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Wake Forest University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a private, not-for-profit institution. Founded in 1834, this university is home to more than 8,000 students from 49 states and over 50 countries.

The campus was initially located in Wake Forest before moving to Winston-Salem in 1956 and currently occupies 340 acres. Their motto, Pro Humanitate (For Humanity), is centered on their desire to foster a student population who donate their time to local community efforts or focus on being their best selves.

Overview of Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University offers students various campus recreation activities, ranging from well-being and study centers to group fitness activities and a climbing wall. Their Outdoor Pursuits department offers regularly schedule outdoor outings such as tree climbing, bicycling adventures, camping, and yoga. Wake Forest University is also home to Innovation Quarter, which hosts clinical settings and laboratories for biomedical graduate students. Some of the many programs that students can choose from include Biomedical Engineering, Comparative Medicine, and Neuroscience.

Undergraduate students can choose from courses of study such as Anthropology, Creative Writing, Environmental Science, Linguistics, or Sociology. The Graduate School offers small classroom sizes to ensure every student receives individual attention, research opportunities, and tailored advising to match student interest.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 10:1
Graduation Rate 88%
Year Founded 1834

Student Enrollment

Total Students8,495


Undergraduate Student

Male 2,485
Female 2,802

Graduate Student

Male 1,508
Female 1,700

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Male 5,517
Female 7,042


Male 1,710
Female 2,042

Acceptance Rate30%

Male 31%
Female 29%

Enrollment 1,394

Male 646
Female 748
Application Fee $65
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of attending Wake Forest University varies based on several factors including whether you live on campus, off-campus, or with family, and whether or not you receive financial assistance from grants, scholarships, or federal aid.

For example, in a recent academic year, the in-state tuition cost was $55,440, with an additional charge of around $1,500 for books and other supplies. The total cost per year for students attending full-time and living on campus was $74,358.

In a recent year, the average net price (which is the remaining cost to the student after all financial aid has been applied) was $24,800, and 45% of freshmen students received at least one form of financial aid. Five hundred fourteen students received scholarships or grant aid that equaled $24,044,149, or about $46,779 per student. One hundred twenty-nine students received Pell grants equaling $628,803, or about $4,874 per student.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $24,800
Average Total Aid $46,779
Students Receiving Financial Aid 45%
Room & Board $15,018

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $55,440
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $55,440
  • Books and Supplies - $1,500
  • Room & Board - $15,018
  • Other - $2,400


Wake Forest University offers students an array of bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, PhD programs, and postgraduate certificate programs for students to choose from. A combination of 2,183 full-time faculty and 280 part-time faculty work together to instruct nearly 8,500 students each year.

Students can choose from more than 40 majors and 60 minors across almost 40 undergraduate and graduate departments. There are also six colleges and schools of study to choose from:

  • Undergraduate College
  • Graduate School
  • School of Business
  • School of Divinity
  • School of Law
  • School of Medicine

The college also values research, offering students ample training, technical assistance when preparing grants, assistance with locating funding, and continually developing collaborative relationships with public and private research groups. A student to faculty ratio of 10:1 means that students benefit from a small classroom size, with more one-on-one attention from faculty and closer, more meaningful connections with their classmates.

Wake Forest University has an outstanding 94% retention rate for full-time, first-year students and a 100% retention rate for part-time students. This rate is a measure of how well the school delivers on their promised student experience and whether their advertising is an accurate reflection of what the school offers by tracking how many students return to the school for their second year. Their overall graduation rate, which measures how many students finish their degrees in a set period of time, is 88%.

Student Population Total

Student Population 8,495

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Sciences Majors 283 Total Graduates / 24%
Economics, General 116 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 104 Graduates
Sociology 34 Graduates
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics 17 Graduates
All Business Majors 262 Total Graduates / 22%
Finance, General 108 Graduates
Business/Commerce, General 104 Graduates
Accounting 30 Graduates
Management Science 20 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 109 Total Graduates / 9%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 89 Graduates
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 18 Graduates
Biophysics 2 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 104 Total Graduates / 9%
Psychology, General 104 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 99 Total Graduates / 8%
Communication, General 99 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 29%

Outcome & Salary

Another critical measure to consider when choosing a college is its outcomes. Data from 2011-2012 shows that 89% of first-time and non-first-time, degree-seeking undergraduates, who were attending full-time, earned a bachelor’s degree.

Graduates from Wake Forest University can expect an average early-career salary of $63,300 per year and an average mid-career salary of $127,100. With 10-year potential earnings of $739,080 and a net education price of $99,200, graduates can expect an approximate $639,880 10-year return on their investment.

With 20-year potential earnings of $2,010,080 and a net education price of $99,200, graduates can expect an approximate $1,910,880 20-year return on their investment.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $63,300
College Grads Average Salary $73,908
College Grads Mid Career Salary $127,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $739,080
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,010,080
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $99,200
10 Year Projected ROI $639,880
20 Year Projected ROI $1,910,880
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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