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Southern Methodist University, Dallas

Dallas is a huge, booming, modern, exciting city which students at SMU can take full advantage of, because SMU is just 15 minutes from downtown Dallas. More sprawling than Austin or Houston, Dallas is a great place to launch a career. 

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Average ACT score of incoming first-years in 2023: 31.9
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,000
  • Sports: Since 2017, ALL 17 sports have advanced to postseason

Student Body

At SMU, 60% of students come from out of state, 6% are international, and 34% are from Texas. With a 75% acceptance rate in ED, and a 53% acceptance rate in RD, students should have at least a few AP classes and mostly A grades on their transcripts. 

SMU fits the mid-size category, with 7,000 undergraduates. Students love the community, and the mandatory residential college system that fosters connections between students. Classes are small, and professors will remember you not just in class, but even years later.


SMU’s architecture is uniformly southern – two and three-story red brick buildings with white columns, connected by expansive lawns, trees, and fountains. Athletics play a big role at SMU, and the facilities aren’t off on the fringes, but right in the heart of campus. Adjacent to campus are shops and restaurants popular with college-age students. 

Academics and Student Life

SMU students are happy and involved, tend to be involved in multiple clubs and pre-professional organizations, and boast that their very strong alumni network opens doors once you graduate. Many majors lean toward pre-professional, including many business tracks such as finance, marketing, real estate, and data analytics. But, SMU is a well-rounded university with academic strengths in social sciences, STEM, and the humanities. 

Roughly 50% of students join Greek life, but as one student put it, “Only the freshmen think it’s a big deal.” Students also report that the challenging academic coursework means they’re in the library studying at least 4 nights per week. Students say that it’s easy to make friends in the dorms, and that not being part of Greek life still leaves you with plenty of social options. SMU builds community through its residential commons system, and students are required to live on campus their first two years. 

SMU is comparable to Wake Forest University or Santa Clara University. One student majoring in business said she chose it over the University of Michigan and University of Florida because she loved the smaller size and a strong community feeling, and she has not been disappointed. 

SMU offers a beautiful campus, great resources, strong pre-professional as well as classic academic programs, a strong community, and a prime location in Dallas, Texas. Acceptance rates are likely to fall lower in coming years, as more students outside of Texas discover the academic, pre-professional, and social opportunities that await at SMU.

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