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Washington University in St. Louis


Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis
Latin: Universitas Washingtoniana
Motto Per veritatem vis (Latin)
Motto in English Strength through truth
Established February 22, 1853
Type Private
Endowment US$5.7 billion[1]
Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton
Provost Holden Thorp
Academic staff 3,395[2]
Admin. staff 9,605[3]
Students 14,117[4]
Undergraduates 7,303[4]
Postgraduates 6,814[4]
Location St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Campus Urban
2,312.5 acres (936 ha)
Danforth Campus,
169 acres (68.4 ha)
Medical Campus,
164 acres (66.4 ha)
Tyson Research Center,
1,966.5 acres (796 ha)
North Campus,
13 acres (5.26 ha)[5][6]
Former names Eliot Seminary and Washington Institute
Newspaper Student Life
Colors Red and green         [7]
Athletics NCAA Division IIIUAA
Sports 17 varsity teams
(8 men's & 9 women's)[8]
Nickname Bears
Mascot Bear

Washington University in St. Louis (Wash. U., or WUSTL) is a private U.S. states and more than 120 countries.[9] Twenty-two Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university.[10] Washington University's undergraduate program is ranked 14th in the nation and 7th in admissions selectivity by U.S. News and World Report.[11][12] The university is ranked 30th in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.[13] In 2006, the university received $434 million in federal research funds, ranking seventh among private universities receiving federal research and development support, and in the top four in funding from the National Institutes of Health.[14]

Washington University is made up of seven [16]


  • History 1
    • Early history (1853–1900) 1.1
    • Modern era (1900–1955) 1.2
    • Recent history (1955–present) 1.3
    • U.S. Presidential and Vice Presidential debates 1.4
  • Rankings and reputation 2
  • Geography and campuses 3
    • Danforth Campus 3.1
    • Medical Campus 3.2
    • North and West Campuses 3.3
    • Tyson Research Center 3.4
  • Academics 4
    • Arts & Sciences 4.1
    • Business 4.2
    • Design & Visual Arts 4.3
    • Engineering 4.4
    • Law 4.5
    • Medicine 4.6
    • Social Work 4.7
    • Former school 4.8
  • Museums and library system 5
  • Research, research centers, and institutes 6
  • Campus life 7
    • Student organizations 7.1
    • Greek life 7.2
    • Residences 7.3
    • Student media 7.4
    • Athletics 7.5
    • Traditions 7.6
  • Notable people 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11


Early history (1853–1900)

Washington University was conceived by 17 St. Louis business, political, and religious leaders concerned by the lack of institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. Missouri State Senator Wayman Crow and Unitarian minister William Greenleaf Eliot, grandfather of the poet T.S. Eliot, led the effort.

The university's first chancellor was Joseph Gibson Hoyt. Crow secured the university charter from the Missouri General Assembly in 1853, and Eliot was named President of the Board of Trustees. Early on, Eliot solicited support from members of the local business community, including John O'Fallon, but Eliot failed to secure a permanent endowment. Washington University is unusual among major American universities in not having had a prior financial endowment. The institution had no backing of a religious organization, single wealthy patron, or earmarked government support.

William Greenleaf Eliot, first president of the Board of Trustees

During the three years following its inception, the university bore three different names. The board first approved "Eliot Seminary," but William Eliot was uncomfortable with naming a university after himself and objected to the establishment of a seminary, which would implicitly be charged with teaching a religious faith. He favored a nonsectarian university.[17] In 1854, the Board of Trustees changed the name to "Washington Institute" in honor of [16]

Although chartered as a university, for many years Washington University functioned primarily as a night school located on 17th Street and Washington Avenue in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Owing to limited financial resources, Washington University initially used public buildings. Classes began on October 22, 1854, at the Benton School building. At first the university paid for the evening classes, but as their popularity grew, their funding was transferred to the St. Louis Public Schools.[18] Eventually the board secured funds for the construction of Academic Hall and a half dozen other buildings. Later the university divided into three departments: the Manual Training School, Smith Academy, and the Mary Institute.

In 1867, the university opened the first private nonsectarian

  • Washington University official website
  • Washington University official athletics website

