Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin: A Comprehensive Analysis

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

Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin: A Comprehensive Analysis

Deciding on which university to attend can be a daunting task. There are a multitude of factors to consider, from location and campus life to academics and affordability. In this article, we will provide an in-depth comparison between Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin, two highly reputable universities with distinctive features and strong academic programs.

Location and Campus: The Key Differences of Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Washington University in St. Louis is located in the bustling city of St. Louis, MO, which offers plenty of opportunities for students to engage with the local community, explore cultural events, and gain hands-on experience. The campus itself is situated in a suburban neighborhood and features a mix of historic and modern architecture. The WashU campus covers 169 acres and includes facilities like the Forest Park, the Danforth University Center, and the Lewis Center for the Arts.

UT Austin, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Austin, Texas, which is known for its vibrant music scene, tech industry, and outdoor activities. The campus spreads over 434 acres and is surrounded by rolling hills, lush greenery, and ample open spaces. UT Austin boasts impressive facilities such as the Harry Ransom Center, the Blanton Museum of Art, and the Texas Memorial Stadium, making it an ideal destination for students who enjoy the urban lifestyle.

University of Texas front view

One notable difference between the two campuses is their transportation systems. WashU has a free shuttle service that runs throughout the campus and surrounding areas, making it easy for students to get around. UT Austin, on the other hand, has an extensive bus system that connects the campus to different parts of the city. Additionally, UT Austin has a bike-sharing program that allows students to rent bikes for free, making it a convenient and eco-friendly way to travel around the campus and the city.

Student Body: Demographics, Size, and Diversity at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

The two universities have distinctly different student populations. Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university with an undergraduate enrollment of around 7,700 students, out of which approximately 50% are female. WashU has a rigorous admissions process. The university offers a wide range of academic programs across its seven schools, including the Olin Business School, the School of Law, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

On the other hand, UT Austin is a public research university with a large undergraduate enrollment of over 40,000 students, with a 51% female to 49% male ratio. The university boasts of a diverse student body, with 22% of the student population being Hispanic, 5% Black, and 20% Asian American. UT Austin has a selective admissions process as well. The university is renowned for its academic programs in fields such as business, engineering, and natural sciences.

Both universities also have a significant international student population. At Washington University in St. Louis, international students make up around 10% of the undergraduate population, representing over 70 countries. UT Austin, on the other hand, has over 5,000 international students from more than 120 countries, making up around 12% of the undergraduate population. This diversity in the student body not only enriches the academic experience but also provides opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding.

Admissions: Application Process, and Selectivity at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Both universities have highly competitive admissions processes, with applicants required to submit strong academic records, test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and other supporting materials. Washington University in St. Louis has a holistic admissions process, which means that it considers factors such as extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and community service in addition to academic achievements.

UT Austin, on the other hand, also considers a range of factors beyond grades and test scores, including leadership experience, community involvement, and essays. The university uses a holistic review process to ensure that applicants are evaluated based on both their academic and personal qualities.

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 admissions decision before the regular decision deadline. However, students who are accepted through early action are not required to attend the university.

In addition, both universities have a need-blind admissions policy, which means that an applicant’s ability to pay for tuition and fees is not taken into consideration during the admissions process. This ensures that all qualified applicants have an equal opportunity to attend the university, regardless of their financial situation.

Academics: Degree Programs, Faculty, and Research Opportunities at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Both universities offer a wide range of academic programs across various fields, ranging from business and law to engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Washington University in St. Louis is known for its strong focus on interdisciplinary research and innovation, allowing students to explore their interests across various fields and collaborate with faculty members on cutting-edge projects.

UT Austin is also renowned for its academic excellence and innovative research, with a strong emphasis on hands-on learning and experiential education. The university boasts of having some of the top-ranked programs in fields such as engineering, business, and natural sciences, with highly qualified faculty members who are experts in their respective areas.

students sitting on a staircase while studying

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of research opportunities for students to engage in. At Washington University in St. Louis, students can participate in research projects through the university’s many research centers and institutes, such as the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Institute for Public Health. UT Austin also provides numerous research opportunities, including the Freshman Research Initiative, which allows first-year students to work on cutting-edge research projects alongside faculty members.

Furthermore, both universities have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in their academic programs. Washington University in St. Louis has several initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion, such as the Diversity and Inclusion Summit and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. UT Austin also prioritizes diversity and inclusion, with programs such as the Gender and Sexuality Center and the Multicultural Engagement Center.

Campus Life: Housing, Clubs, Sports, and Social Scene at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Washington University in St. Louis and UT Austin offer a vibrant campus life for their students, with a wide range of clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities to choose from. WashU has an active student body with over 300+ student-run organizations, including several Greek organizations, cultural clubs, and service clubs.

UT Austin also has a diverse range of student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, academic clubs, sports teams, and cultural associations. Additionally, UT Austin is known for its thriving music scene, with numerous concerts, music festivals, and performances taking place throughout the year.

Both universities offer a variety of housing options for students, including traditional dormitories, apartment-style living, and themed housing communities. WashU has a unique residential college system, where students live and learn together in a close-knit community. UT Austin also offers themed housing communities, such as the Honors Quad and the Gender and Sexuality Center Community.

