarships (vary in amount).

What kind of financial aid is available?

A student who demonstrates financial need is awarded an aid "package" that combines SMU funds with governmental sources. Grants, low-cost loans, and part-time work opportunities typically appear in need-based packages. Middle- or upper-level income families who may not meet federal need standards can apply for family loan programs and extended payment plans. See the Financial Aid website for more information on Student Loans and Federal Work Study (Student Employment).

Do I apply for financial aid before or after I apply for admission?
File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as close to February 15 as possible for federal need-based aid consideration. The FAFSA application is available online at You also need to file the College Scholarship Service CSS/PROFILE® to further assess your financial need for need-based programs. This form can be found at There is a $25 fee to file the CSS/PROFILE.

After I file the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE, how will I know if SMU has received my information?
The federal processor will mail you the Student Aid Report (SAR) on FAFSA information. If you listed SMU on your FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE, SMU will receive your information electronically.

What kind of financial aid will I receive because I filed the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE?
You will be considered for all federal, state (Texas residents only), and SMU need-based funding. These programs are awarded on the basis of documented financial need and funding availability.

When will I receive my financial aid award letter notification?
Generally, award letters are mailed beginning March 15. SMU must receive and review your electronic FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE before mailing an award letter.

What do I do after I receive my financial aid award letter?
The award letter packet provides details regarding financial aid, as well as instructions on how to respond to SMU's offer. Please read and review the information and instructions carefully. If you have questions, contact your SMU financial aid advisor.

How does SMU determine the amount of financial assistance?
FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE information are sent to SMU, which compares the cost of attending SMU with the amount of money a family is estimated to still need after all state, federal, and scholarship money is factored in. Financial aid advisors begin packaging financial aid in March, starting with students who applied early.

What are my chances of receiving financial aid?
You need to apply to SMU and file a FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE to help the University determine eligibility for financial aid. We have no way of knowing your chances until you apply. SMU has many financial aid avenues, including options for middle-income families.

What is the difference between grants and loans?
Grants are gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Loans must be repaid.

How will I receive the financial aid funds that are awarded?
Before each term begins, the scholarships and grants are applied to your student account. If you have applied for and completed necessary loan processing, those funds will be applied each term to your student account when received from the lender.

What should I do if I have a special financial circumstance (such as the loss of a job) since I filed my FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE?
Contact your financial aid advisor to discuss any special or unusual circumstances.

Are on-campus jobs available, and how do I get paid for working?
Yes, there are many on-campus jobs available as part of Work Study (Student Employment). You will be paid every two weeks for the hours you work. Your work program financial aid will not be applied to your student account.

Tuition, Fees & Deadlines

Does SMU have a tuition payment plan?
SMU offers several monthly payment plans. Please refer to the Bursar’s Office website for detailed information. 

What methods of payment are acceptable to take care of my bill?
You may pay your bill with cash, personal check, cashier's check, money order, traveler's check, major credit cards (MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) or wiring direct funds. SMU provides a secure website through which you can make credit card (MasterCard, Discover and American Express) and electronic check payments to your SMU accounts.

What major credit cards may I use?
SMU accepts MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Credit card payments will be processed through Nelnet Business Solutions, Inc. If you choose this option, a service-charge fee will be added for each transaction. The service-charge fee is 2.75% and is subject to change with a 30-day notice.

When is my payment due?
Payment for tuition, general student fees, on-campus room and board, and any optional fees is due before the beginning of each term. These dates are available on the SMU Bursar website, You also may call the Bursar’s Office at 214-768-3417 for information.

What are the costs for tuition, general student fees, on-campus housing, meal plans, and optional fees?
A detailed listing of tuition costs and fees is posted at 

Transfer Information

What are the minimum requirements for transferring to SMU?
SMU’s Office of Undergraduate Admission separates transfer students into two categories, transfer and first-year transfer, based on the number of transferrable hours completed at the time of application. For full details on transfer requirements, visit our Transfer Admission page. 

What is the maximum number of units that can transfer?
A minimum of 60 credit hours must be completed at SMU to earn your degree. However, if you have more than 62 transferable hours, they will all “transfer” and be used in the admissions, scholarship and financial aid process. You and your SMU academic advisor will determine which hours will apply to your degree.

