Impressions Of
Washington University in St. Louis

Academic Experience

Female Math and Finance Double Major C/O 2020

Is there anything that you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
“I think the focus is a little bit too much on memorization and it should be focused more on learning. I also think the classes are too big for math.”

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
“It’s very collaborative, everyone is very friendly and working together.”

How accessible have your professors been?
“Not accessible. It’s just that math people are so bad at human interaction they try to avoid it.”

Female Math Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
“I think there is a good range of courses and various topics offered by the Math department. They have guest lecturers and speakers about different topics. The main thing is it can be half and half with professors in the Math department whether they’re good or bad.”

How would you describe the learning environment?
“I don’t think it’s competitive at all actually. For every homework assignment I’ve done I worked with a group of people. That’s another way I’ve met people at Wash U too.”​

How accessible were your professors?
“All the professors have scheduled office hours. Most of them have between 2 and 4 hours a week. Also, pretty much every professor I’ve had is very accessible by email.”

Male Systems Engineering Major C/O 2018

Is there anything you feel the Systems Engineering department does especially well or poorly?
“I think one of the nice things about the major here is they more or less let you specialize in whatever you want. They have pre-approved engineering tracks, like electrical engineering or chemical engineering. But, if you’re interested in other things you can specialize in non-traditional things, like I have with Economics or if you want to do Finance you can do that. I like that they want you to go outside of the material they provide in the major and learn more about something that you’re personally interested in.”

How would you describe the learning environment?
“I think it’s more collaborative. Within the engineering school as a whole, people are more focused on getting problem sets completed, and with that comes more collaboration because most of the time they are pretty difficult problems, so it’s easier to work with people. I know in some schools it’s more competitive, but in the engineering school it’s more collaborative.”

Social Opportunities

Female PNP (Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology) Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife do you participate in at Wash U?
“Most of it is through my sorority, be it mixers with fraternities, date parties, or formals.”

What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
“I mostly go out Friday and Saturday but sometimes we have mixers on Thursday as well.”

What did a typical night out look like your freshman year before joining your sorority?
“Freshman year was always hard because you had to ask to be let in to the frat or you had to know someone. Usually we would just go as a big group and see if someone would let us in. A lot of times you would get turned down and end up wandering around which was a lot less fun. Sometimes there would be open parties that would be crazy crowded and those weren’t that much fun either.”

Female Math Major C/O 2020

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
“The majority of events at night have to do with Greek life. There are other events, like acapella performances and campus events. Other than that, it’s mainly Greek life oriented.”

How happy were you with the nightlife at Wash U? Is there anything you would change if you could?
“I’m personally pretty happy with it. I find the events to be really fun. It’s not every night of the week, but I’m also not the type of person that needs to go out more than once a week. Personally, I have been happy with them and I always feel safe at them too.”

Male Systems Engineering Major C/O 2018

What kind of nightlife do you like to participate in?
“Most nights are just me studying, but when it’s not that it’s a 33/33/33 split. Sometimes I like going off campus and hanging out at local restaurants or other cool places around St. Louis. Other times there are frat parties most weekends, so if you want to party there’s bound to be something happening. Other times I’ll go hiking. We have the outing club and the rock-climbing club, so if you want to get off campus in a more nontraditional way you can go camping, and I sometimes do that.”


How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
“I’m content with it. I’d give it a 5 or 6 out of 10. It gets kind of monotonous in terms of frat parties. Those get pretty old. As most college students mature, I don’t think they find them as appealing. It’s the same thing with the restaurants, you can only go to a food place so many times before it gets kind of old. There isn’t a whole lot of variety when it comes to nightlife at Wash U. If I had to change anything about it, I’d introduce some more on-campus opportunities to socialize with people not in frats and that kind of stuff.”

Campus Culture

Female Math and Finance Double Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the social scene?
“It’s very Greek life dominated for sure. People are definitely on the shyer side. If you’re not that much of an extrovert, I highly recommend Wash U because it’s really easy to make friends if you’re on the quieter side. I think Wash U is the kind of place where everybody has their niche, and nobody is going to judge you for what your niche is. There are people in the anime club, there are people that do theater, there are people who do sports, and they kind of stick to themselves but there is no judgment from anyone.”

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Wash U by the time they graduate? Do you think people leave loving Wash U?
“Oh yeah, everyone loves it. I’m probably one of Wash U’s biggest critics, and I still like it. Everyone is really happy with it.”

Female PNP (Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology) Major C/O 2020

What is the social scene like?
“Everyone definitely cares about their work first so the social scene is secondary to that. There aren’t a lot of parties during finals, and even during normal weekends most people are in the library all day before they go out.”

