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  • Swati Chopra

American University

This is a series of posts on campuses I've visited. At times I've had the chance to meet up with admission officers and have included specific majors and data here. Please keep the date of my visit in mind as admission requirements and freshmen profiles change annually and updating these posts will not always be possible. To see other schools' profiles, please visit my website.

June 2023 - Counselor Tour

Located in a residential neighborhood of Washington, D.C., American University (AU) is a dynamic college-centered research institution recognized for its academic innovation. AU boasts distinguished faculty that are experts in their field and an active and engaged student body.

AU is committed to providing all of their students with opportunities to engage with issues through academics, research, investigation, and personal experiences. Additionally, 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. AU is the best of both worlds; a safe traditional college experience coupled with the benefits of one of America’s best cities.

Campus and Surrounding Areas

The campus features lush green spaces, landscaped gardens, and tree-lined walkways, providing students with areas for relaxation, outdoor study, and recreation. The campus is home to modern academic buildings, research centers, and state-of-the-art facilities equipped with the latest technology. These facilities include classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, and collaborative spaces designed to support student learning and research activities.

While AU has embraced modern architecture, the campus also boasts several historic buildings, including the iconic McKinley Building. This LEED certified building is home to the School of Communications (SOC) which provides programs for both undergraduates and graduate students.  These historic structures add character and charm to the campus landscape.

AU's campus is also home to cultural and recreational facilities, including the Katzen Arts Center, which features galleries, performance spaces, and studios showcasing visual and performing arts. Additionally, the campus offers fitness centers, athletic fields, and recreational amenities to promote health and wellness among students.

Popular Majors

  • International Studies,

  • Political Science,

  • Business Administration,

  • Communications,

  • Legal Institutions,

  • Economics, and

  • Public Relations & Strategic Communication

are some of the most popular majors at AU. Most people assume only students who are interested in political science would apply here, but the Kogod School of Business is a popular college and the business programs at AU are very selective.

AU also has new Data Science majors including

  • Data Sciences for Justice, Law, & Criminology, and

  • Data Sciences for Political Science Photography


American University is one of the greenest colleges in the world. In 2018, AU became the first university of its size to reach carbon neutrality and 100% of AU’s electricity comes from renewable sources.


91% of American University students complete at least one internship in their time at AU. Internships are not only for political science students, students complete internships in the arts, science, business, communications, education, and, of course, international politics. Many internships lead directly to a job after graduation. Companies and government agencies that have offered

internships in the past include ABC News, FBI, Wall Street Journal, Disney, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and a handful of embassies located in and around Washington DC.

Study Abroad

AU attracts a very globally minded citizen. 70% of American University students study abroad in over 125 programs across 40 countries including Australia, Denmark, India, Italy, Sweden, and Japan.

Student Body and Social Life

Students come from all 50 states and over 122 countries. 32% are students of color. Given its location in the nation's capital, AU attracts students who are interested in politics, international affairs, public policy, and social justice. Many AU students are actively engaged in political activism, advocacy, and community service both on and off campus. AU students are often socially conscious and committed to making a positive impact in their communities and beyond. Many students participate in volunteer work, service-learning projects, and advocacy campaigns to address social, environmental, and human rights issues.


AU uses the Common App and offers ED I and ED II. Last year 40% of the freshman class was filled in the ED rounds. They received close to 20,000 applications last year and the admit rate was around 65%. SAT is not required and 57% of the admitted students did not submit scores, this tells us they are truly test optional. The median GPA is 3.63 to 4.15 and SAT/ACT scores range from 1310 - 1440/30 - 33.


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