Washington University

St. Louis, MO: If your dreams include attending a prestigious university, meeting people from around the world, learning from top-notch professors and becoming a doctor, Washington University may be the school for you. Washington is renowned for sending students to medical school – 10 percent of its graduates, in fact. Obviously, there are a large number of pre-med majors and this field is extremely competitive. Washington has a close partnership with its School of Medicine, one of the best in the country, which allows students research opportunities. Don’t let this fool you, Washington offers more than 80 majors in five undergraduate schools. Some of the most popular are the finance and business majors; they also have an extremely strong engineering school.

Academics are extraordinarily competitive and every student works hard to make the grade. Nevertheless, students adhere to the motto of work hard, play hard. The Loop is a popular place to hang out and features bars, restaurants, concert halls, music stores and more. Frat parties are a major draw on campus and Wild, an annual outdoor party, boasts live bands and various games. If you aren’t a big party person, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, museums and theaters close to campus.

Diversity? Washington University has it. Only 10 percent of the students are from Missouri and 57 percent come from at least 500 miles away. There are over 200 student organizations including intramural sports. One important draw is the campus and the city that borders it.

Washington maintains a picture-perfect campus, with freshly trimmed grass, flower-lined walkways, and yes, a quad. The campus is located on a hilltop seven miles from the Mississippi River. St. Louis, the gateway to the West, is home to over 2.5 million people and 12 universities. There are endless possibilities to entertain yourself in this magnificent city. Famed Forest Park borders the campus and features the second-largest outdoor skating rink in the country and largest outdoor stage in North America.

With average SAT scores between 1310 and 1450, acceptance letters are hard to come by, but if you have the determination and strength to take on the pressure and conquer the workload, check it out and get a jump-start on your career.

Reviewed in 2004