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NSLC | Academic Expectations


NSLC College Credit Program        School of International Service

NSLC College Credit Program        School of International Service
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8071
AU Quad

Enrolling in the American University's College Credit Option is a great way to enrich your NSLC experience. Your course will help prepare you for the experiences and expectations of college life by challenging you with college-level assignments.  But before enrolling in the credit option, it is important that you understand the academic expectations of taking a course for university credit. Please read carefully with your parent or guardian the important information below.

American University Credit

American University awards credit based on a minimum of 12.5 instructional hours and 25 hours of independent student work per credit.  Instructional hours are derived not only from the lectures, simulations, and other experiential learning gained through your NSLC program, but also from supplemental classes with an AU professor.  The additional classes are held during your NSLC program at times that do not conflict with other NSLC activities. Each NSLC program has a unique AU course designed to correlate with each NSLC program's area of study. The AU course allows you to explore relevant topics of interest in greater detail with your AU professor. You can access information about each course at the links on the course information page. Click on the course outlines for general information on assignments. Although syllabi are not finalized until closer to summer, you may obtain a previous year's syllabus by emailing You may also call the AU credit office at 202-885-2442 if you wish to speak with someone about the college credit option.

Course Logistics

Prior to your arrival on campus, your professor will contact your class to welcome everyone to the course. Your professor also may give you some short readings that will be discussed when the class first meets on campus. Several of the programs require a first class meeting the afternoon of the official NSLC opening day. This class will begin at 2 pm and will conclude before 6 pm in order for you to join dinner and the official opening of your NSLC program. The following programs require this first-day class meeting: Acting Intensive, Forensic Science, Game Design, Intelligence & National Security, International Diplomacy, Journalism, Film & Media Arts, Law & Advocacy, Mastering Leadership, Political Action & Public Policy, Psychology & Neuroscience (AU campus), and Theater. Please make arrangements to arrive on campus to attend this 2 pm meeting. If this means you must arrive the day before, you may stay in the dormitory without charge, but you MUST contact NSLC Headquarters at 1-800-994-NSLC (6752) ahead of time to make these arrangements.

Note: Students enrolled in AU credit for all other programs do not need to arrive early.  These students will attend their first meeting following opening day. The programs not requiring an early arrival include the following: Biotechnology, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Entertainment Management, Environmental Science & Sustainability, Medicine & Health Care, Nursing, Psychology & Neuroscience (Harvard), and Sports Management.

While attending the NSLC program, students enrolled in the AU credit option will meet with their professor a number of times throughout the week. At the opening class meeting, you will be given your AU ID and instructions on accessing AU's electronic Blackboard as well as library resources. The additional class meetings will usually take place in the morning before the NSLC activities get underway. In these classes, your professor will lecture and lead discussions, just as in a regular college class. Students will be given a course syllabus, and lessons will simulate those given by professors during the academic year. You are not required to submit assignments during your NSLC program. Note: Students enrolled in courses taught primarily online will access much of their instruction upon returning home.

After you return home, you will complete assignments based on the issues and curriculum covered in your course. The specific assignments will be tailored to your specific NSLC program. Your professor will give clear guidance on assignments and will provide resources and readings for the assignment. You will have 30 days from the last day of your on-campus program to complete your work and submit it to your professor. Remember, this is a college-level class with college-level expectations. Your efforts to produce high-quality work and to meet deadlines will be rewarded;at the same time, poor or late work will be penalized. This is your chance to showcase your abilities, to preview a real college learning experience, and to take pride in your achievement. For general information on assignments, please review course outlines. For additional questions, please email


Students may take the college credit for a letter grade (A-F), if they anticipate transferring the credit to another college or university. However, since this is university-level work, selecting to enroll in the course credit on a pass/fail basis may be a good choice. To choose the pass/fail option you must email the NSLC College Credit Coordinator at before the first day of your NSLC program. Please note that a grade of Pass indicates performance of no less than a 2.0 on a conventional grading scale. Please be advised that failure to complete assignments may result in failing the course which will be reflected on your permanent college transcript. If no assignments are completed, the student's incomplete status will default to a failed grade.

Please see the section below regarding course withdrawals and refunds.

Late Assignments

Late assignments will not be accepted unless you receive written permission from your professor.  Sometimes students have trips or obligations following their return home which prevent them from meeting a course deadline; in such cases, students must inform their professor before returning home so they can obtain a brief extension. Failure to complete assignments may result in failing the course which will be reflected on your permanent college transcript. 


Please be aware that AU's Registrar will never release any grades or other information about you without your direct permission. The Registrar requires you to submit a one-page transcript request form with your signature each time you request your transcript. At your first class meeting, your professor will provide you with this form along with instructions on completing it.  Transcripts will be mailed shortly after final grades are posted to students' academic records. If all deadlines are met, students can expect to receive their transcripts by late September. The Registrar will send free of charge additional copies of transcripts to colleges or universities to which you are applying;however, you must submit an additional transcript form and follow instructions found on the alumni page. Again, the Registrar will never release your transcript without your express permission. 

Withdrawals and Refunds

Please review all Registrar regulations regarding changes to your enrollment here. The last day to drop your course and receive a full refund is 30 days prior to the start of your NSLC program. This deadline is the same as NSLC's policy for refunds.  The last day last day to drop a course without a "Withdrawal" notation on your AU record is the first day of your course. The last day to drop a course and receive a "Withdrawal" on your record is the fourth day of the program. After the fourth day of your program, you may no longer withdraw from your course.  Please email for more information.