A private university of nearly 11,000 students near the center of Dallas, SMU offers strong undergraduate, graduate and professional programs through seven schools — in the humanities and sciences; business; the performing, visual and communication arts; engineering; education and human development; law; and theology.

  • Students come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and about 80 foreign countries, and represent diverse economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
  • SMU itself is a gateway to the global community, offering 30 education abroad programs as well as a unique campus in Northern New Mexico on the site of a historic fort and 13th-century Indian pueblo.
  • The University's 10 libraries house the largest private collection of research materials in the Southwest.
  • The internationally acclaimed Meadows Museum houses one of the finest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain and presents outstanding special exhibitions and educational programming for youth and adults.
  • As part of SMU's focus on leadership, the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and Hart Global Leaders Forum bring national and world leaders to campus for lectures and interaction with students.
  • Founded in 1911 by what is now The United Methodist Church, SMU opened in 1915 with support from Dallas leaders. The University is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to freedom of inquiry.

Academic Offerings

SMU is a private, comprehensive university offering 123 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate and professional degree programs, including 25 doctorates. The University has seven degree-granting schools:

  • Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Meadows School of the Arts
  • Cox School of Business
  • School of Engineering
  • Dedman School of Law
  • Perkins School of Theology
  • Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

SMU also offers courses through numerous continuing education programs.

  • SMU has several centers and institutes focused on diverse and interdisciplinary subjects. They include the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship and the Institute for Reading Research.

Academic Profile and Rankings

  • The average SAT score of the first-year undergraduate class has risen 97 points in the past 10 years.
  • SMU ranked 13th in Forbes magazine's report on rankings by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in 2008.
  • SMU consistently ranks in the top one-third of national universities in the guide America’s Best Colleges, published by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Cox School of Business is recognized as a leader in business education by such publications as BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Economist, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report.
  • Recent graduates have included four Fulbright Scholars and a Marshall Scholar.
  • History Professor David J. Weber was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007.


  • In fall 2007, 79.4 percent of first-year students and 71.5 percent of all undergraduates received financial assistance.
  • 63.5 percent of fall 2007 undergraduates and 49.8 percent of graduate students reported a religious affiliation; of them, 22.5 percent are Roman Catholic and 21.3 percent are Methodist. Also represented are other Protestant affiliations and religions such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • Approximately 450 students participate each year in 30 education abroad programs offered in 16 countries throughout Europe and in Asia, Australia and Africa, as well as a program in Mexico.
  • More than 2,500 student volunteers serve annually through approximately 70 nonprofit agencies.
  • Approximately 180 campus organizations provide opportunities for student involvement and leadership training.

Enrollment — Fall 2007

  • Undergraduate students 6,176
  • Graduate and professional students 4,653
  • Total enrollment 10,829
  • Minority students made up 21 percent of SMU’s total fall 2007 enrollment. Students come to SMU from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with more than half of first-year students coming from out of state. The fall 2007 enrollment included 747 international students from 82 countries.


  • SMU has more than 600 full-time faculty members.
  • 84 percent of full-time faculty hold the doctorate or highest degree in their fields.
  • The student-faculty ratio is 12-to-1.


  • SMU has approximately 100,000 alumni worldwide, including about 40,000 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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