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Southern Methodist University Data & Information Overview

Want the scoop on Southern Methodist University? We’ve put together a comprehensive report on the school that covers what majors SMU offers, how the school ranks, how diverse it is, and much more. All you need to do to learn more about a stat is click on its tile, and you’ll be taken to another page that analyzes that data more closely. Also, you can use the links below to scroll to any section of this page.

How Well Is Southern Methodist University Ranked?

Quality Badge

2023 Rankings

College Factual analyzes over 2,000 colleges and universities in its annual rankings and ranks them in a variety of ways, including most diverse, best overall quality, best for non-traditional students, and much more.

Southern Methodist University was awarded 588 badges in the 2023 rankings.

Overall Quality

SMU is ranked #91 out of 2,241 schools in the nation for overall quality on College Factual's 2023 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 5% of all schools in the nation. This is an improvement over the previous year, when SMU held the #133 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

SMU also holds the #4 spot on the Best Colleges in Texas ranking.

See all of the rankings for Southern Methodist University.

Is It Hard to Get Into SMU?

Acceptance Rate

Southern Methodist University has an acceptance rate of 53%, which means the school is serious about who it admits. Take your time in putting together a strong application that highlights why you are a good fit for SMU.

Average Test Scores

About 40% of students accepted to SMU submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 630 and 710. Math scores were between 620 and 740.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Southern Methodist University  ( 630 to 710 )

SAT Math Scores for Southern Methodist University  ( 620 to 740 )
SMU received ACT scores from 55% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 29 and 33.

ACT Composite Scores for Southern Methodist University  ( 29 to 33 )

Learn more about Southern Methodist University admissions.

Southern Methodist University Faculty

Student to Faculty Ratio

At SMU, the student to faculty ratio is an excellent 11 to 1. That's much better than the national average of 15 to 1. This indicates that many classes will probably be small, and students will have ample opportunites to work closely with their professors and classmates.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

Another measure that is often used to estimate how much access students will have to their professors is how many faculty members are full-time. The idea here is that part-time faculty tend to spend less time on campus, so they may not be as available to students as full-timers.

The full-time faculty percentage at Southern Methodist University is 68%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  68 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Southern Methodist University

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate of 90% tells us that most first-year, full-time students like Southern Methodist University enough to come back for another year. This is a fair bit higher than the national average of 68%. That's certainly something to check off in the good column about the school.

Freshmen Retention Rate  90 out of 100

Graduation Rate

Students are considered to have graduated on time if they finish their studies within four years. At SMU the on-time graduation rate of first-time, full-time students is 68%. That is great when compared to the national average of 33.3%

On-Time Graduation Rate  68 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Southern Methodist University.

Southern Methodist University Undergraduate Student Diversity

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 6,827 undergraduates at SMU with 6,616 being full-time and 211 being part-time.

How Much Does Southern Methodist University Cost?

The overall average net price of SMU is $38,208. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for SMU

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$27,427 $24,226 $29,892 $33,820 $47,781

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of SMU, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

It's not uncommon for college students to take out loans to pay for school. In fact, almost 66% of students nationwide depend at least partially on loans. At SMU, approximately 23% of students took out student loans averaging $11,378 a year. That adds up to $45,512 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at SMU is 2.1%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Get more details about paying for Southern Methodist University.

How Much Money Do SMU Graduates Make?

Although some majors pay more than others, students who graduate from SMU with a bachelor's degree go on to jobs where they make an average salary of $72,514 in their early years. That's great news for SMU students since it is 71% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


See which majors at Southern Methodist University make the most money.

Location of Southern Methodist University

Located in Dallas, Texas, Southern Methodist University is a private not-for-profit institution. The suburban atmosphere of Dallas makes it a great place for students who want the amenities of city life without actually living in the middle of a constant hustle and bustle.

Get more details about the location of Southern Methodist University.


Contact details for SMU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 6425 Boaz St, Dallas, TX 75275-0221
Phone: 214-768-2000

Southern Methodist University Majors

During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 88 majors graduated from Southern Methodist University. Of these students, 2,105 received undergraduate degrees and 2,082 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Finance & Financial Management 302 $66,678
Economics 195 $50,628
Public Relations & Advertising 96 $42,606
General Biology 93 $34,322
Mathematics 86 $68,463
General Psychology 85 $39,687
Health & Physical Education 84 $45,216
Accounting 81 NA
Marketing 74 $52,225
Mechanical Engineering 73 $68,406

Learn more about the majors offered at Southern Methodist University along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at SMU

Online learning is becoming popular at even the oldest colleges and universities in the United States. Not only are online classes great for returning adults with busy schedules, they are also frequented by a growing number of traditional students.

In 2019-2020, 3,839 students took at least one online class at Southern Methodist University. This is an increase from the 1,162 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2019-2020 3,839 3,213
2018-2019 1,162 515
2017-2018 1,104 501
2016-2017 1,190 503
2015-2016 759 420

Learn more about online learning at Southern Methodist University.

If you’re considering Southern Methodist University, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against SMU? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.