Comparing Washington University in St. Louis vs UCLA

July 15, 2023
By AdmissionSight
a male student writing an essay to his notebook

Comparing Washington University in St. Louis vs UCLA

When it comes to choosing a university, there are a myriad of factors to consider. From academic programs and admission requirements to campus culture and student life, choosing the right institution can have a profound impact on your future. In this article, we will be comparing Washington University in St. Louis vs UCLA, two esteemed universities that offer a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Group of freshmen smiling at the camera.

Washington University in Louis vs. UCLA

Washington University in St. Louis, commonly referred to as WashU, is a private research university located in St. Louis, Missouri. UCLA, on the other hand, is a public research university located in Los Angeles, California. Both universities are renowned for their academic rigor and research opportunities, and attract students from around the world.

Despite their similarities, there are some notable differences between WashU and UCLA. One major difference is their student population size. WashU has a smaller student body, with just over 7,000 undergraduate students, while UCLA has over 31,000 undergraduate students. Additionally, WashU is known for its strong emphasis on undergraduate education, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, while UCLA is known for its extensive graduate programs and research opportunities.

Admission Requirements: Which University is Harder to Get Into?

The admission requirements for each university differ slightly. WashU typically looks for students with a strong academic background, as well as exceptional extracurricular activities and community involvement. The acceptance rate for WashU is around 14%, making it a highly competitive school to get into. On the other hand, UCLA has an acceptance rate of around 14.3%, making it equally difficult to get into. Both universities require high test scores and transcripts, and essays that demonstrate a student’s passion for learning and community engagement.

However, there are some differences in the admission requirements between the two universities. WashU places a greater emphasis on standardized test scores, with the average SAT score for admitted students being around 1500. UCLA, on the other hand, places more weight on a student’s GPA and academic achievements, with the average admitted student having a GPA of around 4.18.

Students getting ready for a class.

Another factor to consider is the availability of financial aid. WashU is known for its generous financial aid packages, with around 55% of students receiving some form of financial assistance. UCLA also offers financial aid, but the percentage of students receiving aid is slightly lower at around 47%. It’s important for prospective students to research and compare the financial aid options at each university before making a decision.

Academic Programs and Curriculum: A Comparative Analysis

Both institutions offer a wide range of academic programs, from business and engineering to the arts and humanities. WashU is renowned for its strong programs in medicine and biomedical sciences, while UCLA is highly regarded for its film and television production program. Each university also has a unique approach to their curriculum. WashU follows a liberal arts curriculum, which focuses on interdisciplinary studies and critical thinking. On the other hand, UCLA is known for its intensive research opportunities and its focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, WashU offers a unique program called the Beyond Boundaries Program, which allows students to design their own interdisciplinary majors and explore multiple fields of study. This program encourages students to think outside the box and create their own academic path. UCLA, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on global education and offers numerous study abroad programs. Students have the opportunity to study in countries such as China, Italy, and Spain, and gain a global perspective on their field of study.

In terms of extracurricular activities, both universities offer a wide range of options for students to get involved on campus. WashU has over 300 student organizations, including a student-run investment fund and a social entrepreneurship club. UCLA has over 1,000 student organizations, including a student-run radio station and a competitive dance team. Both universities also have strong athletic programs, with WashU being a Division III school and UCLA being a Division I school.

Faculty and Teaching Quality: Washington University in St. Louis vs. UCLA

Both universities boast renowned faculty members, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields. WashU has a faculty to student ratio of 8:1, allowing students to receive individualized attention and mentorship from their professors. UCLA has a slightly higher student to faculty ratio of around 18:1, but still offers exceptional support and mentorship for its student body.

In addition to their renowned faculty, both universities prioritize teaching quality and invest in resources to support their professors. WashU offers a Teaching Center that provides faculty with workshops, consultations, and other resources to enhance their teaching skills. UCLA has a Center for the Advancement of Teaching that offers similar resources and also supports the development of innovative teaching practices.

Furthermore, both universities offer opportunities for students to engage in research and work closely with faculty members. WashU has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with over 80% of students participating in research projects. UCLA also offers numerous research opportunities, with over 7,000 undergraduate students participating in research each year.

Student Life: How Different are the Experiences at WUSTL and UCLA?

