December 20, 2010

SMU advanced to its highest ranking ever among national universities in the 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges. The University’s ranking increased 12 points – from 68 in 2010 to 56 in 201l – among 260 institutions listed as national universities. SMU’s ranking of 56 puts it
in the first tier of institutions included in the “best national universities” category.


The only universities in Texas ranked ahead of SMU in the guide are Rice University and the University of Texas-Austin. Among the factors weighed in determining the rankings are peer assessment, including high school counselor evaluations; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.

“Their impact on the national rankings is one of the reasons alumni give to SMU. That is showing up in the participation rate, which has increased from 14 to 21 percent in recent years,” says Stacey Paddock, executive director of alumni giving and relations.

The U.S. News rankings group schools based on the categories established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“Although ranking universities is controversial at best, the recognition given our outstanding students and faculty, small classes, strong graduation rates and committed alumni is gratifying,” says President R. Gerald Turner.

Read about high rankings for Cox School of Business, the Department of Religious Studies in Dedman College, Meadows School of the Arts, Perkins School of Theology and SMU Athletics.

Read why the founding of Southern Methodist University in 1911 ranks as one of the most significant events in the history of Dallas, according to a committee of scholars and experts assembled by The Dallas Morning News as part of the celebration of the 125th anniversary of its founding.