Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis: A Closer Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Male Student Working At Laptop In College Library

Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis: A Closer Look

Finding the right university can be challenging. Both Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis provide excellent education. In this article, we will compare the two universities in great detail, examining their location, academic programs, faculty quality, admission requirements, cost of attendance, and more, so you can create an informed decision.

Location and Campus Features

Emory University is located in Atlanta, Georgia, in the historic Druid Hills neighborhood. The campus itself is situated on 630 acres of stunning landscaped gardens and has a distinctive Gothic architectural style.

Washington University in St. Louis, on the other hand, is situated in St. Louis, Missouri, and spans over 169 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and contemporary architecture. The campus boasts world-renowned museums, art galleries, and performance spaces, providing students with unique cultural experiences.

Emory University’s campus is home to several notable landmarks, including the Michael C. Carlos Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of ancient art in the Southeast, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library, which is the largest library in the state of Georgia.

Additionally, the university’s campus is adjacent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, providing students with unique opportunities to engage in public health research and initiatives.

Academic Programs and Curriculum Offerings

Both Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis are known for offering an extensive range of academic programs. Emory University has nine academic divisions, including the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and the Goizueta Business School.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

Washington University in St. Louis has seven schools, including the School of Medicine, the Olin Business School, and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Students at both universities have access to a broad range of courses, from traditional liberal arts to cutting-edge research programs.

Emory University is particularly well-known for its programs in the health sciences, including its highly-ranked medical school and nursing program. The university also offers a variety of interdisciplinary programs, such as the Center for the Study of Human Health, which combines courses in biology, anthropology, and public health.

Washington University in St. Louis is recognized for its strong programs in engineering and computer science, with its School of Engineering and Applied Science consistently ranked among the top in the country. The university also offers unique programs, such as the Beyond Boundaries interdisciplinary program, which allows students to design their own course of study across multiple fields.

Faculty Quality and Student-Faculty Ratio

Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis are both home to highly qualified and diverse faculty. The student-faculty ratio at Emory is 8:1, while at Washington University in St. Louis, it’s 7:1. This small student-to-faculty ratio allows students to receive personalized attention from their professors and fosters strong relationships that can last well beyond graduation.

Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to hiring faculty members who are not only experts in their fields but also dedicated to teaching and mentoring students. Emory University has a faculty of over 3,000 members, with 97% holding a terminal degree in their field. Similarly, Washington University in St. Louis has a faculty of over 3,500 members, with 98% holding a terminal degree in their field.

Furthermore, both universities offer opportunities for students to engage with faculty outside of the classroom. Emory University has a Faculty-in-Residence program, where professors live in residence halls and engage with students through events and activities. Washington University in St. Louis has a Faculty Fellows program, where faculty members live in residential colleges and work closely with students on academic and social initiatives.

Admission Requirements and Acceptance Rates

Admission into Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis is competitive. Emory University’s acceptance rate is 20.6%, while Washington University in St. Louis’s acceptance rate is 16.2%. Both universities require high academic credentials, but admission decisions are also highly influenced by extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and community involvement.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Additionally, Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis both require standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, as part of the application process. Emory University also requires applicants to submit two teacher evaluations and a counselor recommendation, while Washington University in St. Louis requires one teacher evaluation and one counselor recommendation.

It is important for applicants to carefully review the specific admission requirements for each university and to submit a well-rounded application that showcases their academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Opportunities

The cost of attending a top-tier university can be a significant financial burden. At Emory University, the total cost of attendance for the 2020-2021 academic year was $77,966. Washington University in St. Louis’s total cost of attendance for the same academic year was $76,050. However, both universities offer a wide range of financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, grants, and work-study programs, to make their institutions more affordable for students.

Additionally, many students may also be eligible for federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and student loans, which can further reduce the cost of attendance. It is important for students and their families to research and apply for all available financial aid options to ensure they are able to afford their desired university.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities

Both Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis offer a diverse range of extracurricular activities to their students. These range from club sports to community service projects, from performing arts to research opportunities. Students are encouraged to explore their interests outside of the classroom and to connect with like-minded individuals through a variety of clubs, organizations, and events on campus.

Group of students working together and talking.

At Emory University, students can participate in the Emory Entrepreneurship and Venture Management Club, which provides resources and support for students interested in starting their own businesses. The university also has a strong focus on sustainability, with numerous student-led initiatives aimed at reducing waste and promoting environmental awareness.

Meanwhile, at Washington University in St. Louis, students can take advantage of the school’s location in the heart of the city by participating in internships and community service projects with local organizations. The university also has a thriving arts scene, with opportunities for students to get involved in theater productions, music ensembles, and visual arts exhibitions.

Sports Programs and Athletic Facilities

At Emory University, students have access to 18 varsity sports teams, competing in the University Athletic Association, Division III. Similarly, Washington University in St. Louis fields 19 varsity sports teams, also competing in Division III. Both universities prioritize their student-athletes’ academic and athletic success and provide state-of-the-art athletic facilities to support their endeavors.

