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4 College Senior

Academics: Lots of excellent professors, a variety of interesting courses and programs, and a very clear and intuitive application process.

4 College Senior

Academics: As a student in the film program, I'd say we're almost like our own little community. Once you've worked on a few projects together, you've bonded and struggled together and found friends for life.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: Depending on the school, some academic programs/professors are more reputable than others. Overall the work load is heavy, but you learn a lot.

5 College Junior

Academics: SIS has wonderful professors, facilities, and services. The workload can be a lot, but you learn a lot in return.

4 College Senior

Academics: there are some great teachers at my school. the teachers will go above and beyond to teach the unteachable.


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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: 4%
  • International Relations and National Security Studies: 10%
  • 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

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 61 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 13 responses

  • 16% Robert Byrd - senator (D-WV)
  • 14% Mike Mills - staff writer, the Washington Post
  • 14% Star Jones - co-host, "The View"
  • 14% Judith Sheindlin - "Judge Judy"
  • 11% Robert Engel - executive director, Committee for an Effective Congress
  • 11% David Aldridge - ESPN analyst
  • 8% Al Koken - talk show host, WTEM Sports Talk Radio
  • 8% Goldie Hawn (incomplete degree) - actress
  • 5% David Gregory

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 59 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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