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About AU

Academic Profile

American University is a private doctoral institution situated in a residential neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C. Our total fall 2013 enrollment was 12,817, with 6,824 degree-seeking undergraduates, 3,449 degree-seeking graduate students, 1,716 law students, and 828 students in nondegree certificate programs, Washington Semester, or AU Abroad.

We offer 69 bachelor’s degrees, 73 master’s degrees, 11 doctoral degrees, and a JD program, as well as 72 certificate programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Courses run on a 15-week semester basis in fall and spring, with shorter summer-term classes. In addition, we offer study-abroad programs and alternative breaks. 87 percent of our undergraduates and 65 percent of our master's students participate in at least one internship.

Our student body is cosmopolitan and globally diverse, with all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 140 countries represented. Seven percent of undergraduates and 13 percent of graduate students are international.

The university’s mission is carried out by 848 full-time faculty and nearly 1,700 full-time staff. 94 percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their field. Among our 621 adjunct faculty are policy makers, diplomats, journalists, artists, writers, scientists, and business leaders.

American University has seven major schools and colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Founded in 1925, the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest school or college at the university. CAS is home to the departments of anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, environmental science, history, language and foreign studies, literature, mathematics and statistics, performing arts, philosophy and religion, physics, psychology, and sociology, and the School of Education, Teaching and Health. All departments offer bachelor’s degrees, and most offer master’s degrees and graduate certificates. Doctoral degrees are offered in anthropology, economics, history, and psychology. The college, headed by Dean Peter Starr, has 339 full-time teaching faculty.
  • Kogod School of Business (Kogod). Founded in 1955, the school of business contains the departments of accounting and taxation, finance and real estate, information technology, international business, management, and marketing. Kogod is recognized as among the country’s top business schools by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Economist Intelligence Unit: Which MBA?, the Princeton Review, U.S. News and World Report, and the Wall Street Journal. We offer undergraduate degrees, master of science degrees, a master of business administration, and graduate certificates. Kogod is headed by Interim Dean Erran Carmel and has 75 full-time teaching faculty.
  • School of Communication (SOC). Established in 1984, the School of Communication is a laboratory for professional education, communication research, and innovative production across the fields of journalism, film and media arts, and public communication. With 52 full-time faculty members and dozens of professionals who serve as adjuncts, SOC is a distinctive community of practice, where journalists, creative storytellers, and communication strategists with a passion for civic engagement and social responsibility work across media platforms. Offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, SOC serves as a meeting ground for media makers and policy makers to explore the toughest questions for communication and public affairs. Jeffrey Rutenbeck is dean of the school.
  • School of International Service (SIS). Founded in 1957, the School of International Service is the largest school of international affairs in the country. SIS offers undergraduate degrees in international studies and in language and area studies, a variety of master’s degrees, and a doctoral degree in international relations. Our students study a broad range of fields, including international communication, international development, international economic relations, U.S. foreign policy, international peace and conflict resolution, global environmental politics, international politics, and comparative and regional studies. The school, headed by Dean James Goldgeier, has 111 full-time teaching faculty.
  • School of Professional and Extended Studies (SPExS). Created in 2012, the School of Professional and Extended Studies is the seventh and newest major academic unit of AU. SPExS builds on the solid foundation of the renowned Washington Semester Program, which since 1947 has brought students from across the U.S. and around the world to Washington, D.C. SPExS offers unique internship and academic opportunities through the Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS), Washington Mentorship Program, Summer Internship Program, and Graduate Gateway, and new programs are in development. Carola Weil is the inaugural dean of the school.
  • School of Public Affairs (SPA). The School of Public Affairs was created as a department in 1934 and established as a school in 1957. SPA has three departments—government, public administration and policy, and justice, law and society—and offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Our programs have been recognized by U.S. News and World Report and others as among the top ranked in the country. SPA is also known for its nondegree offerings in such areas as campaign management, women and politics, and lobbying. Dean Barbara Romzek heads the school and our 77 full-time teaching faculty.
  • Washington College of Law (WCL). Washington College of Law was established in 1896, the first law school to be founded by women. The school became a part of American University in 1949. WCL provides students with a superb legal education and unparalleled opportunities for real-world experience through a nationally acclaimed Clinical Program and exceptional specialized programs, including international law, human rights, intellectual property, business, international commercial arbitration, health, and the environment. WCL degree offerings include JD, LLM, and SJD, as well as multiple domestic and international dual degrees. WCL’s distinguished faculty includes 84 full-time teaching professors. One of the most diverse law schools in the United States, WCL is headed by Dean Claudio Grossman, Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law and chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture.

The AU Abroad Program is led by Sara Dumont, director, and overseen by Provost Scott Bass. It provides an opportunity for U.S. students to earn college credit, learn a foreign language, and participate in international internships while exploring a new corner of the world. AU Abroad offers more than 135 programs in 40 countries on 6 continents. More than 70 percent of our undergraduate students participate in study abroad.

University Governance

The legal powers of the university are vested in the 29-member Board of Trustees. Executive and administrative authorities are given to the chief executive officer, President Cornelius M. Kerwin. The university administration is composed of Provost Scott A. Bass, chief academic officer; Teresa Flannery, vice president of communication; Gail S. Hanson, vice president of campus life; Mary E. Kennard, vice president and general counsel; Thomas J. Minar, vice president of development and alumni relations; Douglas Kudravetz, chief financial officer, vice president and treasurer; and David E. Taylor, president’s chief of staff. In addition, faculty, staff, and students participate in various levels of governance through university-wide, college-specific, or student representative bodies, committees, councils, and project teams.

Buildings and Facilities

American University's 90-acre campus consists of the main campus at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW; the Tenley campus at 4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW; and Washington College of Law, currently at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. We have 51 buildings, including 10 residence halls (housing approximately 3,500 students, by design), and 41 academic and administrative buildings. The campus also is home to the Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Arts Center. Additionally, AU has several administrative and commercial buildings located near the university: 4000 Brandywine Street, NW, home to the Washington Semester Program; 3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW; 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW; 4545 42nd Street, NW; 4620 Wisconsin Avenue, NW; and 4401 Connecticut Avenue, NW, home to WAMU.

Construction is under way currently on the Tenley Campus to make way for the new Washington College of Law. The law school will relocate from its current location to the new facilities in time for the fall 2015 semester. Additionally, the new East Campus, to be located on the 8.1-acre parcel of land across from the main campus on the corner of Nebraska and New Mexico avenues, is targeted to be completed in summer 2016. The new campus will comprise four buildings, including three residence halls and two connected academic buildings to accommodate administrative and instructional space.

September 2014