SMU rose in the ranks of the nation’s top universities in the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, published online September 12. Among 280 institutions classified as national universities, SMU ranks 58, an increase of four points from last year’s ranking of 62. The ranking again places SMU in the first tier of institutions in the guide’s “best national universities” category. In Texas, only Rice University and the University of Texas-Austin ranked ahead of SMU. Among private national universities, SMU ranks 40.
The factors weighed in determining the rankings include measures of academic quality, such as peer assessment scores and ratings by high school counselors; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.
Princeton Review released its annual rankings in August. Among the rankings, SMU placed number two for “most accessible professors,” number seven for best career services, number 10 for best athletic facilities and number 15 for “happiest students.”
In addition, Southern Living magazine released its first-ever list of the top 20 tailgates in the South, and the Boulevard experience at SMU made the cut. Winners included first-place Clemson, second Ole Miss, and third Alabama. The Boulevard has been an SMU tradition since Gerald J. Ford Stadium opened in 2000. SMU was one of only three schools in Texas (along with the University of Texas and Texas A&M) and the only Conference USA school to make the list.