You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences Sciences Resources for STEM Students

Resources for Current and Future STEM Students

Your time at AU is full of academics, extra-curricular activities, social advocacy, volunteering and preparing yourself for life after AU. The STEM community includes students majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, as well as majors in Computer Science, Data Science, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology, Public Health, Statistics.

To stay engaged and learn from the community, we encourage you to follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn and make sure you receive the biweekly STEM newsletter. Also – make sure you sign up for any Canvas page or communication from your home department.

Academic coursework is just one way to learn and broaden your exposure while you are at AU pursuing a STEM career. