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Undergraduate Program Overview

SOC Week 2012

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The AU School of Communication Advantage

  • SOC’s journalism and public communication programs are fully accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
  • SOC’s film and media arts program is one of only 16 U.S. members of CILECT, the international association of film and television schools.
  • 93% of SOC's undergraduate graduating class of 2013 were either working and/or attending graduate school six months after graduation, according to a post-graduation survey conducted by the AU Career Center.
  • Our hands-on programs tap the talent and experience in the nation's capital for internships, mentors and guest lecturers.
  • AU professors represent a rich mix of academic and professional training, bringing real-world experiences to the classroom setting.
  • SOC boasts many successful alumni. In fact, we could fill an entire Web site praising their accomplishments!

TOP 10 SOC Highlights

1. Award-Winning Faculty

Emmys, Oscars and a world of awards adorn the walls of SOC offices. You'll learn from faculty whose work regularly appears on television and movie screens, in bookstores, newspapers and online.

2. Internships

Washington, D.C. is our classroom. Reporting for USA TODAY, strategizing at Ogilvy Public Relations, or pitching show ideas to NBC executives, our students are learning from leaders and getting a head start on their careers.

3. Facilities

The School of Communication is located in the heart of campus and houses multiple video, photo and editing labs, as well as a theater.

4. Opportunities

Partnerships with The Washington Post, Maryland Public Television, Gannett, the Newseum and other top organizations mean student work snags credit lines around Washington and across the country.

5. Alumni Network

Thousands of SOC alumni are working across our professions and around the world. Pick any major media outlet and you'll find an AU SOC alum in a key role. Because our alumni appreciate what they learned here, they keep returning to share their success.

6. Dedicated Dean

Dean Jeff Rutenbeck pairs his experience with a vision for the future. He sees the School as a laboratory for rethinking and reinventing communication as a profession and a social responsibility.

7. Technology

Our Media Production Center houses a High Definition Television Studio, enabling our students to hone their state of the art skills right here, right now.

8. Centers for Media that Matter

The Center for Media and Social Impact, the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking are some of the SOC organizations defining and shaping communications for the digital age.

9. One-on-One Attention

Outstanding teaching is at the heart of our mission. We believe in small classes and strong faculty-student bonds that extend beyond the classroom. We're also proud of our reputation for great academic advisors.

10. An Exciting Future!

We're excited to show off our new, high-tech, interactive home in the historic McKinley Building. But our real future lies with the next generation of communication innovators. That could be you!


When you apply to American University, you are applying to the University as a whole and not to a specific School or College within the University. You'll be able to indicate your intended major on your application, but the admission decision will not be affected by the major you indicate. If you change your mind after you apply, that's fine! You would simply tell your academic advisor that you've changed your mind, and he/she will help you make the switch.  

Because it's so easy to change your major, we highly recommend you indicate a major within the School of Communication (SOC), even if you're not 100% certain. That way you'll be acclimated to the SOC community right away! The first class you take as an SOC major is COMM 100, Understanding Media, which also happens to count as a general education requirement. This means that you'll be fulfilling your first major requirement while also fulfilling one of the general education areas required of all AU students!