SMU: The Hilltop

North Texas has plenty of higher educational opportunities – University of Texas-Dallas, Dallas College, and the University of Dallas, to name a few – but we are partial to the grand campus located uphill from downtown Dallas in University Park.

Southern Methodist University (SMU), a nationally ranked private university, has eight degree-granting schools and more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The stately campus nicknamed the Hilltop offers its neighbors easy access to NCAA Division 1 sports as well as many cultural and other opportunities.

Its newest degree-granting school is the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, which began operations in 2020 and brings doctoral and master’s degrees from four schools under one institutional umbrella and supports more than 75 Ph.D. students across these schools with competitive fellowships.

The Main Quad in front of Dallas Hall often serves as a place for campus celebrations. (PHOTO: COURTESY SMU)

The expansion of research is a strategic priority for the university that fuels its ascent toward achieving the Carnegie R1 status awarded to the nation’s highest-level research institutions.

While founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in partnership with civic leaders in what was then rural Dallas County in 1915 (predating University Park’s incorporation in 1924), it remains nonsectarian in its teaching.


Get your photo taken behind the desk in a replica of the Oval Office while visiting the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The 226,000-square-foot center on the SMU campus includes a presidential library and museum plus a 15-acre park and a full-service restaurant.


Mascot: mustangs

Colors: red and blue

Motto: veritas liberabit vos – ‘The truth will make you free.’

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