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Colleges / Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University

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

SMU Admissions

If you want to apply to SMU, the deadline for Fall 2023 admissions is January 15 and the fee for the application costs $60.

Students who apply to SMU for fall semester should hear back from SMU by March 15.

SMU Admissions Stats at a Glance

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

SMU 2022 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.7
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 52%
Mean SAT Score 1415
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are considered
Applicants Who Submit SATs 16%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 23%
Waitlist Yes

Southern Methodist University Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Southern Methodist University.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I Yes November 1 December 31
Early Decision II Yes January 15 April 1
Early Action Yes November 1 December 31
Regular Decision Yes January 1 March 15

Applying Early to SMU?

SMU offers early decision and also offers early action. Early decision is binding, which means you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

πŸ—“οΈ Early Decision I applications are due by November 1 EDI applicants should receive a decision by December 31.

πŸ—“οΈ Early Decision II applications are due January 15. ED II Applicants will recieve their decision before April 1.

πŸ—“οΈ The Early Action deadline is November 1. SMU will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 31.

The early decision acceptance rate at SMU is 55%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 53%. Last year, SMU admitted 350 of the 637 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply to college early in hopes that it will help their chances of being offering admission. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase the chance of being admitted, since it is a way to show your interest in a school.

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

More on Southern Methodist University Admissions

How To Get Into Southern Methodist University

It is moderately difficult to get into SMU. 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, about 8,333 of the 15,685 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.

Transferring to Southern Methodist University

Transfer student admissions is moderately difficult.

For Students Waitlisted to SMU

In 2022, SMU waitlisted 1,787 students and 821 accepted a place on the waitlist. Of those, 236 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 given the most weight in the admissions process. When assembling your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and choose schools that prioritize the admissions factors where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at SMU

What does SMU consider during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

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

Make sure to check with SMU for more information on admission factors.

SMU Application Requirements

To apply to SMU, all applicants must submit the following items. Make sure to check in 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 √
Transcript(S) of College Record
Standardized Test Scores
Statement of Good Standing From Prior Institution(S)
Letter(s) of Recommendation 1
Minimum High School GPA (On 4.0 Scale) 2.02.7
Other Requirements √ statement of good standing from prior institution(s)
Transcript of High School Record √

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into SMU?

Students admitted to SMU have an average unweighted GPA of 3.7.

Out of all students that were admitted, 26% submitted a class rank. At SMU 52% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 81% were in the top 25% and 94% were in the top 50%.

GPAs of Admitted Students

At Southern Methodist University, student GPAs fall in the following ranges.

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA 20.93%
3.75 and 3.99 31.93%
3.50 and 3.74 21.76%
3.25 and 3.49 13.93%
3.00 and 3.24 7.82%
2.50 and 2.9 3.5%
2.00 and 2.49 0.13%

This chart depicts the percentage of all enrolled, degree-seeking, first-time, first year (freshmen) students who had high school grade point average within the given ranges.

Note: Some schools choose not release this information. If you have any questions regarding missing numbers, be sure to reach out to SMU directly.

About GPAs

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. 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.

Standardized Test Scores

SMU looks at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

SMU does not have a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 16% of SMU's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 23% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for SMU?

To be competitive with other SMU applicants, you should strive to earn between 1350 and 1490 (or higher!) on the SAT. At SMU 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1490 and 25% of scored lower than 1350, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a SMU student is 1415.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of SMU students scored 770 or higher and 75% of students scored 660 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of SMU students scored 740 or higher, and 75% scored a 660 or higher.

What is a Good ACT Score for SMU?

To be most competitive at SMU, you should strive to earn between 31 and 34 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 34 means you fall in the 75th percentile for SMU's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 34, and three out of four students scored lower than 34 on the ACT.

A 31 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for SMU students. Only one out of every four students scored below 31.

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

More Information on 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:

β€’ Fall Term

β€’ Spring Term

β€’ Summer Term

SMU Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to SMU?

βœ… Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to SMU.

Does SMU accept transfer credits?

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

β€’ CLEP subject tests

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

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

Do I have to submit test scores to SMU?

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

What is SMU's acceptance rate?

βœ… SMU has an acceptance rate of 53%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at SMU?

βœ… SMU's early decision acceptance rate was 55% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About SMU?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about SMU

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 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 Β© 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

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Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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