External links

  • Ralph E. Morrow, Washington University in St. Louis: A History St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1996.
  • Candace O'Connor, Beginning a Great Work: Washington University, 1853–2003 St. Louis: Washington University in St. Louis, 2003.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2013. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Faculty facts". Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Human Resources Home Page". Washington University. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Fall 2012 Enrollment". Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Washington University in St. Louis (About)". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ "History of Tyson – Tyson Research Center". Washington University in St. Louis – Biology Department. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Washington University in St. Louis New Logotype" (PDF). Washington University in St. Louis: University Libraries. 
  8. ^ "FACTS 2009 (Athletics)". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Enrollments, Degrees, and Admissions". FACTS 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  10. ^ "FACTS 2009 (Faculty)". Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Undergraduate Rankings of WUSTL by News Media | Newsroom | Washington University in St. Louis". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Fiscal Year 2007 Financial Highlights". Annual Report 2006-2007. 
  13. ^ "American Research University Data". The Center for Measuring University Performance. 2007. Retrieved July 21, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Federal S&E Obligations to Academic Institutions Reach New Highs in FY 2006 but Fail to Keep Up with Inflation". 
  15. ^ "Schools and Academic Departments". Washington University in St. Louis homepage. 
  16. ^ a b "Origin of the "Washington" Name". Washington University in St. Louis: University Libraries. 
  17. ^ "The Founding of Washington University". Washington University in St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Washington University". Northern Illinois University Libraries Digitization Projects. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  19. ^ a b "Architecture of Danforth Campus". 
  20. ^ "Frederic Aldin Hall | Facts, History and Traditions | About | Washington University in St. Louis". March 8, 1918. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Arthur Holly Compton | Facts, History and Traditions | About | Washington University in St. Louis". February 22, 1946. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Desegregation at Washington University in St. Louis". Washington University in St. Louis: University Libraries. 
  23. ^ Amy M. Pfeiffenberger, "Democracy at Home: The Struggle to Desegregate Washington University in the Postwar Era," Gateway-Heritage (Missouri Historical Society), vol. 10, no. 3 (Winter 1989), pp. 17–24.
  24. ^ "Ethan A.H. Shepley | Facts, History and Traditions | About | Washington University in St. Louis". October 14, 1958. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Thomas H. Eliot | Facts, History and Traditions | About | Washington University in St. Louis". February 28, 1970. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ "William H. Danforth | Facts, History and Traditions | About | Washington University in St. Louis". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Mark Stephen Wrighton | Leadership | About | Washington University in St. Louis". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  28. ^ Watts, Judy H. "Washington University in St. Louis Magazine". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  29. ^ Winter, Greg (December 22, 2003). "A Mighty Fund-Raising Effort Helps Lift a College's Ranking". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ "History of debates at Washington University in St. Louis | Newsroom | Washington University in St. Louis". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Lost site: Presidential campaigns drop St. Louis from debate schedule". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Wrighton: 2008 debate bid 'improbable' – News". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Washington University in St. Louis — Vice Presidential Debate 2008". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014-United States". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  35. ^ "America's Top Colleges". LLC™. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  37. ^ "About the Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014-United States". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  39. ^ "University Rankings". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  40. ^ "World University Rankings". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Reputation and World Rankings". Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  42. ^ "U.S. News & World Report College Rankings". 
  43. ^ "WUSTL is top 10 in 19 disciplines". Washington University Record. Retrieved February 12, 2007. 
  44. ^ "2013 College Acceptance Rates". 
  45. ^ "Wash U is Top 10 in 19 Disciplines, including ranked No. 1 in Political Science and Ecology and evolutionary biology". 
  46. ^ "BW Rankings". 
  47. ^ "Washington(Olin)". 
  48. ^ "BusinessWeek Rankings 2013". 
  49. ^ "Lumosity Rankings". 
  50. ^ "National Rankings". US News. Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  51. ^ "Rankings – Best Business Schools – Graduate Schools – Education – US News". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2013". 
  53. ^ "The World University Rankings". Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013–2014. TSL Education Ltd. 2013. 
  54. ^ by the Editors. "Introduction: A Different Kind of College Ranking by the Editors". Washington Monthly. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
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  56. ^ O'Connor, Candace (December 1, 1904). "Washington University in St. Louis Magazine". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  57. ^ "Olin Hall". Washington University School of Medicine. 
  58. ^ Clendennen, Andy (July 23, 2004). "Sun rises on University's North Campus". Record. 
  59. ^ "Historical Campus Tour: West Campus". Washington University in St. Louis homepage. 
  60. ^ "BIOLOGY AND BUILDING—THE LIVING LEARNING CENTER AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY’S TYSON RESEARCH CENTER: A Journey on the Path to the Living Building Challenge" (PDF). Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  61. ^ "Facts about Washington U. (Undergraduate Admissions)". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  62. ^ "Olin Business School | Alumni | Washington University Business School Alumni". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  63. ^ "Best Graduate Schools | Top Graduate Programs | US News Education". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  64. ^ Otten, Liam (October 25, 2006). "Washington University in St. Louis Magazine". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  65. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2015: Law".  
  66. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Law".  
  67. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Law".  
  68. ^ a b "Best Graduate Schools | Top Graduate Programs | US News Education". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  69. ^ "FACTS – Washington University School of Medicine". June 30, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  70. ^ "GSC: Information". Genome Sequencing Center. 
  71. ^ "The Best Graduate Schools 2009". U.S. News & World Report.
  72. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2009: Health: Social Work".  
  73. ^ "Library Facts: By the Numbers". Washington University in St. Louis Libraries. 
  74. ^ "More than 60% of undergraduates perform research". Washington University in St. Louis: Admissions. 
  75. ^ "The Top American Research Universities" (PDF). Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  76. ^ "Office of Undergraduate Research | Washington University in St. Louis". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  77. ^ "Research Activity, 2007 Annual Report" (PDF). Washington University in St. Louis: Office of Research. 
  78. ^ Genome Sequencing Center
  79. ^ Genomes decoded by Washington University
  80. ^ Fitzpatrick, Tony (June 12, 2008). "WUSTL plays key role in Phoenix Mars Mission". Record. 
  81. ^ "Digitizing the works of a 16th-century poet: Spenser Project receives NEH Scholarly Editions Grant". Record. October 4, 2007. 
  82. ^ "Directory of Student Groups".  
  83. ^ "Best of St. Louis". Riverfront Times. 
  84. ^ "Big Names Drive DUC Funding". Student Life. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  85. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Danforth University Center. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  86. ^ "The Amateurs website". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  87. ^ "After Dark website". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  88. ^ "Wash U. Palin/Biden Love Song" from "" (3 October 2008) accessed 17 March 2012
  89. ^ "WU Princeton Review". 
  90. ^ "WU Residential Life Office". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  91. ^ "Women's Basketball". Washington University Athletics. 
  92. ^ "Volleyball". Washington University Athletics. 
  93. ^ "Athletic Titles". Washington University Athletics. 
  94. ^ a b "John Schael". Washington University Athletics. 
  95. ^ "Washington University in St Louis Men's Club Volleyball". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  96. ^ Schoenherr, Neil (April 19, 2006). "Let your imagination ride at Thurtene Carnival April 22–23". Washington University in St. Louis News & Information. 
  97. ^ "FACTS 2009 (Alumni & Development)". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  98. ^ "Rhodes Scholars". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  99. ^ "Nobel Prizes". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 


