The School of Professional and Extended Studies (SPExS) is the seventh and newest major academic unit of American University. By establishing SPExS in 2012, American University created a vibrant center that will provide unique courses and programs to meet the needs and interests of today’s discerning learners.
Washington Semester Program
The School will grow upon the renowned and solid foundations of the Washington Semester Program which, since 1947, has offered programs of study by using Washington D.C. as a unique classroom. More than 200 colleges and universities are associated with the program and each semester over 400 students from across the country and around the world come to American University for programs that feature seminars with key and influential people. Students gain hands-on skills interning for a professional organization in Washington, D.C., and augment their experiences through a seminar in their field of study. International students who participate in the WSP International Certificate Program help create the truly global nature of the program. Through the popular Washington Summer Internship Program, students can select from internships in areas such as American politics, economics and international business, international affairs, journalism and new media, and justice and law. To request more information about this program, click here.
Washington Internships for Native Students
The award-winning Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) offers American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian (AI/AN/NH) students the opportunity to build leadership skills while living, studying, and interning in Washington, DC. Developed in response to the White House Initiative on American Indians and Alaska Natives, this enriching program offers qualified students full scholarships funded by American University and sponsoring organizations. Participating students gain professional work experience through interning at a federal agency or private firm, take courses focusing on Native American public policy concerns, and enjoy engaging social and cultural extra-curricular activities. In addition to making connections in DC, participants meet other AI/AN/NH students from across the country through the full support of a multi-cultural campus environment.
The Washington Mentorship Program
The Washington Mentorship Program gives students admitted as spring freshmen an insider's perspective on Washington, DC. Based on the model of the Washington Semester Program, the Washington Mentorship Program is grounded in the best practices of experiential and traditional learning. All academic credits earned for successfully completed courses transfer to the student's degree program. As members of the AU community, students have the opportunity to enjoy the full college experience, including participating fully in college classes, living in a residence hall, eating in a dining hall, getting involved in events and activities, and having full access to all university services, facilities, and resources.
The Graduate Gateway Program
The Graduate Gateway Program provides a hands-on experience that includes two graduate-level courses and an internship. Students earn seven credits in their field of study, chosen from applied politics, communications and new media, global business, and international affairs. The Graduate Gateway program is designed both to provide the real-world experience needed in today’s competitive workplace and to strengthen the skills required for success in graduate study.
While the School of Professional and Extended Studies may be ‘new’, it has proud traditions of preserve, and a unique vision of excellence and innovation to achieve.