Why Washington University in St. Louis Should Be Your First Choice

Choosing a university is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make in your life. It’s not just about where you’ll spend the next few years; it’s about where you’ll grow academically, personally, and professionally. Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) offers a unique blend of academic excellence, vibrant campus life, and a supportive community, making it an ideal choice for students worldwide. Here are the top reasons why Washington University in St. Louis should be your first choice.

1. Academic Excellence

Diverse Academic Programs

Washington University in St. Louis is renowned for its rigorous academic programs and world-class faculty. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees across various disciplines, including:

  • Arts & Sciences: With over 40 majors in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, students have the flexibility to explore their interests and develop a well-rounded education.
  • Olin Business School: Known for its top-ranked MBA program and innovative undergraduate business education, Olin emphasizes leadership, entrepreneurship, and global perspectives.
  • School of Engineering & Applied Science: Offers cutting-edge programs in biomedical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, and more.
  • Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts: Combines art, architecture, and design with a strong emphasis on creativity and innovation.
  • School of Law: Provides comprehensive legal education with opportunities for hands-on experience through clinics and externships.
  • School of Medicine: A leader in medical education, research, and patient care.

Renowned Faculty

WashU’s faculty includes some of the most respected scholars, researchers, and practitioners in their fields. Students have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with these experts, gaining insights that extend beyond the classroom.

Research Opportunities

As a leading research institution, WashU offers numerous opportunities for students to engage in groundbreaking research. From science and engineering to humanities and social sciences, students can participate in research projects, often working alongside faculty members. The university’s commitment to research is supported by state-of-the-art facilities and substantial funding.

2. Vibrant Campus Life

Student Organizations and Clubs

WashU boasts over 400 student-run organizations and clubs, catering to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re passionate about academics, arts, culture, sports, or community service, you’ll find a group that aligns with your interests.

  • Academic and Professional Societies: Join organizations related to your field of study to enhance your academic experience and professional network.
  • Cultural and Identity-Based Groups: Celebrate diversity and foster inclusivity by joining clubs that represent various cultural, ethnic, and identity groups.
  • Service and Volunteer Organizations: Engage in meaningful community service projects and make a positive impact.
  • Recreational and Special Interest Clubs: Explore hobbies and interests such as outdoor adventures, gaming, music, and more.

Annual Events and Traditions

WashU’s campus life is enriched by various annual events and traditions that bring the community together and create lasting memories.

  • WILD (Walk In Lay Down): A bi-annual concert event featuring big-name artists, providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere for students.
  • Founders Day: Celebrates the university’s founding with a formal dinner, awards ceremony, and various activities.
  • Residential College Olympics: A spirited competition among residential colleges, featuring sports, games, and team-building activities.

Cultural and Arts Events

The university hosts numerous cultural and arts events, including art exhibitions, theater productions, and music concerts. These events provide opportunities for students to engage with the arts, showcase their talents, and appreciate diverse forms of expression.

3. Supportive Student Services

Academic Support

WashU is committed to helping students succeed academically. The university offers a range of academic support services, including:

  • The Learning Center: Provides tutoring, academic coaching, and workshops on study skills and time management.
  • Writing Center: Offers one-on-one consultations to help students improve their writing skills and tackle assignments.
  • Academic Advisors: Assist with course selection, academic planning, and career advice.

Health and Wellness Services

Student health and well-being are top priorities at WashU. The university offers comprehensive health and wellness services to support students’ physical and mental health.

  • Habif Health and Wellness Center: Provides medical services, mental health counseling, and wellness programs.
  • Recreation Programs: Offers fitness classes, wellness workshops, and intramural sports to promote physical health and well-being.

Career Services

WashU’s Career Center offers a wide range of resources to help students prepare for their future careers.

  • Career Counseling: Provides personalized advice on career paths, job searches, and internships.
  • Resume and Interview Workshops: Practical workshops to help students prepare for the job market.
  • Networking Events: Opportunities to connect with alumni and potential employers.

