Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: A Comprehensive Guide

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two people using a device in a restaurant.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: A Comprehensive Guide

As high school students and their parents look for colleges to attend, comparing different universities becomes crucial. Factors such as academics, campus culture, student body, location, and cost of attendance all play into the decision-making process. This article compares these factors between Dartmouth College vs. Washington University in St. Louis.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: Academic Programs

When it comes to academics, both Dartmouth and Washington University in St. Louis, offer excellent programs that rank among some of the best in the country.

At Dartmouth, students have a wide range of undergraduate programs to choose from, including liberal arts, engineering, and business. The college also offers a variety of graduate programs, including engineering, business, education, and medicine.

Washington University in St. Louis, on the other hand, offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and a variety of graduate and professional programs in fields such as law, business, medicine, and engineering. The curriculum at Washington University emphasizes interdisciplinary education, fostering creative and independent thinking in students.

Both universities also offer a plethora of research opportunities for students. Dartmouth has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities to work alongside faculty members on projects in various fields.

Washington University in St. Louis has a robust research program, with over $600 million in research funding and numerous research centers and institutes. Students have the chance to participate in groundbreaking research and contribute to advancements in their respective fields.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: Campus Life

Dartmouth and Washington University in St. Louis have distinct campus cultures that make their student life unique. Dartmouth is well-known for its emphasis on undergraduate education and the close-knit community it fosters.

Students enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including rock climbing, hiking, and skiing. Additionally, Dartmouth is home to a vibrant Greek life, with approximately 60% of students affiliated with a fraternity or sorority.

Washington University, on the other hand, is a larger and more diverse community. It offers various opportunities to engage in campus life, from academic clubs and organizations to cultural, service, or social groups. The university also enforces a “no Greek life” policy to create a more inclusive community as an alternative to the traditional idea of fraternities and sororities.

Both universities have a strong commitment to community service and encourage students to get involved in volunteer work. Dartmouth’s Tucker Foundation offers numerous service opportunities, including alternative spring break trips and local community service projects.

Similarly, Washington University’s Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement provides resources and support for students interested in making a positive impact in the St. Louis community and beyond.

Student Body

The student bodies at Dartmouth and Washington University are diverse and highly accomplished. Dartmouth has a small student body of around 4,500 students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. The student body comes from 50 states and more than 70 countries, with a rigorous selection process that admits only about 8% of applicants each year.

Washington University, on the other hand, has a larger student body of around 15,000 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. Students come from all 50 states and over 90 countries, with an acceptance rate of around 15%. The campus is known for its diversity and inclusivity, with a vast majority of students coming from underrepresented groups and different backgrounds.

Students lounging around the stairs.

Both universities have a strong commitment to providing their students with a well-rounded education. Dartmouth offers over 60 majors and minors across various fields, including engineering, humanities, and social sciences.

The university also has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects.

Similarly, Washington University offers over 90 majors and minors, with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. The university is also known for its pre-professional programs, including business, law, and medicine, which provide students with a solid foundation for their future careers.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: Location and Environment

The locations of the institutions are very different and provide students with various opportunities. Dartmouth is situated in Hanover, New Hampshire, a small town in a rural environment. The institution has a strong sense of campus community and an emphasis on nature-based activities.

Whereas Washington University is situated in St. Louis, Missouri, and is located in a vibrant city known for its prominent art, culture, music, and culinary food scenes. As such, the location provides ample opportunity for students to engage in a rich range of activities.

Despite the differences in location, both institutions offer unique environmental experiences. Dartmouth’s rural location provides students access to outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and camping. The institution also strongly commits to sustainability, with initiatives such as a student-run organic farm and a sustainability office that promotes eco-friendly practices on campus.

Washington University’s location in the city provides students with opportunities to engage in urban environmental issues. The institution strongly focuses on sustainability, with initiatives such as a green office program and a bike share program. St. Louis has several parks and green spaces, providing students with access to outdoor activities such as biking and running.

Faculty and Staff

Dartmouth and Washington University have world-renowned faculties and staff members who are leaders in their fields. The professors at Dartmouth are experts in their disciplines and committed to undergraduate education. The college also has one of the highest percentages of tenured faculty among liberal arts colleges in the United States.

Similarly, Washington University prides itself on its experienced, accessible, and interdisciplinary faculty. About 40% of its faculty come from underrepresented groups, providing students with a wide range of perspectives and skills. The university is also home to many Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel laureates who teach and work at the institution.

Both Dartmouth and Washington University offer their faculty and staff members numerous opportunities for professional development and growth. Dartmouth provides its faculty with research grants, sabbaticals, and other resources to support their scholarly pursuits.

