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About us

Learn about WashU’s Sever Institute and how our full time and part time master’s degree programs and our professional education offerings can boost your career.

Shaping leaders through transformative higher learning.

For more than 70 years, the Sever Institute at Washington University in St. Louis has fostered a rich tradition of service by providing graduate programs and professional education that prepare students—both recent undergraduates just beginning their career and seasoned working professionals—for success. Our master’s degree graduates are renowned for responding to society's needs and translating technological innovations into real-world solutions.

Founded in 1853, Washington University is among the world’s leading institutions in teaching, research, patient care and service to society. Our undergraduate and graduate programs and degrees are consistently ranked and highly regarded, including our programs being ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report.

Choose a Graduate Program That Meets Your Needs

WashU’s Sever Institute offers flexible graduate programs and master’s degrees that meet your needs, including full time, part-time and online options.

Debra Williams
Director of Professional Education Marketing

Engineering Graduate Financial Aid

Engineering Graduate Admissions

Graduate certificates & professional training

Sever Institute by the numbers

years the Sever Institute has been
a part of Washington University

of faculty work in the industry


student-faculty ratio


Sever's Master of Cybersecurity Management national ranking by Forbes

Meet our Sever community

Sever Institute students and faculty come from a number of career paths and industries. Our small classroom size allows faculty and students to engage with one another and learn based on real-world expertise. Students learn from faculty mentors who push boundaries and challenge assumptions. The Sever Institute also offers numerous opportunities to build networks of colleagues and industry professionals.

From humble beginnings to pioneer

Henry Sever

Henry Edwin Sever was born in 1866 in Hurdland, Missouri, and started life as a penniless farm boy. He rose to become owner and president of Riverside Publishing Co. of St. Louis and later, Chicago.

Sever amassed a fortune publishing highly popular volumes of the history of the world and the United States, book sets that were nearly indispensable to the home life of the average American family in the early 1900s.

Sever died in Chicago in 1941. His philanthropic wishes were outlined in his will and consisted mainly of three special bequests:

After Sever’s death in 1941, his philanthropic wishes were outlined in his will, which consisted primarily of three special bequests:

  • Construction of a building to house the public library that he had organized many years earlier in Kahok in Knox County, Missouri, where he was born
  • Development of a forest preserve and game refuge, which is now the state-owned Henry Edwin Sever Memorial Wildlife Area near Newark, Missouri
  • The remainder of Sever’s estate went to Washington University, making possible the construction of the 20,526-square-foot Sever Hall, which was dedicated in 1948
In addition, the engineering graduate program became known as the Sever Institute of Technology. In 2000, this name was changed, by a vote of the University’s Board of Trustees, to the Henry Edwin Sever Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science.