You are here: American University About Academic Profile

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 170 programs, and more than 14,000 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 2019 enrollment was 14,318, with 7,627 degree-seeking undergraduates, 4,198 degree-seeking graduate students, 1,406 law students, and 1,087 students in nondegree certificate programs, Washington Semester program, or Abroad at AU.

We offer 79 bachelor's degrees, 98 master's degrees, 11 doctoral degrees, JD, LLM, SJD, MLS, 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. 91 percent of our undergraduates participate in at least one internship during their time at AU, and 54 percent of students participate in study abroad. Our undergraduate freshman retention rate is 87 percent, and 80 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 130 countries represented. Sixteen percent of undergraduates and 13 percent of graduate students are international. The university's mission is carried out by 936 full-time faculty and over 1,700 full-time staff. Ninety-three percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their field. Among our more than 700 adjunct faculty are policy makers, diplomats, journalists, artists, writers, scientists, and business leaders.

More Info

For more information about American University, visit our Consumer Information page.

Fall 2021 Admitted Student Profile

  • 3.63-4.15
    GPA Middle 50%
    (School reported)

  • 1310-1460
    SAT Middle 50%
    (Critical Reading and Math)

  • 29-33
    ACT Middle 50%

36 percent Admit Rate

Fall 2019

11 to 1 Student-Faculty Ratio

AY 2019-20

24 Average Undergraduate Class Size

AY 2019-20

17 Average Graduate Class Size (Excludes Law)

AY 2019-20

93 percent Faculty Hold Highest Degrees in Their Fields

Fall 2019


number 5 College City Gets High Marks

Princeton Review Best 385 Colleges 2020

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)
  • 91% of undergraduates held an internship (Graduation Census 2018)

Community Service + Engagement

  • #2 Most Peace Corps Volunteers (for medium-sized schools in 2019)
  • #5 Most Politically Active Students (Princeton Review)
  • #7 Most Active Student Government (Princeton Review)