Washington University in St. Louis Visit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I visited Washington University in St. Louis in April 2011.  Although it was a rainy day, I was still able to walk around the entire Danforth campus.  I started my day with a session at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts.  I took the campus tour and standard info session in the admissions office, ate lunch at the DUC student center, and met with a couple admissions officers.  I spent about four hours on campus during this visit.  Here are some highlights: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overall Wash U is a mid-size selective university similar in many ways to Rice, Vanderbilt, Duke, Stanford, etc.  The campus is located in a nice residential neighborhood of St. Louis, next to Forest Park, a public park (larger than Central Park) home to museums, the zoo, and cultural activities.  The campus is a 15 minute drive from downtown with good transportation near campus from the MetroLink system.  All Wash U students receive a free MetroLink pass each year.

The Numbers For the entering 2011 freshman class, Wash U received 29,000 applications; they admitted 15% of the applicants to yield a class of 1500 students.  The middle 50% had the following test scores:
  • ACT 31-34
  • SAT 2070 – 2300
Wash U does superscore on the SAT.  On average 20-40% of admits come from Early Decision. Academics Students coming to Wash U expect it to be academically challenging and most will have taken AP, IB, or honors classes available in their high schools.  The flexible cluster requirements OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmake it possible to double major and 60% of students do.  There is no foreign language requirement.  EVERY freshman must take Writing 1; it is impossible to place out of Writing 1 even with a 5 on an AP exam.  Many students are drawn to Wash U for its pre-med curriculum.  In engineering, 1/3 of students are women compared to 20% nationwide. What draws students to Wash U? Why would highly qualified students select Wash U over other competitive schools of the same caliber?
  • The friendly, collaborative, and supportive community.  Wash U students aren’t cold or cut-throat.  Each student has a team of advisors.
  • Flexibility of curriculum – no long list of core requirements, so students can get right into subjects of interest.
  • Medical and pre-med programs.  Wash U has a great medical school located a few miles away and undergrads are given some preference in admission.  There are also research opportunities with the med school.
  • Location.  The campus is gorgeous and offers the benefits of a large city.  A grad student in art told me St. Louis is better for her than New York because St. Louis is large enough to have all the big city perks, but small enough that she can already break into the art scene as a student.
For more pictures from my visit check out the College Prep album on Facebook. Have you visited Washington University in St. Louis recently?  What was your experience? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA]]>

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