Ranking No. 23 in 2023’s ranking (the same as 2022), the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University improved three places from 2021’s No. 26.
Overall, in the ranking’s three main categories, it finished 24th in Career Outcomes, 33rd in Admissions, and 20th in Academic Experience.
Located in metropolitan Dallas, the Cox School celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020. It leverages the city’s extensive network of high-profile companies to offer students a rigorous education with plenty of opportunities to apply their studies in the real world.
Cox had an acceptance rate of 46.04%, slightly more selective than 2022’s 48.70% but much more selective than 2021’s 62.54%. Its average SAT score was 1472, also on an upward swing from 1457 in 2022 and 1399 in 2021.
The employment outcomes for Cox students help paint a clearer picture of how important it is for a B-school to have a well-connected network. An impressive 93.4% of the Class of 2022 had a business-focused internship before graduating, down less than 1% from the Class of 2021. Some 92.68% of graduating seniors secured a full-time position within three months of graduation, up from last year’s 91.78%.
For compensation, 2022 grads reported an average starting salary of 76,651 and an average signing bonus of $8,992. (61% of this year’s grads reported getting a signing bonus.) To compare, the Class of 2021 reported an average salary of $73,054 with an average signing bonus of $8,842.
THE COX CURRICULUM
Cox students take 11 core courses that offer a foundation in business theory and skills. After they complete their core coursework, students can choose from seven majors including Accounting, Finance, General Business, Marketing, Management, Business Analytics and Supply Chain Management, and Real Estate. Additionally, students have four concentrations to sharpen their focus including Energy Management, Entrepreneurship, Real Estate, and Risk Management & Insurance.
One of the biggest benefits of the Cox education is the B-school’s proximity to the thriving business hub of Dallas, Texas. Home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Energy Transfer Equity, Southwest Airlines, Tenet Healthcare, and Texas Instruments, the city of Dallas offers a number of opportunities for students to secure internships and gain valuable work experience.
One prime example of the B-school leveraging its location is through the Cox Honors Marketing Practicum, a course where students partner with Fox Sports Southwest and the Dallas Mavericks to create a 360-degree marketing campaign.
For students potentially interested in a marketing career, the Honors Marketing Practicum at Cox is a perfect opportunity to gain real world experience that is valuable to potential employers.
SMALL, TIGHT-KNIT COMMUNITY
Another big benefit of the Cox education is the community. With average class size in Cox courses between 35 and 40, business students have a small, tight-knit learning environment to truly engage with each other and their professors.
Group team work is an essential part of business education. And while many b-schools can say they offer opportunities for group collaboration, the Cox School’s small class sizes enable an atmosphere of strong support and collaboration — a key differentiator of the Cox education.
Additionally, the small, tight-knit Cox community plays a large role in allowing students to connect to alumni for potential jobs and internships.
Overall, what makes the Cox undergraduate experience unique is the B-school’s prime location in Dallas and its well-connected alumni network giving students plenty of opportunities to not only learn business, but to also apply their education in the real world.
2021 Alumni say:
“I participated in a selective honors program (Alternative Asset Management Center “AAMC”) designed to prepare students for investment banking careers. I interviewed with nearly every bank I wanted to and was a top performer in my intern and subsequent full-time analysts classes because of this program.”
“One of the key projects we did was a strategic alternatives analysis for a large public company. This included working with a small team to put together a financial model and presentation submission and was highly similar to an investment banking exercise. This experience put our class way ahead of the competition and was incredibly helpful.”
“I had the opportunity to manage $4 million in equities as a part of a faculty-selected portfolio practicum class. I had voting authority to research, pitch, and transact on securities — and interact with fund managers and industry practitioners in Dallas.”
“Developing a 50 page business page and having to create financials from scratch and other existing business models. In accounting they never make you build an income statement from scratch let alone BS and Statement of CF. This was a very integral part of understanding how businesses are constructed, structured and financed.”
Where The Class of 2020 Went To Work:
Goldman Sachs – 10
EY – 9
JPMorgan Chase – 8
Wells Fargo – 6
JLL – 6
FTI Consulting – 5
Bank of America Merrill Lynch – 5
Citi – 4
Accenture – 4
Bain & Co. – 3