Washington University in St. Louis – Ranking, Athletics & Notable Alumni

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Washington University in St. Louis Profile

Also known as WashU or WUSTL

washington university in st louis notable alumni

Originally established in 1853 as the Eliot Seminary (which was later renamed to Washington Institute in 1854 and was renamed again to its current title in 1856), Washington University in St. Louis is a private, not-for-profit research university which is located in St. Louis, Missouri. The school–which is commonly called WashU or WUSTL–consists of its main campus, the Washington University Medical Center (which itself is composed of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital; the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology; the Central Institute for the Deaf; the St. Louis Children’s Hospital; the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis; the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center; the Center for Advanced Medicine and the Eric P. Newman Education Center), the North Campus, the West Campus and the Tyson Research Center. WashU is comprised of 11 different colleges and schools (the College of Arts & Sciences; the College of Art; the College of Architecture; the University College; the School of Engineering; the School of Law; the School of Medicine; the Olin Business School; the George Warren Brown School of Social Work; the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences). Through these, the University confers more than 4,000 total undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees yearly.

WashU and its faculty have received many accolades over the years. Of the school’s faculty, 9 are Pulitzer Prize recipients, 4 are Poet Laureates, 64 have received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 49 from the National Academy of Sciences, 37 from the American Law Institute and 15 have been awarded the National Medal of Science. In addition, WashU was ranked as being the 2nd best school for social work in 2016 and was ranked as being the 6th most comprehensive medical school in 2016 by U.S. News and World Report, as having the 2nd best college dorms by The Princeton Review in 2016. Finally, as being the 5th best undergraduate business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2015.

Washington University in St. Louis Local Attractions

The community of St. Louis is also a perfect reason for students to want to attend WashU, as there are many things to see, do and eat, such as:

Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis:

Built in 1955, the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis, which is commonly called St. Louis Abbey, is an abbey of the Roman Catholic English Benedictine Congregation and is a paramount presence in the spiritual life of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The monks of the Abbey live their faith according to the Benedictine discipline, praying in the Divine Office five times daily, celebrating Masses in both English and Latin and working in the Saint Louis Priory School, which the Abbey runs as an apostolate.

Gateway Arch:

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot tall monument in St. Louis which is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and which was built to revitalize the city’s waterfront and to stimulate the city’s economy. Construction on the Gateway Arch started in 1963 and was completed in 1965. The Gateway Arch is the world’s tallest arch, the tallest manufactured monument located in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest accessible building in Missouri. Today, the Gateway Arch is the internationally famous symbol of the city of St. Louis and attracts numerous visitors each year.

Ted Drewes:

Ted Drewes is a very popular chain of frozen custard shops that was founded by Ted Drewes, Sr. in 1930. There are three locations of Ted Drewes in operation within the city–the Chippewa Street location (which is currently the flagship store), the South Grand Boulevard location, and the location at St. Louis Ballpark Village. Ted Drewes serves a popular confection known as “Concrete,” which is a frozen custard blended with a combination of ingredients served in a yellow cup with a spoon and straw, and is so thick that it will not fall out even if the cup is turned upside-down.

Online Degrees and Programs:

Washington University in St. Louis offers distance learning students a variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs (Bachelor of Science degrees), graduate degree-granting programs (Master of Arts degrees) and professional certification programs (both at the Undergraduate level and the Graduate level). The programs that are available in an online and asynchronous format are:


Certificate in Business
Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Certificate in Human Resources Management
Advanced Certificate in International Affairs
Advanced Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Undergraduate Degrees:

Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
Bachelor of Science in Communications
Bachelor of Science in Economics
Bachelor of Science in English
Bachelor of Science in Global Leadership and Management
Bachelor of Science in Healthcare
Bachelor of Science in History
Bachelor of Science in International Studies
Bachelor of Science in Journalism
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Graduate Degrees

Master of Arts in International Affairs
Master of Arts in Human Resources Management
Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management

In addition to these fully online Graduate degree programs, Washington University in St. Louis also offers a hybrid Master of Science in Biology program which is designed for science teachers. Students enrolled in this program are required to attend two 3-week long summer sessions on-campus order to be eligible for graduation.

What Makes the School Unique: Circumstances of Establishment

Washngton University

WashU was conceived by 17 local business, religious and political leaders who were concerned by the lack of universities in the Midwest. Missouri State Senator Wayman Crow and minister William Eliot–the grandfather of the lauded poet T.S. Eliot–led the effort to change this. Early on in the attempt to establish the school, William Eliot tried soliciting support from members of local businesses, but ultimately he failed to secure a permanent endowment for the school. Due to this failure, Washington University in St. Louis is a curious case among major universities in that it did not have an initial financial endowment; there was no backing by a religious organization, a wealthy patron or by the government. Despite not having received a permanent endowment from any source, the school still successfully opened in 1853.

Other School Facts:

In 1899, the university started a national design contest for its new campus. The nationally renowned Philadelphia-based firm Cope & Stewardson won by a landslide with its plan for a row of Collegiate Gothic quadrangles which were inspired by Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Construction on the new campus began in 1900, but the school delayed occupying these buildings until 1905 to accommodate for the 1904 World’s Fair and Olympics. This delay allowed the university to construct ten buildings in total instead of the seven which were originally planned.

Washington University in St. Louis’s Website: https://wustl.edu/

Washington University in St. Louis’s Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

WashU’s Values and Mission Statement: https://wustl.edu/about/mission-statement/

Washington University in St. Louis’s Motto: Per Veritatem Vis – “Strength Through Truth”

WashU’s Mascot: Bears

Washington University in St. Louis’s Colors: Red and Green

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