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Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst: Which University is Right for You?

July 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight
a male student looking at his laptop

Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst: Which University is Right for You?

If you’re trying to choose between Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst, there are plenty of factors to consider. From campus culture to academic programs, admissions requirements to graduates’ career outcomes, each university offers its unique strengths and challenges. In this comprehensive article, we’ll examine all the key areas of comparison between Washington University in St. Louis and Amherst to help you make an informed decision about which university is the right fit for you.

Campus Culture: What Sets These Universities Apart

The first thing to consider when comparing two universities is often their campus culture. At Washington University in St. Louis, the vibe is known for being collaborative and friendly, with students who are eager to take on leadership roles and pursue excellence in their fields. The university has a diverse student body hailing from all over the world and offers a wealth of cultural events and activities to engage students outside the classroom.

At Amherst, the campus culture is similarly inclusive and supportive, with a strong emphasis on intellectual curiosity and academic rigor. The student body is diverse and highly motivated, with a focus on community engagement and social justice. Amherst also offers numerous extracurricular opportunities for students to get involved and explore their interests.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Another aspect that sets these universities apart is their research approach. Washington University in St. Louis is known for its cutting-edge research in fields such as medicine, engineering, and social sciences. The university has state-of-the-art facilities and resources that enable students and faculty to conduct groundbreaking research and make significant contributions to their respective fields.

Similarly, Amherst has a strong research culture, with faculty and students engaged in a wide range of research projects across disciplines. The university encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and provides ample support for students to pursue their research interests, including funding opportunities and access to specialized equipment and facilities.

Admissions Process: Requirements at Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst

If you’re deciding between Washington University in St. Louis and Amherst, it’s important to understand the admissions process and requirements at each university. At Washington University in St. Louis, the undergraduate admissions process is highly selective. Successful applicants typically have strong academic records, extracurricular accomplishments, and thoughtful application essays.

Amherst’s admissions process is similarly competitive. The university looks for students who have demonstrated strong academic potential and intellectual curiosity, as well as a commitment to service and leadership.

It’s important to note that both universities also consider factors beyond academic and extracurricular achievements. They both value diversity and seek to create a well-rounded student body. This means that factors such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location may also be taken into account during the admissions process.

Majors and Programs Offered at Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst

Another key factor to consider when comparing universities is the range of majors and programs offered. At Washington University in St. Louis, students can choose from a wide range of undergraduate majors across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The university also offers numerous interdisciplinary opportunities, as well as pre-professional tracks in areas such as business and engineering.

At Amherst, students can choose from over 40 different majors and interdisciplinary programs spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The university places a strong emphasis on research and encourages students to pursue independent study and thesis projects.

four students at the hallway smiling for the camera

Washington University in St. Louis also offers several unique programs, such as the Beyond Boundaries interdisciplinary program, which allows students to design their majors and explore multiple fields of study. Additionally, the university has a strong focus on global education, offering study abroad programs in over 50 countries.

Amherst College has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with several programs and initiatives aimed at promoting equity and access for all students. The college also offers several unique academic programs, such as the Five College Consortium, which allows students to take courses at nearby colleges and universities, and the Center for Community Engagement, which provides opportunities for students to engage with local communities through service and research projects.

Faculty and Teaching Quality at Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst

The faculty and teaching quality at a university are critical factors when it comes to your academic experience. At Washington University in St. Louis, faculty members are highly accomplished scholars and researchers who are dedicated to teaching and mentoring their students. The university has a low faculty-to-student ratio, which means students enjoy small class sizes and individual attention.

Similarly, at Amherst, faculty members are distinguished experts in their fields who prioritize teaching and mentorship. The university also has a low student-to-faculty ratio and emphasizes close relationships between students and professors.

However, there are some differences between the two universities when it comes to faculty diversity. Washington University in St. Louis has made strides in recent years to increase the diversity of its faculty, with a focus on recruiting and retaining underrepresented groups. Amherst, on the other hand, has a long-standing commitment to diversity and has been recognized for its efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students and faculty.