The college also has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining faculty from underrepresented groups.

Washington University, on the other hand, offers its faculty members access to cutting-edge research facilities and state-of-the-art technology. The university also has a robust mentoring program that supports junior faculty members in their research and teaching endeavors.

Additionally, Washington University provides its faculty with ample opportunities for community engagement and service, encouraging them to use their expertise to make a positive impact on society.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: Admissions Process

Admissions at both Dartmouth and Washington University are highly competitive, with thousands of applicants vying for a spot each year. Dartmouth has an acceptance rate of around 8.7%, while Washington University has an acceptance rate of approximately 15%.

Both universities rely heavily on a combination of academic performance and extracurricular activities in admission decisions. Standardized test scores are optional at both institutions due to the pandemic, but the universities consider them if students decide to submit them.

However, Dartmouth and Washington University have different timelines for their applications, with Dartmouth’s early decision deadline on November 1st and regular decision deadline on January 2nd, and Washington University’s early decision 1 deadline on November 1st and early decision 2 and regular decision deadline on January 2nd.

It is important to note that both Dartmouth and Washington University have holistic admissions processes, meaning that they consider a wide range of factors beyond just grades and test scores. This includes factors such as essays, letters of recommendation, and demonstrated interest in the university.

Additionally, both universities offer need-blind admissions, meaning that a student’s financial need is not taken into account during the admissions process. However, they do consider financial need when awarding financial aid packages to admitted students.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance is one of the significant factors for many students and their families when choosing a university. Dartmouth and Washington University’s estimated cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is approximately $80,000, including tuition, room and board, books, and other fees.

However, this can vary for majors, financial aid packages, and scholarship awards.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance is not just limited to tuition and fees. Other expenses such as transportation, personal expenses, and health insurance can also add up to the overall cost of attendance. Students should carefully consider all of these expenses when planning their budget for college.

Additionally, some universities offer various payment plans and options to help students and their families manage the cost of attendance. These may include monthly payment plans, deferred payment plans, or even tuition reimbursement programs for eligible students.

It is important to research and understand all available options to make an informed decision about financing a college education.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

A notebook fit for financial aid.

Both Dartmouth and Washington University offer generous financial aid packages to students who demonstrate financial need. In addition, they offer merit scholarships based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, and other factors.

Dartmouth offers a national need-based scholarship, which ensures that every student admitted to the college has access to significant financial aid. The college also meets 100% of students’ demonstrated financial needs, making it possible for students to graduate with little to no debt.

Similarly, Washington University provides a range of scholarships and grants to ensure that attendance costs are affordable for all students. It also offers a “no-loan” policy, which means that students will not be required to take out loans to finance their education.

It is important to note that both Dartmouth and Washington University have dedicated financial aid offices that are available to assist students and families throughout the application process. These offices can provide guidance on completing financial aid forms, understanding the different types of aid available, and answering any questions related to financing a college education.

Additionally, both schools offer work-study programs, which allow students to earn money to help cover their educational expenses while gaining valuable work experience.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: Campus Facilities

Both Dartmouth and Washington University have state-of-the-art facilities that promote student success. Dartmouth boasts a top-notch library system, including the world-renowned Rauner Special Collections Library. The college also has a variety of performance spaces, athletic facilities, and research labs equipped with advanced equipment and resources.

Washington University is known for its modern and environmentally friendly campus, which includes LEED-certified buildings, academic centers, and athletic facilities. The university has state-of-the-art research facilities, libraries, and computer labs equipped with the latest technology to support students’ academic pursuits.

In addition to the impressive facilities at Dartmouth and Washington University, both campuses offer a variety of student services to support academic and personal success. Dartmouth has a comprehensive career services center, offering students guidance on internships, job searches, and career planning.

The college also has a robust health center, providing medical and mental health services to students.

Washington University offers a range of extracurricular activities, including over 300 student organizations, club sports, and intramural teams. The university also has a strong commitment to community service, with opportunities for students to engage in service projects both on and off campus.

Athletics Programs

Both Dartmouth and Washington University have strong athletic programs that compete at the NCAA Division I level. Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and has a strong history in skiing and other winter sports. The college also has varsity teams in football, basketball, soccer, and other sports.

Similarly, Washington University competes in the University Athletic Association and has a variety of varsity sports that are highly competitive. The university’s athletic program has won numerous championships, including the Division III Men’s Basketball Championship.

In addition to varsity sports, both Dartmouth and Washington University offer a wide range of club and intramural sports for students to participate in. These programs provide opportunities for students to stay active and compete in sports they enjoy, regardless of their skill level.

