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Graduate Semester Programs

American University in Cairo

silhouette of the Great Pyramids in Egypt and a camel


Since its founding in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) has been an essential contributor to the social, political, and cultural life of the Arab world. The university provides a vibrant forum for reasoned argument, spirited debate, and global understanding among the faculty, staff, and students who gather in its halls. With the ancient Pyramids of Giza and graceful minarets overlooking bustling streets and modern architecture, Cairo is a dynamic and lively city for overseas study. Participate in the SIS Semester Abroad Program at AUC and experience a diversity of nationalities and perspectives at a prestigious university in the cultural and political center of Egypt.


Graduate students from AU who participate in this one-semester program enroll as full-time students and take courses alongside regular degree-seeking students. and can select courses from among a variety of academic fields, including:

  • Political Science (International Relations)
  • Gender and Women's Studies in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Migration and Refugee Studies
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Arabic Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • Economics in International Development

Arabic language courses are also available at AUC, but credit earned in these courses will not transfer to graduate students’ AU transcripts.

Language Requirement

As AUC is an English-language institution, proficiency in Arabic is not required. However, it is recommended that students study the language before going to Egypt in order to gain communication skills for daily life in Cairo.

Academic Calendar

Fall: early September – late December

Spring: late January – late May


  1. Students are registered through the SIS Office of International Programs for up to 9 AU-AUC exchange credits (SIS-679). These exchange credits cover academic (not language) courses at AUC only; research and/or internship credit is registered under normal AU guidelines. 
  2. Students are required to meet with their AU academic advisor and obtain formal pre-approval before registering for courses at AUC. This ensures that all credits earned at AUC can be applied toward the student’s AU degree.
  3. Students register for courses at AUC once they arrive on campus. N.B.: Students are required to take a full courseload (9 credits) at AUC.
  4. Students who wish to take an Arabic language course must register for these credits once accepted into the program at AUC and pay the tuition and fees directly to AUC.

Credit articulation: Grades and credits earned at AUC are articulated through the SIS Office of International Program Development upon receipt of transcript from AUC. For conversion purposes, students should expect 1 AUC credit to equal 1 AU credit.  

Tuition and Fees

Students pay regular tuition, emergency international health insurance, and technology fees to AU. Students do not pay the student activity fee, sports center fee, or SIS fee while studying at AUC. Students are billed directly by AUC for the acceptance confirmation deposit, visa processing fees, student activities fee, medical service fee, comprehensive insurance fee (if applicable), university residence fees (if applicable), tuition for Arabic language courses (if applicable),  

Students are responsible for any incidental costs, such as library fines and lab fees, incurred during the program. Students are responsible for all personal expenses including housing and transportation.


Students may choose to live on- or off-campus. For on-campus housing, students can apply directly through AUC as part of their application package. Rates depend on room occupancy (single, double, or triple). For off-campus housing, AUC’s International Student Affairs Office can provide students with some assistance. Similarly, the SIS Office of International Programs may be able to connect students with past program participants who are willing to provide information about housing in Cairo. 

Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements and for all housing costs.  

Visa and Immigration

Non-Egyptian students are required to obtain a student residence visa in order to study at AUC. AUC assists admitted students in obtaining the visa.

Students are responsible for researching the most up-to-date immigration requirements and arranging all immigration documents. Students should begin this process as soon as they are admitted into the program.  

Student Orientation

During the semester prior to the start of the program, the SIS Office of International Programs conducts a mandatory pre-departure meeting. Topics covered include administrative, logistical, security, health, and cross-cultural issues. AUC also holds a mandatory international student orientation at the beginning of each semester. An optional intensive week-long course in survival Arabic is also offered.

How to Apply

This program is suspended.

NB: Students who wish to participate in this program must first submit an internal SIS application to the SIS Office of International Programs. Students may not submit any applications or documents to AUC until after they have received instructions from SIS.

  1. Complete and submit the SIS Semester Abroad at AUC application to the SIS Office of International Programs by the application deadline. Do not apply directly to AUC.
  2. After applications are processed and reviewed, students will be selected for nomination to AUC.  
  3. Upon nomination, students must complete and submit the AUC regular application for graduate students. The application process also includes submission of one letter of recommendation, official graduate and undergraduate transcripts from all universities attended, a copy of the student’s passport information page, two passport-size photos, results of a recent medical exam including HIV test, and official GRE scores if the student plans to take courses within the Economics or Economics in International Development programs. Students are advised to begin this process as soon as they are notified of nomination to the program, in order to meet AUC’s application deadline.
  4. AUC makes the final admissions decision and corresponds directly with program participants. Admitted students must pay an acceptance confirmation deposit to AUC.

The program is competitive and applying does not guarantee admission.

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Additional Information

AUC Information for International Students

AUC Campuses and Facilities

Travel information for Cairo from Lonely Planet and Wikitravel

Egypt Consular Information Sheet from the U.S. Department of State

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