Washington University in St. Louis (also known as WUSTL or Wash. U.) is a private research institution located in St. Louis, Missouri. The suburban campus, on about 170 acres, has an undergraduate population of over 8,000 students. Established in 1853, it is now considered one of the top fifteen best universities in the entire country. Comprehensive academic programs and a large selection of on-campus activities make for a well-balanced undergraduate experience.
There are numerous majors and programs to choose from as a WUSTL undergraduate student. The College of Arts and Sciences serves about 3,800 undergraduates in 40 departments. There are over 600 tenure-track faculty members (including scientists, lecturers, and artists in residence.) Despite a large amount of students in this college, class sizes remain small with 66 percent having fewer than 20 students. The student to faculty ratio is about seven to one. The University College also offers undergraduate degrees, but these courses are mainly for continuing education students. The Olin Business School accepts undergraduates, and they can declare majors in eight areas (including accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, and marketing). Washington University in St. Louis also has strong architecture and engineering programs. Students are also encouraged to expand upon their selected majors with minors or double majors.
Despite demanding academic programs, Washington University has an active social atmosphere on campus. With more than 450 clubs and organizations, there are activities for every individual’s interests. A significant segment of the population belongs to Greek organizations. About 15 percent of students are affiliated with one of the twelve fraternities or eight sororities.
Washington University students speak highly of the residential housing on campus. About 70 percent of undergraduates live on campus. Residencies include the Wohl Student Center, the Habif Health and Wellness Center, several student-owned businesses, and intramural sports fields. The university also has one of the oldest student newspapers in the country. “Student Life,” the biweekly publication, was first published in 1878. Washington University has a strong sports presence. Their teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the University Athletic Association at the Division III levels. They also have club sports like volleyball, soccer, track and field, and Ultimate Frisbee.
Washington University’s lively on-campus environment pairs nicely with its grueling academic programs. Students interested in directing their own study plans and participating in social activities should take a look at what the university has to offer. With more than 143,000 living alumni, Washington University in St. Louis also has a large network of support for undergraduate students. Dedicated faculty and small class sizes only help add to Washington University’s appeal.