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Prior to Arrival
- Inform your department of your acceptance of the admission offer
Once you have decided to attend Washington University, it is important to let us know so that we can start processing your file. Confirm your acceptance of the admission offer promptly to avoid delays in processing your file.
- Submit all documentation needed for admission
We need several documents from you before we can process your file. Please ensure that you send all relevant documentation in a timely manner. The list of necessary documents include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Official transcripts from the institute that granted you your undergraduate degree
- Official GRE scores (directly from ETS)
- Official TOEFL scores (directly from ETS) – for International Students only
- Send in declaration of financial support
If you are planning to support any part of your education and living expenses from your own funds, you are required to send in a declaration of financial support. Your I-20 cannot be processed without this declaration. Click here for details of the declaration.
- Obtain your I-20 and SEVIS Receipt
Before you apply for a visa, ensure that you have received your I-20 and SEVIS fee receipt from the International Office.
- Apply for a visa
Once you have your I-20 and SEVIS receipt, apply for your visa immediately. Consulates may take several weeks to process your visa application. More information
- Review the School of Engineering academic calendar for important dates
The School of Engineering academic calendar contains information about registration dates, break periods, etc. We recommend you review it briefly to be familiar with various deadlines and holidays. More information
- Complete your medical forms online
Once we have received your notification of acceptance, we will send you a packet that contains your login information for WebSTAC, Washington University’s student information system. You are required to log in to WebSTAC and complete your medical information prior to arrival on campus. More information
- Contact your academic advisor
In the same packet that contains your WebSTAC information, you will receive the name of your academic advisor. We recommend contacting your advisor and setting up a meeting to discuss your course work. (Note: It is not possible to register for classes without your advisor’s approval. Advisors will usually not authorize students with whom they have not met.)
- Request temporary housing
Temporary housing can be arranged for a limited number of graduate students. Contact the International Office if you need temporary housing upon your arrival in the U.S.
Arriving On Campus
- Report to the International Office
The first thing you should do when you arrive on campus is to report to the International Office. More information
- Report to the Department Secretary
After reporting to the International Office, you should report to the Department Secretary, who will give you important orientation information for your department.
- Register for English testing
Certain incoming international students must complete tests to demonstrate fluency in written English. If you are required to take English testing, register for a time slot early. More information
- Get Danforth Campus student ID card
A student ID card is required to avail of campus facilities such as the library, athletic center, and others. It is also required for after hours access to buildings and when using University transportation. You should obtain your ID card as early as possible. To obtain a student ID card you need to go to the Office of Student Records located in the lower level of the Women’s Building, Rm 002. You will need some type of picture identification, e.g., U.S. driver’s license, passport. The Office of Student Records can be contacted by phone at (314) 935-5959 or via email.
- Set up your email account
The School of Engineering and the University periodically sends notices via email. To receive these notices, you must have a university e-mail account. You can access your email at email.wustl.edu
- Sign up for the Washington University U-Pass
Washington University has contracted with Bi-State Transport, St. Louis’ regional transit authority to provide free access to registered full-time students on all its public services and to run the campus shuttle services. To use any of these facilities, you will need the U-Pass in addition to your student ID. More information
- Check your Pendaflex folder
The School of Engineering uses Pendaflex folders located opposite Lopata 323 to communicate special notices to its students. Ensure you have a Pendaflex folder and check it for notices.
- Meet with your academic advisor
You must meet with your academic advisor to discuss your courses. After the meeting, your advisor will electronically authorize you to register for classes. Without this approval, you will not be allowed to register.
- Register for classes
Register for your classes using WebSTAC. Your login information was sent to you over the summer.
- Set up a new bank account
Many students find it convenient to set up an in-state bank account when they move to Missouri. Bank of America provides banking services on campus.
- Obtain Social Security letter
Having a social security number is critical for any student in the U.S. Most businesses use your social security number to identify you. To get a social security card, you must have a reference letter from the University. Before you can apply for a social security card, you must be on the university payroll. If you expect to be paid as part of a research assistantship, you can ask your department secretary to put you on the payroll system. Once you are in the system, you must obtain a letter from the Office for International Students and Scholars stating that you are attending Washington University.
- Apply for Social Security card
Once you have obtained your letter from the Office for International Students and Scholars, you must apply for a social security number at a Social Security office. To find a nearby Social Security office, use the Social Security Administration’s office locator.
- Fill out tax forms
If you are on a research assistantship or are planning to work on campus, obtain the relevant tax documents from your department so that taxes can be withheld on your paycheck.
- Set up your payroll and direct debit
All students that receive any form of wages from the university must complete the payroll procedures as per their department guidelines. At that time, you may enroll for direct debit so that your paycheck gets deposited directly in your account.
- Attend orientation
Attend the School of Engineering orientation to meet your peers and socialize.
- Search for a place to live
Washington University does not provide on-campus housing for graduate students. However, various off-campus housing is available close to campus. However, many off-campus apartments in all price ranges are available within a short distance from the University. Consider using the following resources to find an apartment:
- Washington University owned apartments at Quadrangle Housing
- Washington University’s Apartment Referral Service. In addition to the above, consider websites like rent.com, zillow.com, etc. Private rentals from individuals are also widely available in the area.
- Set up utilities and other services at your apartment
For most off-campus apartments, all utilities with the exception of water, sewer, and trash are the responsibility of the lessor. Contact the utility companies in advance to ensure that your utilities are turned on when you arrive. Below are some useful numbers for utilities:
- Electricity: Ameren UE (314) 342-1111 [Web]
- Cable and internet: Charter (800) 211-4450 [Web]
- Natural Gas: Laclede Gas (314) 621-6960 [Web]
- Phone: AT&T (866) 999-6181 [Web] Within St. Louis city, renters are not responsible for water, sewer, or trash.
- Buy textbooks
Textbooks for graduate classes are available for sale at the beginning of each semester at the campus bookstore located in Mallinckrodt center. More information
- Review the SEAS Graduate Catalog
The SEAS Graduate Catalog contains important information regarding credits, graduation requirements, thesis requirements, and more. You are encouraged to skim through the catalog and be aware of its contents.
- Review the St. Louis Guide
If you are looking to have some fun during your stay in St. Louis, we suggest consulting the St. Louis Guide. It contains restaurant listings, entertainment and other fun things to do in and around St. Louis.
- Review student organization websites
Get involved in graduate student life by attending events hosted by various graduate student groups. Information on such events are available on their websites.
- Obtain a Missouri ID
In time, you may want to consider applying for some form of Missouri ID (driver’s license or state ID).
For International Students, this is highly recommended because it gives you a U.S. Government issued ID which you can use in place of your passport as photo identification. This is a much safer option than carrying your passport around everywhere you go.
You can obtain a Missouri ID at any Department of Revenue office. For a list of locations, check the Missouri DOR. For understanding the application process, check out this OISS page
- Purchase a parking permit
If you are planning to drive to campus, you will need a permit to park in the University lots. More information