To create and impart knowledge that will shape citizens who contribute to their communities and lead their professions in a global society.
Southern Methodist University will create, expand and impart knowledge through teaching, research and service, shaping world changers who contribute to their communities and excel in their professions in a global society. Among its faculty, students and staff, the University will cultivate principled thought, develop intellectual skills and promote an environment emphasizing individual dignity and worth. SMU affirms its historical commitment to academic freedom and open inquiry, to moral and ethical values, and to its United Methodist heritage.
As a private, comprehensive university enriched by its United Methodist heritage and its partnership with the Dallas Metroplex, Southern Methodist University seeks to enhance the intellectual, cultural, technical, ethical and social development of a diverse student body. SMU offers undergraduate programs centered on the liberal arts; excellent graduate and continuing education programs; and 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 comprises eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Edwin L. Cox School of Business, Dedman School of Law, Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Perkins School of Theology, and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
Founded in 1911 by what is now the United Methodist Church, SMU is non-sectarian in its teaching and is committed to the values of academic freedom and open inquiry.
At its opening session in 1915, the University had two buildings, 706 students, a 35-member faculty and total assets of $633,540.
Today, the University has more than 100 buildings, a total enrollment averaging more than 11,000 for the past 10 years, a full-time faculty of 754 and assets of $3.2 billion - including an endowment of $1.6 billion (market value, May 31, 2019).
Offering only a handful of degree programs at its 1915 opening, the University presently awards over 100 baccalaureate degrees in more than 90 programs, with in five schools. The university also offers a variety of graduate programs in all of its eight schools.
Of the 11,824 students enrolled for the 2019 fall term, 6,710 were undergraduates and 5,114 were graduate students. The full-time equivalent enrollment was 6,587 for undergraduates and 3,814 for graduate students.
Nearly all the students in SMU’s first class came from Dallas County, but now more than 50 percent of the University’s undergraduate student body comes from outside Texas. In a typical school year, students come to SMU from every state; from more than 100 foreign countries; and from all races, religions and economic levels.
Undergraduate enrollment is 49 percent female. Graduate and professional enrollment is 48 percent female.
A majority of SMU undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. In 2019-2020, 78 percent of first-year students received some form of financial aid, and 22 percent of first-year students received need-based financial aid.
Management of the University is vested in a board of trustees of civic, business and religious leaders - Methodist and non-Methodist. The founders’ first charge to SMU was that it become not necessarily a great Methodist university, but a great university.
Southern Methodist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southern Methodist University.
Individual academic programs are accredited by appropriate national professional associations.
In Dedman College, the Department of Chemistry undergraduate program is accredited by the American Chemical Society, and the Psychology Department’s Ph.D. program in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
The Cox School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The Dedman School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association.
The Guildhall receives its accreditation because SMU is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
The Lyle School of Engineering undergraduate programs in civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Programs in and/or affiliated with The Meadows School of the Arts receive their accreditation because Southern Methodist University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, of Music, of Dance, and of Theater. The programs recognized under this accredited institutional membership are the art and art history programs, the Dance Division, the Music Division, the music therapy program, and the theater program. (NASM/NASAD/NASD/NAST 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, Telephone: (703) 437-0700, Facsimile: (703) 437-6312, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Perkins School of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada to award M.Div., M.A.M., M.S.M., M.T.S., Th.M. and D.Min. degrees.
Accredited programs in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development include the teacher education undergraduate and graduate programs, which are accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification of the Texas Education Agency. The SBEC and the TEA also accredits the M.Ed. in Accelerated School Leadership and the M.Ed. Urban Leadership. The M.S. in Counseling meets the licensure standards of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists and the State Board for Educator Certification (TEA) School Counselor All Levels K-12.