Description of the University
The Vision of Southern Methodist University
To create and impart knowledge that will shape citizens who contribute to their
communities and lead their professions in a global society.
The Mission of Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University’s mission is to be a leading private institution of
higher learning that expands knowledge through research and teaching. Among
its faculty, students and staff, the University develops skills and cultivates principled
thought and wisdom. The University is dedicated to the values of academic freedom
and open inquiry and to its United Methodist heritage.
To fulfill its mission the University strives for quality, innovation and continuous
improvement as it pursues the following goals:
- To enhance the academic quality and competitiveness of the University.
- To improve teaching and learning.
- To strengthen scholarly research and creative achievement.
- To support and sustain student development and quality of life.
- To broaden global perspectives.
- To advance the University through select, strategic alliances.
Southern Methodist University
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, professional, 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 seven degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities
and Sciences, Meadows School of the Arts, Edwin L. Cox School of Business,
Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Bobby
B. Lyle School of Engineering, Dedman School of Law and Perkins School of
Founded in 1911 by what is now the United Methodist Church, SMU is nonsectarian
in its teaching and is committed to the values of academic freedom and open
The University has 104 buildings, a total enrollment that has averaged more
than 10,000 the past ten years, a full-time faculty of 656, and assets of $2.26 billion
– including an endowment of $1.36 billion (Market Value, June 30, 2008).
Offering only a handful of degree programs at its 1915 opening, the University
presently awards baccalaureate degrees in more than 80 programs through five
undergraduate schools and a wide variety of graduate and professional degrees
through those and professional schools.
Of the 10,965 students enrolled for the 2008 fall term, 6,240 were undergraduates
and 4,725 were graduate and professional students. The full-time equivalent
enrollment was 6,073 for undergraduates and 3,121 for graduate and professional
Nearly all the students in SMU’s first class came from Dallas County, but now
47 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 92
foreign countries, and from all races, religions and economic levels.
Undergraduate enrollment is 54 percent female. Graduate and professional enrollment
is 44 percent female.
A majority of SMU undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. In 2008-
2009, 77 percent of first-year students received some form of financial aid, and 25
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
Southern Methodist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Baccalaureate, Master’s,
and Doctoral 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 the appropriate national professional
associations. The Edwin L. Cox School of Business is accredited by AACSB
International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The
Dedman School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association. Perkins
School of Theology is accredited by The Association of Theological Schools in
the United States and Canada. The Department of Chemistry is accredited by the
American Chemical Society. In the Meadows School of the Arts, the Dance Division
is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance; the Music
Division by the National Association of Schools of Music; and the Theatre Division
by the National Association of Schools of Theater.
The Lyle School of Engineering undergraduate programs in civil engineering,
computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering and
mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission
of ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012
– telephone: (410) 347-7700. The undergraduate computer science program that
awards the degree Bachelor of Science (B.S.) is accredited by the Computing
Accreditation Commission of ABET. The undergraduate computer science program
that awards the degree Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) is not accredited by a Commission
of ABET. ABET does not provide accreditation for the disciplines of environmental
science and management science.