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AU Scholars | What is AU Scholars?

About AU Scholars


Program Benefits: 

·         Acquire advanced and interdisciplinary research skills and tools of inquiry early in your career at AU 

·         Connect with faculty mentors in small classroom environments 

·         Establish a distinctive record of accomplishments 

·         Be fully engaged and integrated in the life of the university

·         Classroom support from graduate research assistants in the first year

·         A vibrant living-learning community of high achieving peers 


Year 1

Year 2




  • AU Scholars Welcome Reception
  • AU Scholars Orientation
  • January Research Bootcamp
  • Scholars Research Symposium
  • Peer Mentors
  • Other Social and Professional Development events


First-Year Scholars Seminar -- During their first semester in the AU Scholars Program, students participate in a seminar course and an accompanying lab class. Seminar topics range from social sciences, public health, and legal systems, to environmental science, theater, and visual literacy. Students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a particular field while making connections between course concepts, discipline-specific research, and practical applications. All seminar courses fulfill a General Education requirement.


Experiential and Research Lab -- Meeting once a week, lab courses familiarize students with the DC community and professional research institutions. Faculty and graduate assistants facilitate these sessions and have taken students on visits to locations such as the Supreme Court, National Geographic, NIH, and National Zoo. Additionally, students will partake in Library Training Sessions to better understand the available academic resources from AU.


Spring Research Experience -- Throughout their second semester, students will partake in a Spring Research Course where they will carry out a faculty-led research project while working in small groups. Previous topics for Spring Research Courses include human migration, child soldiers, globalized markets, theater, and more. Several Spring Research Courses include an international travel experience. Past trips have gone to Northern Ireland, Cuba, and Belgium.


AU Scholars Sophomore Seminars -- Sophomore Seminars in the AU Scholars program are designed to engage students in interdisciplinary thinking that explores and addresses pressing artistic, cultural, social, economic, political or environmental challenges.  The seminars will introduce a range of approaches to scholarly or creative activity with the goal of developing responses to a specific problem. The seminars will qualify for at least two Foundational Areas in the General Education Program.      


Wicked Problem Challenge -- AU Scholars students will work in interdisciplinary teams to identify a wicked problem (e.g., poverty, sustainability, inequality, political instability, hunger, disease, homelessness). Teams will develop a research proposal based on questions developed by faculty. This is a non-credit bearing activity. At the end of their second spring semester, the teams will present their projects to a panel of faculty judges.