<p>I hear a lot about the sciences at WUSTL, but I was wondering if somebody could comment on the humanities. I would like to hear about them as a whole and specifically in comparative literature, russian studies, and religion. I assume history is strong because I consider that a staple for ANY top tier school. :)</p>
<p>You are approaching this the wrong way, frankly. At the undergrad level, almost any top 100 school will provide you with a good education in these areas, possibly with the exception of Russian Studies. Some schools don't have this area, although I suspect nearly all the top 100 do. They often use the same or similar texts, have mostly good profs, and the material covered is comparable. You have to take a range of classes outside your major, and generally the number of courses you take in your major is only about 25% of the total you take as an undergrad.</p>
<p>My point is that far more important than worrying about the "strength" of these departments at the undergrad level (which is actually rather hard to define anyway), it is much more important that you focus on whether or not Wash U is a good fit for you. Clearly it draws really smart kids that are going to be your friends, peers, and in a nice way your competition. That is the single biggest factor in what defines the quality of the undergraduate experience. The rest consists of subjective things: Do you like the campus, the size of the school, the location, the sports scene or lack thereof, etc. etc.</p>
<p>So if you already see that Wash U offers a good range of courses in the areas you mention, and knowing it is a top school, then go stay for a couple of days and see if it seems like the place you want to be for four years and identify yourself with for the rest of your life. That is the best way to approach it, I think.</p>
I assume history is strong because I consider that a staple for ANY top tier school.
<p>Top tier schools don't have history departments ranked outside the top 25.</p>
<p>Just ignore this troll as if he did not post. He is famous for his idiocy. Ignoring him is the only thing that almost works.</p>
I am currently a j at wustl and am an IPH (Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities) and economics major. I can tell you that the humanities departments are very strong, and offer multiple tracks. You can do the typical history, literature, language tracks or you can chose to do IPH which includes a comprehensive overview the humanities and allows study in a particular interest area. The track includes a one on one reading with a prof your soph year, a humanities examination (both oral and written) on a reading list given by an outside prof and a language exam (completion of a 401 level language course is a requirement for the major), and a thesis on your interest area your senior year. The school has definitely places emphasis on the humanities through both the FOCUS programs and Text and Traditions (being renamed not sure what they are calling it next year) classes offered to freshmen. I have a good friend currently majoring in the Comp Lit department and he says it is very strong. Though many IPH students tend to work more in Literature, my particular area is more in economic intellectual history and I can tell you that the history department is extremely strong. Any more questions just ask.</p>