We take your application for admission to Washington University very seriously. Our admissions committee reviews and assesses each application personally. Admission to WashU, whether as a first-year or transfer student, is both selective and competitive.

Washington University is looking for students with a high school diploma or equivalent who took a challenging college-preparatory curriculum 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 laboratory science (engineering recommends chemistry and physics)
  • 3-4 years of history or social science
  • At least 2 years of the same foreign language since the ninth grade
  • The College of Arts & Sciences recommends both chemistry and physics for students who plan to do coursework in pre-medicine or the natural sciences.

Other important parts of your application:

  • Grades and class rank (if your school ranks students)
  • Counselor and teacher recommendations.
  • Essays
    • Applicants will submit a supplemental essay (of 250 words) in addition to the Common Application or Coalition Application essay. This allows students to further express their interest in their academic area of choice.
    • Each undergraduate division at WashU provides a number of four-year scholarships that range up to the full cost of tuition. Students are selected as finalists for these Academic Scholarships based on a review of the admissions application with particular attention on the WashU supplemental 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 I).
  • A portfolio is required for applicants to the College of Art. Portfolios are strongly encouraged for the College of Architecture.

WashU accepts self-reported scores on the Common App and Coalition App. 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. 

our College Codes

ACT: 2386
SAT: 6929
TOEFL: 6929

Early Decision

If Washington University is clearly your first-choice school, we encourage you to apply under the Early Decision option. Early Decision candidates receive admission and financial aid decisions earlier than regular decision candidates.

The successful completion of a minimum of 12 years of primary and secondary studies is required for admission to any program of study leading to a bachelor’s degree at WashU.

A secondary school diploma or equivalent is required.

If you apply for admission, you will need to submit detailed information about your previous education, including:

  • Original academic transcripts or certified copies
  • A description of the grading system
  • Examination results (IGCSE, HKCEE, predicted A-Levels, national exams, etc.)
  • School-leaving certificates
  • Certified English translations of all of the above

Academic records must include:

  • Transcripts of all work completed at the secondary school level
  • Transcripts of formal studies completed beyond secondary school (when appropriate)
  • Subjects covered during each year of study (the specific month and year)
  • Duration of time of each course
  • Number of lectures or laboratory periods included within each course
  • Grades (marks) received

All prospective Washington University international students whose first language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test.

Standardized Testing Policy for International Students

Washington University is a global institution and welcomes applications from students studying in other countries. As a result, our standardized testing requirements are designed to be flexible and recognize the different educational systems around the world.

For both non-US Citizens and U.S. citizens applying from a high school outside of the U.S., you may fulfill our standardized testing requirement by submitting one of the following:

  • SAT; or
  • ACT; or
  • Predicted or actual results from national examinations, such as the Baccalauréat, Abitur, Maturita, etc.; or
  • Predicted or actual results for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma; or
  • Predicted or actual A-Levels; or
  • Three (3) SAT Subject Test scores; or
    • One score must be Math Level 1 or Math Level 2 for students applying to the following schools:
      • STEM Majors in the College of Arts & Science
      • McKelvey School of Engineering
      • Olin Business School
  • Three (3) AP Exam scores; or
    • One exam score must be in math for students applying to the following schools:
      • STEM Majors in the College of Arts & Science
      • McKelvey School of Engineering
      • Olin Business School
  • Three (3) IB higher-level exam scores if not an IB Diploma candidate; or
    • One must be an HL Math score for students applying to the following schools:
      • STEM Majors in the College of Arts & Science
      • McKelvey School of Engineering
      • Olin Business School

International students whose first language is not English will still be required to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting official results from the Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS, or TOEFL exams.

Transfer/Prematriculation Credit

Credits can be accepted by Washington University for studies completed at another college or university, or for scores achieved on AP, IB, or British A Level examinations.

However, an official statement of advanced standing cannot be given until a student has been admitted to WashU, has arrived on campus, and has consulted with an academic advisor regarding the evaluation of previous academic achievement.

English Language Instruction

The academic programs at Washington University require students to have well-developed skills in written and oral communication. During the academic year, international students seeking to improve their language skills in English may enroll in courses designed especially for advanced learners. These courses will help in refining and perfecting areas such as reading and writing, speaking and pronunciation, presentation, debating skills, and knowledge of American idiomatic expressions. For further information, please visit the English Language Program website.

