American University


American University (AU) was chartered by Congress in 1893. To this day, it enjoys a rich history and a tradition of academic excellence, public service, and political impact. In addition to its seven distinct schools, AU offers a variety of online courses and graduate programs that may be perfect for adult learners or busy professionals.

Where Is American University?

American University is a private research university located in Washington, D.C. The school sits in the historic Tenleytown neighborhood. The area was previously the site of Fort Reno which defended Washington during the Civil War and other invasions.

Many of AU’s separate college are dotted throughout the Tenleytown area. AU provides a shuttle service to help students navigate between the different schools.

American University Online Programs

Students Enrolled at AU

As of fall 2015, 13,198 students were enrolled in American University. Of these students, 7,909 were undergraduate. This student body was 62% female and 38% male. 97% of students were 24 years old or younger. The majority of undergrad students chose to attend class full-time. 95% of undergraduate students enrolled full-time while 5% enrolled part-time.

In terms of American University online programs, 7% of students took part in some distance education.

In the same year, 5,289 graduate students were enrolled in AU. These students were more evenly balanced between full and part-time studies. 55% of students chose to pursue their education full-time, while 45% chose part-time. Of these students, 10% took part in online-only distance education. An additional 4% chose to take part in some distance education.i


American University Online Admissions

Students could apply to undergraduate studies at AU in two ways. They could either complete the Common Application or the Coalition Application found on As part of this application, you could be required to submit the following additional materials.

  • 3.44 to 3.97 GPA
  • 1210 to 1370 SAT Score
  • Or 27 to 31 ACT Score
  • 1 letter of recommendation

At this time, you may also be required to submit a $70 processing fee along with your application. Waiver options may be available.

Undergraduate students could apply as early or regular decision for the upcoming fall semester. Spring semesters may only have a regular decision option.

To apply to graduate programs, students could complete the AU’s application on Generally, students may be asked to submit a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. Graduate admissions might also require additional materials depending on your concentration.  For example, you could be required to submit some of the following materials.

  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample
  • Creative Portfolio
  • Test Scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.)

What Is American University’s Acceptance Rate?

In fall 2015, American University accepted 35% of the 16,735 undergraduate applicants. Out of those, AU accepted 32% of male applicants and 37% of female.

Of the first-time undergraduate students who enrolled in classes at AU in fall 2014, 88% returned to continue their education in fall 2015. 100% of part-time students continued to pursue their degree program in the same time period.i 

5 Fast Facts About AU

  1. American University notable alumni include Goldie Hawn, Giuliana Rancic, Willard Scott, and several United States senators and representatives.
  2. American University is a Division 1 athletics school.
  3. 89% of students have participated in an internship while they were pursuing their degree program.
  4. AU’s career center could help students find job applications that match up with their interests. This service stays with students even after graduation!
  5. AU is on its way to becoming a greener campus. In 2010, the school adopted the Zero Waste Policy. This policy created a team to help eliminate waste in many areas of the campus like the dining hall, computer labs, and surrounding community.

The American University Online Experience

American University offers flexible learning opportunities, including online graduate courses.

  • AU's online programs allow students to tap into a multidisciplinary curriculum and an academic support network from the comfort of home.
  • Attentive instructors and a low student-to-faculty ratio are features of both campus-based and online programs at AU. 

AU Financial Aid Options

In 2014-2015, 86% of fulltime, beginning undergraduate students received financial aid. This is equal to 1,531 receiving financial aid for their first year of school.

Out of those students, 75% received financial aid from grants or scholarships. The following are the median amounts provided to students via grant or scholarship aid.

  • Federal Grants, $4,513
  • State or Local Government Grants or Scholarships, $741
  • Institutional Grants or Scholarships, $23,208

In addition, 74% of students receiving financial aid did so via a student loan. These students received a median sum of $7,879 from student loans.i

AU Faculty

As of fall 2015, AU employed 800 full-time and 636 part-time faculty members. Of that faculty, 98% of full-time and 100% of part-time professors spend their entire time on campus educating students. In addition, the remaining 2% of professors conduct new research on campus. This could be a great opportunity for students to become involved with innovative research in their desired field.

In addition, AU also employs graduate assistants. The GAs are typically graduate students who teach instructional courses to undergraduates. Also, this might be a great work study opportunity for graduate students. Typically, these positions are offered as part of a financial aid package. In fall 2015, American University employed 718 graduate assistants.i

American University Accreditation

American University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools as well as the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.

In addition, the following programs are also specifically accredited with the university.

  • Department of chemistry accredited by the American Chemical Society
  • School of Communication accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • School of education, teaching, and health programs accredited by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (elementary and secondary)
  • School of International Service is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, American Political Science Association, International Studies Association
  • Kogod School of Business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
  • Department of performing arts, division of music, is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music
  • Department of Psychology, doctoral training program in clinical psychology, accredited by the American Psychological Association
  • School of Public Affairs is an Institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration and a member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Washington College of Law is approved by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools

Online American University Degree Programs

The American University online programs are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and authorized to offer online learning in many states.

Students currently pursuing a degree on campus could also have the option to take part in online classes. Over 100 online classes are offered during the fall, spring, and summer sessions. This could be a great way to supplement your schedule and work towards valuable credits. 

AU does not offer online undergraduate degrees. But, undergraduate students could take additional online courses during semester.

AU does offer 100% online degree programs as part of their graduate studies. Students pursuing their graduate degree program online could choose from the following options.

  • Online MA in Economics
  • Online MS in Nutrition Education
  • Online MA Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Online Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online MA Public Administration
  • Online MS in Analytics

For a complete list of online graduate degree programs, visit

American University Online FAQs

  • How could you take your online course? Online courses are provided via Blackboard. Students could log into classes as their time allows. 
  • How do professors teach their subject online? Professors provide readings, lecture notes, and other materials on their Blackboard site. Students are encouraged to read them before completing any assignments. After doing so, students could discuss their thoughts and questions in the online class forums. 
  • Is an AU online class easier? The short answer is, no. American University online classes maintain the same rigor and standards as campus-based ones. 
  • Could I see what a course looks like? Yes! Professors are able to log prospective students into previously completed courses. This way, they could look at how older courses were structured for the online classroom. 
  • How do I take exams online? Professors are able to assign exams and quizzes via Blackboard. 

Online Masters of Business Administration

The online masters of business administration (MBA) is part of AU’s Kogod’s School of Business. Classes focus on developing students’ knowledge of business practices. Courses could include some of the following.

  • Managerial Statistics
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Marketing Management
  • Business Law & Ethics

Online MBA classes are conducted in real time. Typically, classes require students to log into seminar-style classes. This type of digital classroom could allow students to discuss their ideas with others in their class much like they would on campus. In addition, students could also share relevant documents and take part in live chatroom discussions.

AU Graduation Rates

81% of full-time, first-time students who began their studies in the fall 2009 graduate within 150% of their “normal time” of completion. Breaking this down further, 82% of the female student body graduated in that period and 80% of the male. 76% graduated within 4 years of beginning their students. Of the remaining students, 81% would go on to earn their degree in 6 years.i

Pursuing Your American University Online Education

With this information, you might be ready to start your search for a perfect American University Degree program. For more info on anything you’ve read on this page, head over to There you could find more details about admissions deadlines, course options, and faculty bios.


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