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American University
Washington D.C.

American University is a very strong university academically, with 94% of faculty members holding the highest degrees within their fields, and these talented academics hold classes that are smaller than most universities as the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1, with an average class size of 23. 

Its politics programmes are among the world’s top 100 (QS, 2022) and some of the most popular majors in the past few years have been Social Sciences, Business & Management, and Communication & Journalism. 

American University is made up of 8 schools:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • KOGOD School of Business
  • School of Communication
  • School of Education
  • School International Services
  • School of Public Affairs
  • School of Professional and Extended Studies
  • Washington College of Law

The university’s campus is a 90 acre hub of student activity in a residential district of Washington, DC, and was voted #4 most beautiful urban college campus nationally (Princeton Review Green Honor Roll, 2015). 

The campus is well-connected to the wider DC area by metro stations and buses, and students can utilise their Metro U-Pass to enjoy unlimited rides on metro rails and buses between the main campus and Tenleytown campus. 

While being an historic campus, investment has been constant into the modernisation of certain aspects, for example, three new halls of residence and meeting spaces within Duber and Constitution Hall have been constructed to meet the demands of students, and the Don Meyers Technology and Innovation building’s new design and build labs offer students hands-on ways to gain experience in design application. 

Startup Business Support

At the Kogod School of Business, students can use the business school incubator where professors can offer all the latest and best strategies to students on how best to start their own businesses. American University can offer students access to networking opportunities, educational masterclasses, shared workspaces with like minded professionals, and mentorship from the Kogod faculty team. Student-led startups include extreme sports apps, coastal erosion indicators, and storage unit delivery services. 

American University Centre for Innovation (AUCI) are ranked in the top 50 best undergraduate programmes for entrepreneurs (Princeton Review & Entrepreneur, 2020), and #35 for best graduate programmes for entrepreneurs (Princeton Review, 2021).

Research And Development

As previously mentioned, 94% of AU faculty hold the highest possible degrees within their fields, making them excellent research mentors for students to learn under. American University has over 50 centres, institutes and initiatives that incorporate research skills into everyday life. 

Sources of funding for undergraduates include:

  • CAS Conference Travel & Research Support
  • The Entrepreneurship Incubator
  • Educational Enhancement Fund 
  • Provost Research Funding

And sources of funding for graduates in research include:

  • Adel Ait-Ghezala Graduate Research Fellowships
  • CAS Graduate Student Research Fund Competition
  • Hart A.Massey Fellowship
  • And more. 

The World Mind Magazine is a publication that is student-led at AU, where contributors write detailed analyses and insights into international topics such as domestic politics, foreign affairs, and military conflict. This publication has helped many students get a foothold into the research community and hone their skills at an undergraduate level where research opportunities are harder to come by. 

Job Placement

The Office of Career Engagement at the Kogod School of Business gives students free help with writing cover letters and resumés, practice with interview scenarios, and help seeking out internship opportunities and jobs. Attention to detail over graduate employability has seen AU rank an impressive #251-300 in QS’ Graduate Employability Ranking (2022), scoring 97/100 for Employer-Student Connections. 

AU instils the need to think about one’s future from their first day on campus, with 91% of students pursuing at least one internship in their time at university. The career centres are award-winning for not only graduate employability, but for encouraging students to compete for scholarships such as Fulbright or Wilson grants, and Goldwater, McNair, Marshall, Boren, and Truman scholarships, all of which will propel students through academia or look fantastic on a resumé. 

Student Life

Students at AU can enjoy a gorgeous green campus to live and study at which includes a public museum and sculpture garden at the Katzen Arts Centre. As AU is based in Washington, DC, students here are among the most politically active in the world, forming clubs and societies in all manner of subject areas, from faith-based societies to gaming clubs. 

The sports team of AU is the Eagles, who compete in the NCAA Division I Patriot League, and students are highly encouraged to take part in cheering on their team as they compete against rival colleges around the country. 

The campus is roughly a 15 minute metro ride from downtown where there are countless restaurants, cafes, bars, music venues, cultural hotspots and more in the historic capital of the USA. 

Why should you choose this university?

American University has a lot to offer students academically, and perhaps most impressively, professionally. With such skilled faculty members and relatively small class sizes, students can enjoy a personalised experience when it comes to learning in a classroom and these personal connections with staff have fostered motivated graduates who utilise what AU has to offer to them, mainly in regards to internships and work experience opportunities. 

While research opportunities could perhaps be more plentiful to the wider student population at AU, no one can argue with the employability of its graduates and its setting in the nation’s capital make it an essential consideration to students thinking of studying in the USA, particularly politically-active or politically-conscious students.


Ranking BodyYearRanking Number
World University Ranking (QS)2022651-700
World University Ranking (QS)2021651-700
World University Ranking (QS)2020601-650
World University Ranking (QS)2019541-550
World University Ranking (QS)2018471-480