SMU’s Dedman School of Law rises in 2015 U.S. News rankings

SMU Law QuadSMU’s Dedman School of Law rose in the ranks of both the nation’s top law schools and best part-time J.D. programs in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, which was published online on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

Among 194 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association, the Dedman School of Law ranks 42nd, an increase of six points from last year’s ranking of 48th. The ranking again places Dedman Law in the first tier of law schools in the guide’s “best schools of law” category. In Texas, SMU is one of only two law schools in the first tier.

> Visit U.S. News’ rankings online at

Among 83 part-time J.D. programs, Dedman Law ranks 7th, an increase of 8 points from last year’s ranking of 15th.

Recently, The National Law Journal ranked Dedman Law 26th among law schools based on the percentage of 2013 graduates placed in NLJ 250 firms – the nation’s largest firms.

“SMU Dedman School of Law continues to provide a legal education of the highest quality,” said SMU Dedman School of Law Dean ad interim Julie Forrester.  “I would like to recognize the efforts of our career services staff for the tremendous job they do in helping our students find excellent employment opportunities and the efforts of our admissions staff for continuing to enroll outstanding students.”

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The Guildhall at SMU scores in Animation Career Review rankings

The Guildhall at SMUThe Guildhall at SMU,. Southern Methodist University’s master’s-level game design program, has earned high national and international rankings from Animation Career Review.

The Review ranks The Guildhall as one of the top 10 animation and game-design schools in the Southwest. Other schools to make the list include Brigham Young, UT-Austin and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

The Review cites The Guildhall’s partnerships with SMU undergraduate tracks in Lyle School of Engineering and Meadows School of the Arts among its attractive features, noting that The Guildhall’s Master of Interactive Technology program “has produced hundreds of successful graduates, employed at more than 140 video game studios around the world.”

In addition, the Review ranks The Guildhall in the top 100 (#76) among game animation programs worldwide. This ranking is especially noteworthy because The Guildhall’s four areas of study – Art Creation, Level Design, Production and Software Development – do not include an animation specialization.

> The Guildhall hosts 2013 Fall Exhibition Dec. 20

Animation Career Review launched in 2011 to provide “the most comprehensive … information for aspiring animation and game design professionals,” according to its mission statement. In creating its 2013 regional rankings, the Review considered more than 400 U.S. schools that offer programs geared towards animation or game design. Their ranking criteria include academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty, value as it relates to tuition, and geographic location.

The Guildhall at SMU is celebrating its 10th anniversary throughout 2013-14 with everything from a virtual yearbook to a brand-new career portal for its alumni. Additional details and upcoming events will be posted to The Guildhall website and Facebook.

When The Guildhall opened its doors in 2003, “The Tonight Show” had a field day.

“At Southern Methodist University they have opened a college of video games. It’s a school where the students can specialize in video games. Finally — a degree more useless than political science,” Jay Leno joked.

Since then, The Guildhall has proven the complexity and value of the education it provides.

“At our 10-year milestone, we have successfully answered the initial critics. A master’s degree in game development is not a passing fad,” he said. “And the growth in gaming and gamification will provide many more creative opportunities for our students, faculty and alumni.”

> Visit The Guildhall at SMU online

SMU Rises into Top 50 of Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges

Dallas Hall

SMU ranks No. 46 in Kiplinger’s new listing of the best values among private U.S. colleges. SMU’s ranking is up 23 places from 2012. The Kiplinger rankings are based on the cost to attend school, the financial aid available, student indebtedness, admission rate and yield, graduation rates and the academic support available to students.

University earns high marks in several 2013 rankings

Originally published Monday, Aug. 26, 2013.

Dallas Hall

SMU has been named in a variety of annual rankings of universities and graduate schools during spring and summer 2013:

SMU earns spot in “100 Best and Most Collaborative U.S. Colleges”

Outreach to students via social media has earned SMU a spot in the “100 Best and Most Collaborative U.S. Colleges” as calculated by Vala Afshar – CMO of Enterasys Networks, Huffington Post Business contributor and author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence.

Afshar used the U.S. News Top 100 list as a starting point and re-ranked it according to combined Klout and Kred scores – which measured SMU’s Twitter reach and influence. Among 35 “small” colleges and universities, SMU came in 14th and 47th overall.

National Ranking for Engineering

SMU is ranked No. 19 among the top 50 colleges and universities nationwide whose engineering graduates earn the highest salaries, as calculated by CollegeFactual, a new site that uses outcomes-based tools and rankings to guide the college selection process.

Read the news release

High Marks for Undergraduate Education

The Princeton Review ranks SMU as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to its guide, “The Best 378 Colleges.”