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
“There is some divide racially, especially in Greek life where there is a lot less representation, but I think that there is a lot more mixing in regard to sexual orientation.”

Do people seem happy with Wash U by the time they graduate?
“Yes definitely. It seems as though all the students love Wash U and want to be there.”

Male Systems Engineering Major C/O 2018

How did you meet your closest friends?
“Most of my closest friends came from being on the same floor freshman year. From then we joined similar groups, found similar interests, and went on from there. I think, for the majority of people, their closest friends are from their freshman year floor and that kind of stuff.”

How would you describe the social scene?
“I think it’s pretty small. Even though there’s thousands of undergraduate students, I feel that it’s not uncommon to see the same people over and over. Depending on what kind of person you are, that’s either a great thing or not a good thing. For me, I enjoy talking to people and that kind of stuff so seeing those same faces is pretty nice. It’s pretty easy to keep in touch even if you’re not in the same classes or major.”

Washington University in St. Louis

Pros of

  • “Easy access to a lot of restaurants, shops, and other nearby businesses.”

  • “Public transportation. I really appreciate that Wash U gives us a pass for free and you can go downtown whenever you want with that taking one train.”

  • “There is also a lot of hometown pride, so if you want to get a job in St. Louis or the Midwest. Sine Wash U is one of the best schools in the Midwest so it is really easy to get a job there.”

  • “It’s not all the way downtown, but it’s not in the middle of nowhere. If you go 10 minutes east you’re downtown and if you go 10 minutes west you’re in a pretty spread out suburban area.”

Cons of

  • “The public transportation system is not really that robust. You need a vehicle to get around pretty easily. The metro system can get you downtown pretty easily, but that’s the only place you can really get to.”

  • “When you leave campus, it’s not very nice and parts of it can be unsafe.”

  • “I’m a really big hiker and backpacker, and there’s not much to do outdoors around St. Louis.”

  • “The first two months and last month of the school year the humidity is crazy in Missouri.”

  • “St. Louis isn’t really a walking city so you have to Uber or use a car share in order to get to most places.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Math and Finance Double Major C/O 2020

Something you wish you knew about Wash U before entering as a freshman?
“People don’t party much. You have to remember that Wash U is not a party school so don’t expect to go out and party every weekend, but also know that you can have a lot of fun without traditionally going out.”

What is something somebody interested in Greek life should know that we haven’t touched on?
“I’d say be very open-minded. Some people try to rank the sororities, but they are all very similar. Rankings are stupid. Even if you’re in a “bottom tier sorority,” it’s better than not being in one.”

Female PNP (Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology) Major C/O 2020

Something you wish you knew before entering?
“Initially I thought that everyone would be fighting each other and competing for grades, but in reality, it’s way more collaborative, even in the pre-med track. I wish I had known that all the students and teachers want you to do well.”

Is there something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
“They should check out Ibby’s which is one of the on-campus restaurants. It’s amazing.”

Female Math Major C/O 2020

Something a prospective student interested in Greek life should know that we haven’t touched on?
“If you’re looking to go to a school that’s Greek life heavy, then Wash U is not the place. I have met a lot of cool people through Greek life, but it hasn’t taken over my life, which is good for me. It has also been a pretty small time commitment.”

Something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
“Definitely the athletic center. That was recently renovated. Then also just walking through the library, that’s also been recently renovated. Also, make sure to walk through Forest Park.”

Reasons to attend and not to attend Washington University in St. Louis

To Attend

  • “It’s an academically rigorous environment but at the same time everyone is friendly and welcoming.”
  • “If you want a really beautiful campus with a lot of resources to help students.”
  • “It’s an all around great school. A common thing is that people go in wanting to be pre-med and then they realize they don’t want to continue with that. It’s really easy for individuals to stop being a pre-med student and switch to any major. It’s nice they can fall back on something.”
  • “I think the people here are pretty great. I think the atmosphere is pretty nice in the fact that it’s not very competitive. The most competitive majors are within the business school, but every other school has been very collaborative and nice.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you need class requirements to guide you. We have some requirements, you don’t have to take certain classes you just have to take classes in a certain field. I like that there’s some structure but there are not classes you have to take, but I know some people needed that structure so the open curriculum wasn’t for them.”
  • “If you’re really opposed to Greek life. I never thought I’d join a sorority and was kind of opposed to Greek life before Wash U, but then I got over it. If you’re really opposed to Greek life then this is not the place. It’s a lot bigger than they advertise.”
  • “If you’re a big sports fan, we have no school spirit in terms of athletics.”
  • “If you’re looking to go to college in a big city, it’s not that type of school because St. Louis is small.”
Notice: Washington University in St. Louis is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Washington University in St. Louis.

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