Academic Honors & Awards

Dean's List: In recognition of exceptional scholarship, first-year, sophomore, junior and senior art/design students who have earned at least 14 credit units under the letter grade option (excludes courses taken pass/fail or audit) and earned a semester grade-point average of 3.5 or higher during a semester will be cited on the Dean's List.

Latin Honors: Graduating Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree students may also be considered for Latin Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude) as determined by academic performance.

Special Awards, Medals and Prizes

Association of Licensed Architects Student Merit Award. The Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) presents this award to acknowledge a student, chosen by the director of Architecture, who has exhibited exemplary achievement throughout their academic tenure.

Civic Engagement Award. This award is given to one graduating student to recognize their deep engagement with systemic social, economic, and/or environmental issues through their work and efforts.

Betty Lou Custer Award. The St. Louis Chapter of the AIA presents a book award in memory of Betty Lou Custer, the longstanding executive director to the chapter, in recognition of her service to the profession of architecture. The book is awarded to an outstanding undergraduate student who has contributed service to the College of Architecture.

Excellence in Craft Award.  This award is given to a member of the graduating class, either undergraduate or graduate, to recognize outstanding achievement in craft.

Faculty Book Awards. These awards are given for recognized achievement in individual programs as voted on by the faculty.

Frederick Widmann Prize. In honor of Frederick Widmann, architect and philanthropist, one graduating member from both the undergraduate and graduate classes is selected based on merit in design. 

Hugh Feriss Award for Architectural Drawing. This award honors Hugh Ferris (Washington University in St. Louis class of 1911 and Honorable Master of Architecture in 1928), a distinguished architect and renderer. A book award is given to a graduating student, either undergraduate or graduate, who has excelled in architectural drawing in any medium.

James Walter Fitzgibbon Prize. Mrs. James Fitzgibbon and friends of the family established a fund to honor Professor Fitzgibbon's memory and to recall his long and distinguished service on the faculty of Architecture. The annual income from this fund provides for the Fitzgibbon Prize, given to a 300- to 600-level student who has the winning solution to a one-day sketch problem.

Sophomore Book Prize. This award is presented to an outstanding sophomore who has completed the basic design sequence within the college. It is given in honor of Leslie J. Laskey, professor emeritus, whose inspired teaching formed the basis of the basic design program and whose influence is carried on in the lives and work of the students who studied with him.

St. Louis Community Partnership Award. This award is given to one graduating student in recognition of their deep and reciprocal relationships and partnerships in the St. Louis Community.

Scholarship Funds

Scholarships with Applications

St. Louis Chapter American Institute of Architects Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded to students from the St. Louis metropolitan area who have completed the first two years of their architectural studies. Inquiries should be addressed to the St. Louis Chapter AIA, 911 Washington Ave., #100, St. Louis, MO 63101. Separate application is required.

The James W. Fitzgibbon Scholarship in Architecture. This scholarship is awarded to support four years of study leading to either undergraduate architecture degree. The Fitzgibbon Scholar is selected in recognition of outstanding academic performance and promise in the field of architecture. The scholarship is in the amount of full tuition, and it is renewable for a total of four years of undergraduate study.

Competition is national in scope, with finalists invited each year to visit the College of Architecture at the college's expense. At this time, one student is chosen to receive the full-tuition scholarship, and the other finalists are awarded partial scholarships. These are renewable for each year of undergraduate study, assuming continued academic and design excellence.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a high school senior who meets the following criteria:

  1. They have a strong high school transcript.
  2. Their SAT or ACT scores are in the upper range. (These tests are optional for 2022 and 2023.)

To enter the competition, the applicant must follow the usual admission application procedures by completing a Washington University first-year application and sending a digital portfolio of artwork. Portfolios should be submitted through Slideroom.

Scholars in Architecture

The Scholars in Architecture program provides named scholarship funds that have been donated to the university by individuals or companies specifically for this purpose. Selection is based on financial need and academic achievement. There is no application process. The total amount of the student's financial assistance package does not change.

The Elizabeth S. Schmerling Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship was established in memory of Elizabeth Schmerling, who graduated from Washington University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Elizabeth excelled in her studies and sought to help others study and understand the field she so loved. She continued her academic career at the University of Pennsylvania with the goal of earning master’s degrees in both architecture and landscape architecture. Shortly after embarking on her graduate school studies, Elizabeth was diagnosed with brain cancer. For 19 months, while courageously pursuing treatment, she stayed focused on her graduate studies and on a life filled with architecture. Elizabeth died on April 26, 2005, when she was 23 years old. Her parents and brother chose to honor her memory by establishing an endowed scholarship at Washington University.

The Elizabeth S. Schmerling Endowed Scholarship is a prestigious award that provides financial support for talented rising seniors who are on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in architecture. The scholarship is awarded annually to one or more recipients. Selection is determined by a committee of four faculty based on superior academic performance and scholarship; innovative thought and approaches to the science and art of architecture; and a commitment to the study and understanding of architecture that serves as an inspiration to professors and peers alike.

In addition to the scholarship, each recipient receives a significant architecture book as a memento to enhance their lifelong library. The book includes a custom-made bookplate, designed by two prior scholarship recipients, that is inscribed with each recipient’s name and the date the scholarship was awarded.

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