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Colleges / Southern Methodist University

SMU Admissions

If you are considering submitting an applicationto SMU, the deadline for Fall 2022 admissions is July 31 and the application fee is $60. Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may be eligible for fee waiver for their application.

Students who submit their applications for Fall should receive an admissions decision no later than April 1.

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.

Mark your calendar! 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 decison.

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?

Getting into SMU is moderately difficult. 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 students, 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 got off the waitlist.

What's Most Important to Get In to SMU?

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 when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengthsand any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis the admissions factors where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at SMU

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Important
Geographical Residence Not Considered
Class Rank Important
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
Application Essay Very Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Not Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Not Considered
Talent/Ability Important
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
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 2.7
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?

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%.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At Southern Methodist University, students 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?

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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?

Students who are admitted to SMU must attend in the term they start. Deferring admissions is not encouraged. If you have a unusual circumstance, contact the admissions department..

Does SMU accept transfer credits?

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

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

SMU accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) creditsand 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.

See what others say 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 52 out of every 100 applicants.



Wondering what your chances are of getting into Southern Methodist University?

Complete your profile to get your personalized, AI-calculated prediction score.

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SMU Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jul 31

Transfer Applications are Due

Apr 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to SMU is Jul 31.

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

29 - 33

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

33 and Above


29 to 33


29 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to SMU is 31. Students with an ACT score of 33 and above have a good chance of getting into SMU. Students with an ACT score that falls between 29 and 33 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 29 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

SMU SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1250 - 1440


Math SAT Range

620 - 740


Reading SAT Range

630 - 710

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1440 and Above


1250 to 1440


1250 and Less


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SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for SMU students is 1343. Applicants with SAT scores of 1440 and above have a good chance of being admitted to SMU, while applicants with SAT scores between 1250 to 1440 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1250 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 3.63. 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.

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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