When it comes to student life, the experiences at WashU and UCLA are vastly different. WashU is known for its close-knit community and its emphasis on campus traditions and culture. From the annual WILD concert to the 40-foot Book of the Dead, WashU students are immersed in a unique campus experience. UCLA, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Los Angeles and offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. From its renowned film industry to its thriving music and art scene, UCLA students are exposed to a diverse range of cultural experiences.

Students sitting on the bench while doing school work.

Despite the differences in campus culture, both WashU and UCLA offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. At WashU, students can join over 300 student organizations, including the popular a cappella group, Stereotypes, or the competitive Model United Nations team. Similarly, UCLA boasts over 1,000 student organizations, ranging from the Bruin Film Society to the Surf Club. No matter what your interests are, both universities provide ample opportunities for students to pursue their passions outside of the classroom.

Cost of Attendance: Which University is More Affordable?

When it comes to cost of attendance, WashU is a more expensive institution than UCLA. The annual cost of tuition, room and board, and fees at WashU can run upwards of $75,000 per year. UCLA, on the other hand, has a lower cost of attendance, with in-state students paying around $36,000 per year and out-of-state students paying around $65,000 per year. However, both universities offer a range of financial aid and scholarship opportunities to help students offset the cost of attendance.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance is not the only factor to consider when choosing a university. Students should also take into account the quality of education, available resources, campus culture, and location. Additionally, students should research the job placement rates and average salaries of graduates from each university to determine the potential return on investment for their education.

Career Prospects for Graduates of Washington University in St. Louis and UCLA

Graduates of both universities are highly successful in their respective fields. WashU has a high job placement rate, with many graduates securing jobs in the fields of medicine, law, engineering, and business. Similarly, UCLA graduates have gone on to successful careers in a range of industries, including entertainment, technology, and entrepreneurship. Both universities also offer comprehensive career services, including resume and cover letter writing workshops, job fairs, and alumni networking events.

In addition to the career services offered by both universities, WashU and UCLA also have strong internship programs that provide students with hands-on experience in their chosen fields. These internships often lead to job offers upon graduation, giving students a head start in their careers.

Furthermore, both universities have a strong focus on research, which provides graduates with valuable skills and knowledge that are highly sought after by employers. Many WashU and UCLA graduates have gone on to work in research and development positions in industries such as healthcare, biotechnology, and engineering.

Research Opportunities: A Comparative Study between WUSTL and UCLA

Both universities are renowned for their research opportunities and offer numerous opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in research. WashU has a strong focus on medical research, with faculty and students conducting groundbreaking research on topics such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer treatment. Similarly, UCLA is widely regarded for its research in the fields of biotechnology and engineering. Both institutions provide state-of-the-art research facilities and resources to support students in their research endeavors.

Group of students looking at a laptop while talking.

In addition to their respective areas of focus, both universities also offer interdisciplinary research opportunities. WashU’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy brings together scholars from different fields to collaborate on research projects. UCLA’s Grand Challenges initiative encourages students and faculty to work together to address global issues such as sustainability and healthcare. These programs provide students with the opportunity to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds and gain a broader perspective on research.

Furthermore, both universities have a strong commitment to undergraduate research. WashU’s Office of Undergraduate Research provides funding and support for students to conduct research in any field. UCLA’s Undergraduate Research Center offers workshops and resources to help students develop research skills and find research opportunities. These programs allow undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their field.

Alumni Networks and Connections: Who Has the Strongest Network?

Both universities have a strong alumni network and provide ample opportunities for alumni to stay engaged with the institution. WashU has a dedicated alumni association that offers a range of events and services to alumni, including career resources, networking events, and regional club gatherings. UCLA similarly has a strong alumni network, with alumni clubs and events hosted around the world.

However, when it comes to the strength of the alumni network, WashU has a slight edge. According to a recent survey, WashU alumni reported higher levels of satisfaction with their alumni network and felt more connected to their alma mater than UCLA alumni. This may be due in part to the smaller size of WashU’s alumni community, which allows for more personalized connections and interactions.

In addition to traditional alumni networks, both universities also offer online networking platforms for alumni to connect virtually. WashU’s platform, called Bear Network, allows alumni to search for and connect with fellow alumni based on industry, location, and other criteria. UCLA’s platform, Bruin Connections, similarly offers a way for alumni to connect and network online. These virtual networks can be especially valuable for alumni who live far from their alma mater or who are unable to attend in-person events.

