Academics

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Academics

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4 College Freshman

Academics: As a wonk, I love the school, so everything is wonderful.

4 College Freshman

Academics: The proffesor are great. They give alot of reading for homework but not as much other work.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: It really depends on the major and the teacher. If you are an International relations student or Business major there are a lot of options. Everyone else is kind of on there own. The teachers in the other majors are sub-par and either a hit or miss. The registration process is better but I do wish that there was a wider variety of classes offered.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: I'm looking forward to studying abroad next year and next semester i'm taking astronomy, which i think will be interesting. Last semester, I learned how to develop black and white pictures, which was cool.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: Good academics. If it's not sis or spa, they don't care about the quality of the teachers so your first year or two you'll get some questionable professors.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
12:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
721
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
565
Total FT Faculty
732
Faculty with Terminal Degree
95%
Average Faculty Salary
$96,042
Full-Time Retention Rate
90%
Part-Time Retention Rate
0%
Graduation Rate
77%
Programs/Majors Offered
99
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
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

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 33 responses

  • 20% Judith Sheindlin - "Judge Judy"
  • 13% David Gregory
  • 12% Mike Mills - staff writer, the Washington Post
  • 11% Robert Engel - executive director, Committee for an Effective Congress
  • 9% Robert Byrd - senator (D-WV)
  • 8% Star Jones - co-host, "The View"
  • 8% Anderson Cooper
  • 7% David Aldridge - ESPN analyst
  • 4% Al Koken - talk show host, WTEM Sports Talk Radio
  • 4% Goldie Hawn (incomplete degree) - actress
  • 1% David Caruso
  • 1% Alison Camerota
  • 1% Jordan Belfort
  • 1% Giuliana Rancic

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 94 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • 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.
  • 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.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 93 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.

How often do you:    Based on 52 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 52 responses

  • 25% This was my dream school.
  • 65% This was one of my top choices.
  • 10% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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