Skip to main content

New Student Orientation

Students mingle on the quad during Welcome Week.

Welcome Week 2016: Saturday, August 20 - Sunday, August 28

Welcome Week 2016

What is Welcome Week?

Welcome Week is a long standing AU tradition at American University.  For students who participate in Eagle Summit it’s a “welcome back” to campus and to Washington, DC as we begin the academic year.  For others, it’s the first taste of all that AU has to offer.

In addition to AU Welcome Week traditions like the bagpipes leading the new class to the President’s Opening Convocation and the All-American BBQ on the main quad, new AU students can choose to participate in a wide array of programs that range from service to sustainability, civic engagement to athletic engagement all highlighting AU’s connections to Washington, DC as an extension of campus.  By pairing days of exploration and service with evening programs that highlight community leaders and policy makers, you will have the chance to bring your experiences in DC into the context of the city’s challenges and celebrations.  Spend a little time reading through your options.  We look forward to hearing what choice you make!


What You Need to Know

Welcome Week will begin on Saturday, August 20, the first day students can move into their residence halls, and will come to a close on Friday, August 26, with the All-American BBQ. During this week before classes begin, most first-year students participate in AU’s hallmark welcome programs. For 2016, American University is crafting an even more innovative and fun Explore DC program. Many students also partake in First-Year Fundamentals, our make-up Orientation program for students who were unable to attend a summer Eagle Summit.

The Dates. Eagle Summit First-Year Fundamentals kicks off Monday, August 22 at 8:00 am with check-in. Explore DC kicks off with events late in the afternoon on Tuesday, August 23, and will continue through the evening of Thursday, August 25. Check-in for these programs will be from 9:00am- 4:00pm on Tuesday, August 23.

The Fee. The $100 fee for Welcome Week includes dinner on Tuesday, breakfasts on Wednesday and Thursday, and admission to evening events. It also covers supplies, materials, transportation to and from sites (and, in some cases, a SmarTrip card for Metro rides), staff costs, and a program T-shirt. Please plan to bring about $15 per day for lunches and personal expenses.

Registration. Registration will be available for Welcome Week 2016 on June 6. Log on to the portal with your user ID and password, and click on the links as follows: Life@AU, then New Students, then New First-Year Student Checklist, then Register for a Welcome Week Program. Once registration becomes available, we recommend registering as soon as possible because spaces fill up quickly!

For Transfer Students. If you are participating in the June and July two-day orientations, you may join any of the programs listed. All Welcome Week programs will be a mix of transfer and first-year students. Be sure to register when you sign up for your orientation.

Questions? For more information on any of our Welcome Week activities, email us at or call us at 202-885-3303.

Explore D.C.

Through Explore DC, you will navigate and learn about Washington DC through a targeted lens. You will have the opportunity to meet other new students with similar interests and will understand why AU considers DC to be our laboratory of learning. You can select from a variety of topics that fit your passions; programs are detailed online. All programs share the common theme of understanding the nation's capital from an insider's perspective. Faculty and staff members lead each trip of about 20 to 25 students. 

Since our staff is still in the process of booking locations and setting up times, topic areas will be made available on the website at a later date.

Eagle Summit First-Year Fundamentals

Program Dates

Eagle Summit First-year Fundamentals (Make-up Orientation) August 22-23, 2016

Program Details

Take a look at last year's schedules!

Check-in will be available from 8:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m. on the first morning. The program will run until about 7:30 p.m. that evening for students and about 6:45 p.m. for parents and families. The second day will begin at 8:00 a.m. and will conclude around 2:00 p.m.

Program Fees

$160 for students
$85 per Family Member (over the age of 12)
$65 per Family Members (under 12)

Orientation for Transfer Students

Program Dates

Session III (One-Day Program) August 23

One-Day Program Details

Check-in will be available from 8:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the program. It will conclude around 5:00 p.m. that evening. Please check back here for a draft of our schedule with the coming weeks

One-Day Program Fees

$40 for students
$40 per Family Member (over the age of 12)
$20 per Family Member (under the age of 12)

Welcome Week 2015

NSP - DC Tour NSP - DC Tour

See an overview of the 2015 Welcome Week

Click Here