Only about 15 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year institutions and only four colleges outside the U.S. are included. In its specific categories, SMU placed in the top 20 for College City with High Marks (7); Best Career Services (8); Greek Life (12); Best College Dorms (14); Best-Run Colleges (14); Happiest Students (17); Best Athletic Facilities (18); and Most Beautiful Campus (20). The guide’s narrative is the most positive for SMU in recent years, focusing on the quality of the academic and campus experience.

Read the rankings

Rising Forbes Rankings

In Forbes‘ recent rankings of the nation’s top colleges, SMU has risen 24 places. SMU is the highest-ranked institution in North Texas, third-highest in the state and among the top 100 universities nationwide. The survey ranks SMU 81 out of 650 U.S. colleges and universities based on student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and nationally competitive awards. The Forbes rankings are produced annually by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington, D.C.

Read more about the Forbes ranking

Top Rankings from The Economist and BloombergBusinessweek

The Economist ranks the Cox Executive M.B.A. program at No. 18 out of 62 business schools globally in the magazine’s first-ever E.M.B.A. rankings survey. Read more.

BloombergBusinessweek ranks the Cox School of Business 30 among 169 in its 2013 Best Undergraduate B-Schools guide. In the category of business law, Cox ranks fourth out of 124. Read more. 

Law Rankings Rise

The Dedman School of Law rose to 48 among the top 144 law schools in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 rankings. The rankings are based on reputation, selectivity, placement success and faculty resources. Read more.

U.S. News & World Report rankings

SMU rises 24 places in 2013 Forbes rankings

Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist UniversitySMU’s national ranking jumped 24 places in the latest Forbes survey of America’s Top Colleges issued this week.

The University is the highest-ranked in North Texas, third-highest in the state and among the top 100 universities nationwide.

The survey ranks SMU 81 out of 650 U.S. colleges and universities based on student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and nationally competitive awards. The Forbes rankings are produced annually by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington, D.C.

The magazine notes that its rankings focus on the return on investment of a college degree.

See the Forbes story and the full list of ranked colleges

The institutions of higher education included in the Forbes rankings award undergraduate degrees or certificates requiring four or more years of study, and are classified by the Carnegie Foundation as doctorate-granting universities, masters’ colleges and universities or baccalaureate colleges.

The Economist ranks Cox E.M.B.A. program in top 20 globally

SMU Cox School of BusinessThe SMU COX Executive M.B.A. is ranked at #18 in The Economist magazine’s first-ever Executive M.B.A. (E.M.B.A.) rankings survey. The results were released Friday, July 19, 2013. The Cox School of Business ranks in the top 20 out of 62 global business schools.

Tom Perkowski, assistant dean of the Cox Executive M.B.A. Program, credits its success to the leadership and vision of Cox Dean Al Niemi and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Marci Armstrong.

“Their leadership, coupled with the Executive M.B.A. team’s high energy, customer service and constant pursuit of excellence has resulted in recruiting the highest quality Executive M.B.A. students,” says Perkowski. “These students take advantage of the increasing program resources and move into more successful roles after graduation.”

The business school data portion of the survey was conducted in winter 2013, and questionnaires were distributed to students and alumni of the last three graduating classes. The programs were ranked on two broad measures: personal development/educational experience and career development, with both categories equally weighted and each consisting of 27 subcategories. Those included such factors as the quality of students and faculty, student diversity, the percentage of students promoted after graduation, student and alumni networking potential and average alumni salary increases.

The Cox School is one of four Texas-based business schools included in this new Executive M.B.A. ranking. The Economist plans to make it a biennial rankings survey.

> Visit SMU’s Cox School of Business online at

SMU rises in U.S. News 2013 ‘Best Colleges’ rankings

SMU rose in the ranks of the nation’s top universities in the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, which was published online Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Among 280 institutions classified as national universities, SMU ranks 58, an increase of 4 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.

“Although rankings alone cannot tell the full story of a university’s quality, it is gratifying for SMU to achieve upward movement among the best national universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Rankings can be a good starting point when looking at colleges and universities, but we encourage parents and students to visit the institutions they are considering to get a first-hand look at academic offerings and the total student experience.”

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.

Rankings of more than 1,400 institutions – including national universities, liberal arts colleges and regional universities and colleges – will be published in the U.S. News & World Report issue available on newsstands Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Sports: Dia wins DPOY award, leads Mustangs to C-USA tourney

Papa DiaDia’s big day: SMU senior forward Papa Dia (pictured right) received the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year award on Tuesday, March 8, for his stellar contributions throughout the 2010-11 season. Dia played a key role in earning SMU its highest wins total since 2002-03 (17), its highest C-USA wins total (8) and a No. 7 seed in the C-USA tournament. Dia was also named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team, and is considered a finalist for the C-USA Player of the Year award. This is the second time a Mustang has won the DPOY award – the other was Jon Koncak in 1984-85, when SMU was playing in the Southwest Conference.

