Inside the Numbers

American University draws the information on this website related to graduation outcomes from the results of a Graduation Census and a series of follow-up contacts designed to understand students’ post-graduation plans. Additional efforts to find information about graduates, such as reviewing LinkedIn profiles, supplement these data. The site was updated in April 2017.

The Office of Research and Assessment (OIRA), Career Center, Kogod Center for Career Development (KCCD), SIS Office of Career Development, and academic advisors jointly gathered these data. AU begins collecting information from students who apply in March to graduate in May and continues collecting information through the end of the year to establish what students are doing as of six months after graduation. Results include graduates whose status is confirmed as of six months after graduation. Each year, a small number of students responding to earlier survey outreach efforts indicate they are seeking employment. If these graduates fail to provide an update after repeated attempts to contact them, their response is considered missing at the six-month point, and their information is not included in the six-month statistics.

Unless otherwise noted, results are based on the most recent three years of data. Results are for May 2014, 2015, and 2016 graduates whose status was confirmed as of six months after graduation. The research confirmed a status for 81 percent of all undergraduates and 87 percent of all master's graduates. In some instances, programs have too few responses to report for a particular item. In these cases, results will be reported at the level of the department, school, or disciplinary cluster.

A few majors and departments have been renamed during the period reported. This site uses the new names in all cases. The Justice, Law, and Society major and department are now Justice, Law, and Criminology. The Women’s and Gender Studies major is now Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The Language and Foreign Studies Department is now World Languages and Cultures. The master’s major of Public Communication is now Strategic Communication, and the undergraduate major of Public Communication is now Public Relations and Strategic Communication. The master’s major of Curriculum and Instruction is now Education and Policy Leadership, and the master’s major of Film & Video is now Film and Media Arts. The undergraduate major of Communication: Visual Media is now Communication: Film and Media Arts, and the undergraduate major of Business & Music is now Business and Entertainment.

The Washington College of Law collects its graduation outcomes in a different format than other schools and colleges according to standards that are unique to law schools. See WCL statistics.

Business administration graduation outcomes must be reported according to standards that are unique to business schools. As a result, this site does not provide information at the program level of business administration. See business administration statistics.