Program Details

Washington University (Physics & Astronomy)

How many tenure-track or tenured faculty -- male/female?

There are 27 tenured or tenure-track faculty. One is female.

How many graduate students-- male/female?

The total number of graduate students is 85. There are 61 men and 24 women.

How many post doctoral associates - male/female?

Total of 12, 4 females and 8 males

Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

The Child Leave policy of the Graduate School allows students to receive their normal stipend for 34 working days. Additional time off without pay for up to eight weeks is normally granted by the Graduate School with permission from the department in which the student is enrolled. To obtain these benefits, students should maintain full-time student status, either by registering for at least nine credit hours (such as Independent Study) or as Continuing Students. For longer leave periods students should renew registration as Non-Resident Candidates, but the continuation of Health Insurance coverage must be arranged directly with the University's insurance provider (without a University subsidy) or elsewhere. All students have access to a child care and elder care referral program, which is supported by Washington University. Students may also apply for a child care subsidy that is designed to help financially stressed Ph.D students at Washington University.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

Family health insurance is available. The Graduate School covers 90% of the cost for the student's insurance. Insurance for the spouse/domestic partner and dependents is available at additional cost.

Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

The percentage of women in our graduate program is 28%, which is above the national average. Strong faculty mentoring leads to a very high percentage of our student succeeding in the graduate program. Over the last ten years, 49 women have been admitted to our PhD program; 17 received their PhD, 8 have left and 24 are still in the program.

Of interest to all our students, we feel that our department is very supportive, open and friendly, encouraging interactions between students and faculty from different research groups through activities such as the graduate student seminar and Friday lunch barbeques, both of which are subsidized by departmental funds. We offer many exciting opportunities to work with an internationally known faculty, two of whom are members of the National Academy of Sciences. Our faculty and students are engaged in cutting-edge experimental and theoretical research in many areas of condensed matter/materials, biological and high energy/astrophysics. Finally, the area around Washington University is very pleasant, favorably enhancing the graduate student's experience. Adjacent on the east side of the university is Forest Park, containing several museums, one of the best zoos in the world, and numerous trails for jogging, biking or walking. The Loop, located about four blocks north of Washington University, is home to many interesting restaurants, and live music can be heard in restaurants, bars and often on the streets.

Has the institution had a Climate for Women in Physics Site Visit or Gender Equity Conversation?


Updated: October 13, 2009

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