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, committed to freedom of inquiry and seeks to enhance the intellectual, cultural, technical, ethical and social development of a diverse student body.
SMU offers students abundant opportunities for access to faculty in small classes, research experience, international study, leadership development and off-campus service and internships, with the goal of preparing students to be contributing citizens and leaders for our state, the nation and the world.
- SMU's 11,000 students come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 90 foreign countries, and represent diverse economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Fifty percent of undergraduates come from outside Texas.
- The average SAT score of the first-year class has risen more than 134 points in the last 16 years.
- SMU is one of the few universities to have a voting student member of its Board of Trustees. More than 130 campus organizations provide other opportunities for involvement.
- Undergraduate research opportunities for students are available through programs such as Big iDeas, Undergraduate Research Assistantship program, Richter Research Fellowships, Engaged Learning, Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholars and the Meadows Exploration Awards.
- Students and graduates who recently won prestigious, nationally competitive national honors for 2012-13 include:
Jewel Lipps, sophomore, who received a National Science Foundation grant to study ecology in New Jersey’s Kittatinny Mountains
Graduate student Matthew Rispoli, who received a National Science Foundation Fellowship to apply toward Ph.D. studies in physics at Harvard University.
Eric Alt, a junior majoring in chemistry and mechanical engineering, was named a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.
Sophomore Janice Kim, biological sciences major, received a Goldwater Honorable Mention.
Hanna Kim, who graduated in May with degrees in political science and marketing, received a Fulbright Award to teach English in Korea.
SMU offers 109 bachelor’s degrees, 112 master’s degrees, 27 doctoral-research degrees, one doctoral-professional degree and one specialist degree through seven schools:
- Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
- Meadows School of the Arts
- Cox School of Business
- Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering
- Dedman School of Law
- Perkins School of Theology
- Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
- Specialized centers and institutes include the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, Institute for Evidence-Based Education, Family Research Center, Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, National Center for Arts Research and Center for Presidential History.
- MU also offers 148 study abroad programs in 50 countries, plus research and service projects overseas. SMU also has a unique campus in Taos, New Mexico, on the site of a historic fort and 13th-century Indian pueblo.
Faculty and Research
- SMU has more than 723 full-time faculty members. More than 79 percent of full-time faculty hold the doctorate or highest degree in their fields. The student-faculty ratio is 11-to-1.
- The University’s nine libraries house the largest private collection of research materials in the Southwest, with nearly 4 million print and electronic volumes.
- External funding for research and sponsored projects was more than $19.9 million during 2012-13.
- Faculty members have been named to prestigious academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
- Research topics include immigration, dark matter and the Higgs boson, geothermal energy, diabetes, asthma, treatments for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, water quality, cyber security and human performance.
- The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching raised SMU’s classification to a research university with “high research activity.”
- SMU consistently ranks in the top one-fourth of the best national universities in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. In the 2013 report, SMU ranks 58 among 280 national universities, a four-point improvement from the previous year.
- SMU’s Cox School of Business has three M.B.A programs (Full-time, Executive and Professional) ranked in the top 30 nationally by Bloomberg Businessweek.
- SMU has been ranked as the top school in its conference for 11 of the last 15 years in the Directors’ Cup Division I overall athletic rankings.