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First off, I'm not going to lie to you. What other people have said about the pre-med curriculum is very true. The prerequisite science classes - especially general and organic chemistry - consume incredible amounts of time, and I spent much of my first two years in the library. The grade deflation at this school can be a little discouraging. And after struggling against the curve, I fully believed that my low GPA would eliminate any chance I had of getting into med school... until I actually started applying. |
It turns out that as difficult as the pre-med curriculum is, it really prepares you for medical school. The average MCAT score at Wash U is higher than any I've seen, (including those of much more well-known schools.) In addition, the pre-med advisors give you an amazing amount of support, and Wash U has a lot of credibility in the medical community. I didn't believe it until I saw it, but your undergrad university DOES matter, and coming from Wash U really is an advantage. I had a number of my interviewers comment on how impressive my comparatively low GPA was since I came from Wash U. I came out of the medical school application process with a number of acceptances to top schools that I really wasn't expecting.
But all in all, the pre-med curriculum isn't the most important reason why I would choose Wash U again - it's the people. The pre-meds themselves were an incredible group of individuals. They were impressive and very intelligent, but more importantly they were also great people. As difficult as the curriculum got, I never saw anyone being competitive or catty. You may have had to brace yourself for a tough curve, but at least your classmates were there to support you and help you out.
Setting aside the pre-med curriculum, here are some pros and cons to life at Wash U...
- The campus is absolutely gorgeous.
- The research opportunities are great, and easy to find. I did research at the med school, and couldn't believe how much freedom I had to explore independent projects right off. My PI was a world-renowned researcher, but he still took the time to guide me through both my work in the lab and my professional development.
- Greek Life is amazing, but not overwhelming like it can be at some schools.
- The professors are very accessible, and seem genuinely interested in their students' progress.
- There are a surprising number of things to do in St Louis. Especially free things. Living expenses were reasonable, and it ended up being a great town to go to college in.
- The school's financial aid office is excellent, and I got more money from Wash U than anywhere else by a sizeable margin.
- Wash U offers an incredible number of opportunities of all sorts, although you do have to actively seek them out.
- There is basically no athletic spirit at Wash U. Very few people regularly attend games, and athletes are treated just like everyone else.
- Although I learned a lot from all of my science classes, I didn't find my humanities classes quite as informative. My classmates in arts classes were also, on a whole, less impressive than the people I met through the pre-med curriculum.
- The school's name recognition (though improving) is still seriously lacking.
- The weather is awful. The winters are frigid, and the summers are hot and humid. Fall is fine, but in the spring I've seen the temperatures fluctuate up to 40 degrees within hours.
- Science at this school can succeed, but need to be prepared to work HARD. All in all, I enjoyed my time at Wash U, and don't regret picking it over other "better" schools I got in to. You'll get a great education at a lot of places, but Wash U was also a very enjoyable place to spend 4 years - and a supportive place to learn all of the lessons you can't find in a classroom.
|Jul 24 2010|| Alumna Female --
Class 2000 |
| I remember ardently reading these reviews when i was in high school and hoping that these depicted an accurate portrayal about the college I ended up at. No review, of course, is unbiased but I figure I might as well try to provide some of the guidance I had wanted when I was looking at colleges|
About washu: washu is a very, very insanely friendly school. We don't have that awesome east coast name recognition and people never know where we are located (ps its st Louis) but we are some damn nice people. Washu tries ridiculously hard in your freshmen year to make you feel supported. I'm not saying it always works, but between orientation, a program called first 40 days, and the general bonding between you and your floor, I believe washu does an excellent job of the transition between high school to here. The downside to this is that you kind of feel a sophomore slump, as the newness and excitement fades and the "oh shit, this is school" realization sinks in. But all the same, there are so many resources and people to reach out to, that I think washu excels at building a community. Oh and we were ranked 2nd for friendliness according to huffington post.
The student body is diverse in talent and personalities, and to a lesser degree racially, but not so much socially economically. I think that's a problem a lot of expensive private schools have but it doesn't make it any less unfortunate.
The Academics here are tough especially if you are pre-med. I am a pre-med English major, and even without having to fulfill a bio major, I find the courses challenging. Challenging does not mean hopeless or unfair, but so many freshmen come in thinking, "well I got a 5 in AP chemistry so I'm sure genchem will be fine". Well, it might be fine, but genchem 1 has very little to do with what's taught in high school chemistry and a lot more to do with quantum mechanics. My point is, it is absolutely possible to do well in pre med classes but don't expect it just because you did well in high school. Sooner or later, everyone comes to a class where they realize it's harder than anything they've come across and theyve got to put in real work. If you come in knowing that you are going to be challenged, you will already be ahead of a lot of your classmates.
The food and the dorms here are awesome. Everyone gets sick of the foodsoon enough, including myself, but I know that we have it betterThan a lot of places. Um, besides that....VISIT WASHU!!! I did not have even the faintest inkling that I'd want to go here until I visited and then once I did, I was sold. So I highly recommend visiting, not just washu, but all of your options. I also wrote all of this on my phone so sorry if there are a ton of typos!
|Apr 11 2012|| 2nd Year Female --
Class 2013 |
| I transferred to Wash U my junior year from UC Santa Barbara and one thing's for sure: Wash U is MUCH TOUGHER. Do not be fooled by the whole "B-school is as easy as pre-school" saying because, for the most part, the Business School classes are extremely challenging (especially the Accounting and Finance courses).|
The students at Wash U are all extremely bright (everyone here is the "smart" kid) and take their studies very seriously. At the same time, however, they also know how to leave their schoolwork behind and have a good time on weekends. Finally, as a transfer student, I have found that the students here are friendly and approachable. It did not take me long to find an awesome group of friends. Overall, I would say that if you're lucky enough to get into Wash U, you should go...you'll love it!
|Dec 17 2005|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2007 |