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

July 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Portrait of smiling asian male student sitting at desk in classroom at university,

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

When it comes to choosing a university to attend, you want to pick the one that best fits your needs. Two universities with a lot to offer are Washington University in St. Louis and Brandeis University. Let’s compare these two in this article.

Location and Campus Differences

Washington University in St. Louis is located in St. Louis, Missouri. Brandeis University is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. One of the major differences between these two universities is the size of their campuses. Washington University’s campus is much larger than Brandeis University’s, covering 169 acres compared to 235 acres.

Washington University’s campus is also more spread out, with buildings located throughout the surrounding area. On the other hand, Brandeis University’s buildings are more centralized, making them easier to navigate.

Another difference between the two universities is the climate. Washington University experiences hot and humid summers, with temperatures often reaching the high 80s and low 90s Fahrenheit. Winters are cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing and occasional snowfall.

In contrast, Brandeis University experiences a more moderate climate, with summers averaging in the mid-70s Fahrenheit and winters averaging in the mid-30s Fahrenheit. This difference in climate can impact the types of activities and events that take place on each campus throughout the year.

Academic Programs Offered

Both universities have a wide range of academic programs to choose from. Washington University offers programs in everything from biology to marketing to engineering. Brandeis University offers programs in fields such as computer science, economics, and psychology. Both universities have highly regarded medical schools, which is a draw for many students.

Group of students smiling and talking to each other.

In addition to their traditional academic programs, both universities also offer a variety of interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study. For example, Washington University offers a program in Environmental Studies that combines coursework in biology, geology, and policy.

Brandeis University offers a program in Health: Science, Society, and Policy that combines coursework in biology, sociology, and public health. These interdisciplinary programs provide students with a unique and well-rounded education.

Admission Requirements at Washington University in St. Louis and Brandeis University

The admission requirements and process for these two universities are similar. Both require applicants to submit transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. Washington University also offers an early decision option for students who have their hearts set on attending. Brandeis University, on the other hand, does not offer early decision.

In addition to the required materials, both universities also consider extracurricular activities, community service, and leadership experience when making admission decisions. Washington University places a strong emphasis on demonstrated interest, such as attending information sessions or scheduling a campus visit.

Brandeis University values diversity and encourages applicants from underrepresented backgrounds to apply. Both universities have a holistic approach to admissions and carefully consider each applicant’s unique qualities and experiences.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities

Both universities offer a wide range of extracurricular activities. Washington University has over 300 student groups, including musical ensembles, theater companies, and volunteer organizations.

Three caucasian students talking to each other.

Brandeis University has over 200 student groups, including a variety of cultural and religious groups. Both universities also have extensive athletics programs that offer everything from basketball to rowing.

In addition to the numerous student groups and athletics programs, both universities also offer a variety of resources and support for students outside of the classroom. Washington University has a student-run newspaper, a campus radio station, and a student government association that advocates for student interests.

Brandeis University has a student-run television station, a literary magazine, and a student union that hosts events and provides resources for student organizations. Both universities also have career centers that offer guidance and resources for students seeking internships and job opportunities.

Faculty Profile and Research Opportunities at Washington University in St. Louis and Brandeis University

One of the strengths of both Washington University and Brandeis University is their faculty expertise and research opportunities. Washington University has a highly distinguished faculty that includes Nobel laureates.

Brandeis University has highly regarded faculty in fields such as neuroscience, sociology, and theater. Both universities offer extensive research opportunities for students, with funding for projects and access to state-of-the-art research facilities.

At Washington University, students have the opportunity to work with faculty members who are leaders in their respective fields. The university has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, which allows students to collaborate with faculty members from different departments and explore new areas of study.

Additionally, the university has partnerships with several research institutions, including the Danforth Plant Science Center and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, providing students with even more opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research.

Brandeis University also offers unique research opportunities for students. The university has several research centers, including the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and the Mandel Center for the Humanities, which provide students with the chance to work on projects that have real-world impact. Brandeis also has a strong commitment to social justice and encourages students to engage in research that addresses issues of inequality and discrimination.

Career Services and Job Placement

Both universities offer extensive career services, including job placement assistance and networking opportunities. Washington University has a highly regarded career center that offers everything from resume reviews to interview coaching. Brandeis University has a career center that offers career counseling, job search strategies, and career fairs.

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

In addition to the career services offered by both universities, Washington University also has a strong alumni network that provides valuable connections and mentorship opportunities for students. Brandeis University, on the other hand, has partnerships with various companies and organizations that offer internships and job opportunities exclusively to Brandeis students.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Both universities offer extensive financial aid and scholarship opportunities for students. Washington University offers merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid to help students afford the cost of attendance. Brandeis University also offers merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid, including need-based grants and loans.

