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Community-Based Research Scholars | FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBR?

Community-based research involves collaboration between researchers and community members in the design and implementation of research projects aimed at meeting community identified needs.

What makes this program distinctive?

In their first year at AU, students will acquire foundational research skills and will conduct a substantive community-based research project as a class. Students will study the relationship between community and social issues, and will engage directly with community partners.

What is a living-learning community?

A living-learning community creates an environment in which you can more easily build relationships with other talented students, share academic interests and experiences, and adjust to college life in D.C. together. You will live together in Anderson Hall, and you will live on the same floor as other CBR Scholars.

The core foundational courses provide a stimulating, small-group learning experience. Each course is limited to 19 students, which promotes more discussion and interaction than is possible in large lecture classes. Your fall 3-credit course also fulfills a General Education requirement. All courses are taught by outstanding members of the AU faculty who are respected scholars in their fields.

Who gets invited to participate?

High-achieving students who demonstrate the ability to participate in research early in their college career and who have a passion for social justice and community service.

By when must I make a decision to join the program?

Decisions to join the program must be made by May 1st.

How does participation affect financial aid?

Students admitted to American University must be eligible for merit-based or need-based aid as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. The terms of your financial aid are listed in your admission letter.

What courses are required?

In the fall semester, you will take a 1-credit lab and a 3-credit General Education course. In the spring semester, you will take a 3-credit community-based research course. For more information, please visit the course descriptions. Six of the seven credits you take in the program can be applied to the undergraduate certificate in community-based research.

Who teaches the courses?

Please visit the Meet the Faculty page.

Do the courses count towards my degree/major?

Courses meet a General Education requirement and will also count towards the requirements for a Community-Based Research Certificate. Cross-Cultural Communication counts toward the SIS major.

Where will I live?

Anderson Hall.

Who will be my roommate?

Another participant in the CBRS program and/or a participant in the Honors program.

What activities will I be involved in outside the classroom?

In their first year, CBR scholars will be expected to attend a fall orientation, community service events, and a Writers as Witness event. CBR Scholars will also volunteer for 20 hours per semester at a local nonprofit organization.

Who will be my academic advisor?

Your academic advisor will be determined based on the program and school you applied to. Upon deposit, you will be receiving more information regarding how to contact your academic advisor.

Who do I contact with questions about the program?

Please contact cbrs@american.edu with any questions regarding the program.

How long is the program?

CBRS is a one-year living-learning community for first-year students. In the second year, you have the option to live with other scholars in a separate living learning community, be a peer mentor, participate in the Wicked Problem Challenge and take a seminar that is only offered to CBRS or AU Scholars students. You can also opt to enroll in the undergraduate certificate for community-based research to enrich your community-based research and service skills.

Is the merit scholarship contingent upon my completion of the program?

No. Merit scholarship is contingent upon meeting the requirements outlined in your scholarship letter.

What should I do if I have questions regarding my financial aid?

Please email financialaiddocuments@american.edu as soon as possible to inquire further about your financial aid package.