American University

2014 Quick Stats
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20016

Phone: (202) 885-1000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#75 Overall Score: 53 out of 100. National Universities

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American University is a private institution that was founded in 1893. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,299, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 84 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. American University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 75. Its tuition and fees are $40,649 (2013-14).

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. The university, located in a suburban pocket of northwest Washington, is close to a stop on the D.C.-area Metrorail transit system. Rides downtown take about 15 minutes. Students at American have been rated among the most politically active in the nation, and there are more than 200 student clubs and organizations on campus. The school also has a sizeable Greek system, with about 30 fraternities and sororities.

The American University Eagles sports teams compete in the NCAA Division I Patriot League, and the school’s mascot is, accordingly, an eagle. Catching a professional sports contest, such as a Redskins football game or a Nationals baseball game, is a quick trip from campus, too. The university is affiliated with the Methodist church, but its Kay Spiritual Life Center houses about 25 groups of different faiths. The confluence of opportunities on and off campus clearly works for most students: American University boasts a notably high freshmen retention rate of around 90 percent.

American University has seven unique schools, including the well-regarded Washington College of Law. All students can take advantage of the school’s cultural hubs, such as the Katzen Arts Center and Greenberg Theatre. For time away from the nation's capital, more than half of undergraduates study abroad. American University has the largest school of international affairs in the country. Dozens of politicians are alumni of American University, including U.S. Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Donald Manzullo and former U.S. Reps. Betsy Markey and Bill Shuster. Mike Panetta, the former shadow representative for Washington, D.C., is also an American University graduate.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

At American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., students learn from award-winning scholars and researchers, policy makers, authors, artists, filmmakers, lawyers, scientists, and journalists. AU'sfaculty are both thought leaders and committed teachers, 94 percent of whom hold the highest degree in their field. Balancing theory and practice, they take full advantage of the university's ocation in the nation' capital, a remarkable laboratory for applying knowledge. Faculty and students are deeply connected through research partnerships and networking with pinnacle organizations in government, business, and the nonprofit worlds. Active and engaged, AU students strive to serve the world around them, learning how to create change and address major issues - m health care to human rights and global economics to the environment - through internships, as well as hands-on community and volunteer service and study abroad, in more than 145 locations in 44 countries on 6 continents. AU's award-winning Career Center helps students land unique internships and careers.
American University offers five schools for undergraduate study: the School of Public Affairs, one of the nation's oldest and finest; the School of International Service, the world's largest of its kind; Kogod School of Business, ranked among the top U.S. business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek; the School of Communication, which has gained prominence for innovating new models of investigative journalism and news media and excels in campaign communication and documentary film; and the College of Arts and Sciences, the university's liberal arts core and home to distinguished artists and writers, scientists, and presidential and judicial historians. Students may elect to double major, pursue an interdisciplinary program, or custom design an interdepartmental or interschool major.
Beyond its excellent academics, AU offers more than 200 clubs and organizations for every interest, from politics to performing arts to community service. Our calendar is filled with films and dance, concerts and plays, sports and lectures. Imagine yourself in the audience of Rudy Giuliani or Gloria Steinem or the Dalia Lama - among the compelling speakers who've come to American University.
Located in the heart of one of the world's most influential cities, AU's beautiful 84-acre campus - itself an arboretum -provides an attractive collegiate setting, characterized by federal-style architecture and the striking, contemporary Katzen Arts Center, a state-of-the-art exhibition and performance space that serves both the AU and greater DC communities. In 2010 the School of International Service moved to its new home, a LEED Gold Certified building, further enhancing the opportunities for one of the world's most renowned international programs. And, a restoration of the stately McKinley Building - for which former President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone - will create a high-energy, high-tech hub for the School of Communication in 2014.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1893
Religious affiliation United Methodist
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $466,000,000


When applying to American University, it's important to note the application deadline is January 15, and the early decision deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 15. The application fee at American University is $70. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 44.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 44.2%
Application deadline January 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at American University is 12:1, and the school has 46.3 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at American University include: International Relations and Affairs; Business Administration and Management, General; Political Science and Government, General; Speech Communication and Rhetoric; and Criminal Justice/Safety Studies. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 90.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 12:1
4-year graduation rate 73%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
International Relations and Affairs 23%
Business Administration and Management, General 16%
Political Science and Government, General 10%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 6%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 4%

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Student Life

American University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,299, with a gender distribution of 40.6 percent male students and 59.4 percent female students. American University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 12,904
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

American University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, day care, health service, and health insurance. American University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age at American University.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At American University, 51.9 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $19,733.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $40,649 (2013-14)
Room and board $14,180 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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