When it comes to sports, both universities have a strong athletic program, with numerous varsity teams and state-of-the-art facilities. WashU is a Division III school and has won multiple national championships in sports such as soccer, basketball, and swimming. UT Austin is a Division I school and has a storied football program, with a loyal fan base and a rich history of success.

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

The cost of attending Washington University in St. Louis and UT Austin can vary depending on several factors, such as the student’s residency status, academic program, and financial need. WashU is a private university, which means that it has a higher tuition fee compared to UT Austin, which is a public university.

However, both universities offer a range of scholarships, grants, and financial aid packages to ensure that students from diverse backgrounds can afford the cost of attendance. WashU provides over $160 million in need-based scholarships and grants to undergraduate students, while UT Austin offers several merit-based and need-based scholarships, including the Texas Advance Commitment program that covers full tuition fees for students from low-income families.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance also includes expenses beyond tuition fees, such as room and board, textbooks, and transportation. Students should carefully consider these additional costs when budgeting for their education. WashU and UT Austin both provide resources and support to help students manage their finances, including financial literacy workshops and counseling services.

Future Prospects: Graduate School Acceptance Rates and Job Placement Statistics at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Graduates from Washington University in St. Louis and UT Austin are highly sought after by top graduate schools and employers worldwide. According to the latest data, WashU has an impressive 94% acceptance rate for medical school, a 93% acceptance rate for law school, and a 96% acceptance rate for business school.

UT Austin also has a strong record of graduate school acceptances, with 95% of its graduates gaining admission to medical school, 84% to law school, and 88% to business school. Both universities have high job placement rates, with a majority of their graduates securing employment within six months of graduation.

Writing a letter of recommendation on a table.

In addition to their impressive graduate school acceptance rates and job placement statistics, both universities offer a wide range of resources and support for their students. WashU has a dedicated Career Center that provides career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities. UT Austin has a similar Career Services office that offers resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, and career fairs.

Furthermore, both universities have strong alumni networks that provide valuable connections and mentorship opportunities for current students and recent graduates. WashU’s alumni network spans over 115,000 individuals, while UT Austin’s network includes over 500,000 alumni worldwide.

Campus Safety: Crime Rates and Security Measures at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Campus safety is a top priority for both Washington University in St. Louis and UT Austin, with both institutions employing various measures to ensure the well-being of their students and staff. WashU has a full-time police department, a 24-hour emergency alert system, and a range of safety programs and resources for students, including self-defense classes and a campus escort service.

UT Austin also has a dedicated police department, with officers patrolling the campus 24/7. The university has a robust emergency notification system and offers various safety resources, including a safety app for students and a Campus Watch program that allows students to report suspicious behavior.

In addition to these measures, both universities have implemented new safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WashU has increased cleaning and disinfecting efforts in high-traffic areas, installed hand sanitizer stations throughout campus, and requires all individuals to wear masks in indoor public spaces. UT Austin has also implemented enhanced cleaning protocols, requires masks in all indoor spaces, and has limited the number of individuals allowed in certain areas to promote social distancing.

Extracurricular Activities: Community Service, Volunteerism, and Leadership Opportunities at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Washington University in St. Louis and UT Austin offers numerous ways for students to engage in community service, volunteerism, and leadership activities. WashU has a strong commitment to civic engagement, encouraging students to become active members of the community through programs such as the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

UT Austin is known for its dedication to service, with many students participating in programs such as the Longhorn Center for Community Engagement, which connects students with various local organizations and causes. Both universities also provide ample leadership opportunities through student-run organizations, clubs, and associations, empowering students to develop their leadership skills and make an impact on society.

At Washington University in St. Louis, students can also participate in the Community Service Office, which offers a variety of service opportunities throughout the year. These opportunities range from one-time events to ongoing projects, allowing students to find a service project that fits their interests and schedule. Additionally, WashU’s Alternative Spring Break program provides students with the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country and engage in service projects during their spring break.

Similarly, UT Austin offers a variety of service opportunities through its Service Learning Initiative, which integrates community service into academic coursework. This program allows students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real-world issues and make a positive impact in the community. UT Austin also offers a unique program called the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits Program, which provides students with the skills and knowledge to create and manage social enterprises and non-profit organizations.

International Student Support Services at Washington University in St. Louis vs UT Austin

Both Washington University in St. Louis and UT Austin are welcoming to international students, providing various resources and services to help them adjust to life in the United States. WashU has an Office for International Students and Scholars, which offers support services such as immigration advice, cultural events, and academic counseling.

a group of international students, each holding the flag of their origin country

UT Austin also has a range of support services for international students, including the International Office, which guides visa requirements, housing, and adapting to the American culture. Additionally, UT Austin has an extensive study abroad program, enabling students to gain first-hand experience of other cultures and languages.


Both universities have distinct strengths and areas of expertise, ensuring that students can find an educational and personal experience that aligns with their interests and goals. Whether you choose WashU or UT Austin, you can be assured of receiving a top-notch education, access to world-class facilities, and a supportive community of students and faculty who are dedicated to your success and well-being.

Choosing the right university can be challenging, and it requires careful consideration of various factors, such as location, academic programs, campus life, and affordability. By comparing Washington University in St. Louis and UT Austin in detail, we hope that prospective students can gain a better understanding of the unique features and advantages of these institutions.


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