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Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison: A Closer Look

July 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight
A student looking happy while reading something in her laptop.

Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison: A Closer Look

When it comes to choosing a college or university for higher education, it’s important to consider multiple factors such as location, academic programs offered, campus life, and more. In this article, we will compare two renowned institutions of higher education – Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison.

Location and Campus Overview of Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Washington University in St. Louis is located in St. Louis, Missouri, in the heart of the Midwestern United States. It is spread over 169 acres and is known for its Gothic architecture, green spaces, and state-of-art facilities. Its campus includes more than 90 buildings, including academic buildings, dormitories, and recreational facilities.

On the other hand, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is located in the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Madison, Wisconsin. Its campus spreads over 936 acres and has more than 240 buildings, including academic buildings, residence halls, and research facilities. The campus is situated between two lakes, offering breathtaking views and outdoor recreational opportunities.

College students walking in the campus.

Washington University in St. Louis is home to more than 15,000 students from all over the world. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in various fields, including business, engineering, law, medicine, and arts and sciences. The campus is also known for its vibrant student life, with more than 300 student organizations, clubs, and sports teams.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the largest and most prestigious public universities in the United States. It has a diverse student body of over 45,000 students, including international students from more than 130 countries.

The university offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs, including highly ranked programs in engineering, business, and education. The campus is also known for its cutting-edge research facilities and world-renowned faculty.

History and Background of Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Washington University in St. Louis was founded in 1853 and was named after the first US President, George Washington. It has a rich history of academic excellence and innovation that dates back more than 150 years. It is one of the top research universities in the world and is known for its interdisciplinary approach to education.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the oldest and most prestigious public universities in the United States. It was founded in 1848 and is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence, groundbreaking research, and commitment to public service.

Washington University in St. Louis has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The university offers more than 90 programs of study across seven schools, including the highly ranked Olin Business School and School of Medicine. It is also home to several research centers and institutes, including the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Institute for Public Health.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is known for its strong commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. It has been recognized as one of the greenest universities in the country and has implemented numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. The university is also home to several world-renowned research centers, including the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Admission Requirements for Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Getting into Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison is highly competitive, and the admission requirements are rigorous. Both universities require students to have a strong academic record and demonstrate extracurricular involvement and leadership skills.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison accepts students based on a holistic review and considers factors such as ACT or SAT scores, high school GPA, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation. Similarly, Washington University in St. Louis considers factors such as high school coursework, grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal character.

It is important to note that both universities also offer early decision and early action options for applicants. Early decision is a binding agreement, meaning that if a student is accepted, they must attend the university. Early action, on the other hand, is non-binding and allows students to apply early and receive an admission decision earlier than the regular decision deadline. However, students who apply for early decision or early action are still required to meet the same rigorous admission requirements as those who apply through the regular decision process.

Academic Programs Offered at Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Both universities have a wide range of academic programs cutting across various fields of study. Washington University in St. Louis offers over 90 undergraduate programs, more than 100 graduate programs, and 21 doctoral programs. The university has seven academic schools, including the Olin Business School, the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and the School of Law.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers over 200 undergraduate majors, over 250 master’s degree programs, and more than 100 doctoral degree programs. The university has 14 schools and colleges, including the College of Letters and Science, the Wisconsin School of Business, and the School of Education.

Washington University in St. Louis is known for its strong programs in the fields of medicine, engineering, and social work. The School of Medicine is ranked among the top 10 medical schools in the country, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science is ranked among the top 50 engineering schools in the world. The Brown School of Social Work is also highly regarded, with a focus on social justice and community engagement.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is recognized for its excellence in research, particularly in the fields of agriculture, life sciences, and environmental studies. The university is home to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, which fosters interdisciplinary research in these areas. Additionally, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication is one of the top-ranked journalism schools in the country, with a focus on digital media and storytelling.

Faculty, Student Body, and Class Size Comparison between Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Both universities have world-class faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. Washington University in St. Louis has over 5,400 undergraduate students, 7,500 graduate and professional students, and 22 Nobel Laureates among its faculty and alumni. The student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1, and the average class size is 15 students.

Female teacher talking to her students.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has over 30,000 undergraduate students, 10,000 graduate and professional students, and over 20 Nobel Laureates among its faculty and alumni. The student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1, and the average class size is 31 students.

