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WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY 

REQUIREMENTS AND CAMPUS GUIDE

School Name: Washington University 
School Location: St. Louis, MO
School Type: Private Research University

Washington University in St Louis Admissions Rates Class of 2026

Applications: 33,214
Admitted: 11%

General Info

SAT/ACT Score

Test Optional for 2022-2023 Admission Cycle

Fall 2021 Test Scores
SAT Range
Evidence-based Reading & Writing Range: 730-770
SAT Math Range: 760-800
ACT Range: 33-35

Dates/Deadlines

Early Decision I: November 1
Early Decision I Results: December 16
Early Decision II: January 4
Early Decision II Results: February 17
Regular Deadline: January 4
Regular Results: April 1

School Information

Schedule: Semester
7:
1 Faculty Ratio
Curriculum Type:
Core General Education Curriculum
Greek Life: 
Yes
Athletics: 
D3

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY TIPS & GUIDE

Washington Application Requirements, Admissions Tips, and University Guide

Washington University in St. Louis, often simply called WashU, is the 14th highest ranking national university in the U.S. It is also one of only two midwestern schools in the top 20, so it is a WashU requirement to have an excellent application in order to gain admission. It was founded as a private research university in 1853, and since then has given rise to 25 Nobel Laureates. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Wash U!

Where is WashU?

WashU’s campus is 7 miles from downtown St Louis, which is a bustling medium-sized city. Campus at WashU requires only a 15 minute walk to “the loop,” which is a typical college town and has basically everything you need from restaurants and bars to theaters and music venues. Right across the street from campus is Forest Park. This is one of the largest urban parks in the nation, complete with zoos and museums. So whether you want to spend time in a cozy town, a metropolitan city, or nature, St. Louis has something for you.

How do I apply to WashU?

WashU accepts three different types of applications: the Common Application, Coalition Application, and Questbridge Application. Students have the option to apply either through Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision. ED I and ED II are both binding applications, meaning if you are accepted under either of these decision plans, it is a requirement to attend WashU. The University has an 11% admission rate overall.

WashU considers applicants’ academic preparation for their intended major, their personal characteristics and qualities, accomplishments, involvement, fit and engagement at WashU, and potential contributions students could make. They also look at letters of recommendation from your counselor and a teacher, your supplemental essay, extracurricular and community activities, and transcripts. Students who are applying to the College of Art are required to submit a portfolio, while students for the College of Architecture are encouraged to do so. WashU practices holistic college admissions, and does not attach specific weights to any individual component of your application. Their unofficial motto is that each student should be known by name and story. So regardless of what your application holds, make sure you share your story and what makes you unique.

*Note: Washington University remains test optional through the class of 2028

What are academics at WashU like?

WashU consists of 4 divisions: Arts and Sciences (College of Arts and Sciences), Design & Visual Arts (Sam Fox School), Business (Olin Business School), and Engineering (McKelvey School of Engineering). Prospective students are asked to select an academic division on their application for admission. Based on the division you select, you then select a primary academic interest on your application, but you don’t need to formally declare your major until your second year on campus. Across the divisions, there are 90+ fields of study and 1500+ courses which offer students so many learning opportunities. WashU has an overall student to faculty ratio of 7:1. And with 25 Nobel Laureates, the faculty at WashU are some of the most prestigious people in the country.

Every year, WashU students have the opportunity to participate in more than 3000 active research programs, and students can begin research as early as freshman year. In addition to all that WashU has to offer for students on campus in St. Louis, 1 in 3 students can participate in study abroad programs around the world, and 3 in 4 students pursue multiple degrees/majors.

What is the student body like?

WashU is a diverse and vibrant campus. It has 7, 666 undergraduates in total, representing all 50 US states and territories as well as over 100 countries. Here’s a breakdown of the racial and ethnic backgrounds of the Class of 2026 WashU students:

  • 12% Black or African American
  • 1% Native American/Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
  • 12% Hispanic
  • 25% Asian
  • 38% White
  • 1% Race/Ethnicity unknown
  • 12% International

At WashU, students spend their time engaging in a variety of pursuits. 60% of undergraduate students participate in community service, while 75% participate in intramural sports.

What is it like to live at WashU?

All undergraduate meal plans at WashU operate under either a “all points” or “declining balance” basis. Students are required to have a meal plan, but can either spend their time eating at one of the dining facilities, or al la carte locations.

All WashU first-year students live on campus, and as a first-year, you’ll get to live in one of 10 residential colleges on a part of campus they call the “South 40”. The South 40 can be compared to a small town, which contains a student government, dining facilities, fitness centers, technology centers, meeting rooms, intramural sports fields, convenience stores, mail rooms and more! After freshman year, many upperclassmen students live on the Northside in residential communities. Housing options can be either on or off campus.

What special opportunities does WashU have?

Every school has something special about it that sets it apart from the hundreds of other institutions like it. At WashU, there are several events and programs that make it a unique place to spend your college years. For instance, every year WashU hosts WILD, Walk in and Lie Down, an outdoor concert where artists like Carly Rae Jepson, Jason Derulo, or A$AP Ferg perform. On the less fun (but perhaps even more important) side of things, WashU goes above and beyond when it comes to preparing students for success after graduation. The career services center does road shows to take students to different cities and network in person, so that students have more access to professional opportunities and don’t spend their entire senior year just messaging people on Linkedin.

WashU also offers several specialty academic programs called Ampersand Programs. These programs change yearly, but they always involve a group learning experience and out of classroom activities to create a coherent, intellectually fulfilling program. Past classes include Medicine And Society, Writers as Readers, The Theater as a Living Art, and Women in Science, and are open to all Arts and Sciences students.

Is WashU Affordable?

The total cost of attendance for the 2022-2023 year, including room and board is $79,060 per year, but like many top universities, WashU meets 100% of demonstrated need for its students. WashU also offers merit based scholarships, some of which require additional essays or separate applications at the time of application.

Washington Admission Rates


Data Source
Admission Rate
Class of 2025
CDS 2021-2022
13%
Class of 2024
CDS 2020-2021
16%
Class of 2023
CDS 2019-2020
13.85%
Class of 2022
CDS 2018-2019
15%
Class of 2021
CDS 2017-2018
16%