Which courses transfer to SMU?
Each academic department determines which courses will transfer. Based on your credit transfer evaluation and several other factors, the Admission Office determines your admissibility. Generally, if SMU has a comparable course (equal in content and level), you are likely to receive credit for the course. If you attend Dallas County Community College, Tarrant County College, or Collin College, transferability can be easily determined because we have equivalency guides for those colleges.

Is transfer credit given for correspondence courses?

Who determines which courses will transfer?
The individual academic departments for each school determine course transferability.

Do I need to submit my high school transcript?
Yes, we use the high school transcript for several reasons: 1) to verify math readiness (algebra I, geometry, algebra II) when the college transcript does not show college algebra or higher, 2) to determine admissibility of a transfer student who has less than 30 transferable hours and 3) to register and to verify two years of the same foreign language.

How is my transferable GPA calculated?
Your transferable GPA is determined by including all courses that are considered comparable to SMU courses from every college attended. The number of grade points earned is divided by the number of attempted hours. If you receive a D or F in a comparable course, the D or F will be used in the calculation of your GPA, but you will not actually be awarded transfer credit for that course, since SMU does not award credit for grades lower than C-. If you receive a D or F in a course that is not comparable, then it will not be counted in the GPA.

What kinds of scholarship opportunities are available for transfer students?
Full tuition opportunities exist for students from Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, Grayson, Kaufman and Navarro County Community College Districts with 50 transferable hours and a 3.70 GPA. Half tuition opportunities also exist for transfer students coming from any college or university with 50 transferable hours and a 3.70 GPA. For more information, visit Transfer Scholarships. First-year transfers with a competitive high school profile and less than 30 transferable hours may be eligible for First-Year Scholarships.

On what should I write my essay, and how long should it be?
While an essay is not required for transfer admission, it is strongly encouraged.  The essay provides a chance to move beyond the numbers and statistics. It's your chance to set yourself apart from all the other applicants. A thoughtful, well-written essay can positively influence the admission committee's final decision and is a critical element in the selection of winners for competitive scholarships. The essay topic and length will be determined by the application method (The Common Application, ApplyTexas, SMU Transfer Application) you choose.  All essays will be reviewed equally, regardless of application type.

Do foreign transcripts require additional documentation?
Yes. Any student who submits a foreign transcript is responsible for submitting the additional documentation required for evaluation. Keep in mind that for SMU to convert the courses to US credits, we need very specific information about the term calendar year, grading scale, course descriptions, length of class, etc. To understand more about the documentation required, see Transfer Credit Policies for International Students.

What kinds of resources are available to US Veterans transferring to SMU?

Veterans must meet general admission requirements for transfer. For information on benefits and financial assistance, see our Veterans Affairs page.

Do I have to reapply if I have previously applied?
You do not have to fill out another application, but you do need to complete a Transfer Update Form (PDF).

How do I seek readmission to the University?
If you were previously enrolled at SMU, but have not been enrolled for two or more regular terms (regular terms are fall and spring), or if you have been suspended, then you must be readmitted to SMU. To begin the readmission process, you must complete the Readmission Application (PDF). 


When do I register? 
You may register during Academic Advising, Registration and Orientation (AARO), which you attend after you have applied and been admitted to SMU. AARO sessions are available for both incoming first year students and transfer students at various times throughout the summer. Contact the Student Transitions & Orientation Office for detailed information.

How do I know what classes to take?
Upon entering SMU, you will begin fulfilling two general sets of requirements necessary to graduate: the University Curriculum that all students must satisfy regardless of major, and the requirements specified by the major itself. First-year students are assigned to an academic advisor from Dedman College. Your advisor will work with you regarding selection of classes.

When can I see my academic advisor?
You are assigned a professional advisor at Academic Advising, Registration and Orientation (AARO) and are required to see him/her before registration each semester. You can also set up appointments on your own time throughout the semester. SMU provides students with a well-staffed, award-winning advising center of professional, full-time advisors.