  • The School of Medicine graduated Nobel laureates Earl Sutherland, Edwin Krebs, and Daniel Nathans. Businessman and adventurer Steve Fossett earned his MBA from the business school. Doctoral alumni include the former Presidents of Johns Hopkins, Clemson, Wake Forest, Morehouse, Mount Union, Yonsei, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. An alumnus of the Graduate School of Architecture, C. P. Wang (M.Arch 1973), designed Taipei 101, the world's second-tallest building.
  • Earlier undergraduate alumni include HOK, the world's fourth-largest architectural firm.
  • Washington University counts more than 114,000 living alumni, 27 Rhodes Scholars, and 22 Nobel laureates affiliated with the university as faculty or students.[97][98][99]

Notable people

  • WILD – Walk In, Lay Down, the semesterly concert in the Quad which brings in popular musical acts.
  • Bauhaus – Annual Halloween costume party sponsored by the Architecture School Council, held in a large tent in front of Givens Hall.
  • Thurtene Carnival – The oldest and largest student-run carnival in the nation, run by Thurtene Honorary.[96]
  • Vertigo – A dance party put on by the Engineering School Council (EnCouncil), featuring an innovative 8-by-16-foot (2.4 by 4.9 m) computer-controlled modular LED illuminated dance floor built by students.
  • Cultural shows – Each year Washington University student groups put on several multicultural shows, one of which sells out within hours of tickets going on sale (Diwali). Ashoka, the South Asian student association, puts on a performance for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures; celebrating African culture, Africa Week and the African Film Festival are annual events hosted by the African Students Association; the Association of Latin American Students showcases various forms of Latin and Spanish dances during their performance, Carnaval.
Gates at Francis Field


Washington University is home of Francis Field, site of the 1904 Summer Olympics. Francis Field is also home of the Washington University football, soccer, and track and field teams.

Washington University also has an extensive club sports program, with teams ranging from men's volleyball[95] to women's Ultimate Frisbee. Funding for club sports comes from the Student Union budget, as each club is deemed a campus group.

Washington University's sports teams are called the Bears. They are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and participate in the University Athletic Association at the Division III level. The Bears have won 19 NCAA Division III Championships— one in women's cross country (2011), one in men's tennis (2008), two in men's basketball (2008, 2009), five in women's basketball (1998–2001, 2010),[91] and ten in women's volleyball (1989, 1991–1996, 2003, 2007, 2009)[92] – and 144 UAA titles in 15 different sports.[93] The Athletic Department is headed by John Schael who has served as director of athletics since 1978. The 2000 Division III Central Region winner of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/Continental Airlines Athletics Director of the Year award,[94] Schael has helped orchestrate the Bears athletics transformation into one of the top departments in Division III.[94]

Washington University Bears logo
Washington University Bears logo


Washington University supports four major student-run media outlets. The university's student newspaper, Student Life, is available for students. KWUR (90.3 FM) serves as the students' official radio station; the station also attracts an audience in the immediately surrounding community due to its eclectic and free-form musical programming. WUTV is the university's closed-circuit television channel. The university's main student-run political publication is the Washington University Political Review (nicknamed "WUPR"), a self-described "multipartisan" monthly magazine. Washington University undergraduates publish two literary and art journals, The Eliot Review and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine. A variety of other publications also serve the university community, ranging from in-house academic journals to glossy alumni magazines to WUnderground, campus' student-run satirical newspaper.

