Average Salary for Southern Methodist University (SMU) Alumni

Attending Southern Methodist University, an United Methodist university can pay off very well in the long run. The school is based in Dallas, Texas, and it is ranked in the top 21 percent of universities by return on investment. Most often cast as a die-hard sports school first, Southern Methodist University students study hard as they cheer on the Mustangs. English is one of the most popular majors at Southern Methodist University, and the student ranks boast SAT and ACT test scores that sit well above the national average. This report is based on the responses of SMU graduates who completed the PayScale salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

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Mid-Career Salary Rank for Research Universities

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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.
Mechanical Engineer
5 salaries
Information Technology (IT) Manager
4 salaries
Marketing Coordinator
4 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
4 salaries
Principal Systems Engineer
4 salaries
Project Engineer
4 salaries
Environmental Engineer
3 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 22 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 313

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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)


Graduates of SMU go into the telecommunications industry, IT services, and the software development industry, not to mention a variety of other lines of work. The aerospace and defense industry registers as the most common industry among alumni. Median pay for those who graduated from SMU amounts to $74K.


After graduation, women go on to earn an average of $58K per year compared to men, who earn $93K.


In the SMU alumni professional community, Principal Systems Engineers make the highest median pay (around $124K), though Project Engineers (approximately $103K), and Senior Systems Engineers ($94K) are close competitors. Salaries are anything but generous for Environmental Engineers, whose earnings rank lowest on the pay scale at about $55K.


Graduates of SMU seem to enjoy living in Dallas, and over a third of grads wind up living and working there after graduation. SMU grads also flock to Fort Worth, Texas, which is home to salaries significantly above average (median pay is approximately $99K). On the other hand, SMU alumni who end up in Orlando, Fla. receive the lowest median salary of $50K. In addition, SMU grads flock to neighboring Austin, Texas as well as Houston, Texas.

Degree Major

Former Mustangs who fare the best in terms of salary hold a Master of Science (MS), Engineering Management and earn a median salary of around $140K per year. A B.A. in Art History is less advantageous in terms of earnings; alums with this degree are the lowest earners with a median annual pay of about $48K.


Competency in Strategic Planning translates into above-average pay for former Mustangs — they earn 55 percent more than their fellow graduates. Many former SMU students are familiar with Project Management, and a little less than one-fifth of grads move on to positions where this experience is utilized. Competency in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Marketing Communications also warrants excellent remuneration.

Benefits and Perks

Only two-fifths of alumni earn paid vacation and just one-third of alumni get paid sick time. Most former students enjoy benefits like health insurance, while a strong majority of survey participants receive dental plans, too. Most graduates set aside retirement funds in an employer-sponsored 401(k). Southern Methodist University graduates also take advantage of a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

Lehigh University grads bring in salaries of around $77K, making them the most similar to SMU alumni in terms of earnings. Other schools similar to SMU include Saint Louis University-Main Campus, the University of Denver, and Claremont Graduate University.

Test Scores

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

Key Stats for Southern Methodist University (SMU)


41 %
59 %
$38,741 - $77,400
$49,677 - $120,806
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 73 votes.
$41,052 - $96,466
$59,500 - $120,692
$48,745 - $111,500
$38,298 - $115,053
$53,412 - $127,743

More Salary Charts for Southern Methodist University (SMU)

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