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Community of Scholars

A group of Community of Scholars students at USIP.

The Community of Scholars program is a rigorous college-credit summer program designed for students entering their junior and senior years of high school. The Community of Scholars offers academically outstanding students the chance to broaden their understanding of international relations by enrolling in a 3-credit college class designed just for them. Students admitted to this program will sample the undergraduate experience and take advantage of what the School of International Service (SIS) has to offer.

Community of Scholars will introduce you to the advancing field of global affairs through college-level coursework. Whether online or in class at AU, instructors will provide dynamic lectures and engage students in discussions as well as simulations, such as a mock UN debate. By the end of the program, you might find yourself developing a national security strategy or conducting a conflict assessment of an ongoing insurgency. You will visit government agencies and non-profit organizations to see how leading policy-makers put ideas into action. You will experience the excitement of Washington at work and see firsthand what others only read about.


American University's School of International Service (SIS) offers a top-rated undergraduate program in Washington, DC, providing a comprehensive liberal arts education with a global perspective.

The SIS BA degree in International Studies exposes students to diverse viewpoints, challenging them to reach a deeper understanding of the world. First-year students study world politics, gaining a theoretical framework and common vocabulary for discussing international issues. They also strengthen their ability to consider alternative perspectives through coursework in cross-cultural communication. In a first-year seminar, students develop critical reading, thinking, and writing capabilities while studying an engaging topic. Undergraduate research is an integral part of the SIS experience. Students enroll in research methods courses and engage in faculty-supported research projects. Upper-level coursework lets students delve into specialized topics. In their senior capstone, students integrate and apply what they have learned, culminating in a project of their choosing. 

The Community of Scholars program enables high school students to experience SIS's first-class undergraduate curriculum. According to SIS Associate Dean Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, "The Community of Scholars program exemplifies SIS's core educational values. It's an excellent opportunity for high school students to begin their study of international affairs."

Contact Us!

Telephone: 202-885-2442

Fax: 202-885-2494


How the Program Benefits You

During this intensive summer program, you will:

  • Pursue your academic interests in International Relations
  • Earn 3 college credits
  • Explore international institutions in Washington, DC
  • Learn about international careers
  • Meet other students who are passionate about creating meaningful change in the world

 "I absolutely adored this entire program. It is an experience I will keep for the rest of my life."

- 2014 Community of Scholars Student