Despite the differences in student body size and class size, both universities offer a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities to their students. Washington University in St. Louis is known for its strong programs in business, engineering, and medicine, while the University of Wisconsin-Madison is renowned for its programs in agriculture, education, and the arts. Both universities also have active student organizations, sports teams, and cultural events that provide students with opportunities to engage with their peers and the broader community.

Campus Life and Facilities at Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Both universities have a thriving campus life that offers numerous extracurricular activities and opportunities to develop leadership skills and community engagement. Washington University in St. Louis has over 300 student organizations, ranging from academic clubs to service organizations and interest groups. The university has state-of-the-art recreational facilities, including a fitness center, two outdoor pools, and an indoor track.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has over 900 registered student organizations, including academic clubs, service organizations, sports clubs, and cultural groups. The campus has numerous recreational facilities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an ice rink, and several outdoor sports fields.

Aside from the extracurricular activities and recreational facilities, both universities also offer a wide range of academic resources to support their students. Washington University in St. Louis has a comprehensive library system that includes over 4 million volumes, as well as access to numerous online databases and journals. The university also has a writing center that provides individualized support to students at all levels of writing proficiency.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison also has an extensive library system, with over 8 million volumes and access to thousands of online resources. The university also offers academic advising services, tutoring programs, and study abroad opportunities to help students achieve their academic goals.

Tuition Fees, Financial Aid, and Scholarship Availability at Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Both universities have different tuition fees and offer financial aid and scholarships to eligible students. Washington University in St. Louis has a tuition fee of $56,300 for the 2021-2022 academic year, and the average financial aid award is $46,000. The university offers merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid to eligible students.

Group of students walking in the campus.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a tuition fee of $10,725 for in-state students and $38,630 for out-of-state students for the 2021-2022 academic year. The university offers financial aid and scholarships to eligible students based on need and merit.

It is important to note that both universities have different requirements and deadlines for financial aid and scholarship applications. Students should carefully review the eligibility criteria and application process for each program.

Additionally, students may also consider external scholarship opportunities and alternative funding options, such as student loans or work-study programs, to help cover the cost of tuition and other expenses.

Post-Graduation Employment Opportunities for Students from Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Both universities have excellent post-graduation employment rates and offer numerous opportunities for students to gain practical experience and prepare for the workforce. According to the Career Center at Washington University in St. Louis, 97% of graduates are employed or pursuing further education within six months of graduation. Similarly, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has an overall career placement rate of 86% within six months of graduation.

Washington University in St. Louis offers a variety of resources to help students find employment after graduation. The Career Center provides career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities with alumni and employers. Additionally, the university hosts career fairs and on-campus interviews with top companies in various industries.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, students have access to the SuccessWorks career center, which offers career advising, job and internship search assistance, and professional development workshops. The university also has a strong alumni network, with graduates working in a wide range of fields and industries, providing valuable connections and mentorship opportunities for current students.

Alumni Network, Reputation, Ranking Comparison between Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison

Both universities have a large and supportive alumni network that allows students to connect with successful alumni and gain insights into various industries and career paths. Washington University in St. Louis has over 120,000 alumni, including CEOs, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who are making a positive impact worldwide. Similarly, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has over 425,000 alumni, including Nobel Laureates, political leaders, and business executives.

Business people discussing documents and ideas at meeting

Washington University in St. Louis is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the United States by US News & World Report, while the University of Wisconsin-Madison is ranked among the top 50.

Another factor to consider when comparing these two universities is their research output. Washington University in St. Louis is known for its strong research programs, particularly in the fields of medicine, engineering, and social sciences.

The university has received over $600 million in research funding in the past year alone. On the other hand, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is also a research powerhouse, with over $1.2 billion in research funding in the past year. The university is particularly strong in the fields of agriculture, life sciences, and environmental studies.

Conclusion: Which is better suited for you?

Choosing between Washington University in St. Louis and Wisconsin-Madison depends on your individual goals, preferences, and needs. If you seek a top-ranked research university with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary education, state-of-the-art facilities, and a small student-to-faculty ratio, Washington University in St. Louis might be the right fit for you.

On the other hand, if you prefer a large public university with a wide range of academic programs, vibrant campus life, and affordable tuition fees, the University of Wisconsin-Madison might be the better choice for you.

Overall, both universities offer excellent academic programs, world-class facilities, and numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. The decision ultimately comes down to what you want to achieve and the kind of environment you want to be in.

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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