Student media

In addition to South 40 and North Side residence halls, Washington University owns several apartment buildings within walking distance to Danforth Campus, which are open to upperclassmen.

Another group of residences, known as the Village, is located in the northwest corner of Danforth Campus. Only open to upperclassmen and January Scholars, the North Side consists of Millbrook Apartments, The Village, Village East on-campus apartments, and all fraternity houses except the Zeta Beta Tau house, which is off campus and located just northwest of the South 40. Sororities at Washington University do not have houses by their own accord. The Village is a group of residences where students who have similar interests or academic goals apply as small groups of 4 to 24, known as BLOCs, to live together in clustered suites along with non-BLOCs. Like the South 40, the residences around the Village also surround a recreational lawn.

Over 50% of undergraduate students live on campus.[90] Most of the residence halls on campus are located on the South 40, named because of its adjacent location on the south side of the Student Center, the Habif Health and Wellness Center (Student Health Services), the Residential Life Office, University Police Headquarters, various student-owned businesses (e.g. the laundry service, Wash U Wash), and the baseball, softball, and intramural fields are also located on the South 40.

Washington University is number one on the Princeton Review’s “Best College Dorms” list for 2013.[89]

The South 40


Washington University Panhellenic Council

Washington University Interfraternity Council

Washington University has eleven fraternities and eight sororities on campus. Greek Life compromises approximately 35% of the undergraduate student body.

Greek life

The campus political/entertainment talk radio podcast is WURD, which streams for free on iTunes. Its listenership spans multiple continents and its host website has been visited by thousands of listeners.

The campus newspaper is Student Life. The paper is published twice a week under the auspices of Washington University Student Media, Inc., an independent not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1999. The paper was first founded in 1878, making it one of the oldest student newspapers in the country.

Washington University has a large number of student-run musical groups on campus, including 12 official a cappella groups. The Pikers, an all-male group, is the oldest such group on campus. The Greenleafs, an all-female group is the oldest (and only) female group on campus. The Mosaic Whispers, founded in 1991, is the oldest co-ed group on campus. They have produced 9 albums and have appeared on a number of compilation albums, including Ben Folds' Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella! The Amateurs,[86] who also appeared on this album, is another co-ed a cappella group on campus, founded in 1991. They have recorded seven albums and toured extensively. After Dark[87] is a co-ed a cappella group founded in 2001. It has released three albums and has won several Contemporary A Capella Recording (CARA) awards. In 2008 the group performed on MSNBC during coverage of the vice presidential debate with specially written songs about Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.[88] The Ghost Lights, founded in 2010, is the campus's newest and only Broadway, Movies, and Television soundtrack group. They have performed multiple philanthropic concerts in the greater St. Louis area and were honored in November 2010 with the opportunity to perform for Nobel Laureate Douglass North at his birthday celebration.

Many of these organizations and other campus life amenities are housed in the $43 million Danforth University Center on the Danforth Campus, also dedicated in honor of the Danforth family.[84] The building opened on August 11, 2008 and earned LEED Gold certification for its environmentally friendly design.[85]

Washington University has over 300 undergraduate student organizations on campus.[82] Most are funded by the Washington University Student Union, which has a $2 million plus annual budget that is completely student-controlled and is one of the largest student government budgets in the country. Known as SU for short, the Student Union sponsors large-scale campus programs including WILD (a semesterly concert in the quad) and free copies of the New York Times, USA Today, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch through The Collegiate Readership Program; it also contributes to the Assembly Series, a weekly lecture series produced by the University, and funds the campus television station, WUTV, and the radio station, KWUR. KWUR was named best radio station in St. Louis of 2003 by the Riverfront Times despite the fact that its signal reaches only a few blocks beyond the boundaries of the campus.[83] There are 10 fraternities and 7 sororities. The Congress of the South 40 (CS40) is a Residential Life and Events Programming Board, which operates outside of the SU sphere. CS40's funding comes from the Housing Activities Fee of each student living on the South 40.

