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Average Salary for Southern Methodist University (SMU) Alumni

Attending Southern Methodist University, a private research university based in Dallas, Texas, can pay off for students in the long run, with a ranking 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. Alumni participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
See full list

ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

out of 402

Mid-Career Salary Rank for Research Universities

out of 267

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.
Mechanical Engineer
7 salaries
Marketing Coordinator
4 salaries
Project Engineer
4 salaries
Senior Systems Engineer
4 salaries
Principal Systems Engineer
4 salaries
Environmental Engineer
4 salaries
Marketing Manager
4 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 351

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About This School

6425 Boaz St
Dallas, TX 75275-0221


Private School, Research University, Religious, For Sports Fans

79 %

12 %

64 %

13 %

Freebase CC-BY Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY; IPEDS (As of January, 2015)


Former SMU students are professionally suited for a wide range of fields including the telecommunications industry, the education industry, and IT services. The aerospace and defense industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. In line with impressive SAT scores, SMU grads also report top-earning positions in the workforce. SMU graduates see an estimated starting salary of about $76K.


After graduation, disparities in salary rise to the surface — males tend to earn approximately $92K per year compared to females' $60K.


Former SMU students with an interest in making money consider becoming Senior Software Engineers, the highest-paying gig (earnings amount to $104K) among this alumni group. Other well-paid jobs include Project Engineers (around $101K) and Senior Systems Engineers ($92K). Collecting the smallest paychecks are Marketing Coordinators — they bring in $34K.


Upon earning their degree, many SMU grads prefer to remain in Dallas; in fact, nearly two in five grads enjoy the area so much that they find permanent jobs in the city. It is also not uncommon to find former SMU students living and working in San Antonio — this top-paying city is a popular destination with a median salary of $95K. The city with the lowest median paycheck frequented by SMU alumni is Atlanta, where earnings average $65K. SMU alumni express interest in nearby Houston and Fort Worth as well.


Cisco Systems Inc is the top-paying employer among SMU graduates with an average salary of $110K. Though compensation is lowest at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company — average pay amounts to about $84K — this is where many students go on to find work.

Degree Major

A Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business Management earns SMU students the most money after college (around $125K per year). Those with a Bachelor of Science in Economics face salaries on the lower end, coming in close to approximately $44K per year.


Former Mustangs with Engineering Design abilities can expect to make 25 percent more than their former classmates ($96K). Approximately one in five SMU grads wind up using Project Management at their job, which is one of the most common skills among alumni. Other prime know-hows include Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Marketing Communications.

Benefits and Perks

Just two-fifths of alumni enjoy paid vacation and merely one in three grads get paid sick time. A solid majority of survey participants set up a 401(k) to save for retirement. For this school, the greater part of respondents are the recipients of health benefits, and a fair portion of former students pick up dental plans, too. Southern Methodist University graduates also take advantage of a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

Median pay for Lehigh University grads is $77K, making their salaries most similar to those of SMU grads. Saint Louis University-Main Campus, the University of Denver, and Claremont Graduate University are also similar to SMU.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1810 2070
ACT Scores 27 31

Key Stats for Southern Methodist University (SMU)


43 %
57 %
$35,661 - $80,137
$49,324 - $119,648
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 123 votes.
$90,824 - $128,447
$39,752 - $96,036
$50,335 - $115,053
$50,335 - $117,606
$48,906 - $115,951
$38,255 - $99,159

More Salary Charts for Southern Methodist University (SMU)

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