American University

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School Overview

In 1892 a Methodist Bishop established American University (AU or American) in Washington, D.C. Today it has a vibrant, liberal arts curriculum, and is also a research-based university, providing education for over 12,000 students through a myriad of graduate and undergraduate programs housed in seven different schools. American University is among the best schools in the nation in fields of international relations, and government and political science. It also serves as a center for the arts in Washington, D.C.

Degree Programs

AU’s programs are administered through seven colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences; The School of Communication; The School of Public Affairs; the Kogod School of Business; The School of International Service; the Washington College of Law; and the School of Professional & Extended Studies. These schools contain 61 different bachelor’s degrees, with 54 master’s degrees, 11 doctorate degrees, and a JD program. There are an additional 50 graduate and undergraduate certificate programs. In addition to these options, students have the exciting opportunity to participate in any of 145 study abroad programs, spanning 44 countries on 6 continents.


AU as a whole has received accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and is recognized by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. Many of the school’s colleges are accredited by prestigious entities such as the American Chemical Society, The Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, and the American Bar Association. These bodies extend accreditation to the Department of Chemistry, the School of Communication, the Kogod School of Business, the School of Education, and the Washington College of Law respectively.


AU’s athletic teams are known as the Eagles, and play in Division I of the NCAA in many different athletic areas, including basketball, soccer, swimming & diving, cross-country, women’s volleyball, wrestling, rugby, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, ice hockey, and ultimate Frisbee.

Library System

AU is home to the Jack I. and Dorothy G. Bender Library and Learning Resources Center, as well as a branch music Library, found in the Katzen Art Center. The Bender Library offers an array of study spaces for both private study, and group collaborative study. The library also houses a Curriculum Materials Center, a Graduate Research Center, a New Media Center, various classrooms, and a café. There are over 150 public computer stations in the library, with laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices available for loan to library patrons.


American University has repeatedly made appearances in some of the top publications in the US, including The Princeton Review Best Colleges in 2014, where it was rated #4 for the “Most Politically Active Students”. The publication’s Green Rating Honor Roll also recognized AU in 2014. The U.S. News & World Report ranked AU as 75th overall in the nation in their 2014 rankings list.

Specific colleges and programs within the greater AU infrastructure have been extensively recognized throughout rankings and publications in the last few years. The College of Arts and Sciences has earned nationally recognized rankings in education, creative writing, history, economics, theater, and musical theater. The U.S. News & World Report and the Bloomberg Business Week have repeatedly recognized the Kogod School of Business as one of the best for International business. Bloomberg Business Week rated it 23rd for best “International Business Specialty” and 62nd “Best Undergraduate Business School.” The School of International Service was rated 8th best in graduate programs and 10th best for undergraduate programs by Foreign Policy magazine. Other AU schools which have been nationally recognized include the School of Public Affairs, the School of Communication, and the Washington College of Law.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Students at AU can explore several different options for financing their education, including scholarships, grants, loans, student work options, Veterans Benefits, and other types of aid. Scholarships are awarded for varying levels and types of merit, including the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program.

Student Housing

On-campus housing is made up of six residence halls, two suite-style complexes, and one apartment building. AU does not have specific housing available for graduate students, but has available resources to assist students in finding suitable off campus housing.

General Information

Admission Office

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20016-8001

(202) 885-6000

Fax: (202) 885-6014

Contact: Greg Grauman

Director of Admissions
Main Address

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20016-8001

(202) 885-1000

Total undergrads: 6,311

First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 1,577

Degree-seeking undergrads: 6,028

Graduate enrollment: 3,912


Suburban setting

Very large city (over 500,000)

Residential campus

Degrees offered:
First Professional

Admissions Information

Application Fee

College has an application fee: Yes

Regular application fee: $60

Online application fee: Free
Enrollment Rates

Percent applicants admitted: 53%

Percent students who return sophomore year: 88%

College Majors

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies

American Studies B
Arab, Asian, European, and Multi-Ethnic Studies C
French Studies B
German Studies B
Latin American Studies B
Russian/Slavic Area Studies B
Women’s Studies B,C

Arts, Visual & Performing

Art – General B
Art History/Criticism/Conservation B
Arts – General B
Design/Visual Communications B
Drama/Theater Arts B
Film Production/Cinematography B
Film Studies B
Fine/Studio Arts B
Graphic Design B
Multimedia B
Music – General B
Music – General Performance B
Music History/Literature B
Music Theory/Composition B

Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Biochemistry B
Biology B
Environmental Biology B
Marine/Aquatic Biology B

Business, Management, & Marketing

Accounting B
Business Administration/Management B
Finance/Banking B
Management Information Systems B

