SMU rises to 56 in U.S. News & World Report rankings; five-place increase is one of nation’s best

SMU rose to its highest ranking among the nation’s universities in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, released online Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. The University tied with the University of Texas-Austin with the second-highest ranking in the state.

Among 310 institutions classified as national universities, SMU ranks 56, up from 61 a year ago. The increase was one of the five largest among the top 100 universities.

Since 2008, SMU’s 11-place increase is one of the four largest among schools in the top 60. In other ranking categories, SMU ranks 32 as one of the best national universities for military veterans.

For the rankings, U.S. News considers measures of academic quality, such as peer assessment scores and ratings by high school counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation rate performance, financial resources and alumni giving. SMU ranks 24 among all national universities in alumni giving at 25 percent.

“It is gratifying for SMU to be recognized for its positive movement among the best national universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The ranking is an example of the momentum of the Second Century Campaign and the University’s Centennial Celebration.

“We appreciate external recognition of our progress and believe it’s valid, but we also know that rankings do not portray the whole picture of an institution and its strengths. We encourage parents and students to visit the institutions they are considering for a firsthand look at the academic offerings, the campus environment and the surrounding community to best gauge a university.”

The rankings of 1,374 institutions, including national universities, liberal arts colleges, regional colleges and regional universities, are available now online and on newsstands Friday, Sept. 23. Find the “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook in stores Tuesday, Oct. 4.

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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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 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.