Women's Building

Student organizations

Campus life

Washington University professor Joseph Lowenstein, with the assistance of several undergraduate students, has been involved in editing, annotating, making a digital archive of the first publication of poet Edmund Spencer's collective works in 100 years. A large grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities has been given to support this ambitious project centralized at Washington University with support from other colleges in the United States.[81]

NASA hosts its Planetary Data System Geosciences Node on the campus of Washington University. Professors, students, and researchers have been very involved with many unmanned missions to Mars. Professor Ray Arvidson has been co-investigator of the Phoenix Rover robotic arm and chair of the Mars Exploration Rover landing site group.[80]

[79] During fiscal year 2007, $537.5 million was received in total research support, including $444 million in federal obligations. The University has over 150

Virtually all faculty members at Washington University engage in academic research, offering opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students across the university's seven schools. Known for its interdisciplinarity and departmental collaboration, many of Washington University's research centers and institutes are collaborative efforts between many areas on campus. More than 60% of undergraduates are involved in faculty research across all areas;[74] it is an institutional priority for undergraduates to be allowed to participate in advanced research. According to the Center for Measuring University Performance, it is considered to be one of the top 10 private research universities in the nation.[75] A dedicated Office of Undergraduate Research is located on the Danforth Campus and serves as a resource to post research opportunities, advise students in finding appropriate positions matching their interests, publish undergraduate research journals, and award research grants to make it financially possible to perform research.[76]

Brown Hall

Research, research centers, and institutes

The Thomas Cole, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Rembrandt, Robert Rauschenberg, Barbara Kruger, and Christian Boltanski. Also in the complex is the 3,000 sq ft (300 m2) Newman Money Museum. In October 2006, the Kemper Art Museum moved from its previous location, Steinberg Hall, into a new facility designed by former faculty member Fumihiko Maki. Interestingly, the new Kemper Art Museum is located directly across from Steinberg Hall, which was Maki's very first commission in 1959.

Reading room in Anheuser-Busch Hall
Olin Library in the Fall

With 14 libraries, the Washington University library system is the largest in the state of Missouri, containing over 4.2 million volumes.[73] The main library, Olin Library, is centrally located on the Danforth Campus. Other libraries in the system include:

Museums and library system

Founded as the Missouri Dental College in 1866, the Washington University School of Dental Medicine was the first dental school west of the Mississippi River and the sixth dental school in the U.S. The school closed in 1991.

Former school

The George Warren Brown School of Social Work (commonly called the Brown School or Brown) is currently ranked first among Brown Shoe Company. The school is housed within Brown and Goldfarb halls. It has a center for Native American research, as well as acclaimed scholars in social security, health, individual development accounts, etc. The school's current dean is Edward F. Lawlor.

Social Work

Larry J. Shapiro, MD, is the Dean of Washington University School of Medicine.

The Program in Occupational Therapy is currently tied for 1st in the nation for "Best Occupational Therapy Schools" according to U.S. News & World Report.[68] The Program offers a Master of Science degree as well as the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) at the professional and post-professional levels. M. Carolyn Baum, PhD, serves as the program director and was the most recent president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

Within the medical school, the Program in Physical Therapy is also highly reputable. It is ranked 2nd in the nation for "Best Physical Therapy Schools" according to U.S. News & World Report.[71] The Program offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at both the professional and post-professional levels. In its 60-year history, more than 1,500 students, most of whom are still actively involved in the physical therapy profession, have graduated from the Program.

The Washington University School of Medicine is highly regarded as one of the world's leading centers for medical research and training.[68] The School ranks first in the nation in student selectivity.[69] Among its many recent initiatives, The Genome Center at Washington University (directed by Richard K. Wilson) played a leading role in the Human Genome Project, having contributed 25% of the finished sequence.[70] The School pioneered bedside teaching and led in the transformation of empirical knowledge into scientific medicine. The medical school partners with St. Louis Children's Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital (part of BJC HealthCare), where all physicians are members of the school's faculty.


Nancy Staudt is the Dean of the School of Law.

In the 2015 US News & World Report America's Best Graduate Schools, the law school is ranked 18th nationally, out of over 180 law schools.[65] In particular, its Clinical Education Program is currently ranked 4th in the nation.[66] This year, the median score placed the average student in the 96th percentile of test takers.[67] The law school offers a full-time day program, beginning in August, for the J.D. degree. The law school is located in a state-of-the-art building, Anheuser-Busch Hall (opened in 1997). The building combines traditional architecture, a five-story open-stacks library, an integration of indoor and outdoor spaces, and the latest wireless and other technologies. National Jurist ranked Washington University 4th among the "25 Most Wired Law Schools."

Washington University School of Law offers joint-degree programs with the Olin Business School, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, and the School of Social Work. It also offers an LLM in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, an LLM in Taxation, an LLM in US Law for Foreign Lawyers, a Master of Juridical Studies (MJS), and a Juris Scientiae Doctoris (JSD). The law school offers 3 semesters of courses in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, and requires at least 85 hours of coursework for the JD.