Communications & Journalism

Journalism B
Mass Communications/Media Studies B
Public Relations B
Radio/Television B

Communications Technologies

Animation/Special Effects B
Recording Arts Technology B

Computer & Information Sciences

Computer Graphics B
Computer Science B
Computer/Information Sciences – General B


Elementary Education B
Secondary Education B

English Language & Literature

English Language & Literature – General B

Foreign Language & Literature

French B
German B
Language Interpretation/Translation C
Russian B
Spanish B

Health Professions & Clinical Sciences

Predentistry B
Premedicine B
Prenursing B
Prepharmacy B
Preveterinary Medicine B


History – General B

Law & Legal Studies

Law & Legal Studies – General B
Prelaw B

Liberal Arts & Sciences

Liberal Arts & Sciences B


Applied Mathematics B
Applied statistics C
Mathematics – General B
Statistics B

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

Biological/Physical Sciences B
Global Studies B

Natural Resources & Conservation

Environmental Studies B

Parks, Recreation & Fitness

Health/Physical Fitness B
Sport/Fitness Administration B,C

Philosophy & Religion

Jewish/Judaic Studies B
Philosophy B

Physical Sciences

Acoustics B
Chemistry B
Physics B


Psychology – General B

Security & Protective Services

Criminal Justice Studies B
Police Science B

Social Sciences

Anthropology B
Economics B
International Relations B
Political Science/Government B
Sociology B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

    A = Associate degree
    B = Bachelor’s degree
    C = Certificate or diploma

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

American University Highlights

School Information

Phone Number:(202) 885-1000
Type of School:4-year, Private non-profit
Address:4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001
Setting:Rural: Distant
Campus Housing:Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population:13,346
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's):80%
Student-to-faculty Ratio:12 to 1
Distance Learning Programs:Yes
Distance Learning Students*:11,744 (88% of total students)
Degree Levels Offered:Certificates, Associates, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate

* Students taking at least 1 distance learning course

Tuition & Financial Aid*

In-state Tuition:$44,853
Out-of-state Tuition:$44,853
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid:82%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded:$28,732

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students

American University Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at American University.

Degree NameCertAssocBachMastDoct
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies381
Biological and Biomedical Sciences321
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services646
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs1361
Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services111
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services11
English Language and Literature/Letters12
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences11
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics22
Health Professions and Related Programs121
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Related Protective Service121
Legal Professions and Studies141
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities11
Mathematics and Statistics32
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies212
Natural Resources and Conservation122
Philosophy and Religious Studies232
Physical Sciences21
Public Administration and Social Service Professions321
Social Sciences11674
Visual and Performing Arts186
Grand total421586211

* Based on programs that produced 2016-2017 graduates

Online Programs & Distance Learning

See the distance education degree programs that are offered at American University.

Degree NameCertAssocBachMastDoct
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs11
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences1
Social Sciences2
Grand total15

* Based on programs that produced 2016-2017 graduates

Tuition & Financial Aid

See what it costs to enroll at American University and how many students are receiving scholarships, grants, or loans as financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition.

Undergraduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees2016-2017
Books and supplies$800

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees2016-2017

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2015-2016

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of AidNumber Receiving Aid% Receiving AidAvg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid1,45782%
Grant or scholarship aid1,22869%$28,732
Student loan aid1,01457%$7,929

All Undergraduate Students

Type of AidNumber Receiving Aid% Receiving AidAvg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid4,96163%$24,757
Federal student loans3,60446%$6,604

Admissions & Enrollment

See the admission requirements for American University. Find out how many students apply and how many are accepted. View a graphical breakdown of the gender, age, and ethnicity of currently enrolled American University students.

Undergraduate Admissions, Fall 2017

Number of applicants19,3257,06212,263
Percent admitted100%24%27%
Percent admitted who enrolled9%8%9%

Admissions Considerations

Secondary school GPA
Secondary school rank
Secondary school record
Completion of college-preparatory program
Formal demonstration of competencies
Admission test scores
Other Test (Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language

American University Enrollment, Fall 2017

Total Enrollment13,346
Undergraduate enrollment7,900
Graduate enrollment5,446

Undergraduate Attendance

Undergraduate Gender

Undergraduate Age

Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Undergraduate Distance Education

Undergraduates taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Graduate Distance Education

Graduate students taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

American University Accreditation

This institution is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Specialized institution accreditations:

  • American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
    • Law (LAW) - Professional schools
  • American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
    • Clinical Psychology (CLPSY) - PhD Doctoral programs
  • National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation
    • Music (MUS) - Institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and/or non-degree-granting programs

*General information for this school has been gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Education. does not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

If you work for a school and would like to update your data please contact us.

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