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American University


American University, AU, creates meaningful change in the world. With highly ranked schools and colleges and internationally recognized faculty AU offers a balance between class time and career-advancing experience in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Its students, among the country’s most politically active, distinguish themselves for their service, leadership and ability to rethink global and domestic challenges and opportunities. 

AU is a private institution situated within a residential neighbourhood of Washington and founded in 1893. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 8,000, its setting is suburban and the campus size is 84 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. 

Today, the university retains many of its original characteristics, including a ‘global outlook’, ‘practical idealism’ and ‘passion for public service’. AU’s students are considered to be among the country’s most politically active.

The university is home to seven schools and colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, Kogod School of Business, School of International Service, School of Communication, School of Professional and Extended Studies, School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law.

AU boasts of having plenty to offer students outside of the lecture theatre, such as campus events, student organisations and clubs, residential learning communities and internships. It is known for its flourishing athletics scene and, as a member of the Patriot League, competes using the team name ‘American Eagles’.

Admission to American University is rated "most selective", by the Princeton Review, with an acceptance rate 35% in 2015 and 25% in 2016.

Students at American University benefit from the school's location in the political hub of the nation. Washington, D.C. is a playground for the politically and socially oriented with its countless museums, restaurants clubs and year-round events. 

American University's ranking in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges - National Universities places AU 74th.

Notable alumni of AU include Jeffrey Gedmin – President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Allan Z. Loren – former CEO of Dun & Bradstreet, former CIO of American Express and President of Apple Inc. USA, Prince Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain – son of Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain and many others.

  • Year established
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  • Registered students

Academic specialism

American University has some highly ranked schools including Kogod School of Business that was was ranked by The Wall Street Journal 36th out of the top 51 MBA programs in 2007. School of International Service that is currently ranked 8th in the world for its graduate programs and 9th in the world for its undergraduate program in International Affairs by Foreign Policy.

The most popular majors are International Relations and National Security Studies, Business Administration and Management, Political Science and Government.

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American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW,
Washington, United States
DC 20016
United States
United States
View Location
+1 202-885-1000

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The university located in a suburban pocket of northwest Washington is close to a stop on the D.C. area Metrorail transit system. Rides to downtown take about 15 minutes.

American University has two non-contiguous campuses used for academics and student housing with the main campus on Massachusetts Avenue and the Tenley Campus on Nebraska Avenue. An additional facility houses the Washington College of Law located half a mile northwest of the main campus on Massachusetts Avenue. Additionally, AU owns several other buildings in the Tenleytown and Spring Valley and American University Park areas.