Our Mission, Vision & Values


The mission of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis is to advance innovative research that reaches a broad public and fosters new discoveries, and to promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, preparing students for civic responsibility, work, and life through impactful collaborations with the St. Louis community and across the world.  


As we turn to the next ten years, we envision a transformed school that will serve as a global model for arts and sciences. We will lead innovative developments in a range of critical fields and disciplines; we will advance foundational knowledge and convergent breakthroughs across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; we will create solutions for pressing local, national, and global challenges; and we will educate a new generation of leaders and critical thinkers to shape the future. 

The Values That Guide Us

Four critical values and goals guide the development and execution of our strategic plan, each of equal importance.  

1. We must advance academic distinction in Arts & Sciences to foster a world-class research enterprise. By this we mean excellence coupled with uniqueness in cutting-edge scholarship that pushes boundaries both within and among disciplines. In order to attract the world's leading faculty, we must recruit and enhance support for diverse graduate students who will be the future's leading scholars, innovators, and problem-solvers. We aim to elevate scholarship that is creative and ambitious, addressing new ideas and shifting paradigms, honoring and promoting the pursuit and discovery of knowledge, while imparting a lasting impact on our local, national, and global communities. 

2. We must advance excellence in education to support our first-rate liberal arts college. We attract many of the world’s most talented, thoughtful, and creative students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and we must provide inspiring, stimulating, and effective education that capitalizes on new technologies and new teaching methods. We must ready them to be local, national, and global citizens engaged in lives of purpose, meaning, and impact, and we must prepare them to understand and help address the many challenges facing our world today.  

3. We must achieve diversity, inclusion, and equitable access for individuals of all identities and socioeconomic positions at Washington University. We need to recruit, promote, robustly support, and retain a community of faculty, students, and staff who represent the full diversity of identities, and we must ensure that all members of our community feel included, welcomed, and supported, experiencing equity in access, resources, opportunities, and outcomes in ways that allow them to thrive.  

4. We must deepen our positive impact on and engagement with St. Louis and the world. St. Louis has numerous strengths and resources, and we need to partner with our community to identify shared goals; to recruit a diverse collective of researchers, learners, and community members to the university; and to pursue academic and educational excellence that positively impacts the region. At the same time, we are part of a global community, and we seek to connect our local work with the broader world to ensure that the positive impact of Arts & Sciences at Washington University resonates across the globe. 

See how we plan to put our values into action. 

Watch the Video