Visa Eligibility

Washington University has authorization to issue eligibility documents needed to obtain either an “F-1” or “J-1” student visa.

Although both visas allow for full-time study, the J-1 is used for reciprocal exchange programs and government scholarship programs; the F-1 is the usual student visa.

Documents for visa eligibility may be issued by WashU only after applicants have been officially admitted into a program of study and have given proof of sufficient funds to finance expenses for the duration of their proposed program of study.

International students are not allowed to enter the United States on a tourist (B-2) visa when arriving to begin university studies. It is not legal to study in a degree program on a tourist visa.

Students who are currently in the United States on an F-2 visa will be required to change to an F-1 visa.

Proof of Financial Support

In compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, Washington University requires all admitted international students to submit detailed financial information statements before a Form I-20 can be processed, including:

  • Statements of amounts and sources of funds available for their educational expenses in the United States.
  • Declaration and Certification of Finances
  • Certified bank statements in English verifying that they have sufficient funds available to finance their first year’s tuition and living expenses and that a comparable amount of money will be available for every subsequent year of study.
  • Some embassy officials verify students’ financial certification. Students should obtain two original copies (with original signatures) of both the sponsor’s letter and the bank letter. Retain a copy for obtaining a visa.

Financial aid awards may be deducted from the amount to be certified.

Medical Care & Health Insurance

All students who have decided to enroll at Washington University must:

  • Submit a completed health history form through Student Health Services. WashU requires all incoming students living in campus residential areas to have received the meningococcal vaccine (MCV4), including a booster if the initial dose was given before age 16, along with two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) after age one year or proof of immunity.
  • Submit proof of freedom from tuberculosis by either a negative skin test or negative chest X-ray within six months of completing the health history form.

To protect the health of our entire community, we require all full-time degree-seeking students to have health insurance. You either must purchase the Washington University Student Health Insurance Plan or prove that you have adequate coverage through another plan. If you do not demonstrate that you have adequate coverage through another plan, you will be automatically enrolled in our plan and billed accordingly. The cost of the WashU Student Health Insurance Plan, as well as instructions for obtaining a waiver through proof of adequate coverage, will be provided to enrolling students.

You should apply as a transfer student if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You have finished secondary school and completed some college study.
  • You would like to be considered for admission with advanced standing at Washington University.
  • You are interested in enrolling full-time in an undergraduate degree program with a specific academic focus.
  • You have never attended any of Washington University’s full-time, degree-granting schools.

Transfer Admission Guidelines

Transfer admission to Washington University is both selective and competitive. In any given year, any academic division may have from zero to a small handful of slots available. With this small number of transfer spots open, we recommend the strongest candidates for admission present proof of a high school diploma or equivalent and proof of a high level of academic success at their current institution. Successful applicants present at least a 3.5/3.6 GPA from a two-year or four-year college in courses across a broad academic curriculum. Some of our academic divisions require specific grades in specific courses. For example, students with interests in engineering, business, or the physical or biological sciences must present a strong background in science and mathematics, including calculus. In addition, you must have left your current institution and all previous institutions in good standing and be eligible to return.

If you have been away from a formal academic setting for more than two years, we generally recommend you complete at least one year (30 hours) of work at another college or university before submitting your application for transfer admission.

If you are in your first year of college, you must present at least one completed semester of full-time college work with your application for transfer admission or submit a completed Mid-Semester Progress Report.

Selecting an Academic Division

You must select one of our five undergraduate divisions (Architecture, Art, Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering) when you apply. You should select the division which offers the major program that most interests you. Because slots for transfer students are very limited, when you are admitted to a division you will be expected to remain in that division after you enroll at Washington University. Should you decide to pursue a major in a different division, you will be required to apply for transfer into that division after one full semester at Washington University. Transferring between divisions is notguaranteed.

Pre-Medicine

Transferring as a pre-medicine student is challenging. We recommend that students interested in pre-medicine apply as junior-level transfers having completed the following coursework:

  • Two semesters of general chemistry (with lab)
  • Two semesters of organic chemistry (with lab)
  • Calculus I & II at the college level
  • At least one writing course
  • We also encourage the completion of some biology coursework at the college level
  • Physics is a plus if taken, but not a “deal breaker” (*Calculus-Based Physics in particular is recommended.)

