Washington University graduate students make significant contributions in their fields of study. They are an integral and essential part of the WashU community. Since its very beginning, WashU has been committed to graduate education and will continue to make the necessary investments to educate the next generation of leading scholars.

WashU Financial Investment in Graduate Students

By the time each PhD student graduates, WashU has invested between $365,000 and $440,000 on average in that student’s education and support.


  • Free tuition for up to 72 units


  • Fellowship opportunities


  • Over $22,000 in stipend funding over a ten-month period for the academic year


  • Eligibility for summer stipends


  • Average of two percent increase per year in stipend support of the last three years


  • Over $1 million spent on health insurance premiums in 2016-2017


  • Up to seven years of free health insurance premiums for PhD students 

Graduate Students Partner in Governance

The history of graduate education at Washington University includes strong student participation in shared governance. For decades doctoral students engaged in leadership and governance at the university have offered feedback on how to improve graduate education at the institution. Recently, doctoral student leaders called for more programming related to career readiness, and in particular non-academic careers. In response, this academic year, the Graduate School has initiated a career development program to better support doctoral students throughout their period of matriculation. 






Supporting the feedback from graduate students, this year we increased the leave time associated with our New Child Leave policy. Full-time doctoral students may request a New Child Leave to assume care for a new child.  During this time, they maintain full-time student status. Students on new Child Leave are not expected to participate in mentored teaching or research experience for up to 60 calendar days while they receive their normal stipend payments.






Based on extensive feedback from graduate students, the Graduate School developed GradCareers, a program that prepares graduate students to navigate their graduate education and gain skills that make them more productive in their research by teaching competencies like collaboration and effective communication. GradCareers program topics cover professionalism, skill development, strategies for the job search including resume and interview support, and career exploration. This programming prepares graduate students for careers in diverse sectors including academia, industry, nonprofits, or government. GradCareers, a collaboration between the Graduate School and Career Center, conveniently centralizes and curates career-related programs and resources for graduate students. 






Constituted in Spring 1993, the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) is the graduate student governing body composed of one representative from each degree-granting department or program in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, as well as graduate students from Engineering and the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

The primary objectives of the GSS are to provide channels of communication among graduate students, the Dean of the Graduate School, and other members of the University community; to enhance the graduate student experience through professional development programming and social events; and to provide a forum for graduate student concerns.






Washington University in St. Louis has a strong tradition of graduate student involvement and leadership.  Graduate students are represented at virtually every level of the decision-making process affecting graduate student life: departmental and school committees, university standing committees, and graduate student representation on the university’s Board of Trustees. There are also numerous opportunities for graduate students to get involved and develop their leadership skills through school-based and university-wide registered graduate student groups. The Liberman Graduate Center is home to WashU’s university-wide graduate student groups, and can help you build a network based on academic, leadership, professional, and academic interests.





Mental Health Services (MHS) at Washington University understands that being a graduate/professional student presents a unique set of challenges. Often during graduate school students report reduced access to social supports, increased concerns about finances, difficulties balancing child care, stress in marriages or committed relationships, tension in relationships with advisors, and isolation with research work. In addition, international students may find living in a new culture stressful. MHS is available to support the transition to WashU as well as development and growth. Services are confidential.