4. Beautiful and Functional Campus

Stunning Architecture and Green Spaces

WashU’s campus is known for its beautiful Gothic architecture, lush green spaces, and state-of-the-art facilities. The campus provides an inspiring and conducive environment for learning, relaxation, and socializing.

  • Olin Library: The main library offers extensive resources, study areas, and technology support.
  • Brookings Quadrangle: A picturesque area that hosts various events and provides a serene setting for students.
  • Danforth University Center (DUC): The hub of student activity, housing dining options, study spaces, and meeting rooms.

Recreational Facilities

Staying active is easy at WashU with its excellent recreational facilities.

  • Athletic Complex: Includes a fitness center, sports courts, swimming pools, and more.
  • Sports Fields: Outdoor fields for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and other sports.
  • Intramural Sports: A variety of intramural sports leagues and tournaments to encourage friendly competition and physical fitness.

5. Prime Location in St. Louis

Cultural and Economic Hub

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, WashU offers students access to a vibrant city known for its cultural diversity, historical significance, and economic opportunities.

  • Museums and Galleries: Explore world-class museums such as the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum.
  • Performing Arts: Enjoy performances at venues like The Fabulous Fox Theatre and The Muny.
  • Food Scene: St. Louis is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, offering everything from gourmet dining to local favorites like toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake.

Internship and Job Opportunities

St. Louis is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, startups, and non-profit organizations, providing ample internship and job opportunities for students and graduates. WashU’s strong connections with local businesses and industries facilitate internships and job placements, enhancing students’ career prospects.

Accessibility and Transportation

WashU’s campus is well-connected to the rest of St. Louis, making it easy for students to explore the city and access off-campus amenities.

  • MetroLink: The light rail system provides convenient transportation to downtown St. Louis, the airport, and other key areas.
  • Bike and Pedestrian Friendly: The campus and surrounding areas are bike and pedestrian-friendly, promoting eco-friendly transportation options.

6. Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Inclusive Campus Culture

WashU is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus environment. The university’s commitment to diversity is evident in its policies, programs, and initiatives that promote equity and inclusivity.

  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI): Provides resources, support, and programming to promote a diverse and inclusive campus culture.
  • Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS): Offers support services for international students, including orientation, advising, and cultural programming.

Cultural Organizations and Programs

Numerous cultural organizations and programs celebrate the diverse backgrounds of WashU’s student body.

  • Cultural Clubs: Join student-run clubs representing various cultural and ethnic groups.
  • Diversity Workshops: Participate in programs and workshops on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Cultural Events: Enjoy festivals, performances, and lectures that highlight different cultures and traditions.

7. Financial Support and Scholarships

Financial Aid

WashU is committed to making education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background. The university offers a variety of financial aid options, including need-based aid, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities.


WashU provides numerous scholarships to recognize academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement. Some notable scholarships include:

  • Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program: For students who demonstrate leadership, commitment to service, and academic excellence.
  • Danforth Scholars Program: For students who exemplify integrity, selflessness, and dedication to community service.
  • International Student Scholarships: Financial awards specifically for international students.

8. Emphasis on Sustainability

Green Campus Initiatives

WashU is committed to sustainability and has implemented numerous green initiatives across campus. These include energy-efficient buildings, waste reduction programs, and sustainable transportation options.

Research and Education

The university’s commitment to sustainability extends to its research and academic programs. Students have opportunities to engage in sustainability research, participate in green projects, and learn about environmental issues.


Washington University in St. Louis offers an unparalleled educational experience, combining academic excellence, vibrant campus life, and a supportive community. With its diverse academic programs, numerous student organizations, comprehensive support services, beautiful campus, and prime location, WashU provides a holistic environment where students can thrive. Whether you’re looking to excel academically, engage in research, participate in student organizations, or simply enjoy the college experience, WashU has something to offer. Make WashU your first choice and embark on a transformative journey that will shape your future.

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