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University College | Frequently Asked Questions

Why should a student participate in the University College Learning Community?

University College provides students with the opportunity to make connections both inside and outside the classroom and expand their learning. University College allows students to make fast friends with their floor mates. Students in University College are more prepared for higher-level course work at American University. In addition, your Complex Problems course will fulfill a general education requirement in one of five areas. For more information about the American University General Education program for the 2017-2018 academic year, please visit

Is there a cost associated with University College?

There is no additional cost associated with participating in the University College for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Is the University College only for first-year students?

The University College is limited to first-semester first-year students for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Can students from all majors participate?

Any first-year student of any major not otherwise participating in another Living Learning Community is eligible to participate in the University College. Complex Problems is a general education course that must be completed within the first year, and so these courses are not limited to any particular major.

Is everyone accepted into the University College?

Space is limited in University College based on housing and classroom space. For the best chances of securing your spot, please apply early and before the deadline to the University College via your AU portal. If you apply after the deadline or space in the University College is filled, you will be added to the waitlist on a first-come first-serve basis.

When will I be notified whether I have been accepted into the University College?

Once all students have been placed in their classes, you will be notified via your AU email address with your acceptance into the program as well as your Fall 2017 Complex Problems course. Housing and Dining Programs will notify you at a later time with your fall housing assignment. This information will also be available via your portal.

What if my first choice option for my class is full?

When you apply, you will be asked to supply your top five class choices. Though we will try to accommodate all students’ first choice for a class, this may not always be possible. We will place you in a class that is available based on your order of preference. If you are not satisfied with that course selection, please email

I’m interested in the University College Learning Community but I missed the deadline! What do I do?

If you missed the deadline to register for the University College Learning Community on your portal, please email to be added to the waitlist.

Can I register for a Complex Problems course but not participate in the University College Learning Community?

As a living learning community, enrollment in a Complex Problems course requires participation in the University College Learning Community for the 2017-2018 academic year.

How much of a time commitment will living in a Learning Community require?

Your Complex Problems course meets for the same amount of hours as any other three-credit AU course. One of the benefits of the University College Learning Community is the community-building and off-campus programming. It is expected that University College students will spend an additional 2-3 hours per week participating in University College activities including film screenings, study sessions hosted by Peer Leaders, guest speaker events, floor and building-wide programming, trips into Washington, DC, and other special events hosted by University College.

What are expectations for students living in the University College?

The foremost expectation of students in the University College is to attend co-curricular activities hosted by the University College and your Complex Problems course such as common events, guest speakers, film screenings, and engaging with the greater Washington, DC community. Additionally, it is expected that all residents respect the community standards set by your floor at all times. Finally, it is an expectation that you are present, engaged, and active with your classmates and Faculty Fellow in your Complex Problems course.

Are the outside activities that are a part of the University College required?

Unless an event occurs during your designated course time in Complex Problems, you are not required to attend University College events. However, we strongly encourage participation whenever possible as these events allow students to connect course material to other topics and real world issues. Additionally, speakers may provide a diverse perspective that you may previously have not considered. Finally, these events will have students from other courses and floors, and are a fun way to connect with the program. It is an expectation that students will attend these activities when possible.

Will living in the University College limit my college experience?

On the contrary, the University College will enhance your experience at American University. Students in learning communities have better connections to their campus, stronger relationships with classmates and faculty members, and higher grades throughout college. All University College students have the same opportunities as all other students to participate in all university-sponsored events, Greek life, campus organizations, and career preparation opportunities at American University.

Can I select my own roommate?

Students in the University College will follow Housing and Dining regulations regarding roommate selection and placement. For more information, please visit their website (link here).

Will I meet other people that are not in my Living and Leaning Community?

Though your residence hall floor will house only University College students, the south side of the American University campus is home to most first-year residential students, creating a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. To maintain your full-time status, you will also register for three or more courses which will include students from the entire American University undergraduate population. In addition, University College students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities such as campus organizations, community service projects, and university athletics.

Can I live in another residence hall and be a member of the University College?

All students enrolled in a Complex Problems course will be placed on the south side of campus on a Complex Problems floor. If you require housing accommodations, please contact Housing and Dining Programs.

It sounds like a good idea but I'm still not quite sure if it is right for me. How can I find out more information?

We encourage all students to visit our University College main website. If you still have questions, please email and a staff member will be happy to answer any questions you may have.