Student Life: Housing, Dining, and Extracurricular Activities at Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst

The quality of student life can make or break your university experience, and both Washington University in St. Louis and Amherst offer plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and form a sense of community. At Washington University in St. Louis, students can choose from a range of on-campus housing options, as well as a variety of dining venues and meal plan options. The university also offers hundreds of extracurricular clubs and organizations, as well as numerous on-campus events and activities.

Similarly, at Amherst, students can choose from a range of on-campus housing options, which are designed to foster a sense of community and facilitate interdisciplinary interaction. The university also offers a wide range of dining options and meal plans, as well as a variety of student clubs and organizations.

Two students keeping their dorm room clean.

Both universities also prioritize the mental and physical well-being of their students. They offer various resources such as counseling services, health clinics, and fitness centers to ensure that students have access to the support they need. Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and offer programs and initiatives to promote a welcoming and inclusive campus environment for all students.

Sports Programs: Comparing Athletics at Washington University in St. Louis and Amherst

If you’re a fan of college sports or interested in competing at the collegiate level, the quality of athletics programs can be an important factor to consider. At Washington University in St. Louis, the university’s varsity athletic teams compete in Division III of the NCAA. The university places a strong emphasis on balance between academics and athletics and offers numerous intramural and club sports opportunities as well.

At Amherst, the university’s varsity athletic teams also compete in Division III of the NCAA, with a tradition of success in a variety of sports. The university also offers a variety of intramural and club sports opportunities, as well as recreational athletic facilities.

One notable difference between the sports programs at Washington University in St. Louis and Amherst is the size of the athletic department. Washington University has a smaller athletic department, with fewer varsity teams and a smaller budget. This can lead to a more personalized experience for student-athletes, with more individual attention from coaches and staff. On the other hand, Amherst has a larger athletic department, with more varsity teams and a larger budget. This can lead to more resources and opportunities for student-athletes, such as better facilities and more travel opportunities.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid at Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst

One of the most practical factors to consider when comparing universities is the cost of attendance. At Washington University in St. Louis, tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year total $57,300, with an estimated additional cost of $17,800 for room and board, books, and personal expenses. However, the university also offers a comprehensive financial aid program, with over 50% of students receiving need-based aid.

Similarly, at Amherst, tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year total $58,880, with an estimated additional cost of $17,976 for room and board, books, and personal expenses. The university also offers a generous financial aid program, with over 60% of students receiving need-based aid.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance can vary depending on the program of study and the student’s circumstances. For example, some programs may require additional fees or materials, and students may have different living arrangements that affect their room and board costs. It is recommended that students research and compare the total cost of attendance for their specific situation when making decisions about which university to attend.

Career Services: How Washington University in St. Louis and Amherst Prepare Students for the Workforce

Your post-graduation career prospects can be influenced by the support and resources your university offers. At Washington University in St. Louis, the university offers comprehensive career services, including career counseling, job and internship listing services, and professional development opportunities. At Amherst, the university also has a robust career services program, with resources including employer engagement opportunities, career counseling, and pre-professional advising.

a student on a counseling session

Washington University in St. Louis has a dedicated Career Center that provides students with personalized career guidance and support. The center offers workshops and events on topics such as resume writing, interviewing skills, and networking. Additionally, the university has partnerships with numerous employers, providing students with access to job and internship opportunities.

Amherst College’s Career Center also offers a range of services to help students prepare for their future careers. The center provides students with access to career fairs, networking events, and workshops on topics such as job search strategies and graduate school applications. The center also offers one-on-one advising sessions to help students explore their career interests and develop a plan for achieving their goals.

Alumni Network: The Benefits of Graduating from Washington University in St. Louis or Amherst

The alumni network of a university can be a valuable resource for professional and personal connections after graduation. At Washington University in St. Louis, the university has a large and active alumni network, with opportunities for alumni to stay connected to the university and each other through events, networking opportunities, and mentoring programs.

Similarly, at Amherst, the university has a strong alumni network, with numerous ways for alumni to stay connected and give back to the university community.

