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About the Program

How the Program Works

Students in Community of Scholars enroll in a rigorous three-credit college class that blends a week of online learning with two weeks of traditional on-campus classes. This hybrid format allows students to sample the distinct features of each learning platform. Students choose from one of these courses taught by AU faculty:

  • Worlds Apart, Worlds Together: Conflict, Culture, and Cooperation

  • Diplomacy and Dictators: U.S. Foreign Policy in an Uncertain World

Online Component

July 6-July 12, 2015. During the first week, students access lectures and engage in discussion with their professor and peers via a web portal using podcasts and video lectures. Readings and assignments will be available via AU’s Blackboard platform. All online material is accessed at home at hours that suit students’ schedules. During this period, students gain a foundation in the course topics to prepare them for the remainder of the course.

On-campus Component

July 13-July 24, 2015. (Residential students arrive on July 12.) Students attend class from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by lunch and afternoon activities, including site visits to Washington institutions (such as the State Department, Pentagon, and embassies), guest speakers, Model U.N.-style simulations, and college skills-building workshops taught by AU staff. Upon their return home, students will have an additional week to submit a final paper or project. A sample weekly schedule can be found here.


Dormitory housing is available for the campus segment of the program. AU upperclassmen as well as a senior resident adviser will live in the dormitories and serve as mentors throughout the program. Students will have various dining options on campus, including an all-you-can-eat menu in AU’s main dining facility.

Free Time and Evening Activities

Students will have free time to enjoy campus life, whether working out at the fitness center or relaxing on the quad or at one of AU’s cafes. Structured evening activities may include barbecues, an evening monument tour, study sessions, museum visits, a baseball game, and the viewing of international films.


We welcome D.C.-area students who wish to commute daily to campus. Our campus is a short shuttle ride from the Tenleytown metro stop. For those driving to campus, complimentary parking is available. Out-of-town students are encouraged to live with friends and relatives in the D.C. area and commute to AU. Commuting students are invited to attend all afternoon and evening activities.
Service Project

The School of International Service recognizes that “service is not a moment, it’s a mindset.” The Community of Scholars program imbibes this service mindset, requiring its residential scholars to participate in a community service project involving the underserved Washington, D.C. community. In addition to gaining a valuable life experience, students will also obtain service hours that may be used to supplement high school requirements.

Contact Us!

Telephone: 202-885-2442

Fax: 202-885-2494

E-mail: communityofscholars@american.edu

Check out our Facebook page here!

"This program has been absolutely life-changing. The kids here are so like-minded...we really connected."

- 2013 Community of Scholars Student


"I loved living on campus...it was a taste of college."

 - 2012 Community of Scholars Student


 "I really enjoyed my experience this past summer. The program was simply superb. I have a great passion for history and foreign affairs and thus will be applying to American early decision."

- 2011 Community of Scholars Student


"Our compliments to the Community of Scholars program for the 'hybrid' experience of home study and campus living. Thank you for an exceptional program that exceeded all our expectations."

- Parent of 2011 Community of Scholars Student