Emory University’s sports programs are not limited to varsity teams. The university also offers a wide range of club and intramural sports, allowing students of all skill levels to participate in athletics. Additionally, Emory’s athletic facilities include a 130,000-square-foot Student Activity and Academic Center, which houses a fitness center, indoor track, basketball courts, and more.

Washington University in St. Louis also offers a variety of recreational sports options for students, including club and intramural teams. The university’s athletic facilities include the Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center, which features a 25-yard pool, rock climbing wall, and multiple fitness studios. In addition, the university recently opened a new outdoor athletic complex, featuring a turf field and track, as well as tennis and basketball courts.

Career Services and Alumni Network

Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis have a robust career services office and alumni network that offer ongoing support to graduates. This includes career counseling, internship opportunities, job placements, and networking events. The universities also have substantial alumni networks, which provide ample opportunities for alumni to stay connected with each other and remain involved with their alma maters.

a business woman looking at the camera while her colleagues are at her back

Emory University’s career services office offers a variety of resources to help students and alumni navigate the job market. This includes resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, and access to job search databases. The office also hosts career fairs and employer information sessions to connect students with potential employers.

Washington University in St. Louis’ alumni network is particularly strong, with over 150,000 alumni worldwide. The university’s alumni association offers a range of benefits, including access to career services, networking events, and social activities. Alumni can also volunteer with the university, serving as mentors to current students or participating in fundraising efforts.

Research Resources and Opportunities

Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis are both renowned for their research opportunities. These universities provide cutting-edge research facilities, state-of-the-art laboratories, and numerous research programs. Students have the opportunity to participate in research projects and to work alongside world-class researchers in their respective fields.

Additionally, both universities offer extensive research resources to their students. Emory University has a vast library system, including the Woodruff Library, which houses over 4 million volumes and provides access to numerous online databases. Washington University in St. Louis also has an extensive library system, with over 4.5 million volumes and access to a wide range of online resources. These resources provide students with the necessary tools to conduct thorough research and produce high-quality work.

Community Engagement and Service Learning

Community engagement is highly valued at Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis. Both universities offer multiple community service opportunities through their respective service-learning centers. These programs encourage students to volunteer, engage with the community, and develop critical thinking skills that can be applied beyond the classroom.

At Emory University, the Office of University-Community Partnerships works to connect students with local organizations and initiatives. Through this office, students can participate in service projects, internships, and research opportunities that address community needs. Additionally, Emory’s Alternative Breaks program offers students the chance to spend their school breaks volunteering in communities across the country.

Washington University in St. Louis also prioritizes community engagement through its Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. The institute offers a variety of programs and initiatives that connect students with local organizations and encourage them to become active citizens. One such program is the Civic Scholars Program, which provides students with a four-year scholarship and opportunities to engage in community service and leadership development.

Study Abroad Programs and Global Education

Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis both prioritize global education and offer various study-abroad programs. These programs allow students to study and travel all around the world while earning academic credit. Students can choose from programs across Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, among other regions.

Students walking on the streets.

Studying abroad not only provides students with the opportunity to gain academic credit but also allows them to immerse themselves in new cultures and gain a global perspective. Students can learn new languages, try new foods, and experience different ways of life. These experiences can be invaluable in preparing students for a globalized workforce and helping them become more well-rounded individuals.

In addition to traditional study abroad programs, both universities also offer service-learning trips and internships abroad. These programs allow students to engage in meaningful work while also gaining valuable experience in their field of study.

Service-learning trips can range from building homes in developing countries to working with refugees in Europe, while internships can be found in a variety of industries such as business, healthcare, and education.

Notable Alumni from Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis

Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis are both home to numerous notable alumni who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. Some of Emory University’s notable alumni include former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Natasha Trethewey, and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Washington University in St. Louis’s notable alumni include tech entrepreneur Jim McKelvey, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and geneticist Dr. James Watson.

Emory University has also produced notable alumni in the field of entertainment, including actor and comedian Kenan Thompson, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and filmmaker Tyler Perry. Additionally, Emory has a strong presence in the medical field, with notable alumni such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Washington University in St. Louis has also produced notable alumni in the field of business, including former CEO of Procter & Gamble A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Boeing Phil Condit, and former CEO of Monsanto Hugh Grant. In addition, Washington University has a strong presence in the field of law, with notable alumni such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.


Choosing between Emory University or Washington University in St. Louis ultimately depends on individual preferences and goals. Both universities offer excellent educational opportunities, ample support services, and numerous opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities.

Students should consider academic programs, location, cost of attendance, and overall campus environment when making their final decision. The best way to make an informed decision is to visit the campuses, talk to current students and professors, and experience the campuses firsthand.

Segue to AdmissionSight

At AdmissionSight, we firmly uphold the conviction that every student is entitled to the chance to pursue their dreams at their preferred college. Our mission is to equip you with the expert advice and unwavering support you need to secure a place at the schools you aspire to attend.

Don’t let your future hinge on uncertainty. Reach out to AdmissionSight today to arrange a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey toward realizing your dreams. With our expert mentorship and steadfast support, the sky’s the limit.


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