ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled Saved to Favorites.
Colleges / Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate53%
Acceptance Rate53%

SMU Admissions

If you are considering submitting an application to SMU, the regular decision application deadline is July 31 and the application fee costs $60.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students who are struggling to afford application fees may be eligible for fee waiver for their application.

Students who submit their applications for Fall should hear back from SMU by April 1.

SMU Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here's an overiew of some of SMU's admissions stats.

SMU 2021 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.6
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 47%
Mean SAT Score 1343
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are considered
Applicants Who Submit SATs 40%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 55%
Waitlist Yes

Continue reading for more information on SMU's admissions stats.

Considering Applying Early to SMU?

Southern Methodist University offers early decision and also offers early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing. Early Decision 2 applications are due 1/15.

The Early Action deadline is November 1, which is coming up fast! SMU will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 31.

The early decision acceptance rate at SMU is 65%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 53%. In 2021, SMU admitted 343 of the 527 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

Is SMU Hard To Get Into?

SMU is a moderately difficult school to get into. SMU evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, SMU accepted 53% of all applicants, around 7,379 of the 14,010 students who applied.

Schools that are moderately difficult to get into, like SMU, accept fewer than 85% of all applicants. At least 75% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 50% of their high school class and scored over 1010 on the SAT or over 18 on the ACT.

Transfer student admissions is moderately difficult.

In 2021, SMU waitlisted 2,043 students. Of those, 765 eventually received an admissions offer.

What Does SMU Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are are most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that prioritize the admissions factors where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at SMU

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Application Essay Very Important
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
Character/Personal Qualities Important
Class Rank Important
Extracurricular Activities Important
Talent/Ability Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Work Experience Considered
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
First Generation Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Volunteer Work Considered

SMU Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to SMU must submit the following items. Double check with SMU's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Minimum High School GPA (On 4.0 Scale) 2.02.7
Other Requirements statement of good standing from prior institution(s)
Letter(s) of Recommendation 1
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into SMU?

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that reflects your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. 4.0. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Students admitted to SMU have an average unweighted GPA of 3.6

Out of all students that were admitted, 26% submitted a class rank. At SMU 47% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 79% were in the top 25% and 94% were in the top 50%.

At Southern Methodist University, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 26%
3.75 and 3.99 25.73%
3.50 and 3.74 23.45%
3.25 and 3.49 13.72%
3.00 and 3.24 10.84%
2.50 and 2.9 4.9%
2.00 and 2.49 0.52%

SMU does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

SMU is not test optional. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 40% of SMU's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 55% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for SMU?

To be competitive with other SMU applicants, you should strive to earn between 1250 and 1440 (or higher!) on the SAT. At SMU 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1440 and 25% of scored lower than 1250, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a SMU student is 1343.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of SMU students scored 740 or higher and 75% of students scored 630 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of SMU students scored 710 or higher, and 75% scored a 630 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for SMU?

To be most competitive at SMU, you should strive to earn between 29 and 33 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 33 means you fall in the 75th percentile for SMU's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 33, and three out of four students scored lower than 33 on the ACT.

A 29 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for SMU students. Only one out of every four students scored below 29.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Southern Methodist University

For transfer students, it is moderately difficult to get admitted to SMU.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is April 1. Transfer applications are processed on a on a rolling basis as they are received.

Transfer students can enroll in SMU during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Spring Term

• Summer Term

SMU Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to SMU?

✅ Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to SMU.

Does SMU accept transfer credits?

SMU ✅ accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions. SMU accepts:

  • CLEP subject tests

Does SMU accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

SMU accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to SMU?

✅ SMU is not test optional. You must submit test scores as part of the application.

What is SMU's acceptance rate?

✅ SMU's acceptance rate is 53%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at SMU?

✅ SMU's early decision acceptance rate was 65% in 2021.

What is the early action acceptance rate at SMU?

❌ SMU does not offer eary action.

Want To Learn More About SMU?

Choose one of the options below to find out more about about SMU:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Connect with other students, parents, and admissions professionals to learn more about about SMU in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in Texas or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

SMU Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Somewhat Selective


How hard is it to get into SMU? SMU is a somewhat selective institution. The SMU acceptance rate is 53%. This means that the institution accepts 53 out of every 100 applicants.


SMU Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Apr 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to SMU is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to SMU is Apr 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

SMU ACT Scores


ACT Range

31 - 34

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

34 and Above


31 to 34


31 and Less


Stand out on your college application

  • • Qualify for scholarships
  • • Most students who retest improve their score
Sponsored by ACT
Take the Next ACT Test

ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to SMU is 32. Students with an ACT score of 34 and above have a good chance of getting into SMU. Students with an ACT score that falls between 31 and 34 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 31 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

SMU SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1350 - 1490


Math SAT Range

680 - 770


Reading SAT Range

660 - 740

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1490 and Above


1350 to 1490


1350 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for SMU students is 1415. Applicants with SAT scores of 1490 and above have a good chance of being admitted to SMU, while applicants with SAT scores between 1350 to 1490 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1350 have a low chance of being offered a spot at SMU.


Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At SMU, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.68. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
Do You Work at a University?

Claim your page to customize your profile and connect with students!

Claim Free Account
Scholarship Tips

Want to find money for school that doesn’t need to be paid back? Access insights and advice on how to search and apply for scholarships!

Find Scholarships
Need Advice or Have a Question About SMU?

Connect with the world's largest college forum for candid, authentic discussion.

Join the Conversation