Our Workday Student implementation is at the heart of the Student Sunrise project.

Workday Student will serve as our foundational system to support academic operations at WashU. It will replace the 30+ systems that make up our Student Information System (SIS), including WebFAC, WebSTAC and WUCRSL, as well as many additional student support systems operated by our schools and units. Workday also will integrate with other university systems like Slate (admissions) and PowerFAIDS (financial aid) to share data and complete core academic processes.

Consolidating many of our student tools into a single, integrated system will help streamline operations, reduce manual processes and provide faster, easier reporting for decision making. And because we’re buying a system instead of building our own, we can better support our systems while addressing schools’ and students’ evolving needs into the future.

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About Workday Student

Workday is a leading provider of cloud-based administrative systems, particularly in higher education. While a few of our peers currently use Workday Student, we are an early adopter of the system and have a unique opportunity to influence the product’s development and functionality to support complex academic research institutions like ours.

Additionally, Workday’s HCM, Finance and Student solutions operate within one unified platform. This means that we’ll have a single, university-wide source for much of our student, finance and human resources data that’s updated in real time in the cloud.

With Workday Student, we’ll be able to more easily answer essential questions in support of our academic mission, like how students with a particular academic profile have performed and who teaches what. Because student, financial and HR data will be housed in one integrated system, we have a powerful new tool that in time will allow us to answer an even broader range of questions.”

Erin Culbreth, senior associate provost and Student Sunrise executive project director

Project Scope

We are implementing Workday Student’s functionality for the following areas: 

Academic Foundations & Records

Academic Foundations represent core components within Workday Student that support all other student functional areas. Included under the Academic Foundations umbrella (also known as “Student Core”) are WashU’s academic structure, programs of study and credentials, academic periods and calendars, dates, student eligibility rules and more.

We will use Workday for the following activities: 

Registration & Curriculum

Curriculum management, or course management, involves the creation and maintenance of courses and course sections. ​Registration involves the management of registration appointments and enrollment policies, including course repeat policies, waitlists and overrides.

WashU will use Workday Student for the following curriculum- and registration-related activities and policies:

  • Student registration and pre-registration planning, supported by advising
  • Registration management, including appointments, waitlists, overrides, drops and reserving seats
  • Course and course section creation and maintenance, including components like course tags (attributes), subjects, meeting patterns, pre- and co-requisites
  • Instructor assignments, including instructor eligibility and managing instructor load
  • Publishing course descriptions the Bulletin
  • Enrollment policies, including which courses a student can register for and the maximum number of units in which a student can enroll
  • Course attempt and repeat/retake policies


Workday Student will be the universal tool for advising and degree audit across WashU. Adopting one tool for these purposes will create a more streamlined experience for students – especially those studying across schools – as well as the faculty and staff who support them. 

WashU will use Workday Student for the following advising-related activities: 

  • Maintaining academic requirements for programs of study
  • Advisor assignments 
  • Student engagement, including appointment scheduling and messages 
  • Academic planning, including pre-registration support 
  • Academic progress tracking, notes and final degree audit 

Student Financials

Workday’s Student Financials functionality ensures students receive accurate tuition bills and can view fees and financial aid that have been posted to their accounts. This functional area encompasses student accounting, disbursement, collections, student charges, payments and refunds, and more. 

Workday Student will allow WashU schools and Student Accounting to:

  • Correctly calculate tuition and fees based on a student’s program of study, financial cohort and class load
  • Apply discounts, waivers and exemptions to student accounts
  • Set up automatic calculations of tuition and fees at regular intervals, reducing administrative burden and improving the student experience by ensuring students see their most up-to-date information
  • Track and accept payments from students and third parties (such as parents)
  • Ensure student and third-party payments are applied accurately in a timely manner to the appropriate charges
  • Track refunds and balances due

Additional student systems

While we will not use Workday as our primary tool for the below functionality, we are configuring the system for these areas to ensure that academic processes run properly and data is shared between Workday and other university systems:


We will continue to use Slate as our undergraduate admissions tool. As part of Student Sunrise, we are currently implementing a separate instance of Slate to consolidate and unify our graduate admissions systems and processes.  Student records are created in Workday when data for matriculated students syncs to Workday from Slate. We are configuring Workday to support this integration and related admissions processes.

Financial Aid

We will continue to use PowerFAIDS, which recently replaced our legacy STAR system, to administer financial aid on the Danforth Campus. The School of Medicine likewise will continue to use its own instance of PowerFAIDS. We are configuring Workday to integrate with both instances of PowerFAIDS to support financial aid processes.

Other Sunrise project work

In addition to implementing and configuring Workday’s functionality for the above areas, the project team is completing technical work to fully transition student operations to Workday Student, including developing compliance reports for go-live, integrating Workday with other university systems, converting data from our legacy systems to Workday, and retiring legacy systems.

Learn more about the projects technical work »


The Workday Student implementation is a five-year project that will go live in stages during the 2024-25 academic year. The project timeline includes one year of discovery (2020-21), three years of implementation (2021-24), and one year of go-live activities (2024-25).

New functionality on Workday Student will be released on a rolling basis throughout the 2024-25 academic year. The first academic year in which we will operate entirely within Workday is 2025-26.

View each of the project’s stages »


The Workday Student project is currently in the Test & Deploy Stage, the third of four implementation stages. Workday is fully tested and rolled out to campus during this stage, which began in October 2023 and concludes in September 2025. Sunrise is ensuring that academic and student processes configured during the Architect, Configure & Prototype Stage are functioning properly, preparing WashU for the transition to Workday, and launching Workday during four go-lives. The team also is preparing for stabilization activities during this stage.