Academics

Location
Dallas, TX
Undergrads
5,999
Tuition
$41,750
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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5 College Sophomore

Academics: SMU has great profs and the curriculum is difficult, but in a good way that makes a degree from SMU respectable. The new curriculum is confusing, but I believe it is being changed so that doesn't deduct points. Everyone likes to study in Fondren library, it is big and has tons of resources.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I have loved being in the engineering school. There are awesome extra things to do such as contests, volunteering to build an aquaponics system, or working in the innovation center!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: Being an engineering major is difficult, but as is expected with this major. Despite this, I am glad I choose SMU.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics aren't terribly hard. If you're an engineer, expect a few failing grades. If you're a business student, putting in minimal effort will get you a B+ average. Professors are overall pretty good. You'll get a few that you hate, but a few that you think are fantastic. Registration is a pretty big pain, and can be really frustrating when you get a late registration date and all the classes you wanted are full. The new University Curriculum is kind of stupid. It makes you take a bunch of classes you don't want to take and are totally irrelevant. Registration becomes a huge game of "what's the easiest class that fulfills my historical contexts requirement". You'll quickly learn the easy classes to take that aren't related to your major.

2 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Academics: Haven't decided a major yet.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 39th
    Smartest Professors
  • 79th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 153rd
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 187th
    Best Course Variety
  • 201st
    Most Manageable Workloads

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Peter Goldschmidt
Hometown
Jefferson City, MO
Major
Financial Consulting
View all previous student authors

It is obvious that sometime in your college career, you will encounter the teacher that everyone has been avoiding. There is no way to dodge that ball. SMU can make no guarantees, just like any other institution, but at least they offer a number of intelligent professors that are interesting. Most are either here to continue research or have already attained their doctorate. The likelihood that you will encounter a boring teacher is quite low. Students tend to agree that your class is as stimulating as you make it. SMU professors are enthusiastic about their subject matter as well as friendly. Every professor is required to post office hours, but most will go out of their way after an arduous day to make sure that every one of their students' questions-even the most mundane- are answered. I have had several professors that allowed me to call them at home or have worked around my schedule. Even the most stringent professors secretly cheer for you in the shadows.

The courses are noteworthy and challenging enough to force you to find the library. Some professors are lenient with assignments while others make you feel as though you are already in law school. SMU teachers are very strict on one thing in particular though: attendance. The well-known phrase at SMU is "Go to Class!" Adhere to it or watch your grade slowly plummet to its death. At SMU, you can feel confident knowing that at any time you can change majors without having to change schools. Every program here is in high regard nationwide and is constantly being enhanced. Most students say that the academics become harder every year-so be prepared to lose sleep.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
11:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
705
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
401
Total FT Faculty
719
Faculty with Terminal Degree
83%
Average Faculty Salary
$94,612
Full-Time Retention Rate
90%
Part-Time Retention Rate
100%
Graduation Rate
80%
Programs/Majors Offered
102
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 58%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 34%
  • 50 or More Students: 7%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: Yes
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Cox School of Business
  • Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Dedman School of Law
  • Meadows School of the Arts
  • Perkins School of Theology
  • School of Engineering
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Accounting: 3%
  • Business Administration and Management: 2%
  • Finance, General: 5%
  • Law: 4%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Bridwell Library
  • Business Information Center (BIC)
  • Fondren Library Center
  • Hamon Arts Library
  • Residence hall study rooms
Tips to Succeed
  • Ask around about professors before scheduling your classes.
  • Befriend the TAs.
  • Check your Webmail every day.
  • Don't blow off school for parties.
  • Don't schedule an 8 a.m. class unless you can definitely get up for it.
  • Go to class, especially if there is an attendance policy.
  • Keep yourself busy-get involved or pick a minor.
  • Make sure your teacher knows your name.
  • Remember what you're here for!
  • Take care of all your GEC courses first before your major classes so you can have more time to decide on a major.
Did You Know?
  • SMU features a Tate Lecture Series every year, where students are given the chance to listen to honored and celebrated guest speakers. Past guests have been Julie Andrews, Tony Blair, Tom Brokaw, Dick Cheney, Wade Davis, Bob Dole, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, John Irving, Nicholas D. Kristof, Bill O'Reilly, Sidney Poitier, Martin Sheen, Stephen Stephanopoulos, Ted Turner, Barbara Walters, and many more.
  • The Meadows Museum is home to the largest and most inclusive collection of Spanish art outside of Spain. Some of the original works by El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Murillo, Goya, Miró, and Picasso are all showcased here.
  • The "Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead" raised over $532 million for educational needs, campus construction, and renovations over a period of five years. In September of 2005, the first phase of renovations to the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports was completed and features two basketball courts, an extended track, a climbing wall, swimming facilities, indoor soccer, and much more. Also, in 2005, construction of a new business education building was completed. SMU has a substantial amount of funding to maintain the beauty of its campus.
  • At a campus rally September 12, the University kicked off the public phase of the campaign and announced the goal of $750 million for "SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign." The campaign already is off to a running start, with 29,488 donors providing $317 million in commitments during the two-year quiet phase of the campaign. This includes 49 donors who have made commitments of $1 million and above. The five-year public phase will coincide with the centennial of the University's founding in 1911; the University opened in 1915.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 11 responses

  • 23% Kathy Bates - Academy Award-winning actress
  • 19% Doak Walker - Heisman Trophy recipient
  • 19% Eric Dickerson - NFL Hall of Fame
  • 6% Lauren Graham - star on TV show "Gilmore Girls"
  • 6% James Cronin - Nobel Prize-winning physicist
  • 6% Karen Hughes - former presidential adviser
  • 6% Laura Bush
  • 3% Beth Henley - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright
  • 3% Steve Lundquist - Olympic gold medalist
  • 3% Brian Baumgartner - Actor on "The Office"
  • 3% Brian Baumgartner - played Kevin on The Office
  • 0% Robert Dennard - computer memory pioneer
  • 0% Powers Boothe - Emmy Award-winning actor
  • 0% Lars Frolander - Olympic gold medalist
  • 0% Paige Davis - actress, former TV host
  • 0% Payne Stewart - champion golfer
  • 0% Laura Bush - former first lady
  • 0% Patricia Richardson - actress
  • 0% Aaron Spelling - TV producer

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 41 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 42 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

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