Anheuser Busch Hall, home to the School of Law


Departments include:

The Washington University School of Engineering was ranked 48 in the 2012–2013 U.S. News undergraduate engineering program ratings. The biomedical engineering graduate program was ranked 12th by U.S. News in 2012–2013. Graduate programs are also offered through the School of Engineering and part-time programs through the Sever Institute of Continuing Studies. Ralph Quatrano is Dean of Engineering & Applied Science.

For the Fall 2011 semester Engineering enrolled 272 out of 5,162 applicants (5.3%).

Cupples Hall


Carmon Colangelo is the Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Bruce Lindsey is Dean of the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. Franklin "Buzz" Spector is the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art.

In October 2006 the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum moved into new facilities designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, and former faculty member, Fumihiko Maki.[64]

Art offers the BFA and MFA in Art in the context of a full university environment. Students take courses in the College of Arts & Sciences as well as courses in the College of Art to provide a well rounded background. One third of students in the school pursue a combined study degree program, second major, and/or minors in other undergraduate divisions at Washington University. U.S. News & World Report ranked the MFA program 13th in the nation in 2012.[63]

Architecture offers BS and BA degrees as well as M. Arch and MUD. There is a combined six-year BS and M. Arch degree program as well as joint M. Arch programs with most of the other schools in the University. The Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design was ranked 5th in the nation by the journal DesignIntelligence in its 2008 edition of "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools."

  • College of Architecture
  • Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design
  • College of Art
  • Graduate School of Art
  • Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, considered one of the most distinguished university art collections in the country

Created in 2005 by merging the existing Colleges of Art and Architecture, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts combines the strengths of these fields into a single collaborative unit offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. The School comprises:

For the Fall 2011 semester Design & Visual Arts enrolled 106 out of 1,422 applicants (7.5%).

Design & Visual Arts

Undergraduate BSBA students take 40–60% of their courses within the business school and are able to formally declare majors in eight areas: accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, marketing, human resources, international business, and operations and supply chain management. Graduate students are able to pursue an MBA either full-time or part-time. Students may also take elective courses from other disciplines at Washington University, including law and many other fields. Mahendra R. Gupta is the Dean of the Olin Business School.

Olin has a network of more than 16,000 alumni worldwide.[62] Over the last several years, the school’s endowment has increased to $213 million (2004) and annual gifts average $12 million per year. Simon Hall was opened in 1986 after a donation from John E. Simon.

Founded as the School of Commerce and Finance in 1917, the Olin Business School was named after entrepreneur John M. Olin in 1988. The school's academic programs include BSBA, MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), MS in Finance, MS in Supply Chain Management, Master of Accounting, and Doctorate programs, as well as non-degree executive education. In 2002, an Executive MBA program was established in Shanghai, in cooperation with Fudan University.

The Knight Executive Education Center is a part of the Olin Business School.


  • The College of Arts & Sciences offers courses in over a dozen languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, German, French, Swahili, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Greek, Italian, Hindi, Portuguese, and Latin. University College in Arts & Sciences also offers course work in Swedish, Vietnamese, and Czech.
  • University College grants both graduate and undergraduate degrees, offering courses primarily in the evenings for adult and continuing education.
  • The Graduate School serves over 1,800 students pursuing Master's and PhD degrees.
  • The College of Arts & Sciences is the central undergraduate unit of the University with 330 tenured and tenure-track faculty along with over 100 research scientists, lecturers, artists in residence, and visitors serving more than 3,700 undergraduates in 40 academic departments divided into divisions of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The College of Arts & Sciences has an average class size of 18 students, with over 80% having fewer than 24. Almost one-half of the undergraduate classes have fewer than 10 students. The student-faculty ratio is 7:1.[61]

Arts & Sciences at Washington University comprises three divisions: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and University College in Arts & Sciences. Barbara Schaal is Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. James E. McLeod was the Vice Chancellor for Students and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; according to a University news release he died at the University's Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 of renal failure as a result of a two-year-long struggle with cancer. Richard J. Smith is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

For the Fall 2011 semester Arts & Sciences enrolled 942 out of 18,079 applicants (5.2%).

Holmes Lounge, the central reading room on campus, where students may eat and study

Arts & Sciences


Tyson Research Center is a 2,000-acre (809 ha) field station located west of St. Louis on the Meramec River. Washington University obtained Tyson as surplus property from the federal government in 1963. It is used by the University as a biological field station and research/education center. In 2010 the Living Learning Center was named one of the first two buildings accredited nationwide as a "living building" under the Living Building Challenge,[60] opened to serve as a biological research station and classroom for summer students.

Tyson Research Center

Both the North and West Campuses are accessible by the St. Louis MetroLink, which, with the Delmar Loop and Forsyth MetroLink Stations directly adjacent to these campuses, provides easy travel around the St. Louis metropolitan area, including all of Washington University's campuses.

