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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 sufficient to tackle a significant research project as a collaborative, interdisciplinary cohort. Students will study the relationship between community and social issues, and will engage directly with community partners who are co-educators on issues affecting their community. Scholars will also be assigned an RA who has been specially selected with experience in community service, learning and research.

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 Hughes 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 20 students, which promotes more discussion and interaction than is possible in large lecture classes. Each course also fulfills a university-wide requirement, with the exception of a 1 credit lab you will take in your first semester. 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 with a demonstrated interest and commitment in community-based learning, and willing to use their education to solve critical issues in communities.

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?

You will take one of two foundational general education courses in the fall and one research course in the spring. For more information, please visit the course descriptions.

Who teaches the courses?

Please visit the Meet the Faculty page.

Do the courses count towards my degree/major?

Courses will meet the General Education requirements and will also count towards the requirements for a Community-Based Research Certificate.

Where will I live?

Hughes Hall.

Who will be my roommate?

Another participant in the 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. Optional activities will include Documentaries with a Purpose (movie nights), and LLC events (i.e. NYC trip and AU Night at the Nationals).

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 with any questions regarding the program.

How long is the program?

This is a one-year living-learning community for first-year students with opportunities to enroll in additional community-based designated courses, Sophomore Seminars and courses required for a Community-Based Research certificate.

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 as soon as possible to inquire further about your financial aid package.