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First-Year Student Requirements

We take your application for admission to Washington University very seriously. Our admissions committee reviews and assesses each application personally. Admission to WashU is both selective and competitive.

Washington University students have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, and have taken a rigorous course load in high school complemented by extracurricular activities, community service, and work experience. Your senior-year transcript should show that you continue to take demanding courses. Most applicants take advantage of honors, advanced placement, and International Baccalaureate courses, if offered by their high schools.

Most candidates’ transcripts include:

  • 4 years of English.
  • 4 years of mathematics. (Architecture, Business, and Engineering strongly recommend calculus.)
  • 3-4 years of history or social science.
  • 3-4 years of laboratory science.
  • At least 2 years of a foreign language.
  • Both chemistry and physics, as well as the most challenging math programs available, for students who plan to do course work in engineering, sciences, and/or pre-medicine.

Other important parts of your application:

  • Grades and class rank (if your school ranks students)
  • Counselor and teacher recommendations.
  • Essay
  • Extracurricular and community activities
  • Standardized test scores
    • Either SAT or ACT, writing is not required.
    • SAT Subject tests are not required.
    • Test results from any of your high school years are acceptable, though we encourage senior-year testing.
    • We consider only the highest individual scores, whenever they occurred.)
    • The last test date accepted will be the December testing (October if applying Early Decision).
  • A portfolio is required for applicants to the College of Art. Portfolios are strongly encouraged for the College of Architecture.