Welcome, New Students!

We're here to help you get started.

Take Your First Steps

Welcome to Washington University in St. Louis and the College of Arts & Sciences! We are so excited to have you here. The College believes that a full life is an intellectual, moral, and creative endeavor of meaning and purpose, and we are here to help you begin that journey.

So how do you begin? This page includes some important choices to consider as you plan for your first year and your career at WashU.

Summer Options

Can't wait to get started at WashU? Then join us for Summer Start! Enroll in courses, get a feel for campus life, and meet your new classmates with this program specially designed for first year students. 

First-Year Programs and Seminars

In Arts & Sciences, some of our renowned faculty have created innovative First-Year Programs that can last for one semester or five with the chance to participate in fieldwork, independent research, or international travel.


How do you sign up for classes for the fall? What classes are even offered this fall? Our Registration 101 guide will help you find all the answers you're looking for!

Summer Options

Summer Start

Summer Start is a great way to jumpstart your WashU experience by enrolling in courses to satisfy degree requirements, building your WashU community, and exploring WashU beyond the classroom. Through collaborative learning, shared experiences, and mentorship you will discover resources and develop skills to aid and inspire your time at WashU.

More Information About Summer Start

Activate your WUSTL Key

An email will be sent to you from registrarwustlkey@email.wustl.edu with instructions on how to activate your WUSTL Key. You MUST have activated your WUSTL Key AND your @wustl.edu email to get started at WashU. If you have not received this email please contact the University Registrar’s office at registrarwustlkey@email.wustl.edu or 314-935-5959.

Activate Today

Make the most of your first year.

At WashU, some of our most renowned faculty have created innovative First-Year Programs—interdisciplinary courses that allow you to work closely with a professor and a small group of your peers. These classes delve into some of the most vexing questions of our day and offer the chance to participate in fieldwork, independent research, or international travel. Explore a topic you're already excited about or try something totally new. 

First-Year Programs can last for a semester or five, and they cover almost every subject you can imagine. These courses are also very popular, and some fill up very quickly. See what offerings speak to you.

Learn More About First-Year Programs
Students on the GCP Program


So how do you sign up for classes? What requirements do you need to take? What placement exams do you need to take? 

We've got your covered with our Registration 101 Guide



Garth Hallberg

I remember meeting with Naomi Lebowitz and Michael Sherberg. We talked about poetry, and I can recall Naomi waving her arms as we discussed Whitman. It was the high point of my intellectual life to that point . . . That feeling continued once I got here. I was suddenly surrounded by brilliant professors and smart, hardworking students who liked talking about big ideas. And because we weren’t on the East or West Coast, no one was too-cool-for-school or keeping score. Everyone just wanted to participate.

―Garth Risk Hallberg, LA'01Writer