The Ivy Scholars guide to SMU’s culture, admissions, and other essential information for prospective students and their families.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Mascot: Peruna the Shetland Pony
Type: Private Research Institution
Population: 11,649 (6,479 undergrads)
With 131 buildings on 234 acres just five miles north of Downtown Dallas, Southern Methodist University is a nationally ranked private university dedicated to educating students to have an impact on their communities. In their words – “World Changers Shaped Here.”
SMU prioritizes sustainability and is committed to eco-friendly, LEED-certified buildings. They are a distinguished center for global research with a liberal arts tradition. Southern Methodist University offers over 100 majors and 85 minors to choose from, as well as double and triple significant opportunities and accelerated degree programs.
Southern Methodist University has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The total enrollment for Fall 2018 was 11,649, with 6,479 undergraduate students and 5,170 graduate students. Of the undergraduate student population, 49% were female, and 51% were male. Of the graduate student population, 53% were male, and 47% were female.
Southern Methodist University embraces excellence, integrity, intellectual freedom, open dialogue, diversity, and inclusion.
Excellence: We cultivate an enduring spirit of inquiry, innovation, and creativity, fostering impactful research, inspired teaching, and life-long learning.
Integrity: We value truth and conduct ourselves with honesty and strong moral and ethical principles.
Intellectual freedom: We embrace the freedom of ideas and expression.
Open dialogue: We welcome opportunities to exchange diverse perspectives and pledge ourselves to civil discourse.
Diversity and Inclusion: We are all strengthened by different perspectives based on our varied identities and life experiences, and embrace the worth and dignity of all people. SMU students say it well: Every Mustang is valued.
Southern Methodist University is a private research university with a legacy of scholarly impact, creating knowledge and leaders through research and graduate education. As a testament to this, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies SMU as a university with “high research activity.”
Total Fall 2018 Identified Diversity Enrollment – 3,319
Southern Methodist University undergraduate minority enrollment averages approximately 27%, with an additional 7% from international countries.
As of the 2020-21 school year, the total tuition cost for attending Southern Methodist University is $79,126. This price includes tuition ($51,958), fees ($6,582), room and board ($17,110), books ($876), transportation ($1,000), and personal expenses ($1,600).
Competitive academic scholarship programs
November 1 for Early Decision I and Early Action or January 15 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision – will be automatically considered for Southern Methodist University academic awards.
Southern Methodist University also offers grants, loans, and work-study awards.
According to U.S News’ 2020 Collegiate Rankings, Southern Methodist University stands at:
According to Southern Methodist University, their school stands at:
Socioeconomic – Three out of four SMU students receive scholarships and/or financial aid, including academic and need-based.
National – More than half of undergraduates come from outside Texas, with students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Following Texas, the leading home states for first-year students are California, Illinois, Florida, and Connecticut.
International – International enrollment of 1,596 students (14% of total enrollment) from 83 foreign countries. The largest international groups are from China, India, and Mexico.
Religious – Among students reporting a religious preference, 28% are Catholic, and 14% are Methodist; 46% are from other Protestant denominations; and 11% represent other religions (including Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism). Diverse Campus Ministries organizations support and nurture students in the development of faith and ethics.
In the fall of 2019, the acceptance rate was 49%. For the class of 2023 – 13,250 students applied to SMU’s undergraduate program. Of those applicants, 6,482 were admitted.
Reading & Writing
When applying to Southern Methodist University, students must commit to one of the seven specific academic schools. However, one does not need to declare a major until the second semester of sophomore year.
The early decision deadline to apply to Southern Methodist University is November 1. Students who identify SMU as their top choice college prior to November 1 are encouraged to apply Early Decision I. If admitted, students are expected to enroll and immediately withdraw all other applications.
The regular decision deadline is January 15
Transfer Student’s deadline for regular decision is June 1.
Some schools within the University have specific deadlines, auditions, and portfolios needed to apply.
Music, Theatre, Dance, Art and Film and Media Arts (B.F.A. only) are Dual Admit Programs.
In order to pursue these majors, students must be admitted both to the Meadows School of the Arts (via audition or portfolio review), as well as to Southern Methodist University (via the undergraduate application for admission).