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4 College Senior

Facilities: I've been a film student and we always had access to great facilities and equipment.

4 College Junior

Facilities: AU's campus is beautiful. The university is working hard to update and modernize academic buildings. Around campus, it's clear that being "green" is a major priority for the university. The library could be bigger, but overall facilities are pretty good.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: The AU campus is beautiful and the quad is a great place to hang out when the weather is nice.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: The people that work at AU that aren't professors are sometimes unpleasant, but often funny and kind. There is the whole exconvict rumor about them. A lot of the classrooms are small and gross, but some of them are crazy nice.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: With the exception of the lack of school spirit, campus life is great. Especially spring semesters.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 3rd
    Greenest Campuses
  • 474th
    Best Performance Venues
  • 1144th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 1145th
    Best Student Centers
  • 1318th
    Best Library

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jesse MacDonald
Law & Society
View all previous student authors

Most students would agree that the facilities are good enough, with Internet access and a decent choice when it comes to food. Some dorms are considerably nicer than others, but most would say that all dorms are adequate. The Jacobs Fitness Center is a popular spot and offers two floors of cardio machines and weight equipment, a swimming pool, and numerous basketball courts.

Facilities at AU may not be thrilling, but they are always clean and modernized. Students are far more active outside the confines of campus and in the city around them, which contributes to AU’s less-animated campus life compared to other universities.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
84 acres
Student Centers
Mary Graydon Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
  • American University Library
  • Pence Law Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Mary Graydon Center
  • The quad
  • Woods-Brown Amphitheater
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Davenport Lounge in the School of International Service
  • Megabytes CafĂ© underneath the Tunnel
  • Pura Vida Fair Trade Coffee in Mary Graydon Center
Movie Theater on Campus
"Green" Initiatives
AU is a registered arboretum, meaning the campus is a botanical garden dedicated to specimen trees. The campus also has five green roofs, including one on the Media Production Center. There is also a farmers' market, green modes of transportation (bikes, electric buggies), and plenty of other sustainability amenities.
School Slang
  • "Once an eagle, always an eagle": The slogan for AU alums, especially sports fans
  • Flaming Cupcake: The flame design protruding from the roof of the Kay Spiritual Life Center
  • Floorcest: Hooking up with someone on your own floor
  • JAMed: Getting written up by your RA for various rule violations
  • Sexile: To kick your roommate out so you can hook up
  • TDR: Terrace Dining Room-the main cafeteria at AU
Primal Scream: Around finals time, students gather in the courtyard between Hughes and McDowell halls to yell their heads off for Primal Scream and watch other students flash them from the overlooking dorms. It's a stress reliever.
Urban Legends
  • A giant mutant beaver-type creature prowls the campus at night.
  • An old woman who lived near campus donated a huge sum of money before her death for the perpetual garden maintenance that goes on.
  • The black squirrels and gray squirrels that live on campus constantly fight each other.
Favorite Things To Do
Political speakers are popular on campus, and various clubs host impressive guests almost weekly. Recent speakers have included President Barack Obama, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and congressman Ron Paul. When students aren't attending the numerous political events, they hang out on the quad for cookouts or Frisbee games, work out in the Bender Fitness Center, watch AU's Division I basketball team, and play intramural sports on the fields. Students can see shows and recitals at the Katzen Arts Center and the Greenberg Theatre, or watch movies, TV shows, and concerts in the Tavern. Bender Arena hosts sports games, including Division I basketball, while the Kennedy Political Union brings a large number of prominent speakers to campus.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Eagle
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
There are professional fraternities at AU that specialize in fields such as international service, business, and pre-law.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 76 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 8 responses

  • 23% The quad
  • 23% Mary Graydon Center
  • 23% The Dav
  • 14% The Library
  • 9% Katzen
  • 5% Woods-Brown Amphitheater
  • 5% The perch

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 7 responses

  • 33% Welcome Week
  • 25% Euro Night
  • 17% Sandslam
  • 17% Storming the Quad
  • 8% Primal Scream

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 6 responses

  • 36% Library
  • 27% Residence hall front desk job
  • 18% MGC
  • 18% Event Staff

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 9 responses

  • 26% Sit in MGC
  • 26% Go quadding
  • 26% Drink coffee at the Dav/Starbucks
  • 22% Work out at Cassell

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 79 responses

  • 24% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.
  • 48% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 22% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 6% The student center is in need of a major renovation.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 76 responses

  • 20% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 70% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 9% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 1% I hate my school and have no school spirit.

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 6 responses

  • 57% Phonathon
  • 29% Cleaning up cafeterias
  • 14% Fitness leader at the gym



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