Student Diversity and Inclusion: A Comparison between Washington University in St Louis vs UCLA

Both universities are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. WashU has a dedicated Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which works to promote a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds. Similarly, UCLA has a strong commitment to diversity and has a range of resources and support systems in place for underrepresented students. Both institutions actively recruit students from diverse backgrounds and offer a range of resources and programs to ensure their success.

Despite their similarities, there are some differences in the way that WashU and UCLA approach diversity and inclusion. WashU places a strong emphasis on creating a sense of community among its diverse student body, with programs such as the Multicultural Center and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. UCLA, on the other hand, focuses on providing resources and support for individual students, with programs such as the Bruin Resource Center and the LGBT Campus Resource Center.

Another difference between the two universities is the makeup of their student populations. WashU has a higher percentage of international students, while UCLA has a higher percentage of students from underrepresented minority groups. This difference in demographics can impact the types of diversity initiatives that are most effective at each institution.

Sports and Athletics Programs at Washington University in St Louis vs UCLA

When it comes to sports and athletics, both universities offer a wide range of programs and opportunities for student athletes. WashU is known for its highly competitive Division III sports programs, including basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Similarly, UCLA has a strong Division I athletics program, with teams competing in sports such as basketball, football, and gymnastics. Both universities offer state-of-the-art athletic facilities and resources to support student athletes.

However, there are some differences in the approach to sports and athletics at these universities. WashU places a strong emphasis on the balance between academics and athletics, with coaches and staff working closely with student athletes to ensure they are able to excel in both areas. UCLA, on the other hand, has a more intense focus on athletics, with a larger budget and more resources dedicated to their Division I program. This can be seen in the high level of competition and success of their teams in national championships and tournaments.

Campus Safety and Security atWashington University in St Louis vs UCLA.

Campus safety and security is a top priority for both institutions. WashU has a dedicated Campus Police Department, which provides around-the-clock security and emergency services for students and staff. Similarly, UCLA has a renowned Campus Police Department, which offers a wide range of safety resources and services to the campus community. Both universities also have comprehensive emergency preparedness plans in place to ensure the safety of their community members in the event of an emergency.

Three students sitting near a building and smiling at the camera.

However, there are some differences in the safety and security measures taken by the two universities. WashU has a Safe Ride program, which provides free transportation to students who need to travel on or near campus after dark. This program is not available at UCLA. On the other hand, UCLA has a BruinAlert system, which sends emergency notifications to students and staff via text message, email, and phone call. WashU does not have a similar system in place.

Both universities also have campus safety committees, which work to identify potential safety hazards and develop strategies to address them. WashU’s committee includes representatives from various departments and student organizations, while UCLA’s committee is made up of campus leaders and community members. These committees meet regularly to discuss safety concerns and make recommendations for improvements.

Size Matters: Comparing the Student Population of WUSTL to that of UCLA

When it comes to student population, WashU is a smaller institution compared to UCLA. WashU has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 8,100 students, while UCLA has over 44,000 undergraduate students. However, both universities offer a range of opportunities for students to connect and engage with their peers, including student clubs, organizations, and social events.

Despite the difference in size, WashU and UCLA both have a diverse student body. WashU has students from all 50 states and over 80 countries, while UCLA has a large international student population, with students from over 100 countries. This diversity adds to the richness of the academic and social experiences at both universities.

Another difference between the two universities is the student-to-faculty ratio. WashU has a lower student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1, while UCLA has a ratio of 18:1. This means that WashU students have more opportunities for one-on-one interactions with their professors and can receive more personalized attention in their academic pursuits.

Prestige and Ranking of Washington University in St Louis vs UCLA

Both WashU and UCLA are ranked among the top universities in the nation. According to the U.S. News & World Report ranking, WashU is ranked #19 in the nation, while UCLA is ranked #20. Both universities are highly regarded for their academic rigor, research opportunities, and commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.

In conclusion, choosing between WashU and UCLA is no easy feat. Both institutions offer a range of academic programs and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Ultimately, the decision comes down to individual preferences, including campus culture, location, and academic interests. However, rest assured that whichever institution you choose, you will receive a world-class education and the support and resources you need to succeed.

It is worth noting that both WashU and UCLA have a strong reputation for their medical programs. WashU’s School of Medicine is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the country, with a focus on research and patient care. Similarly, UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine is renowned for its innovative research and commitment to community health. Students interested in pursuing a career in medicine may want to consider these institutions for their exceptional medical programs.

College Admissions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.