Southern Methodist University—Dallas, Texas
Put a little prep in your step
What it Feels Like to Go Here
SMU’s roughly 6,000 students call loud and proud Dallas, Texas, home. Its tucked-away campus in a large city setting gives SMU the small-school vibe without the middle-of-nowhere feel of other small schools. When not hanging out on campus, SMU students love to venture into the city and explore. Greek life dominates at SMU with over 2,000 members. While its name may indicate otherwise, SMU actually considers itself a secular institution, hosting many different religious affiliations within its student body. As far as sports go, while SMU competes in Division 1, but the famous fans more frequently attend Boulevard tailgating than the games themselves.
Former first lady Laura Bush attended SMU way back when, and has the on-campus building to prove it. The George W. Bush Presidential Center includes a library, Bush museum, and public policy institute. Other famous alumni include actresses Kathy Bates and Lauren Graham, who attended a boulevard tailgate or two before going on to star in fan favorites like Titanic and Gilmore Girls, respectively.
Where We Hang
On game days, most Mustang fans hit the Boulevard for tailgates. As for night life, students bar-hop around Dallas at places such as Bar Stellar, Playground Bar, and Homebar (but only on Thursdays). And what do these private school kids do on their Sunday mornings? Brunch, of course. SMU brunchers munch at restaurants like Henry’s Majestic, St Anne’s, and Common Table.
1. How much are students partying?
“SMU is definitely a party school. Being a transfer student myself, I have been invited to parties the first week of classes, and a week before finals. I always wondered how college students manage to party, and work and study, all at the same time, but then I realized very quickly majority of the student populating rarely works more than 9 hours a week. So, it leaves plenty of time for parties. Most students party at least once a week, and the parties are either on campus or off campus,” senior Maha Naveed said.
2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?
“I think SMU is very strict regarding alcohol and drugs. So the one thing someone could get in trouble for is probably underage drinking on campus,” Naveed said.
3. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?
“I would tell incoming freshman not to worry about your major, because SMU makes it very easy to shift to a new one. Don’t worry about missing a night out to study or write a paper, because there’s so many more nights that it’s best to prioritize grades,” sophomore Elizabeth Hawn said.
“I love SMU because it is a small school atmosphere in a big city. Even though it’s a small school, I still meet new people every day. Everyone that goes here is from all over, so I have gotten to meet so many new people while I have been here. Everyone here is very dedicated to school but people also love to chill and hang out.” – Brianna Fendrich, Class of 2020.
“SMU really lives up to its motto: “World changers shaped here.” SMU prepares its students to go out into the real world and be successful. I graduate in a few weeks and I feel so prepared. I don’t have the “What am I going to do after I graduate” nerves because my degree programs and professors have prepared me for my career.” – Alexis Kopp, Class of 2018.
“I think SMU is different from other schools because it is actually preparing their students for the real world, and their particular careers. Our motto is “world changers are shaped here”, and to this day many students have graduated and been very successful at young ages. SMU’s undergraduates are more likely to get a job compared to other state school graduates, and I believe that is because of the amount of internships students have done starting as early as their freshmen year of college.” – Maha Naveed, Class of 2018.
Top 3 Majors
Top 3 Most Popular Student Organizations
1. The Mob
The “Mob,” basically SMU’s designated hype-men, sit front row at athletic events and basically get the crowd fired up. Sound like you? Easy there—not just anyone can join the mob. Students can earn points by attending sports events on campus; once you’ve reached a certain amount, students can apply for membership to the mob.
2. Student Senate
Many SMU students take part in Student Senate, the school’s Student Government. Whether you want to lead SMU or lead a country, Student Senate attracts a variety of students. However, this isn’t just your high school pep-rally-planning student council. This organizations actually runs like a senate, with one “senator” to every 300 students. Representatives even hold office hours where students can come voice their concerns to their designated senator. “I love being part of Student Senate,” student-senator Helena Burns said. “It gives me a platform to impact and change the school, and provides me with a wide variety of friends I would not have met if I weren’t a senator.”
3. Student Foundations
Student Foundations at SMU organizes multiple beloved events at SMU including Homecoming, Parents weekend, a Celebration of Lights at Christmastime and Perunapalooza—a birthday bash for the school’s mascot.
SMU accepts about half its applicants, but with an average GPA of 3.6 and ACT range of 28-32, those odds may not seem too great. While SMU’s score stats make even seasoned test-taking titans sweat, admissions looks more closely at the rigor of one’s school schedule. Loading up on AP Classes and challenging courses might pay off more than a 4.0 when applying. Being a private school, SMU accepts from all over (while many are from the Dallas area), so don’t worry about in state versus out of state acceptance.
Location: Dallas, TX
Tuition & Fees: $52,498
Total Cost on Campus: $69, 408
Undergrads Enrolled: 6,521
Grads Enrolled: 5,218
Total Enrolled: 11,739
Acceptance percentage: 49%
Percent Admitted who Enroll: 22%
Percentage of Male Students: 54%
Percentage of Female Students: 46%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 32% (need based); 3 out of 4 receive scholarships or financial aid
Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 25%