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Choosing Among Graduate Schools in Texas: The Advantages of Dallas

Dallas skyline at twilight with vibrant clouds, featuring distinctive reunion tower and modern skyscrapers illuminated against the dusk sky.

Dallas may conjure images of cowboy hats and oil barons, but there’s much more to the city than you’d see on old television shows. A lively and thriving community that brings together the diversity of hundreds of different global cultures with steady industry growth, Dallas is truly a young professional's dream city.

Texas is a vast state with numerous options for graduate education, but few cities offer the unique combination of resources, culture, and opportunities like Dallas. If you are considering earning your graduate degree, here are three reasons why SMU, located in the heart of Dallas, should be at the top of your list.

1. Technological Excellence

Dallas is a booming tech hub, making it an ideal place for graduate students interested in cutting-edge research and innovation. SMU, for instance, offers state-of-the-art facilities and labs that empower students to lead in fields like engineering, computer science, and data analytics. This focus on technological innovation is a significant draw for those looking at graduate schools in Texas, considering the growing demand for tech-savvy professionals in the global job market.

As a grad student, it’s nice to know you have community resources to help you in your research and professional development. In addition to the resources we have specifically at SMU — such as the Center for Scientific Computation — Dallas is home to dozens of colleges and universities, Fortune 1000 companies, and businesses at the forefront of technology, finance, healthcare, and industry. If you’re looking for an industry expert, a specialized library, or a place to test your research, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you need right down the street.

2. A Great Home Base 

Many of our students are from outside of Texas, and travel around the country and the world for their work. Living in Dallas means you can get out of Dallas easily, thanks to the D/FW International Airport. The DFW airport is less than thirty minutes away from SMU and is reachable via public transportation. You can fly directly to Dubai, Seoul, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Rome, Beijing and many other places (including one of the longest flights in the world, Dallas to Sydney). 

Grad students are mobile, and life is much easier when you have a major airport a short drive away. 
Dallas's central location in Texas is more than just a geographical advantage. It's an access point to a vibrant economy, diverse job market, and a cultural tapestry enriched by history and creativity. The city's accessibility to multiple industries — from finance and logistics to arts and media — enables graduate students to immerse themselves in internships and collaborations that are scarce elsewhere.

3. Big City Perks Without the Price Tag

Living in a city means something is always happening – art shows, conferences, concerts, sporting events, festivals, and more. Dallas-Fort Worth makes the most of being the fourth largest metro area in the United States, and grad students can enjoy a wide variety of activities, many of them free, that take place year-round.

While city living is fun, it also gets expensive, which can be hard on a grad student stipend. Dallas offers the excitement of living in the city with the cost of living usually found in the suburbs. For example, groceries in Dallas are almost 25% cheaper than in San Francisco, transportation is 27% cheaper, and housing? A whopping 70% cheaper! Compared to Manhattan, you’d save even more in Dallas. New York is a great place to visit, but Dallas is a great place to live. 

While the quality of your graduate program is very important for your success during and after graduate school, it's also important to consider the geographic location where you'll spend these years of your life. The city or area you choose will shape your network, research, job opportunities, and budget.

Dallas offers many students a vibrant home away from home during the formative years of graduate school. Are you ready to call Dallas home?

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