Washington University, St. Louis (also known as WUSTL or WashU) is a private research institution founded in 1853. It was named in honour of George Washington, one of the founding fathers of the United States and its first president. The university prospered in its location in downtown St. Louis for its first 50 years, expanding from a night school to an academic centre offering a wide range of scientific, liberal arts, and classical course offerings. 

However, by the 1890s, the university was on the verge of financial collapse. Robert Sommers Brookings, the then President of the Board of Trustees, took on the mission of repairing the institution’s finances and securing land for a new campus. Throughout the early part of the 20th century, the university grew in size and went on to establish schools such as the famed Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM).

Over the course of nearly 170 years, WashU has evolved from a local centre of learning to an internationally renowned research university with students and teachers from over 120 nations. Among its ever-illustrious faculty was Prof. Arthur Holly Compton who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922 for demonstrating the particle theory of electromagnetic radiation, or the Compton Effect. WUSTL also holds the distinction of hosting more presidential and vice-presidential debates than any other educational institution in US history: four times (1992, 2000, 2004, and 2016).

Currently, WashU has six campuses: Danforth Campus, Medical Campus, South Campus, North Campus, West Campus, and Tyson Research Center. In the US News and World Report 2022, WUSTL was ranked 14th among ‘National Universities’. Also, the institution was ranked 118th in the QS World University Rankings 2023 among ‘Top global universities’. In this article, we will discuss the courses this institution offers, its campus life, its alumni, fee structure, and financial aid, among others.   

Courses Offered at Washington University, St. Louis

The university offers over 1500 programmes in more than 90 fields such as Architecture, Arts, Business, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Allied Health, among others. Some of the institution’s sought-after courses are mentioned in the tables below.

Bachelor’s ProgrammesMaster’s Programmes
Bachelor of Science in Business AdministrationMaster of Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Computer EngineeringMaster of Science in Computer Engineering
Bachelor of Science Managerial EconomicsMaster of Laws (LLM)
Bachelor of Arts in Art History and ArchaeologyMaster of Architecture (M.Arch)
Bachelor of Arts in AnthropologyMaster of Science in Finance 
Bachelor of Science in Chemical EngineeringMaster of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Electrical EngineeringMaster of Arts in Human Resources Management
Bachelor of Science in ArchitectureMaster of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical EngineeringMaster of Science in Supply Chain Management
Bachelor of Arts in DramaMaster of Science in Electrical Engineering
Bachelor of Arts in EconomicsMaster of Science in Business Analytics
Bachelor of Arts in English LiteratureMaster of Science in Applied Health Behavior

WashU comprises seven colleges. They are: 

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Brown School
  • McKelvey School of Engineering
  • Olin Business School
  • Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
  • School of Law 
  • School of Medicine 
  • University College

Research at Washington University, St. Louis 

WashU is categorized as an ‘R1: Doctoral Universities–Very high research activity’ by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This classification is granted only to academic institutions that consistently conduct research across different fields and allocate significant resources to research activities. Matching up to its grading, WUSTL invested about $879 million in research activities during the fiscal year 2021.

The university conducts over 3000 research projects annually. Students at this institution collaborate with the faculty to conduct research on subjects such as Aerosols, AI and Machine Learning, Aquatics, Biomechanics, Cyber-physical Systems, and Imaging Sciences, among others.

Campus Life and Sports

Washington University is ranked first on the Princeton Review‘s list of the ‘Best College Dorms’ for 2020. Most of the living halls are situated in South 40 and over half of the undergraduates reside on campus. South 40 is a small town-like area on the campus of WUSTL that consists of residential colleges for first and second-year students. It is also home to Bear’s Den, the biggest dining hall on campus, the Habif Health and Wellness Center (Student Health Services), the Residential Life Office, the University police Headquarters, numerous student-owned businesses, and the baseball, softball, and intramural grounds. It is designed as a pedestrian-friendly area, with homes encircling a central leisure area known as the ‘Swamp’. 

WashU’s athletic teams are known as the ‘Bears’. They compete in Division III of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and are National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) members. Bears have won 217 UAA championships in 16 different sports and 23 NCAA Division III championships. The institution’s club sports programme is vast and includes teams for numerous sports, from women’s Ultimate Frisbee to men’s volleyball. Having won the Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III Club National Championship in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, the Washington University men’s club water polo team has seen exceptional success.

Admission Process

In the academic year of 2020-2021, WashU enrolled 14,185 full-time and 1354 part-time students with an acceptance rate of 16%. Also, the students at this university represent over 100 nationalities and all 50 states. The process of admission differs for students of different nationalities. Mostly, the eligibility criteria may differ regarding the academic grading system and required documents. Similarly, the admission process also varies as per the course you choose to pursue. Different programmes have different academic requirements. However, the admission prerequisites common to all the programmes are mentioned below.

TestsRequired Score
TOEFL (Internet-Based Test)120
TOEFL (Computer-Based Test)300

The admission requirements for all the programmes are available on the university’s official website. Visit the website to learn about the eligibility criteria specific to your chosen programme.

Fee Structure and Financial Aid

The table below illustrates the fee structure of undergraduate and graduate programmes.

For Undergraduate programmes
Tuition Fee$56,300
Student Activity Fee$562
Health and Wellness fee$524
For Graduate programmes
Tuition Fee$59,420 
Student Activity Fee$30
Health and Wellness fee$576

WashU assists students in financing their higher education through scholarships, grants, work-study, and other financial aid. Mentioned below are the types of scholarships provided by the university.

  • WashU Merit-Based Scholarships
  • WashU Need-Based Scholarships
  • Outside Scholarships
  • RaiseMe Micro-Scholarships

Alumni Network

The global network of WashU alumni and friends comes from a diverse range of backgrounds, occupations, and interests. Whether you are reconnecting or staying engaged with the university, they have you covered with opportunities to network, attend events, volunteer, and more. The institution has over 156,000 members residing in different parts of the world. 

Some of its notable alumni are Avram Glazer, Co-chairman of Manchester United; Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate Films;  Andrew McCabe, Former Deputy Director of the FBI; Chic Hecht, Nevada Senator; Ken Cooper and Hank Klibanoff, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists; Bob Behnken, NASA Astronaut; Kendall Gretsch, Paralympic Gold Medalist; Julian W. Hill, Co-inventor of Nylon; and Clyde Cowan, Co-discoverer of the Neutrino, among others.

So if you are seeking an institution that can nurture the researcher in you, Washington University at St. Louis is your destination. We hope that this article has provided you with all the information you require to consider applying to the university. All the best!


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