What exactly is a "liberal arts" curriculum?
The liberal arts disciplines include the humanities, the natural and the mathematical sciences, and the social sciences. With a foundation in the liberal arts, the SMU student gets a complete education - as a professional in a chosen career, a citizen in the world of ideas, and a full-fledged participant in life itself. SMU's general requirements in the liberal arts (the University Curriculum) provide students with an exceptional educational opportunity.

How and when will I choose a major?
SMU offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and 85 minors. Your academic advisor and many other support systems are available to help you choose your major. You will make this decision by the end of your sophomore year.

May I declare my major during my first year?
Upon entering SMU, you may declare your intended major. All students enter the university through Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. You may not officially declare your major until you have successfully completed at least 24 hours and satisfied the entrance requirements for your intended major.

Does SMU have an honors program?
Yes. Students participating in the program will take 7-8 special courses within the University Curriculum which encourage deeper understanding through interdisciplinary thinking and learning. The honors program offers small, discussion-focused classes. Entrance is by invitation.

What is the average class size at SMU?
The average class size is 22. Seventy percent of our classes contain 25 students or less. Students don't get lost in large lecture courses conducted by graduate students. SMU students learn from senior faculty in small classes.

What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
11:1. Classes are small enough to encourage close faculty-student interaction.

Will graduate students teach most introductory classes?
No. Almost all classes at SMU are taught by faculty, not graduate students.

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?
Yes. SMU offers summer, semester and year-long opportunities to live, study and travel in foreign countries. SMU Abroad offers 148 programs in 50 countries.

Will SMU send my grades to my parents?
The Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act of 1974 states that no personally identifiable information from a student's record will be disclosed to a third party without prior written consent from the student. Grades may be released to parents if either the student completes a release form or the parent completes a Declaration of Dependency form. These releases are available in the Registrar's office. Once SMU has an approved release on file then the parent or student can request an official transcript.

Living on Campus

Who is required to live on campus?
All first- and second-year students are required to live on campus in SMU’s Residential Commons.  The on-campus requirement is also met by second-year students who are eligible to reside in SMU Greek housing.

First-Year Transfer students who are under the age of 20 by the first day of classes must also live on campus.  Traditional Transfer students may request, but are not guaranteed, housing.

How many students live on campus?
Approximately 2,640 first- and second-year undergraduate students live in 11 Residential Commons. Three hundred (300) upperclass and graduate students live in seven residence halls.

When do I sign up for housing?
After you've been admitted to SMU and we receive your nonrefundable $685 Orientation, Housing and Matriculation deposit ($335 Orientation Fee, which includes AARO and Mustang Corral, $100 Housing Deposit, $250 Matriculation Fee), you will receive an email with directions on how to apply for housing.

When do I get my health form?
The Health History Form is downloaded from the Health Center website and must be completed before you attend Academic Advising, Registration, and Orientation (AARO).

Can I request a roommate?
Yes, as long as you and your friend request each other. Preferred roommate's name and social security number must be provided.

Do you have co-ed housing?
Yes, all residence halls are co-ed, by wing, floor, or suite, depending on the layout of the hall.

Where do I eat on campus?
Residential dining facilities are located on the lower level of the Umphrey Lee Center and at Arnold Dining Commons. Additional restaurants are located at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, McElvaney Hall, Owen Arts Center, and the Fincher Building.  For more information, visit

What kind of facilities are available at the Health Center?
The SMU Memorial Health Center is a professionally staffed outpatient primary care clinic, including pharmacy, lab and x-ray facilities, as well as counseling, testing, and alcohol and drug education centers. For more information, visit the Health Center website.

What is the alcohol policy on campus?
SMU expects all students to be responsible citizens and to abide by all federal, state, and local laws. More information can be found in the SMU Student Handbook.

Are first-year students allowed to register cars on campus?
First-year students are allowed to have cars on campus, although parking space is limited. The car must be registered with the SMU police. For more information, visit SMU Park 'N Pony.

When may I rush a fraternity or sorority?
SMU has a deferred rush that starts in January for first-year students. Students interested in pledging a fraternity or sorority must have successfully completed at least 12 semester hours in residence at a college or university during their last semester enrolled in that college or university preceding the pledging period and must have a minimum 2.50 GPA for that previous semester and a cumulative 2.50 GPA at all colleges or universities previously attended at the time of beginning pledgeship/new member education.

