Mission Statement

Washington University’s mission is to discover and disseminate knowledge, and protect the freedom of inquiry through research, teaching, and learning.

Washington University creates an environment to encourage and support an ethos of wide-ranging exploration. Washington University’s faculty and staff strive to enhance the lives and livelihoods of students, the people of the greater St. Louis community, the country, and the world.

Our goals are:

  • To welcome students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds to create an inclusive community that is welcoming, nurturing, and intellectually rigorous;
  • to foster excellence in our teaching, research, scholarship, and service;
  • to prepare students with attitudes, skills, and habits of lifelong learning and leadership thereby enabling them to be productive members of a global society; and
  • to be an institution that excels by its accomplishments in our home community, St. Louis, as well as in the nation and the world.

To this end we intend:

  • to judge ourselves by the most exacting standards;
  • to attract people of great ability from diverse backgrounds;
  • to encourage faculty and students to be bold, independent, and creative thinkers;
  • to provide an exemplary, respectful, and responsive environment for living, teaching, learning, and working for present and future generations; and
  • to focus on meaningful measurable results for all of our endeavors.

Approved by the Faculty Senate Council April 10, 2012
Approved by the Board of Trustees May 4, 2012

Brookings Hall

Brookings Hall
Washington University’s signature building

Audited Financial Statements
Audited financial statements are available from current and previous fiscal years, which include information about the financial position of Washington University. View statements

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The mission

Washington University’s mission is to discover and disseminate knowledge, and protect the freedom of inquiry through research, teaching, and learning.

Danforth University Center white coats


  • are composed of scholars, scientists, artists and members of the learned professions;
  • serve society by teaching;
  • add to the store of human art, creativity, understanding, and wisdom;
  • and provide direct services, such as health care.

The university:

  • offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses;
  • offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields;
  • and provides additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs.
Danforth Campus

Danforth Campus
The Danforth Campus is a 169-acre site located west of Forest Park — the site of the 1904 World's Fair

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The University...

...is counted among the world's leaders in teaching and research, and draws students and faculty to St. Louis from all 50 states and more than 120 nations.

...is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence in learning. Its programs, administration, facilities, resources and activities combine to further its mission of teaching, research and service to society.

...has played an integral role in the history and continuing growth of St. Louis and benefits in turn from the wide array of social, cultural and recreational opportunities offered by the metropolitan area to its nearly 3 million residents.

...encompasses more than 2,300 acres and more than 150 major buildings on the Danforth and Medical campuses, the West Campus and the South Campus in Clayton, North Campus in the city of St. Louis, 560 Music Center and Lewis Center in University City and the 2,000-acre Tyson Research Center 20 miles southwest of the city.

Danforth Campus...

...is bordered on the east by St. Louis' famed Forest Park and on the north, west and south by well-established suburbs, the 169-acre Danforth Campus features predominantly Collegiate Gothic architecture, including a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Adjacent is the South 40 residence hall area. Students also live in the Village housing complex. University-owned apartment buildings in neighborhoods adjacent to campus offer affordable student housing.

Medical Campus...

...is at the east end of Forest Park — the site of the 1904 World's Fair and one of the nation's largest metropolitan parks; this complex in St. Louis' Central West End district includes the School of Medicine and the associated hospitals and institutes of the Washington University Medical Center, which totals 164 acres.

World-renowned faculty at the School of Medicine provide students with a supportive environment to acquire a scientific foundation and develop the skills, attitudes and commitments necessary for practice at the highest level. Washington University School of Medicine leads in advancing human health through outstanding clinical care, innovative research and the education of tomorrow's leaders in biomedicine.