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Prepare for Success with American University Competencies

Eight heads in profile representing different AU comptencies

The AU Competencies reflect American University's learning outcomes and highlight the competencies needed for career readiness, or the attainment and demonstration of the requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. 

AU Competencies

Oral/Written Communication

White speech bubble graphic on red head in profile. Represents communication

Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.


White graphic of a circle connecting four people superimposed on pink head in profile. Represents teamwork.

Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.

Global/Intercultural Fluency

White globe graphic superimposed on orange head in profile representing global/intercultural fluency

Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates, openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

White puzzle piece graphic superimposed on yellow head in profile representing critical thinking and problem solving

Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

Ethical Behavior/Professionalism

White justice scale graphic superimposed on teal head in profile representing ethical behavior/professionalism

Demonstrate ethical behavior and personal integrity. The individual critically examines how different values might be applied to address complex and ambiguous problems, and acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind. The individual demonstrates personal accountability and effective work habits (e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management) and understands the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image.

Data & Digital Technology

White computer screen graphic superimposed on blue head in profile representing data and digital technology

Leverage data and digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual generates and manipulates data using technological tools and demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies. 


White graphic of three people superimposed on dark blue head in profile representing leadership

Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work. 

Career Management

White briefcase graphic superimposed on purple head in profile representing career management

Identify and articulate one's skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.