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
Apply Online:
Address: 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001
Setting: City: Large
Campus Housing: Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population: 14,318
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's): 79%
Student-to-faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
Distance Learning Programs: Yes
Distance Learning Students*: 11,503 (80% 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: $49,889
Out-of-state Tuition: $49,889
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 75%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded: $25,603

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

American University Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at American University.

Degree Name Cert Assoc Bach Mast Doct
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies 491
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1331
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 8410
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 361
Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services 111
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 1
Education 8391
English Language and Literature/Letters 12
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 11
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 22
Health Professions and Related Programs 122
History 111
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Related Protective Service 121
Legal Professions and Studies 151
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 11
Mathematics and Statistics 332
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 322
Natural Resources and Conservation 122
Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies 11
Philosophy and Religious Studies 232
Physical Sciences 21
Psychology 111
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 321
Social Sciences 13674
Visual and Performing Arts 297
Grand total 541617012

* Based on programs that produced 2019-2020 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 Fees 2019-2020
In-state $49,889
Out-of-state $49,889
Books and supplies $800

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $31,113
Out-of-state $31,113

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2018-2019

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid 1,313 75%
Grant or scholarship aid 1,024 59% $25,603
Student loan aid 817 47% $9,123

All Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid 4,350 53% $27,386
Federal student loans 3,413 41% $6,221

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 2020

Total Male Female
Number of applicants 18,545 6,594 11,951
Percent admitted 100% 34% 37%
Percent admitted who enrolled 9% 9% 10%

Admissions Considerations

Required Recommended Optional
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 2020

Total Enrollment 14,318
Undergraduate enrollment 8,527
Graduate enrollment 5,791

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
  • Council on Education for Public Health
    • Public Health Programs (PHPB) ? Baccalaureate only level programs offered outside a school of public health
  • 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
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
    • Teacher Education (TED) - Baccalaureate and graduate programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional personnel for elementary and secondary schools

*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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