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Average Salary for Southern Methodist University (SMU) Alumni

Students looking for a top value school need look no further than Southern Methodist University, a private research university based in Dallas, Texas, that is ranked in the top 13 percent of universities by ROI. Most often cast as a die-hard sports school first, Southern Methodist University (SMU) students study hard as they cheer on the Mustangs. English is one of the most popular majors at Southern Methodist University (SMU), and the student ranks boast SAT and ACT test scores well above average. This report is based on the answers of SMU graduates who responded to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

Overall College ROI Rank
out of 1312
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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities
out of 476
Mid-Career Salary Rank for Research Universities
out of 267
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Typical Early Career Salary
Southern Methodist University (SMU) Alumni
Median Salary by Job
National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are the gross, national median (50th percentile). Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Senior Systems Engineer
10 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
8 salaries
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT)
6 salaries
Marketing Director
6 salaries
Operations Manager
6 salaries
Project Engineer
6 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
6 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 22 Nov 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 496
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Southern Methodist University (SMU) Details


6425 Boaz St
Dallas, TX 75275-0221


Students Enrolled:



Private Schools, Research Universities, For Sports Fans, Religious

Graduation Rate:

80 %


12 %

% Stay In State:

64 %

% Receiving Pell Grants:

18 %
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Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY


SMU alumni can most commonly be found in the telecommunications industry, the education industry, and IT services, though they are employed throughout a wide range of sectors. The most highly represented industry among alumni is the aerospace and defense industry. Reminiscent of their reportedly high performance on the SAT, SMU alumni often collect high salaries as well. The average salary for a grad from SMU is about $77K.


Male graduates of SMU out-earn their female counterparts significantly, earning an average of $92K versus $59K for women.


In the SMU alumni professional community, Information Technology Project Managers make the highest median pay (approximately $125K), though Senior Software Engineers ($104K), and Project Engineers ($101K) are close competitors. Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Operations Managers; alumni in this role face average salaries of around $53K.


SMU alumni do not feel the need to relocate after graduation, and nearly two in five grads find stable employment in Dallas. With a median salary of about $93K, Houston represents the highest-paid city popular among SMU grads. SMU alumni in Atlanta can often be found sliding in at the lower end of the pay scale, where median paychecks are the smallest at $65K. Nearby Fort Worth is also a top pick for SMU grads, as is Austin.


For above-average pay, former SMU students find their way to Cisco Systems Inc — the company offers unbeatable salaries at approximately $110K. It is not uncommon to find students employed at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company; in fact, a large number of students pick up paychecks for this company despite low wages (pay averages $91K).

Degree Major

A graduate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business Management from SMU can rake in a whopping around $125K per year, more than any other degree from this school. A Bachelor of Science in Economics is less advantageous in terms of earnings; alums with this degree are the lowest earners with annual pay of $47K.


Many SMU grads have knowledge of Project Management, with about one in five alumni using this program on the clock. Former Mustangs who have experience with Engineering Design can expect to make 26 percent more than other alumni ($96K on average). Demonstrated ability in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Marketing Communications rank among leading skills as well.

Benefits and Perks

Lacking in the benefits department, just two-fifths of alumni report compensation for sick days and only one-third of alumni get vacation time. Health insurance benefits extend to a solid majority of respondents, and a fair portion of alumni sign up for dental plans. A solid majority of alumni save for retirement through a 401(k) plan. Southern Methodist University alumni are rewarded with additional benefits, such as life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

Lehigh University graduates, who earn $78K on average, make a similar amount to SMU grads. Other schools similar to SMU include Saint Louis University-Main Campus, the University of Denver, and Claremont Graduate University.

Southern Methodist University (SMU) Job Listings

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Test Scores
Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1760 2050
ACT Scores 27 31

Key Stats



43 %

female alumni


57 %

male alumni
$35,431 - $80,137
$48,752 - $120,347

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 135 votes.

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