January Hall on Washington University's Danforth Campus

University College Re-Imagined

Part of Washington University’s renewed commitment to the St. Louis region

New Vision for University College

A community-focused hub for adult learners in the St. Louis region, providing programs for career advancement and enrichment. New leadership, programs, and opportunities for students and faculty will be launched in the coming years.

Who will the new University College serve?

The New School is a new effort to serve working adults in the St. Louis region. It is specifically oriented for part-time students who are balancing work, family and educational goals. New School students also include WashU staff and faculty, who may be studying for undergraduate or graduate degrees, in certificate programs, or taking classes for personal enrichment.

The New School is working specifically to address the needs of people of color, women, and others who historically have been excluded from higher education.

I know adults in the St. Louis region who would be great candidates for these new programs. How do I get them connected?

University College is accepting applications from prospective students. Find more information here, or be in touch with George Winston, director of admissions.

How do these changes impact the employee tuition benefit and the ability of employees to take classes in University College?

The tuition benefit system will not change, and WashU employees will still be eligible to take classes in the new University College.

How will University College decide what new programs to develop in the future?

Moving forward, new programs will be expected to meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Serves career advancement or career switching.
  2. Fits into sector that University College serves with faculty director leadership.
  3. Has appropriate subject-specific faculty expertise and oversight, blending academic rigor and professional application.
  4. Is unique in the suite of university programs offered, in name and content; no program is offered in multiple schools within WashU.
  5. Is financially viable.
  6. Is an employee preference or need.
  7. Includes a method for getting continuous regional input on relevance and needed evolution.

Expanding the Bachelor of Science in Integrated Studies (BSIS) Program

University College is excited to plan a major expansion for its BSIS program, which will include interdisciplinary research tracks, as well as stackable professional certificates. It will allow students to combine the best of interdisciplinary liberal arts with professionally relevant certificates.

What is the timeline to launch the expanded version of the BSIS?

We anticipate that the expanded version of the BSIS will launch in August 2022.

Who will develop the new curriculum in the BSIS, including the research tracks?

Pat Matthews, associate dean and director of foundation and liberal arts studies, will lead the development of the BSIS and its curriculum, including research areas and certificates.

In the next six months, she will convene groups of faculty from across the university to vet, design, and develop the research areas, including the proposed courses, capstones, and partnerships.

Once the new BSIS is up and running, Pat will manage operations and the University College Curriculum Committee will oversee curricular decisions.

Are there new application requirements for the BSIS?

No, the application requirements remain the same.

Getting involved in the new University College

Can I propose a new course for University College?

WashU faculty, staff, researchers, partners, and alumni will be encouraged to participate in the mission of the New School, within the identified focus areas, certificates and degrees. A portal for course and program idea submissions will open online as each division of the school opens under the leadership of its director.

In the meantime, here is what is likely to be required in a course proposal: 

  • Where does this fit? Identify which area of the school would house your course.
  • Who can teach it? Identify if there is a particular set of subject-specific expertise needed. Whenever possible, include specific individuals who may be consulted or participate in the proposal.
  • Why this proposal? If there is a particular preference or need for the proposal, including for career advancement or growth, please include as much information as possible. The New School is enthusiastic about understanding the needs in the St. Louis region specifically, although other needs are also valuable.
  • What components are essential? When thinking about your proposal, what aspects of this idea are crucial? A project? A collaboration? A learning objective?

All proposals will be rigorously vetted by faculty leadership in academic divisions. Courses for the following semester must be approved at least six to nine months in advance of the semester in which they will be offered.

What if I want to propose something larger than a course? A program? A new degree?

University College will be interested to hear your ideas. If what you are proposing is larger than a single course, you may be asked to seek approval and involvement from your department and/or school. University College will launch several new programs as divisional directors are brought on board. It is anticipated that conversations about new programs can start in earnest in the 2022 calendar year.

I’d like to be involved in a different way. What else can I do?

In addition to course and program proposals, members of the Washington University community may be asked to serve on committees or serve in the New School through other means. Be in touch with Pat Matthews at patmatthews@wustl.edu to express your interest.