All or nothing: The No. 7 men’s basketball team will play No. 10 Rice in the first round of the C-USA tournament at 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 9 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso. The Mustangs (17-13, 8-8 C-USA) are the favorites to defeat the sub-.500 Owls (13-17, 5-11 C-USA) for a shot at No. 2 Tulsa the following day. (The rapid-paced tournament will take place from the 9th to the 12th, so here’s a handy C-USA bracket to keep track of the Mustangs during the week.) If the Mustangs win the tournament, they will receive an automatic bid (and their most likely shot) in the NCAA March Madness bracket, so stay tuned over this weekend.

Robert LambethWomen’s team seeks return to glory: Two years removed from the 2008 C-USA Tournament victory, the women’s basketball team is also headed to El Paso to play host college UTEP in the first round of this year’s tournament. The Mustangs swept the series with the Miners this year, winning both games. The game will be at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9 in the Memorial Gym, so it’ll ultimately be up to Mustang fans to decide which SMU team to support for the first round. The Lady ‘Stangs are 5-3 in the past four years of the tournament.

Men’s tennis embraces the streak: Southern Miss received a surprise on Tuesday, March 9 as the men’s tennis squad obliterated their rival 7-0 to mark a three-game winning streak. With their victory at Turpin Tennis Center, the Mustangs are now 6-5 on the season. Among the highlights was an impressive 6-0, 6-0 victory by sophomore Robert Lambeth (pictured left) over opponent Michael Sims, the only shutout of the day’s events. On Thursday, March 10, SMU will host Abilene Christian and Xavier at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m, respectively. Both games will be played at the Turpin Tennis Center.

Four professors honored at Spring 2011 General Faculty Meeting

SMU Provost Paul Ludden opened the 2011 Spring Faculty Meeting by presenting awards to four outstanding faculty members.

Assistant Professor of Art History Amy Buono and Assistant Professor of Sociology Sheri Kunovich received 2009-10 Golden Mustang Faculty Awards. The Golden Mustang honors junior faculty members who sustain high achievement as both teachers and scholars.

The 2009-10 President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Awards were presented to Associate Professor of Philosophy Robert Howell and Associate Professor of Art History Pamela Patton. The awards honor tenured faculty who have sustained high achievement as both teachers and scholars in their professions.

Ludden announced SMU’s latest Carnegie Foundation research classification and unveiled the University’s new Quality Enhancement Plan at the Jan. 19 meeting. He also provided updates on the 10-year accreditation review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), next year’s budget standings and a proposed new structure for undergraduate admissions.

Read more under the link below.

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University rises in Carnegie Foundation research classification


The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has raised SMU’s classification among institutions of higher education, reflecting dramatic growth in the University’s research activity since it was last measured in 2005.

SMU is now categorized as a research university with “high research activity,” a significant step up from its last assessment in 2005 as a doctoral/research university. The Carnegie Foundation assigns doctorate-granting institutions to categories based on a measure of research activity occurring at a particular period in time, basing these latest classifications on data from 2008-2009.

“SMU”s rise in the Carnegie classification system is further evidence of the growing quality and research productivity of our faculty. We are building a community of scholars asking and answering important research questions and making an impact on societal issues with their findings,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In addition to our dedication to outstanding teaching, SMU is becoming increasingly recognized as a vital resource for research in a variety of fields.”

The designation as a “high research activity” university “is an important step in SMU’s evolution as a strong national university,” said Paul Ludden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The faculty, staff, and students at SMU can be proud of this, particularly when paired with our rise in national rankings.

“The Carnegie Classification recognizes the tremendous efforts by the entire faculty at SMU to expand our research portfolio and address the many questions facing North Texas and the world. Recognition should go to Associate Vice President for Research James Quick and his office for their efforts to support the research activities of our faculty and staff.”

The foundation analyzed SMU’s research activity in a category of universities that awarded at least 20 research doctorates in 2008-09, excluding professional degrees such as those leading to the practice of medicine and law. The analysis examined research and development expenditures in science and engineering as well as in non-science and non-engineering fields; science and engineering research staff (postdoctoral appointees and other non-faculty research staff with doctorates); doctoral conferrals in the humanities, in the social sciences, in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and in other areas such as, business, education, public policy and social work.

The Carnegie Foundation classification of U.S. accredited colleges and universities uses nationally available data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the National Science Foundation, and the College Board.

“SMU’s rise in academic rankings and research productivity is a strong return on the investment of our alumni and other donors who provide support for research, endowed chairs, and graduate programs and fellowships,” said SMU Board of Trustees Chair Caren Prothro. “SMU students at all levels are the beneficiaries of this distinction as their faculty enliven the classroom with their research and engage students in the tradition of academic inquiry.”

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