Student/Campus Life

How many students attend SMU?
On average, SMU enrolls approximately 6,350 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate and professional students. The first-year class is between 1425-1450 students.

What is the percentage of minority students?
SMU's undergraduate minority enrollment averages approximately 27%, with an additional 7% from international countries, meaning that more than one in every three students on campus comes from a diverse background. SMU thrives on the dialogue and understanding created by this global community.

What is the male-to-female ratio?
The SMU undergraduate population is nearly 50/50 male and female. On average, the graduate population is slightly higher in the number of males.

What percentage of first-year students return in their second year?
SMU students continue to return for their second year an average of 89-90%.

What kinds of student organizations are on campus?
There are approximately 230 student organizations in which students can explore new interests or expand upon old ones. Students have many opportunities to serve and lead, and the freedom to experiment and follow. For more information on campus organizations, visit the Student Activities website.

What kinds of activities take place on the weekends?
Weekend activities on campus include sports, social events, academic lectures, fine arts productions, and more!

What types of athletics does SMU offer?
SMU offers 17 NCAA Division I-A teams in basketball, cross-country/track and field, swimming and diving, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball (women only), equestrian (women only), crew (women only), and football. SMU also offers several special interest sports clubs and an extensive intramural sports program. For more information on SMU athletics, visit For more information on SMU recreational sports, visit

How many students participate in the Greek system, and when is recruitment?
Approximately 48% of female undergraduates participate in sororities, and about 32% of male undergraduates participate in fraternities. Greeks are a positive force on campus: involved, service oriented, and academically competitive. SMU has deferred recruitment, meaning that recruitment week is the last week of the winter break.

How important is community service to SMU students?
Building a sense of social responsibility through community service is central to SMU's mission. SMU offers service-learning courses, fall and spring Community Service Days, an Inter-Community Experience (ICE) program, SMU Service House residence, an Alternative Spring Break program, as well as many other service opportunities through various campus organizations.

What type of career services are provided?
The Hegi Family Career Development Center offers advising, testing, internships, job postings, interviews, etc. For more information, visit

What types of student support services are provided?
SMU provides students with several different types of services, such as the Counseling and Testing Center, the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC), the Career Center, the Advising Center, as well as services for students with disabilities

General Information

What is SMU's connection with the United Methodist Church?
SMU was founded in 1911 by what is now known as the United Methodist Church. Today, SMU is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. The ties with the church are strong. SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching. Enrollment is religiously diverse. Courses in religion are offered but not required. Management is vested in a Board of Trustees comprising civic, business, educational, and religious leaders who represent various faiths and geographic areas.

Are religion courses required? Is chapel attendance mandatory?
No, religious studies are not required. A chapel service is offered in Perkins Chapel every Sunday, but attendance is voluntary.

How large is the campus?
There are 101 buildings on 278 acres. You can walk from one end of the campus to the other in less than 15 minutes.

How safe is the campus?
SMU is located in the city of University Park in a largely residential neighborhood of single-family homes and parks.  SMU is committed to fostering a safe learning and working environment for our campus community. As part of that commitment, the SMU Police Department prepares and distributes an annual security report in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.  You may view or request a copy of this report here.

Are first-year students allowed to have cars?
Yes, although all necessary services are within walking distance. Additionally, a good bus/light rail system exists in Dallas, and students ride free using their SMU student IDs after paying a one-time $5 fee. Many first-year students find that they do not need a car. The cost for a full-year parking permit is $290. For more information on having vehicles on campus, visit SMU Park 'N Pony.

How do I receive a certificate of enrollment to respond to requests, for example, from my insurance carrier, a scholarship donor or a lender?
Current students can request Enrollment Verifications through our online student center, Complete details can be found on the Registrar’s Office website.

Does SMU have campus security?
Campus security is handled by the SMU Police Department, which can be reached on campus by calling 911. SMU Police is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by state-certified law enforcement officers. Support also is provided by police and fire departments for the city of Dallas and the city of University Park. For more information, visit