College Preparation/Pre-Medicine Course Requirements for U.S. Medical Schools:

Students will need TWO semesters each of:

  • General chemistry (with lab)
  • Organic chemistry (with lab)
  • Biology (with lab)
  • Physics (with lab)
  • Mathematics (including calculus)
  • English (at least one in composition)

Additional coursework in biology and chemistry is advised. Some medical schools will not accept Advanced Placement credit in lieu of these requirements.

Please contact Associate Dean Carolyn Herman at (314) 935-8076 for questions about transferring to Washington University as a pre-medicine student.

College of Arts & Sciences

Please contact either Assistant Dean Warren J. Davis at (314) 935-6806 or Associate Dean Carolyn Herman (for students interested in studying science and pre-health science) at (314) 935-8076 or , for questions about transfer admission to the College of Arts & Sciences.

Olin Business School

Transfer applicants to the Olin Business School:

  • Must have completed Calculus I & II at the college level. (Please note that Calculus II can’t be taken the summer before enrolling.)
  • Sophomore level transfer candidates should have completed microeconomics at the college level.
  • Junior level transfer candidates should also have completed financial accounting, macroeconomics, and perhaps managerial accounting.

Please contact Assistant Dean Lanna Skadden at (314) 935-4758 with any questions.

McKelvey School of Engineering

  • Every applicant to SEAS must have completed an English composition course, two semesters of calculus-based physics, and sufficient calculus to be prepared to take differential equations.
  • Applicants interested in chemical engineering should also have completed sufficient chemistry to be prepared to take organic chemistry.
  • Applicants interested in biomedical engineering should also have completed sufficient chemistry to be prepared to take organic chemistry and a biology course that includes cellular, molecular, and genetics work.
  • Applicants interested in computer science, instead of taking the required two semesters of calculus-based physics courses, may substitute 8 units of approved other natural science courses from the following departments: Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Environmental Studies, or Physics.
  • Ideally, applicants will have calculus grades and general GPA of at least a B+.

Please contact Assistant Dean Kim Shilling at (314) 935-6100 or by email at  with any questions.

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts – College of Art & College of Architecture

  • Transfer applicants to the College of Art and College of Architecture are required to submit a portfolio for review by the faculty using the SlideRoom function on the Common Application. The digital portfolio should include 12-15 pieces showing a variety of art experiences, including drawings, work utilizing design principles, and some work in color.
  • Suggested coursework:
    • For architecture
      • Art History
      • General liberal arts courses
      • Calculus
      • Physics
      • At least one semester of drawing
    • For art
      • Art History
      • General liberal arts courses
      • Two semesters of drawing
      • Several other studio art classes

If you have questions about applying to the College of Architecture or the College of Art, please contact Georgia Binnington, Associate Dean of Students for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, at (314) 935-6532.

Additional Requirements

Applicants who took either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or the American College Test (ACT) during high school must submit the test score results as part of their application. Tests taken during college are inadmissible.

International students whose first language is not English are required to submit results from either the TOEFL or IELTS.

Transfer Credit

Washington University awards academic credit for course work that resembles, by official description, a comparable course offering from one of its five undergraduate schools. No credit is given for CLEP exams, standard-level IB exams, correspondence/online courses, or departmental placement exams given by another institution. To assure proper transfer credit, please submit a copy of the catalog description for any course whose nature is not immediately clear by title or course number. Credit is awarded if grades of C or better appear on your transcript. Final decisions concerning transferring course credits are made by your academic dean at Washington University. The Washington University transcript will only include grades earned at Washington University. Grades earned at your previous institution will not be recorded or included in the grade point average.

Students admitted to Architecture, Art, Arts & Sciences, or Business may transfer a maximum of 60 semester hours of credit toward the degree at Washington University. Engineering has no maximum limit.

If you plan to enroll in Architecture, Art, Arts & Sciences, or Business you must complete the final 60 hours and a minimum of four consecutive full-time semesters in residence in order to earn a degree. In Arts & Sciences, at least 45 hours must be from Arts & Sciences coursework. If you plan to enroll in Engineering in order to complete a Bachelor of Science degree, you will need to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours, including 30 credit hours of junior- or senior-level course work.

Advanced Placement

Many departments at Washington University will accept for credit and placement a score of 4 or 5 on the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) tests or a score of 5 or better on the higher-level International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. Official score reports should be sent to the appropriate dean’s office after admission has been granted.