Additionally, both universities have work-study programs that allow students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. These programs provide part-time jobs on campus or in the local community, and the earnings can be used to help pay for tuition and other expenses.

Furthermore, Washington University offers a unique program called the “Gateway Scholars Program” which provides full-tuition scholarships to high-achieving students from low-income families. This program aims to increase access to higher education for students who may not have the financial means to attend college otherwise.

Student Diversity and Inclusivity

Both universities are committed to diversity and inclusivity. Washington University has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. Brandeis University has a strong commitment to social justice and inclusivity, with programs and initiatives focused on issues such as gender equity and LGBTQ rights. Both universities have active student groups that promote diversity and inclusivity on campus.

Group of students walking in the campus.

At Washington University, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides resources and support for underrepresented students, including first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds. The university also offers scholarships and financial aid to help ensure that all students have access to quality education.

Similarly, Brandeis University has a number of programs and initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusivity. The Intercultural Center provides a space for students to explore and celebrate their cultural identities, while the Gender and Sexuality Center offers resources and support for LGBTQ students. The university also has a strong commitment to accessibility, with a range of services and accommodations available for students with disabilities.

Alumni Network and Success Stories

Both universities have highly successful alumni networks. Washington University’s alumni include CEOs, politicians, and Nobel laureates. Brandeis University’s alumni include Pulitzer Prize winners, successful business leaders, and accomplished scientists. Both universities have active alumni networks that offer networking opportunities and professional development.

Additionally, both universities have numerous success stories of alumni who have made significant contributions to their respective fields. For example, a Washington University alumnus, Dr. James E. Rothman, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2013 for his work on cell membrane transport.

Similarly, a Brandeis University alumna, Julia Wolfe, won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2015 for her composition “Anthracite Fields.” These success stories serve as inspiration for current students and demonstrate the caliber of education and opportunities available at both universities.

Campus Safety Measures

Both universities have extensive campus safety measures in place. Washington University has a comprehensive emergency management plan that includes regular drills and training for students and staff. Brandeis University has a 24/7 public safety office and an emergency notification system that alerts the community in the event of a crisis.

In addition to these measures, Washington University also has a campus escort service that provides safe transportation for students and staff who are traveling alone at night. The university also has a network of emergency blue light phones located throughout the campus, which can be used to quickly contact campus security in case of an emergency.

At Brandeis University, there are also a number of safety initiatives aimed at preventing sexual assault and harassment. The university has a confidential reporting system for survivors of sexual violence, and offers a range of support services for those who have experienced trauma. Additionally, the university provides ongoing education and training for students and staff on how to recognize and prevent sexual violence on campus.

Campus Amenities and Facilities

Both universities have extensive campus amenities and facilities. Washington University has state-of-the-art research facilities, modern residence halls, and a variety of dining options. Brandeis University has top-notch athletic facilities, award-winning residence halls, and a variety of on-campus dining options.

four students lounging on the steps outside

Additionally, both universities offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. Washington University has over 300 student organizations, including academic clubs, cultural groups, and service organizations. Brandeis University has over 200 student-run clubs and organizations, including a student-run radio station and a community service club.

Furthermore, both universities have extensive libraries and resources for students. Washington University’s Olin Library has over 4 million volumes, as well as access to numerous online databases and resources. Brandeis University’s Goldfarb Library has over 1.5 million volumes, as well as a variety of special collections and archives.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Both universities offer extensive study-abroad opportunities. Washington University has programs in over 50 countries, including China, France, and Australia. Brandeis University has study abroad programs in over 70 countries, including Japan, India, and Greece. Both universities offer programs in a variety of fields, including language, cultural studies, and business.

Additionally, both universities have partnerships with local universities in various countries, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in the local culture and education system. For example, Washington University has a partnership with Peking University in China, where students can take courses in Chinese language and culture while living on campus with Chinese students.

Furthermore, both universities offer financial aid and scholarships for students who wish to study abroad. This includes need-based aid, merit-based scholarships, and grants for specific programs or destinations. Students are encouraged to meet with their study abroad advisors to discuss their options and funding opportunities.


Overall, Washington University in St. Louis and Brandeis University are both top-notch universities that offer a wide range of academic programs, extensive extracurricular activities, and impressive faculty expertise and research opportunities. Consider the differences in location, campus culture, and other factors to choose the one that best fits your needs.

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.

We take immense pride in being a beacon of trust and reliability in the realm of college admissions guidance. Our triumph is reflected in the achievements of our students, many of whom have carved their paths at some of the country’s most esteemed colleges.

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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