One of the benefits of being part of an alumni network is access to job opportunities. Many alumni networks have job boards or career services that are only available to graduates of the university. This can be especially helpful for recent graduates who are just starting their careers and may not have a large professional network yet. Additionally, alumni may be more likely to hire or recommend fellow alumni for job openings, creating a sense of community and support within the network.

Research Opportunities: Research Facilities and Resources at Washington University in St. Louis vs Amherst

If you’re interested in pursuing research during your undergraduate studies, it’s important to consider the facilities and resources available at each university. At Washington University in St. Louis, the university has numerous research centers and institutes, as well as opportunities for students to participate in faculty-led research projects and pursue independent research.

At Amherst, the university also offers a variety of research opportunities, including research partnerships with faculty, independent study projects, and funded research opportunities.

Additionally, at Washington University in St. Louis, students have access to state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities, such as the Genome Technology Access Center and the Center for Cellular Imaging. These resources allow students to conduct cutting-edge research in fields such as genetics, neuroscience, and engineering.

Meanwhile, at Amherst, students have the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research projects through the college’s Five College Consortium, which includes nearby institutions such as Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This collaboration allows students to work with faculty and peers from a variety of academic backgrounds and gain a broader perspective on their research.

International Student Experience at Washington University in St. Louis or Amherst

If you are an international student considering either university, it’s important to consider the resources and support available for international students. At Washington University in St. Louis, the university has a dedicated Office of International Students and Scholars, as well as numerous resources for international students including international student orientation and support programs.

At Amherst, the university also has a variety of resources for international students, including a dedicated Office of International Student Services and numerous student-led organizations focused on supporting international students.

Students smiling at the camera together.

One of the unique aspects of the international student experience at Washington University in St. Louis is the Global Ambassadors Program. This program pairs incoming international students with current students who serve as mentors and help them navigate the university and the city. Additionally, the university offers a variety of cultural events and activities throughout the year to help international students feel more at home.

Similarly, Amherst College offers a Global Education Office that provides resources and support for international students, including assistance with visa and immigration issues. The college also offers a variety of study abroad programs, which can be a great opportunity for international students to explore different cultures and gain new experiences.

Campus Safety: Comparing Security Measures at the Two Universities

Finally, safety and security is a critical factor to consider when choosing a university. At Washington University in St. Louis, the university has a variety of measures in place to ensure campus safety, including a 24/7 campus security force, emergency phones throughout campus, and an extensive network of security cameras.

Similarly, at Amherst, the university has a comprehensive campus safety program that includes 24/7 security patrols, emergency notification systems, and a campus-wide safety monitoring system.

In addition to these measures, Washington University also offers self-defense classes for students and staff, as well as a campus escort service for those who feel unsafe walking alone at night. The university also has a partnership with local law enforcement to ensure a quick response in case of an emergency.

At Amherst, the university has implemented a program called “Green Dot,” which trains students, faculty, and staff to recognize and intervene in situations of potential violence or harm. The program has been successful in reducing incidents of sexual assault and other forms of violence on campus.

Campus Sustainability: Environmental Initiatives Taken by Washington University in St. Louis or Amherst

Campus sustainability has become an increasingly important factor for students choosing universities. At Washington University in St. Louis, the university has committed to sustainability, with initiatives including LEED-certified buildings, a composting program, and a focus on reducing energy consumption. At Amherst, the university has also made sustainability a priority, with a variety of initiatives including a solar power installation, composting program, and emphasis on reducing waste.

In addition to the initiatives mentioned above, Washington University in St. Louis has also implemented a bike-share program, encouraging students to use sustainable transportation options. The university has also established a Green Ambassador program, where students can become advocates for sustainability on campus and in the community. These initiatives demonstrate the university’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future and providing students with the resources to make a positive impact.

After considering all of these factors, it’s clear that both Washington University in St. Louis and Amherst offer a wealth of opportunities and resources for students. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your personal goals, interests, and values. With this comprehensive comparison, you’re well on your way to making an informed decision about which university is the right fit for you.

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