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. (See Frequently Asked Questions about SAT and ACT scores)
    • 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.

WashU now accepts self-reported scores on the Common and Coalition applications. We hope this policy will make the application more accessible for you, since you will no longer have to formally request scores and pay for them to be sent to WashU. If you enroll at WashU and submitted unofficial scores, we will then ask you to send official score reports from testing agencies.

Washington University College Codes:

  • ACT: 2386
  • SAT: 6929
  • TOEFL: 6929

Early Decision

If you know that WashU is your first choice, you should apply ED.
By applying through our binding ED plan by November 1, you will learn both your admission decision and financial assistance information in mid-December.
A few things to keep in mind about Early Decision:
  • Approximately one-third of this fall’s entering first-year students were admitted through Early Decision.
  • While our overall admit rate is around 17%, last year more than one-third of Early Decision applicants were offered admission.
  • Of course, Early Decision applicants demonstrate the same level of academic preparation as their Regular Decision counterparts. And, like Regular Decision students, we meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all students admitted during the Early Decision period.

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