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fitting in at SMU and it's engineering?

bdoobiebdoobie Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
I am from the Seattle area. I am very slightly upper middle class but I am not preppy. I dress some white nice...usually khakis, jeans, or cargo shorts and a t-shirt. I have seen that people label this school as very preppy and hard to fit in. Is it hard to get into a frat or fit in? Also, I am interested in engineering. I got a 800 on math sat and 36 on math act, and I have heard the program is good and up and coming. I have also looked at UT austin and liked it there. I am white also.

Replies to: fitting in at SMU and it's engineering?

  • CanuckHornCanuckHorn Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    When my son was looking at schools two years ago we were very impressed with SMU and its engineering program. Beautiful campus in a great part of Dallas. Downside for us was the cost, and the perception of the student body. The engineering students we met were great and down to earth, but the general student body seemed preppy. I suspect the engineering department is quite different from a lot of the other departments (more serious students, more diverse backgrounds). We just visited with my daughter and she immediately did not like SMU (she did not think she would fit in their sorority system based on what she saw on a football game day). Rice, UT and Texas A&M engineering are all usually placed ahead of SMU, but I bet you would get a better education at SMU than UT or A&M just based on class size and the involvement of faculty. SMU's facilities are exceptional. I think all three of their engineering buildings were built in the last 10 years. If you are interested in Texas and general engineering you may want to consider Trinity University. It has an engineering science program, and is arguably the second best school in Texas (behind Rice).
  • PokeyJoePokeyJoe Registered User Posts: 320 Member
    We're on our second trip through the engineering school process. DS1 was accepted to UT, TAMU, and SMU among others. We were impressed with the push behind the SMU program. My son loved the lab work he saw. Engineering has it's own vibe within the campus. You may find your niche within engineering even if the preppy culture isn't your thing. He strongly considered SMU, especially since they offered him a large scholarship.
    In the end, UT impressed to a greater degree. He is a EE/CS major and loves it.
    Having grown up in Texas, as to reputation, UT, Rice, and TAMU lead the way. SMU is definitely on the rise. As to other Texas schools, I would look at which companies recruit there before you commit. Maybe there are other hidden gems around.
    -bias notice... We have 5 UT alums and 4 SMU alums in the family
  • bdoobiebdoobie Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Thanks for the responses. I went and did a tour of the school and saw for myself. As said, I was incredibly impresses with the engineering department, the campus, and such. However, I did immediately notice the preppiness of the students at the campus. The guys all seemed to be dressed up for the most part. I am a typical middle class Washingtonian and prefer to dress normally and relaxed (jeans or shorts and a t shirt). However, I know I shouldn't judge people solely on how they're dressed and I will likely apply to smu and consider it if I get alot of scholarship money. A couple more questions though. Are the preppy kids still friendly? Is it possible to be an engineering major and still have a social life with the rest of the SMU kids and maybe even be in a frat? Also, how much pressure is there to be preppy and if you aren't preppy are you excluded?
  • 2019hope2019hope Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    edited February 2014
    In the work place, I'd say that a resume from Rice Engineering would be my first choice, followed closely/equally by UT and A&M. Does that help at all?
  • PokeyJoePokeyJoe Registered User Posts: 320 Member
    I know a few students currently attending SMU. If you've got the resume, they have a great rep for scholarships. Two of the students choose SMU over other highly selective schools because they received full-ride offers. As to the social scene, it seems to be what you make of it. All but one student I know had no trouble plugging in. The key is to look for clubs and groups in which to get involved. The one student who transferred out had personal issues and moved home to attend a CC. It's a big campus though with lots of opportunities. You might check out the clubs offered and see if there are any that interest you.
    I have no direct experience with pledging a frat at SMU and doing engineering. I can speak to UT though. It's nearly impossible to do both well. I would say a social life is definitely possible with some good time management skills. -probably true for most decent engineering programs. Good luck!
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