Washington University in St. Louis appears in these rankings:

25 Best Value Colleges for LGBTQ

20 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Missouri

30 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the Midwest 

Washington University in St. Louis was founded simply as Washington University in 1853, by Wayman Crow, a St. Louis merchant, and his pastor, William Greenleaf Eliot Jr. The two men were concerned about the lack of higher education institutions in the Midwest, prompting them to start Washington University. Much of the need was due to an influx of immigrants arriving in St. Louis, growing the city rapidly. Many of these immigrants worked full-time, making it difficult for them to get the advanced training they needed. Washington University began with an evening program designed specifically to provide immigrants both industrial training and general education.

In 1892, a committee appointed by Robert S. Brookings, Chairman of the Board, chose a hilltop location west of St. Louis to build a new campus. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the site plan and a national competition was held to choose an architectural firm with Cope and Stewardson winning the award. The first five buildings were constructed based on the site plan which was designed after Oxford and Cambridge's medieval courtyards. In 1901, several buildings were leased to the organizers of the 1904 World's Fair. The income from the leases allowed the school to begin constructing additional buildings.

Today, there are 13,312 full-time students and 1,843 part-time students attending Washingotn University. The Princeton Review ranked the school as number one for college dorms and fifth for best run colleges. U.S. News and World Report ranked the school second in social work and sixth in financial resources.

Washington University in St Louis Accreditation Details

Washington University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has been since 1913.This indicates that the school meets compliance with rules and requirements that the Commission has issued that determine excellence in education. In addition, each school at Washington University is accredited by professional agencies that include:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • American Bar Association
  • Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Washington University in St. Louis Application Requirements

Students who have not earned college credit after high school graduation are considered first-year students. They must complete the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Students must provide a School Report and official transcript as well as a teacher evaluation. Official SAT or ACT scores must be provided. Students who are applying to the College of Art and the College of Architecture must also submit a portfolio.

Transfer students must submit the Common Application or Coalition Application. Students must have completed some college credits after high school graduation. Students must have at least a 3.5 GPA in all courses in order to transfer to Washington University. Students who have been away from the formal academic setting for more than two years are encouraged to complete at least 30 hours of work at another college or university before transferring.

Each graduate program has its own specific admission requirements. Students are encouraged to speak to an admissions counselor before applying.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time tuition at Washington University is $50,650 per year. At Washington University, 100 percent of admitted students have their financial needs fully covered. The financial aid office works closely with students to meet whatever financial need they may have. The school provides scholarships, not loans, which allow students to graduate debt-free. In order to qualify for any financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Washington University in St Louis Degree Program(s) Available

American Culture Studies

Students in the American Culture Studies program at Washington University gain a deeper understanding of the American culture and its complexities. The program is a multidisciplinary field of study that covers a variety of different fields so students gain a broader understanding. The program explores culture-related topics that require a variety of perspectives and methodologies. Students gain an understanding of the mutual relevance of different disciplines, including places, events, works of art, political institutions and more. The program is available in both a major and a minor, allowing students to pair the minor with another discipline. Students must complete courses in the Concentration Area as well as fieldwork and a Capstone. Fieldwork is an immersive experience that allows students to explore a particular cultural issue or learn about a specific topic in a real-world setting. The Capstone is a multidisciplinary project on a cultural topic of the student's choice. This project will represent a culmination of the student's work in the program, extending their knowledge of the American Culture through the completion of a research topic.

Washington University is launching several new program initiatives that are centered on themes designed to bring faculty members in different disciplines together. The initiatives are designed to intersect the research agendas and assist with collaborative work. The work may include published books, articles, conference presentations, archives or new courses taught by a team of teachers. Others may result in extended reading groups or a platform for less-ambitious projects under the American Culture Studies program.

There is also a Master of Arts in American Studies program available at the university. Students who excel in the Bachelor of Arts program may choose to continue their studies at the graduate level. The program is aimed at adult learners who wish to advance in a current career or move into a new career. The MA introduces some of the social, political and cultural issues that have shaped American culture and identity. The MA also provides a critical skill set that fosters analysis of specific cultural objects, providing students with a diverse knowledge of how American culture has evolved and will continue to evolve over time.

Washington University has been providing outstanding education for over 100 years. The university began with a mission to educate adults who may have work, family and social obligations that prevent them from attending traditional classes. As a result, Washington University in St. Louis continues with that premise by still offering night, weekend and online classes to working adults who wish to achieve their higher education goals but have obstacles in their way that prevent them from doing so during traditional classroom hours.