Founded in 1911, Southern Methodist University is a private institution that strives to provide students with a strong liberal arts foundation. Although the United Methodist Church developed the university, academic studies are secular in nature. The university’s 231 acre campus sits five miles north of downtown Dallas. This urban location allows students to be at the center of commerce and culture. With an average of 232 days of sunshine per year, outdoor activities are plentiful. Students are able to be a part of the annual Dallas International Film Festival as well as visit over 400 parks in the city. Of the 6,200+ undergraduate students, approximately 2,300 participate in Greek life. The campus also houses the George W. Bush Presidential Center which has a Bush administration museum, public policy institute, and library.
Programs are offered from five different schools. Most students start off at the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences for their freshman year as they try to settle on a passion and pick their majors and minors. Once students decide on a more specialized route for their education, they may end up transferring to a different school to earn their degrees. The other four schools round out the field and provide students with the foundation the school intends for them in order to pursue productive personal and professional lives as leaders and global citizens.
Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is where most students begin their post-high school journey. The college’s motto is, “Build a strong foundation as a creative problem solver.” The belief that a broad-based education is beneficial for students in a competitive world drives the faculty and students at Dedman College. Students who choose to pursue careers in public policy, environmental science, biochemistry, ethnic and international studies stay with Dedman College throughout their undergraduate career. Others move on to the various options provided by the other schools.
Cox School of Business
The core of the Cox School of Business combines a balanced education, strong curriculum, and real-life experience to prepare students for success in a global marketplace. The school has developed close partnerships with the Dallas corporate community in support of internship and networking opportunities for students. Cox also has a Business Associates Program which pairs undergraduates with local mentors, working in the same field, to help students create early bonds with business executives and leaders in the area.
Lyle School of Engineering
At Lyle School of Engineering, students develop into highly skilled engineers who are innovative pioneers and cutting-edge critical thinkers. The school is known as having one of the highest female student populations in the country, in a field that is highly competitive. Lyle School of Engineering is involved with ground-breaking research utilizing the latest technologies available.
Meadows School of the Arts
Students have the opportunity to study at Meadows School of Arts if they want to pursue a career in the arts. Faculty members teaching hereare all accomplished authors, journalists, and performers themselves, bringing students a genuine education. This school is one of the best-known arts schools in the nation.
Simmons School of Education and Human Development
“Harness and share the power of education” is the belief shared by the faculty and students at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Students develop skills and credentials to pursue careers in education or human development at the university’s newest school. Collaboration, growth, vision, and challenge are encouraged throughout the program, preparing students to positively affect the future.
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There are two distinct admissions deadlines each year for first year students. Early Action students need to apply by November 1. Regular Decision students have until January 15. Prospective students are expected to take the SAT or ACT before leaving high school. If students are applying for dance, music, theater, art, or film, they are also required to audition or provide portfolio requirements as well.
Transfer students have three admission deadlines to follow. Fall admission applications are due April 1, June 1, or August 1. Spring admission applications are due on November 1. Students who want to begin their studies over the summer have to submit their applications by March 15. It is important that transfer students provide a transcript from the school they are transferring from, as well as a high school diploma if less then 30 credit hours are transferable from the previous institution.
International students are also welcome here. An English proficiency test, such as the TOEFL or IELTS, is required for admission. International students are accepted on a rolling basis, but are highly encouraged to complete their applications by January 15.
Students are provided with both merit-based scholarships as well as support in applying for federal loans. Merit-based scholarships are predominantly awarded to first year students and the school has been lauded for their merit-based awards by America’s Best College Scholarships.
Federal grants and loans are also available for students, ranging from the Pell Grant to the Stafford Loan. University staff is readily available to support all students as they look for different ways to fund their education.
Payment plans can also be set up between the student and university. The Payment Plan allows students to pay their tuition, fees, and room/board in five equal installments within a semester with no interest charges. The Four-Year Single Payment Plan allows students to avoid paying yearly tuition and fee increases by paying for all four years in one lump sum at the first year’s rate.
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The Mustangs play in NCAA Division I-A sports. As the only Division I program in Dallas, SMU has ranked as the top school in its conference for a decade. In addition, the graduation rate of athletes is 78 percent compared to the Division I-A average of 58 percent. Faculty and staff emphasize a balance between sports and academics, presenting students with tools they need in the classroom and on the “field”. Sports available to students include basketball, cross country, equestrian, football, golf, rowing, soccer, swimming/diving, tennis, track/field, and volleyball. The teams here garner a great deal of support from both the students and the greater Dallas community.
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One thing that makes this university unique is the Meadows Museum, housed right on campus. The museum displays the largest and most comprehensive collection of Spanish art outside of Spain. The Meadows Museum displays art dating back to the 10th century. The brainchild of Algur H. Meadows, a Texas philanthropist and oil financier, the museum is inspired by the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. Algur Meadows spent many years helping the museum establish its collection, and in 1965, opened its doors to the world. The museum provides local schools, colleges, and the Dallas community a place to actively explore and appreciate Spanish art from El Greco, Murillo, Goya, Picasso, Rodin, and others. Public lectures, symposia, concerts, and special exhibits also take place here.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.