Some popular club sports at Dartmouth include ultimate frisbee, rugby, and sailing, while Washington University offers club teams in sports such as volleyball, lacrosse, and fencing.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: Alumni Network and Career Opportunities

The alumni networks of both Dartmouth and Washington University are extensive and impressive, with alumni working in various industries worldwide. Graduates of both institutions are well-prepared for their careers, given the rigorous education they acquire and the plethora of opportunities available to them.

View of a female student attending an online class.

Dartmouth alumni hold prominent positions in finance, business, law, politics, academia, and other fields. Many graduates pursue higher education, with a considerable number accepted into Ivy League graduate schools. Additionally, the college provides excellent career services to students, helping them secure internships, jobs, and other opportunities after graduation.

Washington University alums also hold leadership positions in medicine, law, business, etc. The university has a strong relationship with leading corporations, startups, and government agencies, which creates a robust network of job opportunities and internships for current students and alumni.

Students can receive help with career paths, internships, and job opportunities through the university’s Career Center and other resources.

Furthermore, both institutions have active alumni associations that provide networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and career development resources. These associations organize events and workshops that bring alumni and students together, creating a platform for students to learn from experienced professionals and build connections to help them in their careers.

Another advantage of attending Dartmouth or Washington University is the access to research opportunities. Both institutions have world-class research facilities and faculty, allowing students to work on cutting-edge research projects and gain valuable experience in their fields of interest. This experience can be a significant advantage when applying for jobs or graduate programs.

Campus Safety & Security

The safety of students is paramount for both Dartmouth and Washington University. Both universities have made significant investments in campus security to ensure safety and peace of mind among the student body.

Dartmouth has a fully trained campus security force that patrols the campus 24/7, with emergency response systems in place to respond to any emergency. Additionally, the college has a comprehensive sexual assault policy that includes prevention, education, and support for survivors.

Similarly, Washington University has a highly trained police force that offers protection and support to students. The university also employs a Sexual Assault Response Team that provides confidential support and guidance to victims of sexual assault.

In addition to campus security, both universities have implemented measures to promote mental health and well-being among students. Dartmouth offers a range of mental health services, including counseling and therapy, as well as resources for stress management and self-care.

Washington University also provides counseling services and has a dedicated mental health center that offers support and treatment for a variety of mental health concerns.

Furthermore, both universities have implemented sustainability initiatives to promote environmental responsibility and reduce their carbon footprint. Dartmouth aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and has implemented a range of measures to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainable practices.

Washington University has also made significant strides in sustainability, with a LEED-certified campus and a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis: Diversity & Inclusion

Both Dartmouth and Washington University are committed to fostering inclusive environments for students from all backgrounds. Dartmouth has a long-standing commitment to diversity and multiculturalism, with a range of programs and initiatives in place to support underrepresented groups on campus.

Washington University has a diversity mission that holds a high commitment to inclusivity, where the objective is to make diversity a university-wide priority. The university has a variety of offices, centers, and initiatives dedicated to creating an inclusive environment, fostering engagement, and promoting social justice.

At Dartmouth, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL) provides support and resources for students from diverse backgrounds, including first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color. The OPAL also offers mentorship programs, leadership development opportunities, and cultural events to promote diversity and inclusion on campus.

Similarly, Washington University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) provides a range of resources and support for students from underrepresented groups, including LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and international students.

The CDI also offers training and workshops for faculty and staff to promote cultural competency and create a more inclusive campus community.

Rankings & Reputation

A professor assisting a student in a computer lab.

Dartmouth and Washington University both have a stellar reputation and national rankings that reflect the excellence of their academic programs and student outcomes. Dartmouth is consistently ranked among the top ten liberal arts colleges in the nation, according to respected sources like U.S. News & World Report.

Washington University is also highly ranked by such reputable sources, being placed in the top 25 among national universities in many lists.

In conclusion, comparing Dartmouth vs. Washington University in St. Louis shows that both institutions offer excellent academic programs, vibrant campus life opportunities, a highly diverse student body, and a commitment to creating more inclusive environments.

Students deciding between these two universities will find that both institutions provide excellent opportunities for personal and intellectual growth and enrichment.

One notable difference between the two universities is their location. Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, a small town in a rural area.

In contrast, Washington University is located in St. Louis, Missouri, a large city with a diverse population and many cultural attractions. This difference in location may be a factor for students who prefer a more urban or rural environment.

Another difference between the two universities is their approach to undergraduate education. Dartmouth is a liberal arts college that emphasizes a broad-based education in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Washington University, on the other hand, is a research university that offers a wide range of undergraduate majors and opportunities for research and scholarship. This difference in approach may be a factor for students who have a clear idea of their academic interests and career goals.


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