Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Which Is better For You?

July 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight
a female high school student looking at the camera

Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Which Is better For You?

When it comes to choosing the right university, countless factors tend to come into play such as the quality of academic programs, campus culture, extracurricular activities, tuition and financial aid, and alumni community, to name a few. Today, we’ll be comparing two top-tier institutions, Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr, to help you make an informed decision about where to pursue your educational goals.

Location and Campus Size

First and foremost, both universities are situated in scenic and beautiful locations- Washington University in St. Louis resides in Missouri, while Bryn Mawr is located in Pennsylvania. The former boasts a sprawling 169-acre campus with picturesque gothic and modern architecture, while the latter has a cozy 135-acre campus with beautiful gardens and historic buildings. In terms of campus size, the difference is slight but notable.

However, the location of the two universities also offers unique opportunities for students. Washington University in St. Louis is located in a bustling city, providing students with access to a diverse range of cultural and social experiences. On the other hand, Bryn Mawr is situated in a more suburban area, offering a quieter and more peaceful environment for students to focus on their studies. Both locations have their advantages and it ultimately depends on the individual student’s preferences.

Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Academic Programs and Majors Offered

In terms of academics, both universities offer a wide range of programs and majors for undergraduate and graduate students alike. Bryn Mawr has a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences with notable departments in psychology and international studies. On the other hand, Washington University is more focused on business, engineering, and medical sciences with programs such as biomedicine and computer science.

Group of students studying on a table.

Additionally, both universities offer unique interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study. Bryn Mawr has a program in Growth and Structure of Cities, which combines urban studies, history, and sociology. Washington University offers a program in Environmental Studies, which integrates biology, chemistry, and policy studies to address environmental issues. These interdisciplinary programs provide students with a well-rounded education and prepare them for a variety of career paths.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity

While both universities are known for their high standards, the admission requirements and selectivity may differ slightly. Washington University is slightly more selective with a 14% acceptance rate and an average SAT score of 1500, while Bryn Mawr boasts an average SAT score of 1430 and a slightly higher acceptance rate of 32%. Both universities require a strong academic track record, extracurricular involvement, and excellent letters of recommendation.

It is important to note that both universities also consider other factors beyond academic achievements and test scores. Washington University values community involvement and leadership skills, while Bryn Mawr places a strong emphasis on social justice and activism. Applicants who demonstrate a passion for these areas may have an advantage in the admissions process.

Additionally, both universities offer various options for early decision and early action applications. These programs allow students to apply early and receive a decision sooner than regular decision applicants. However, it is important to carefully consider the commitment of applying early decision, as it is binding and requires the student to attend the university if accepted.

Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Student Body Demographics and Diversity

Another important aspect of university life is the student body demographics and diversity. In terms of gender, the two universities are relatively balanced. Washington University has a slight female majority at 55%, while Bryn Mawr boasts a strong female majority at 86%. Both universities also have a diverse range of international students, with Bryn Mawr having students from over 44 countries and Washington with students from over 100 countries.

However, when it comes to racial and ethnic diversity, there are some differences between the two universities. Bryn Mawr has a higher percentage of students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) at 42%, while Washington University has a BIPOC population of 25%. Additionally, Bryn Mawr has a higher percentage of students who identify as LGBTQ+ at 15%, compared to Washington University’s 10%.

Both universities have made efforts to promote diversity and inclusion on their campuses. Washington University has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee that works to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, while Bryn Mawr has a Multicultural Center that provides resources and support for students from diverse backgrounds.

Faculty Profiles and Teaching Quality

When it comes to the quality of education, both universities have world-class faculties who are leaders in their respective fields. Washington University has over 3,100 academic staff members, while Bryn Mawr has 151 faculty members. Both universities focus on maintaining a small student-faculty ratio and offering students personalized attention and mentorship throughout their academic journey.

At Washington University, the faculty members are actively involved in research and scholarship, which allows them to bring the latest developments and insights into the classroom. This ensures that students receive a cutting-edge education that prepares them for the challenges of the future. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, with faculty members from different departments collaborating on research projects and teaching courses that integrate multiple fields of study.

Three students talking while using a laptop.

Both universities also offer opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects, independent studies, and other academic pursuits. This allows students to gain valuable experience and develop close relationships with their mentors, which can be invaluable in their future careers. Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with faculty members from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, ensuring that students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them to thrive in a global society.

Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Campus Culture and Student Life

One of the most important aspects of university life is the campus culture and student life experience. Washington University is well known for its active Greek life, recreational sports, and vibrant social scene. Additionally, it offers over 380 student organizations and groups for students to explore their interests. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on community involvement, ethical leadership, and advocacy for social justice causes. It also has several traditions such as the May Day celebration that make for a unique student life experience.

Another important aspect of campus culture and student life is the availability of resources for mental health and wellness. At Washington University, students have access to counseling services, mindfulness programs, and a variety of wellness initiatives. Bryn Mawr also prioritizes mental health and wellness, offering resources such as therapy services, meditation and yoga classes, and a student-run wellness center.

Furthermore, both universities offer opportunities for students to engage in research and experiential learning. Washington University has a strong focus on undergraduate research, providing students with opportunities to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. Bryn Mawr offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad programs, and community-based learning projects.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities

Washington University boasts a strong athletics program with several championship-winning teams in sports such as basketball, volleyball, and tennis. Additionally, it has excellent recreational facilities such as the Gary M. Sumers recreation center for students to stay active. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, has an equally robust athletics program but emphasizes non-competitive sports such as yoga and pilates. Additionally, it has a strong arts scene with several student-led performances and societies.

