Washington, DC
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4 College Junior

Academics: Academics is great, professors and TAs are very involved in office hours, holding study sessions and generally caring about their students.

4 College Junior

Academics: Workload is pretty hard, AU is definitely not an "easy" school. Students take studying very seriously, and can almost always find groups in the library, DAV, starbucks or MGC. Curriculum is ambitious if given the right program, and the registration process can be confusing at times but with help of advisors it is fairly easy to navigate. Library can get super packed, and isn't that large but there are plenty of other study spots around campus. Professors really want to help with office hours and are interactive with their students. I have had a great experience at AU with my professors and workload, but it is an expensive city.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: Even though most students typically only take 9 credits each semester at the Masters level, it is very challenging. Some courses don't have a lot of assignments, but a lot of reading. Class participation is essential. Washington, D.C. offers many internship opportunities, but it is still competitive.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics here are really great. Compared to some of the other schools in the area its not surprising that the teachers here teach really well for the most part and have great connections outside the classroom.

4 College Junior

Academics: Academics are the one of the things that AU takes great pride in. We consider ourselves as a baby-ivy because we have a very talented and experienced group of professors who will go above and beyond to make sure the students succeed. The classes are challenging yet rewarding at the same time.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 193rd
    Best Course Variety
  • 253rd
    Most Manageable Workloads
  • 264th
    Smartest Professors
  • 361st
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 611st
    Best Online Course Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jesse MacDonald
Law & Society
View all previous student authors

American University employs many professors of prominence in its fields, with many instructors working for the government or other organizations in addition to serving as professors. As a result of many professors being highly involved in D.C. politics and organizations, students often have access to Washington insider information and experiences. Particularly noteworthy are the political science, international relations, public affairs, and business programs, which all emphasize D.C.-specific subjects and perspectives. By taking advantage of the resources of the city, the school allows students to combine its education with real-life experience. Most undergraduates experience at least one internship while attending AU.

Classes are usually small, with most having about 30 students, and are often discussion-based. While there are some exceptions, professors are generally very good, including the many adjunct professors who teach in addition to working in the city. Despite being a small school, AU has a great drawing power for well-known and respected faculty members. Don’t be surprised to see professors being interviewed or called in for their expert opinions on the news. Students find D.C. to be an exciting and eye-opening city, and the school’s classes reflect that. D.C. is a fast-paced and politically-charged town, and AU incorporates the best elements of the city into its education.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • 20 to 49 students: 49%
  • 50 or more students: 2%
  • Fewer than 20 students: 49%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
  • Kogod School of Business (Kogod)
  • School of Communication (SOC)
  • School of International Service (SIS)
  • School of Public Affairs (SPA)
  • Washington College of Law (WCL)
Degrees Awarded
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 5%
  • International Relations and National Security Studies: 9%
  • Law: 6%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 3%
Graduation Requirements
  • English (including composition)
  • Mathematics
  • Science (biological or physical)
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Double major
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
  • Washington semester
Online Courses
Since online courses were first offered in 2004, AU has been steadily adding virtual courses to schedules. There are about 75 online courses a year.
Best Places to Study
  • Bender Library
  • Residence hall lounges
  • Woods-Brown Amphitheater
Tips to Succeed
  • Extracurriculars are a fantastic way to meet people and build your résumé.
  • Get out into the city! You'll make connections and experience an entire metropolis.
  • Go to your professors' office hours. The faculty is accessible and available to help you.
  • Work on campus; party off campus.
Did You Know?
  • The most highly-populated school is the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • AU is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, allowing students to enroll in courses offered by other member institutions and students at other member institutions to enroll in courses at AU.
  • Chartered by an Act of Congress in 1892, AU bears the Congressional Seal on its diplomas.

Student Polls

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 61 responses

Very poor
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 9 responses

  • 17% Mike Mills - staff writer, the Washington Post
  • 17% David Aldridge - ESPN analyst
  • 17% Robert Byrd - senator (D-WV)
  • 12% Robert Engel - executive director, Committee for an Effective Congress
  • 12% Al Koken - talk show host, WTEM Sports Talk Radio
  • 8% Star Jones - co-host, "The View"
  • 8% Judith Sheindlin - "Judge Judy"
  • 8% David Gregory
  • 0% Goldie Hawn (incomplete degree) - actress

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 59 responses

Very poor
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants



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