#3 Best Colleges in Texas

SMU Admission Requirements

Dallas, Texas

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Your chances of getting into Southern Methodist University

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

Admission Difficulty for Southern Methodist University
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Exceptional 
Applicant Competition Average 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at SMU is 53.1%.  Its admission rate is the 10th lowest in Texas.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into SMU and can you get accepted?

SMU is a more competitive school to get into. You have a good chance of acceptance if you meet the admission criteria. Last year, 8,333 out of the 15,685 who applied were admitted.

The school has extremely high admission requirements, generally admitting students who can score in the top 7 percent on standardized admission tests. Southern Methodist University typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.68. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class or better. 19% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

Can you get into SMU?

53% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

Calculate your admission chances
Calculate your admission chances

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to Southern Methodist University you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.68 or better
  • Earn B+ grades in high school
  • Score 1430 on the SAT
  • Score 32 on the ACT
  • Graduate in the top 10% of your high school class
  • Submit letters of recommendation from your teachers


GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 


Typical High School Grades 


What GPA do you need to get into Southern Methodist University?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into SMU are to have around a 3.68 high school GPA. You are required to have very good grades in high school.

If your high school GPA meets these requirements, there is a good chance you will be accepted as SMU accepts 53% of students who apply.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at SMU is 3.68 on the 4.0 scale. 21% of students who get in have perfect 4.0 GPA's in high school. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn B+ letter grades and regularly score around 87-89 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #12 in Texas for highest average GPA.

Importance of GPA

Since SMU is a test optional college, extra focus will be placed on your GPA when the school considers your application. As a result, it is very important that you meet the GPA requirements.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 3.7 GPA range.

Competitiveness by GPA Ranges

The table below outlines the number of admitted freshmen by GPA range as well as how competitive your GPA will be as compared with other applicants.

High School GPA's for admitted Southern Methodist University students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 20.93% Good
3.75 to 3.99 31.93% Avg
3.50 to 3.74 21.76% Avg -
3.25 to 3.49 13.93% Reach
3.00 to 3.24 7.82% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 3.5% Reach
2.00 to 2.49 0.13% Low
1.00 to 1.99 0% Low
less than 1.00 0% Low

 What do these chances mean?

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2022

Calculate My Chances 

SMU SAT Scores

Test Optional

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required for admission to Southern Methodist University. If you submit test scores, they will be considered with your application, but they are not mandatory. 16% of students submitted SAT scores and 23% submitted ACT scores for admission for the most recent academic year..

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 


Applicants Submitting SAT 

SAT Scores for Southern Methodist University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 660
Math 25th Percentile 680
Composite 25th Percentile 1340
SAT Scores for Southern Methodist University
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 740
Math 75th Percentile 770
Composite 75th Percentile 1510
Average SAT Score 1430

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to Southern Methodist University?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at SMU is 1430 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1340-1510. Students who get into Southern Methodist University score in the top 9 percent of all SAT test takers..  SMU ranks #2 in the state of Texas and #58 in the nation for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1430 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. SMU regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1340 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1340, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 1250, but scores this low are outside the normal range.

Score Submission Requirements

Southern Methodist University is a test optional school meaning do not have to submit SAT scores with your application. The position on SAT scores from the college is "considered but not required".

View other colleges which accept students in the 1430 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1425, you have around a 53% chance of being admitted. A 1510 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 68% chance of getting in.

Southern Methodist University admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1510 and Above Good >68%
1425 to 1510 Avg + 53%-68%
1340 to 1425 Avg - 37%-53%
1255 to 1340 Reach 24%-37%
Less than 1255 Low <24%
Calculate My Chances 

SMU ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 


Applicants Submitting ACT 

ACT Scores for Southern Methodist University
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 32
Math 25th Percentile 28
Composite 25th Percentile 31
ACT Scores for Southern Methodist University
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 35
Math 75th Percentile 33
Composite 75th Percentile 34
Average ACT Score 32

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into SMU?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to SMU is 32, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 31 and 34.  The school ranks #2 in Texas and #68 in the U.S. for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 32. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 31 and score in the score in the top 5 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 30.

23 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Southern Methodist University.

Score Submission Requirements

You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as Southern Methodist University is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "considered but not required".

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into SMU for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 32 score has around 53% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 73% with a 34 ACT score.

Southern Methodist University admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
34 and Above Good >73%
32 to 34 Avg + 53%-73%
31 to 32 Avg - 42%-53%
30 to 31 Reach 32%-42%
Less than 30 Low <32%
Calculate My Chances 

High School Class Rank

52% of Southern Methodist University freshman are in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class. For your application to be competitive, you need to graduate at the top of your class.

High School Class Rank for admitted Southern Methodist University students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 52%
Top 25% of class 81%
Top 50% of class 94%
Data Source, Peterson's Data


Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

Southern Methodist University admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 8,360 7,325 15,685
Accepted 4,638 3,695 8,333
Acceptance Rate 55% 50% 53%
Enrolled 831 741 1,572
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 18% 20% 19%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Fall 2024 Application Deadline

Applications Due

Jan 15, 2024

Days left to Apply


Applicants have 47 days left until the Fall 2024 term applications are due on Jan 15, 2024.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Southern Methodist University is $60.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Southern Methodist University and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Southern Methodist University Application Requirements
Test Scores Considered but not required
High School GPA Required
High School Class Rank Recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Required
Recommendations Required
Demonstration of Competencies Recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Southern Methodist University
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences No

Admission Requirements Summary

Because SMU is fairly competitive, you have a decent chance of acceptance with the right GPA and test scores. If you have a 3.68 GPA, you have a good shot at getting in. An SAT score of 1430 will further improve your application. If you can get a 1510 on the SAT you will have a very good chance on getting in. Additionally a 32 on the ACT places you in a strong position.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to Southern Methodist University often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=228246 IPEDS survey data for Southern Methodist University.


Does Southern Methodist University prefer SAT or ACT?

16% of students submit their SAT scores to SMU. 23% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Southern Methodist University?

53% of those who apply are granted admission to SMU. Admission competition is low and the college has exceptional admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Southern Methodist University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1340 and 1510. The average SAT score is 1425. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Southern Methodist University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 31 and 34. The average ACT score is 32. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.