Both universities offer a wide range of extracurricular activities beyond sports. Washington University has over 300 student organizations, including academic clubs, cultural groups, and community service organizations. Students can also participate in research projects and internships to gain practical experience in their fields of interest. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, has a strong focus on social justice and activism, with several student-led organizations dedicated to promoting equality and advocating for marginalized communities. Students can also participate in community service projects and study abroad programs to broaden their perspectives and gain new experiences.

Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Career Services and Outcomes

Both universities have a strong focus on preparing students for careers and helping them develop the necessary skills and networks. Washington University has a robust career center that offers students several services such as resume building, interview coaching, and job fairs. Bryn Mawr has a similar career center that offers specialized programs for underrepresented students and several networking events. Both universities boast excellent employment outcomes and alumni networks.

A man working with his classmates on a library.

Additionally, both universities have partnerships with various companies and organizations, providing students with internship and job opportunities. Washington University has partnerships with companies such as Boeing, Monsanto, and Anheuser-Busch, while Bryn Mawr has partnerships with organizations such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. These partnerships not only provide students with valuable work experience but also help them build connections in their desired fields.

Tuition, Financial Aid, and Value for Money

While the tuition of both universities is on the higher end, they offer several financial aid programs to ensure accessibility. Washington University’s undergraduate tuition is around $57,300, and Bryn Mawr’s is $57,540. Both universities have robust financial aid programs and scholarships to help students with the cost of attendance. In terms of value for money, it ultimately depends on a student’s career aspirations and goals.

It’s important to note that the value of a college education extends beyond just the cost of tuition. Both Washington University and Bryn Mawr offer a wide range of resources and opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in their fields of study, network with professionals, and develop important skills that will benefit them in their future careers. Additionally, both universities have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and support after graduation. When considering the value of a college education, it’s important to take into account not just the cost, but also the opportunities and resources that a university can provide.

Alumni Network and Community Engagement

Both universities have active and engaged alumni communities that offer several resources and services for current students. Washington University has over 150,000 alumni worldwide, and Bryn Mawr has over 25,000 active alumni. Both universities have active mentorship programs and host several alumni events and career fairs throughout the year.

Additionally, both universities have online platforms where alumni can connect with each other and with current students. Washington University has an online directory where alumni can search for and connect with fellow alumni based on location, industry, and other criteria. Bryn Mawr has an online community platform where alumni can access job postings, mentorship opportunities, and other resources. These online platforms provide valuable networking opportunities for current students and recent graduates.

Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Rankings and Reputation

Finally, both universities have excellent reputations and are widely recognized as top-tier institutions. Washington University is currently ranked 16th in national universities by US News and World Report, and Bryn Mawr is ranked 33rd in national liberal arts colleges. Both universities are also members of the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Additionally, both universities have a long history of producing successful alumni who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. Washington University has produced 25 Nobel laureates, while Bryn Mawr has produced 7. Many notable figures in politics, business, and the arts have also graduated from these institutions, including former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (Bryn Mawr) and former US Senator Claire McCaskill (Washington University).

Research Opportunities and Funding

Research is an essential aspect of the academic experience at both universities, and they offer several resources and funding opportunities for students to pursue their research interests. Washington University boasts over $800 million in annual research funding, while Bryn Mawr offers several research grants and opportunities for undergraduate students to work with faculty members.

At Washington University, students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities, including the McDonnell Genome Institute and the Institute for Public Health. These facilities provide students with the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects and collaborate with leading researchers in their fields.

Similarly, Bryn Mawr offers several research centers and institutes, such as the Center for Science in Society and the Center for Visual Culture, which provide students with interdisciplinary research opportunities. Additionally, the college has partnerships with several research institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which allow students to participate in collaborative research projects.

Study Abroad Programs and Global Education

Both universities have several opportunities for students to study abroad and gain invaluable international experience. Washington University has several study abroad programs in countries such as Italy, Japan, and France, while Bryn Mawr has several partnerships with universities in countries such as China and Rwanda. Both universities provide students with several resources to help them navigate the study abroad process and maximize their cultural immersion.

View of a young student attending an online class.

Additionally, both universities offer courses and programs that focus on global education. Washington University has a Global Citizenship Program that encourages students to explore global issues and perspectives, while Bryn Mawr has a Global Health Initiative that focuses on addressing health disparities and promoting health equity worldwide. These programs provide students with the opportunity to learn about global issues and develop skills to become global citizens.

Furthermore, both universities have active international student communities, providing opportunities for domestic students to interact with students from different countries and cultures. Washington University has over 2,500 international students from more than 100 countries, while Bryn Mawr has a diverse student body with students from over 45 countries. These communities offer a unique opportunity for students to learn from each other and broaden their perspectives.

Washington University in St. Louis vs Bryn Mawr: Graduate School Acceptance Rates and Opportunities

Finally, if you’re thinking of pursuing graduate studies after completing your undergraduate degree, both universities provide excellent opportunities and resources. Washington University, in particular, is renowned for its graduate programs in business, engineering, and medical sciences, with several high-impact research opportunities. Bryn Mawr has several specialized graduate programs such as the social work program that prepares students for careers in advocacy and social justice leadership.

In conclusion, both Washington University and Bryn Mawr are excellent universities with unique strengths and opportunities. Ultimately, deciding between the two will depend on your individual needs, goals, and interests. We hope this guide has helped inform your decision and will help you make the most out of your university experience!

Students lounging in the stairs of a building.

It’s worth noting that both universities have highly competitive acceptance rates for their graduate programs. According to recent data, Washington University has an overall acceptance rate of 17% for its graduate programs, while Bryn Mawr has an acceptance rate of 22%. However, both universities offer various resources and support to help students prepare for the application process and increase their chances of acceptance. These resources include workshops, advising sessions, and networking events with alumni and faculty members.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we offer.

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