Wake Forest University (also known as WFU or Wake Forest) is a private research university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the state. It was established in 1834 as the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute and named after the town Wake Forest, where it was originally founded. Four years later, in 1838, the institution was rechartered as Wake Forest College.
After closing in 1862 due to the American Civil War, the college reopened in 1866. Over the next few decades, Wake Forest flourished and expanded into several schools and departments. In 1956, the college moved to its sprawling 340-acre main campus in Winston-Salem. The institution was designated a university in 1967 and came to be known by its current name.
When WFU accepted its first black student in 1962, it became the first major private university in the Southern United States to desegregate. More recently, in 2020, the university apologised for its relationship with slavery in the past. Wake Forest University has four campuses: Reynolda, Charlotte, Bowman Gray, and Wake Downtown. Its historic Wait Chapel has served as the venue for two presidential debates.
The university is counted among the best in the US and the world by reputed international publications. In 2022, the US News & World Report ranked Wake Forest 28th and 419th on its list of ‘Best National Universities’ and ‘Best Global Universities’, respectively. Similarly, Times Higher Education Rankings 2022 placed WFU 64th among colleges in the US and 251–300 globally. Let us learn more about Wake Forest in this article.
Courses and Research
Wake Forest is known for its rigorous academic programmes. It offers 45 majors and 60 minors on the undergraduate level. Over 60 master’s, doctoral, and certificate courses, are also offered. These degrees span numerous disciplines such as arts, business, engineering, finance, humanities, law, literature, medicine, natural sciences, social sciences, and theology, among several others. WFU is organised into seven colleges and schools with a collective full-time faculty and staff of 6,281. The constituent schools are:
- Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
- School of Business
- School of Divinity
- School of Medicine
- School of Professional Studies
- Wake Forest Law
- Undergraduate College
The faculty at Wake Forest is also top-notch; 98% of them hold terminal degrees in their field. Combining this with small class sizes (the typical freshman section size is 18 students), it is easy to see why the university has been ranked consistently among the east-coast schools that provide students the best quality education by Princeton Review for six consecutive years.
In addition to its academic programmes, WFU is known for the cutting-edge research that its faculty and students are engaged in. Its 15 centres and institutes oversee these scientific explorations.
The Centre for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials is one such pioneering arm of the university’s research infrastructure. It is highly regarded and collaborates closely with industry leaders to translate its ground-breaking work in nanotechnology into useful applications in the fields of manufacturing, national defense, and medicine. Similarly, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is an international leader in translating scientific discoveries into medical treatments as the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Aptly, the university is counted among ‘R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity’ by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In order to be granted this grading, a university must conduct extensive research across diverse fields and invest significant resources in it– a criterion that WFU meets. The university’s total R&D expenditure in 2020 was over US$ 244 million.
Admissions at Wake Forest University
Currently, 8,950 students–5,472 undergraduate and 3,478 graduate–are enroled at Wake Forest University. They represent 47 US states and over 45 nations. The university’s acceptance rate is 25.2 percent. Its student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1, with nearly 56.8 percent of classes having a strength of lesser than 20 students. In this section, we will talk about the enrolment requisites and procedures for undergraduate and graduate programmes.
Students seeking to pursue an undergraduate course at the university can apply through three modes: Wake Forest Application, Common Application, and Coalition Application. The Common Application (via the Common App platform) is an online undergraduate application that is accepted by over 1000 institutions in the US, Japan, Canada, and other European countries.
The Coalition Application is similar to the Common Application and is accepted by over 150 colleges and universities in the US (in around 35 states). On the other hand, the Wake Forest Application is an application platform exclusive to the university and can be found on its official website. Below are some of the admission requirements for international applicants.
- $85 application fee
- Official high school transcript
- Official SAT/ACT scores
- Secondary School Report
- Teacher Recommendation Form
- Confidential Financial Information for International Applicants
Note: In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, others may be sought. Information on the same (along with application deadlines) is available on the university’s official website.
The admission requisites and application procedure vary for different graduate courses. They depend on the course chosen by the student and the college/school offering the particular programme. Applicants can visit the university’s official website to learn more about the college/school-specific enrolment requirements and procedure, and deadlines.
Fees and Scholarships
The fees at Wake Forest University are dependent on the course one selects and the school/college offering it. The approximate cost of attendance(annual) for an undergraduate programme is US$ 83,054 (inclusive of tuition, housing, meals, personal expenses, transportation, and books and supplies, among other expenses).
In the table below, the approximate cost of attendance (annual) for graduate programmes in some of the schools are mentioned.
|School||Fees (Inclusive of all costs)|
|School of Professional Studies||US$ 40,683|
|School of Divinity||US$ 47,016|
|Graduate School of Arts and Sciences||US$ 64,222|
|School of Law||US$ 78,744|
While the fees at Wake Forest University may appear to be higher than the average for private colleges in the US, the university ensures that its students can afford their education by making financial aid options available. WFU has been ranked as one of the top 25 national universities in value by US News & World Report in recent years, as nearly half of all undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid from the university, including loans, grants, and work-study programs.
Wake Forest’s Financial Aid office is staffed with professionals committed to helping students find ways to pay for their education. Applicants can reach out to this office and also visit the university’s official website to know more about the detailed fee structures for different programs and the different financial aid options available to them.
Careers and Placements
Wake Forest students are involved with its Office of Personal and Career Development from the moment they step foot on campus. In five college-to-career courses offered for credit at WFU, students are directed from exploration to assessments to personal branding to networking, followed by internships and job placements. Students can follow the OPCD-created Ready7 process, which outlines a clear set of tasks they can do and competencies they need to possess to become competent, self-assured, and ready for life and work.
So if you are looking for a challenging academic environment combined with opportunities for personal growth then Wake Forest University can be on your list of schools to consider. All the best!