The West Campus is located about one mile (1.6 km) to the west of the Danforth Campus in Clayton, Missouri, and primarily consists of a three-story former department store building housing mostly administrative space. The West Campus building was home to the Clayton branch of the Famous-Barr department store until 1990, when the University acquired the property and adjacent parking and began a series of renovations.[59] Today, the basement level houses the West Campus Library, the University Archives, the Modern Graphic History Library, and conference space. The ground level still remains a retail space. The upper floors house consolidated capital gifts, portions of alumni and development, and information systems offices from across the Danforth and Medical School campuses. There is also a music rehearsal room on the second floor. The West Campus is also home to the Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT), which provides IT training services.

Washington University's North Campus and West Campus principally house administrative functions that are not student focused. North Campus lies in St. Louis City near the Delmar Loop. The University acquired the building and adjacent property in 2004, formerly home to the Angelica Uniform Factory.[58] Several University administrative departments are located at the North Campus location, including offices for Quadrangle Housing, Accounting and Treasury Services, Parking and Transportation Services, Army ROTC, and Network Technology Services. The North Campus location also provides off-site storage space for the Performing Arts Department. Renovations are still ongoing; recent additions to the North Campus space include a small eatery operated by Bon Appétit Management Company, the University's on-campus food provider, completed during spring semester 2007, as well as the Family Learning Center, operated by Bright Horizons and opened in September 2010.

North and West Campuses

Medical Campus Includes:

The Medical Campus is accessible via the Central West End MetroLink station, which provides a quick link to the Danforth, North, and West Campuses.

Olin Residence Hall, named for Spencer T. Olin, provides residential services for 200 medical and graduate students.[57]

The School's 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty Physicians and Nurse Practitioners also serve as the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, which are part of BJC HealthCare. Washington University and BJC have taken on many joint venture projects, such as the Center for Advanced Medicine, completed in December 2001. BJC Institute of Health at Washington University is the newest research building with 680,000 square feet (63,000 m2).

Washington University Medical Center comprises 164 acres (66.4 ha) spread over approximately 12 city blocks, located along the eastern edge of Forest Park within the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. The campus is home to the Washington University School of Medicine and its associated teaching hospitals, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital. Many of the buildings are connected via a series of skyways and corridors.

Medical Campus

Although the school includes St. Louis in its name, the majority of the school's main campus (including Brookings Hall) is located in unincorporated St. Louis County and suburban Clayton.[56]

The main, or Danforth Campus (formerly known as the Hilltop Campus) is mostly between Forest Park Parkway, Wydown Boulevard, North Big Bend Boulevard, and North Skinker Boulevard.

Danforth Campus

Geography and campuses

Global rankings include 32nd in the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2013, that assesses the quality of scientific research leading toward a Nobel Prize.[52] In 2014, Washington University ranked 42nd in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[53] Washington University has been criticized for aggressively marketing itself in order to increase applications and thereby selectivity, a factor in many ranking systems.[54] Washington University ranked 22nd in CWTS Leiden Ranking 2013, Netherland.[55]

Graduate schools include the School of Law is ranked 18th and the Olin Business School is ranked 22nd.[50][51] Additionally, the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design was ranked 9th in the nation by the journal DesignIntelligence in its 2013 edition of "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools."

Washington University's undergraduate program is ranked 14th in the nation, and 7th in admissions selectivity, in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report National Universities ranking.[11][42] Additionally, 19 undergraduate disciplines are ranked among the top 10 programs in the country.[43] In 2013, Washington University received a record 30,117 applications for a freshman class of 1,500 with an acceptance rate of 13.7%.[44] More than 90% of incoming freshmen were ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes. In 2006, the University ranked fourth overall and second among private universities in the number of enrolled National Merit Scholar freshmen, according to the National Merit Scholar Corp.'s annual report.[45] In 2008, Washington University was ranked number one for quality of life according to the Princeton Review, among other top rankings. In addition, the Olin Business School's undergraduate program is among the top 4 in the country.[46] The Olin Business School's undergraduate program is also among the country's most competitive, admitting only 14% of applicants in 2007 and ranking No. 1 in SAT scores with an average composite of 1492 M+CR according to BusinessWeek.[47][48] In 2013, Lumosity named Washington University the “smartest college in America” based on student cognitive performance.[49]

Seigle Hall, shared by the School of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences
University rankings
ARWU[34] 23
Forbes[35] 63
U.S. News & World Report[36] 14
Washington Monthly[37] 43
ARWU[38] 32
QS[39] 99
Times[40] 42

Rankings and reputation

Although Chancellor Wrighton had noted after the 2004 debate that it would be "improbable" that the University will host another debate and was not eager to commit to the possibility,[32] he subsequently changed his view and the University submitted a bid for the 2008 debates. "These one-of-a-kind events are great experiences for our students, they contribute to a national understanding of important issues, and they allow us to help bring national and international attention to the St. Louis region as one of America's great metropolitan areas," said Wrighton.[33]

Washington University has been selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host more presidential and vice presidential debates than any other institution in history.[30] United States presidential election debates were held at the Washington University Athletic Complex in 1992, 2000, and 2004. A presidential debate was planned to occur in 1996, but owing to scheduling difficulties between the candidates, the debate was canceled.[31] The university hosted the only 2008 vice presidential debate, between Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden, on October 2, 2008, also at the Washington University Athletic Complex.

