Washington University in St. Louis

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Updated August 7, 2020

Wayman Crow, a St. Louis merchant, and his pastor, William Greenleaf Eliot Jr., became concerned in 1853 at the lack of institutes of higher learning in the center of the country, which was growing rapidly. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, immigrants flocked to St. Louis and, as the population grew, there became a need for education in industrial training as well as basic general courses. However, the need was more for courses offered outside normal working hours as many immigrants needed to work to support their families. Crow and Eliot decided that there was not only a need for an institute of higher learning, but also one that offered programs during non-working hours. This led to the founding of Washington University in St. Louis, one of the first universities to establish evening programs.

The university grew over the next few decades in its downtown St. Louis location, expanding from an evening program to a full-time institution offering education in science, liberal arts and classical courses. Law and fine arts were added and the St. Louis Medical College merged with the university in 1891, creating the medical department. In 1899, the medical college merged with the Missouri Medical College.

In 1892, a hilltop location west of the city was chosen for a new campus and the site plan, created by Frederick Law Olmsted, developed in 1895. Construction began in 1900 with Busch and University Halls completed in 1901. With the cornerstones for Cupples I and Cupples II laid, the university leased the completed buildings to the organizers of the 1904 World's Fair that was to be held in nearby Forest Park. The leasing fees enabled the university to complete the remaining buildings, all of which were used by the Fair before the university moved in.

Today, Washington University is an internationally recognized research university with more than 6,000 undergraduate students.

Washington University in St. Louis Accreditation Details

Washington University in St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an honor it earned in 1913. Accreditation indicates that the university provides students with excellence in education while striving to improve all programs offered throughout the university. In addition to regional accredition, specific programs have earned accreditation from agencies with oversight in particular industries related to those programs.

Washington University in St. Louis Application Requirements

Freshman who wish to attend Washington University must complete the Common Application along with the required fee. Students must also provide a school report and official high school transcript as well as teacher evaluations. Official ACT or SAT scores are required and students who are applying for the College of Art must also provide a portfolio.

Students who have completed college level courses outside of high school are considered transfer students. They must complete the Common Application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended as well as an official high school transcript. Students must submit a transfer academic evaluation and a transfer registrar report. If the applicant took the SAT or ACT in high school, official scores must be submitted. If the student did not take the SAT or ACT, they must contact an admissions counselor.

Graduate admissions vary based on the program the student wishes to enter. It is advised that any student considering graduate admission at Washington University contact an admissions counselor before applying.

Washington University in St. Louis Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for full-time attendance at Washington University in St. Louis is $23,650 per semester. Online courses are $640 per credit hour, although there are some courses that cost $800 per credit hour. Online graduate courses range from $640 to $995 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available and 100 percent of students who demonstrate need are fully covered by university financial aid packages. Washington University works closely with students in order to customize financial assistance. The university offers scholarships, not loans, to students with limited resources so that they may graduate debt free. Many awards offer full tuition costs and the school provides merit-based as well as need-based scholarships. Students with parental incomes of less than $75,000 annual income are not awarded need-based loans, but instead are provided grants to attend the university. Students must complete either the Washington University Family Financial Profile or the College Scholarship Service Profile as well as the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for financial aid.

Washington University in St. Louis Online Degree(s) Available

Ph.D. in Business

Washington University in St. Louis offers a Ph.D. in Business through the Olin Business School, one of the nation's leading research institutions. Students develop strong problem-solving skills as well as methods to address complex business issues. Students must choose one of the following concentrations:

  • Accounting
  • Business Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations & Manufacturing Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Strategy

Students are provided a challenging curriculum with a background in basic business disciplines. There is an emphasis on collaboration among faculty and students with students provided personalized advising with a customized course of study. Faculty members provide students with one-on-one mentoring relationships, often partnering with students on research projects that lead to co-authored papers. The program requires completion of 72 credit hours.

Washington University's business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The program is full-time and very rigorous. Most courses are offered on campus only, although there may be the opportunity to complete some courses online with approval of the student's academic adviser. It takes at least five years to complete the entire program.

Washington University was one of the first universities in the country to create programs for working adults. From the beginning, the university offered evening classes so that those who needed to provide for their families could achieve their higher education goals outside regular working hours. Even today, the university offers evening, weekend and online courses for those who have work, family and social obligations that may make it difficult for them to reach their higher education goals. The flexible course schedule allows working adults to move into a new career or advance in a career they already enjoy while still meeting obligations at home and work.

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