We know you have questions

We’ve tried to answer a few of the more frequently asked questions here.

If you still have questions about WashU, the application process, financial assistance, or anything else, please contact us! We are here to help you.

Application process

Does WashU prefer the Coalition Application or the Common Application?

We accept both the Coalition Application or the Common Application, and we have no preference for either one. Students should only submit one or the other, not both. Once you have started with one application, you should complete that application and not switch between the two. Both applications become available on August 1. 

What are WashU’s admissions policies toward undocumented students?

Undocumented students receive the same admissions review as all applicants to our undergraduate programs. Students may choose to apply through the Common Application or the Coalition Application, which have optional questions regarding undocumented/DACA status. Applicants who are currently in the DACA Status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) will need to select “Other (Non-US)” for citizenship status. Then answer “No” for “Do you currently hold a valid U.S. Visa?” 

Please see the Center for Diversity & Inclusion website for more information regarding Undocumented Students (DACA) at WashU

Does WashU consider demonstrated interest in the admission decision process?

No. As part of our commitment to ensure all applicants, regardless of financial circumstance, ability to travel or familiarity with the college admissions process, receive equal consideration in our review and selection of applicants, WashU will no longer consider demonstrated interest (such as visiting campus, attending an event, or emailing with a member of the admissions staff) as a factor in making admission decisions or in the admission decision process. In doing so, we can create and implement a truly equitable admissions process and support our goal to build a community of talented and diverse young people.

What standardized test scores does WashU accept?

WashU has adopted a test optional policy.

If you select to submit scores, we accept the following standardized tests:

  • SAT Test
  • ACT Test
  • We do not require the writing test if you submit ACT Scores or the optional Essay if you submit SAT scores.

We do not have a preference for either the SAT or the ACT. Test results from any of your high school years are acceptable.

WashU 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 (ACT code: 2386; SAT code: 6929).

For the ACT, Washington University considers your highest section scores across all the test dates that you submit. If you take both the ACT and SAT, we will consider whichever set of scores is most advantageous to you. We will “Super Score” your ACT or SAT scores and consider your highest section scores across all test dates you submit (we will accept individual section retakes on the ACT). The last test date accepted will be the December testing (October if applying Early Decision I).

Can I use ChatGPT or other AI tools for my application for admission?

WashU expects your application materials to be an honest representation of your own work. It is fine to use outside resources to check your work for spelling or clarity. You might share your essays with a teacher or counselor, or use editing or AI tools, for this purpose. However, your application essays and other written materials should accurately represent your writing skills. We discourage you from using AI tools like ChatGPT as the main source of your essay’s content. Whether you’re sharing your achievements, activities, or skills, AI tools should not be the primary author.

If race/ethnicity cannot be used as part of the admissions process, should I provide that information when I complete admissions application?

Providing your race or ethnicity is always optional. And it is not a factor we consider as part of the admissions process. However, we value diversity of perspectives. And we believe that those perspectives come from a variety of experiences and identity.

I understand that race/ethnicity cannot be used as part of the admissions process. If I choose to provide this information, what will you do with it?

When available, we are required to report this information to the federal government to remain in compliance.

Majors and Programs

Why am I asked to choose one of the five divisions when I apply?

Our five undergraduate colleges (often referred to as divisions) offer different curricula for various areas of academic interest. We encourage students to think about where their interests may lie at the time they apply, in terms of a major and a degree path to pursue, and to select one of the five schools as the primary point of interest. We encourage academic exploration and students can take courses in other schools/fields. For example, art students may study history, business students poetry, engineering students music, and so forth. But, we ask you to indicate which of the five schools is your primary choice now, so we can provide effective academic advising from the start to help you achieve your goals.

Which division will offer me the best chance of admission?

Overall admission percentages within our divisions may vary from year to year. We look for the same qualities in our applicants across all academic divisions at WashU, and we encourage you to apply to the school that offers courses and majors in which you are most interested at the time you apply.

What if I change my mind about what I want to study?

If you want to change your division on your application before decisions are released, simply send your request in writing to admissions@wustl.edu. Include your full name as it appears on your application for admission and the name of the high school you attend. If you have questions, call our office at 800-638-0700 or 314-935-6000, and ask to speak with an Admissions Officer or your Admissions Service Coordinator.

Enrolling students:
Enrolling first-year students are required to wait one full semester before requesting a change to another undergraduate college at WashU. Transferring to another division is possible, but not guaranteed.

Please keep in mind that:

  • You will be able to take courses in all of the colleges as you explore your academic interests
  • You can work with your academic advisor to add a major or minor in another WashU college
  • You have until the latter half of your sophomore year to decide on your academic major, and your advisors will provide support if you change your mind after that!

Enrolling transfer students are also required to wait one full semester before requesting a change to another undergraduate division at WashU.

Does Washington University have an accelerated BS/MD program or a program for early admission to medical school?

No, WashU does not currently offer an accelerated program for entry to medical school. Rather, WashU offers a comprehensive pre-health sciences curriculum that advises and educates all students interested in a career in the health sciences as they prepare for medical school. WashU’s PreHealth website has detailed information about how we provide comprehensive advising and support to students on their path toward a career in the health professions. 

First-Year Academic Scholarships

I’m applying Early Decision. Am I eligible for scholarships?

Yes. If you apply under our binding Early Decision I or II plan, you will also be given full consideration for merit-based scholarships. Scholarships are not awarded until spring. If your ability to attend WashU is dependent upon receiving a merit scholarship, we recommend that you apply in the non-binding Regular Decision round.

If I am eligible for financial assistance based on need and also receive a scholarship, will the scholarship affect my financial assistance offer?

If your scholarship covers your financial needs, you will no longer require need-based financial assistance. However, Student Financial Services will work with your family’s individual circumstances to ensure that your WashU education is affordable for you and your family.

If I am awarded a scholarship, what grade-point average will I need to maintain?

Scholarships are renewable for four years as long as you are making satisfactory progress toward a bachelor’s degree. This is generally defined as maintaining a 2.0 GPA and earning enough credits to graduate on time.

Can my scholarship be applied to a study abroad program?

Yes, if you choose to study abroad during the academic year through a WashU-sponsored program.

Admitted students

Can an applicant who has been admitted defer enrollment?

WashU recognizes that a small number of first-year students each year may request to defer their admission for a year and take a gap year to complete military service, religious commitments, a well-defined, substantial personal growth opportunity (including travel), or for other personal reasons. Students are unable to enroll full-time in another institution during this time.

Deferral requests are evaluated by the Admissions Office on a case-by-case basis, and admitted students must complete and submit their Acceptance Form and Enrollment Deposit prior to requesting a gap year.

Students must email the Admissions Office (admissions@wustl.edu) to request a gap year by May 15, 2024. Students will be notified of the outcome of their requests by June 1, 2024.

Requests are granted for one year. Requests for a second year are also granted on a case-by-case basis, typically in the event of compulsory military or religious service.

Please note that the Admissions Office considers all deferral requests individually, taking into account the needs of each student. Students and families with questions/concerns about the gap year process or with extenuating circumstances should contact the Admissions Office (admissions@wustl.edu).

If you need to request a gap year after the May 15 deadline, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.

Will coursework transfer if I am enrolled part-time at another university?

Students do not typically attend another university during a gap year, however, if they do complete coursework they must contact their dean’s office at WashU to have an assessment of any credits earned to see if they will transfer. The dean’s office has the final say on transferability of any credits earned.