2008 Vice Presidential Debate at the Washington University Field House

U.S. Presidential and Vice Presidential debates

The growth of Washington University’s reputation has coincided with a series of record-breaking fund-raising efforts during the last three decades. From 1983 to 1987, the “Alliance for Washington University” campaign raised $630.5 million, which was then the most successful fund-raising effort in national history.[28] From 1998 to 2004, the “Campaign for Washington University” raised $1.55 billion, which has been applied to additional scholarships, professorships, and research initiatives.[29]

In 1995, Mark S. Wrighton, former Provost at MIT, was elected the university’s 14th chancellor. During Chancellor Wrighton's tenure undergraduate applications to Washington University have more than doubled. Since 1995, the University has added more than 190 endowed professorships, revamped its Arts & Sciences curriculum, and completed more than 30 new buildings.[27]

In 1971, the Board of Trustees appointed Chancellor William Henry Danforth, who guided the university through the social and financial crises of the 1970s and strengthened the university’s often strained relationship with the St. Louis community. During his 24-year chancellorship, Danforth significantly improved the School of Medicine, established 70 new faculty chairs, secured a $1.72 billion endowment, and tripled the amount of student scholarships.[26]

During the latter half of the 20th century, Washington University transitioned from a strong regional university to a national research institution. In 1957, planning began for the construction of the “South 40,” a complex of modern residential halls. With the additional on-campus housing, Washington University, which had been predominately a “streetcar college” of commuter students, began to attract a more national pool of applicants.[24] By 1964, over two-thirds of incoming students came from outside the St. Louis area.[25]

Graham Chapel

Recent history (1955–present)

The process of desegregation at Washington University began in 1947 with the School of Medicine and the School of Social Work.[22] During the mid and late 1940s, the University was the target of critical editorials in the local African American press, letter-writing campaigns by churches and the local Urban League, and legal briefs by the NAACP intended to strip its tax-exempt status. In spring 1949, a Washington University student group, the Student Committee for the Admission of Negroes (SCAN), began campaigning for full racial integration. In May 1952, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution desegregating the school's undergraduate divisions.[23]

In 1947, Gerty Cori, a professor at the School of Medicine, became the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Professors Carl and Gerty Cori became Washington University's fifth and sixth Nobel laureates for their discovery of how glycogen is broken down and resynthesized in the body.

During World War II, as part of the [21]

In 1922, a young physics professor, Arthur Holly Compton, conducted a series of experiments in the basement of Eads Hall that demonstrated the "particle" concept of electromagnetic radiation. Compton’s discovery, known as the “Compton Effect,” earned him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1927.

By 1915, construction of a new medical complex was completed on Kingshighway in what is now St. Louis’s Central West End. Three years later, Washington University admitted its first women medical students.[20]

In 1899, the university opened a national design contest for the new campus. The renowned Philadelphia firm Cope & Stewardson won unanimously with its plan for a row of Collegiate Gothic quadrangles inspired by Oxford and Cambridge Universities.[19] The cornerstone of the first building, Busch Hall, was laid on October 20, 1900. The construction of Brookings Hall, Ridgley, and Cupples began shortly thereafter. The school delayed occupying these buildings until 1905 to accommodate the 1904 World's Fair and Olympics. The delay allowed the university to construct ten buildings instead of the seven originally planned. This original cluster of buildings set a precedent for the development of the Danforth Campus; Cope & Stewardson’s original plan and its choice of building materials have, with few exceptions, guided the construction and expansion of the Danforth Campus to the present day.[19]

Washington University spent its first half century in downtown St. Louis bounded by Washington Ave., Lucas Place, and Locust Street. By the 1890s, owing to the dramatic expansion of the Manual School and a new benefactor in Robert Brookings, the University began to move west. The University Board of Directors began a process to find suitable ground and hired the landscape architecture firm Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot of Boston. A committee of Robert S. Brookings, Henry Ware Eliot, and William Huse found a site of 103 acres (41.7 ha) just beyond Forest Park, located west of the city limits in St. Louis County. The elevation of the land was thought to resemble the Acropolis and inspired the nickname of "Hilltop" campus, renamed the Danforth campus in 2006 to honor former chancellor William H. Danforth.

The Washington University crest at the entrance to Francis Field
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