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Our Academic Profile

A student-centered research institution situated in a residential neighborhood of the nation's capital, we are home to eight prestigious schools and colleges, over 160 programs, and more than 13,000 students.


American University is a private, co-educational doctoral institution situated in a residential neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C. We are classified as an R2 Institution, ranked "Doctoral: Higher Research Activity" by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. We are a Methodist affiliated institution.

Our total fall 2016 enrollment was 13,347, with 7,234 degree-seeking undergraduates, 3,808 degree-seeking graduate students, 1,465 law students, and 840 students in nondegree certificate programs, Washington Semester program, or AU Abroad.

We offer 68 bachelor's degrees, 85 master's degrees, 10 doctoral degrees, JD, LLM, SJD, certificates, and associate degrees.

Courses run on a 15-week semester basis in fall and spring, with shorter summer-term classes. In addition, we offer study-abroad programs and alternative breaks. 95 percent of our undergraduates participate in at least one internship during their time at AU, and 71 percent of students participate in study abroad. Our undergraduate freshman retention rate is 89.8 percent, and 81 percent of freshmen graduated from AU within six years.

Our student body is cosmopolitan and globally diverse, with all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 141 countries represented. Seven percent of undergraduates and 13 percent of graduate students are international. The university's mission is carried out by 889 full-time faculty and approximately 1,500 full-time staff. 94 percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their field. Among our 621 adjunct faculty are policy makers, diplomats, journalists, artists, writers, scientists, and business leaders.

More Info

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Fall 2019 Admitted Student Profile

  • 3.52-4.06
    GPA Middle 50%
    (School reported)

  • 1260-1420
    SAT Middle 50%
    (Critical Reading and Math)

  • 28-32
    ACT Middle 50%

29 percent Admit Rate

AY 2017–2018

11 to 1 Student-Faculty Ratio

AY 2017–2018

22 Average Undergraduate Class Size

AY 2017–2018

13 Average Graduate Class Size

AY 2017–2018

94 percent Faculty Hold Highest Degrees in Their Fields

AY 2017–2018


number 69 Best National University

U.S. News and World Report 2018

number 3 College City Gets High Marks

Princeton Review Best 382 Colleges 2018

number 51 Best College Value (Private)

Kiplinger 2018 Best College Value

Other Indicators of Excellence

AU consistently ranks among the nation’s great universities. A sample of recent rankings:

Scholarship + Careers

  • #1 nationally for combined Boren scholars and fellows
  • #4 nationally for Presidential Management Fellows semifinalists
  • A top producer of Fulbright scholars (12 in 2017)
  • 90% of undergraduates held an internship (Graduation Census 2018)

Community Service + Engagement

Diversity + Inclusion

  • #47 Most Diverse College (
  • #35 Best College for Veterans (U.S. News & World Report)