American University


American University is a private liberal arts and research university in the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, with an enrollment of about 6,028 undergraduates and 3,912 postgraduates at present.

The university was chartered by an Act of Congress in 1892, and approved by President Benjamin Harrison in 1893. A letter written by George Washington, where he hoped a national university would be located in the capital of the States, inspired the establishment of American University. The main campus of the university is located on Massachusetts Avenue of Northwest Washington, and an additional facility half a mile northwest of the main campus, which houses the Washington College of Law.

American University offers degrees in certificate, associate, bachelor’s, post-bachelor’s certificate, master’s and doctorate programs. In addition, some combined-degree programs are also offered, such as French/Europe Area Studies, Business and Music, International Media, Communication, etc.

The mission of American University is:

At American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., students learn from award-winning authors, policymakers, artists, scholars and researchers, filmmakers, lawyers, scientists, and journalists. AU faculty are both leaders in their discipline and committed teachers, with 94 percent holding the highest degree in their field. Leveraging our location, AU faculty provide students with the necessary balance between theory and practice, with our nation’s capital serving as their laboratory for learning. But it’s not just what AU students learn. Rather, it’s what they do with that knowledge. AU students are doers, active citizens who strive to serve the world around them via hands-on research, internships, community and volunteer service, and study abroad.


The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and recognized by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. Meanwhile, many schools, departments and programs are individually accredited by other accrediting organizations.


American University comprises six schools and colleges:

  1. College of Arts and Sciences
  2. Kogod School of Business
  3. School of Communication
  4. School of International Service
  5. School of Public Affairs
  6. Washington College of Law

The most popular majors and course of study for students are as follows:

  1. International relations and affairs
  2. Business administration and management
  3. Political science and government
  4. Speech communication and rhetoric
  5. Psychology

American University ranked No. 82 among all the national universities in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report, besides, many of its programs are ranked among the top 100 in the States by U.S. News as well.

The university is especially well-recognized for promoting international understanding, as the enrollment is a diverse one, with students from over 150 countries of the world. In addition, the faculty’s research, the courses offered and the often presence of world leaders on the campus of AU, all indicate that AU is a university with international views.


AU is a selective university, with an enrollment rate of 20 percent. For freshman candidates, many factors, such as academic GPA, secondary school record, standardized test scores, recommendations, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, etc. are all taken into consideration. Applicants are required to submit high school diploma, and GED is accepted.


The tuitions and fees for 2011-2012 academic year is USD 38,071, and the room and board cost about USD 13,648 on average.

About 47.5 percent students can get certain type of financial aids at AU. The average grant or scholarship is USD 14,150. The financial aids vary in types, such as scholarships, grants, work study, etc.

About Us

Universities Today is a website dedicated to help you find your best fit colleges, apply well, and pay the bill easily. We work hard to meet all your needs in college admission.
Read more

Ask the Expert