About Washington University in St. Louis

Photo of Brookings Hall Seal: Washington University 1857

Who We Are Today

Washington University in St. Louis — a medium-sized, independent university — is dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The university is counted among the world's leaders in teaching and research, and it draws students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Students and faculty come from more than 100 countries around the world.

The university offers more than 250 programs and 5,500 courses leading to associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields, with additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs. For more information about the university, please visit the University Facts page of our website.

Enrollment by School

For enrollment information, please visit the University Facts page of our website.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of Washington University in St. Louis is to act in service of truth through the formation of leaders, the discovery of knowledge and the treatment of patients for the betterment of our region, our nation and our world.

At WashU, we generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge. We foster freedom of inquiry and expression of ideas in our research, teaching and learning.

We aim to create an environment that encourages and supports wide-ranging exploration at the frontier of discovery by embracing diverse perspectives from individuals of all identities and backgrounds. We promote higher education and rigorous research as a fundamental component of an open, vibrant society. We strive to enhance the lives and livelihoods not only of our students, patients, and employees but also of the people of the greater St. Louis community and beyond. We do so by addressing scientific, social, economic, medical, and other challenges in the local, national, and international realms.

Our goals are:

  • to foster excellence and creativity in our teaching, research, scholarship, patient care and service
  • to welcome students, faculty and staff from all backgrounds to create an inclusive, equitable community that is nurturing and intellectually rigorous
  • to cultivate in students habits of lifelong learning and critical and ethical thinking, thereby enabling them to be productive members and leaders of a global society
  • to contribute positively to our home community of St. Louis, and to effect meaningful, constructive change in our world

To this end we intend:

  • to hold ourselves to the highest standards of excellence
  • to educate aspiring leaders of great ability from diverse backgrounds
  • to encourage faculty and students to be innovative, bold, independent, critical thinkers
  • to build an inclusive, equitable, respectful, ethically-principled environment for living, teaching, learning and working for the present and future generations
  • to focus on meaningful and measurable outcomes for all of our endeavors

Mission statement approved by the Faculty Senate Council in April 2021 and approved by the Board of Trustees on October 1, 2021.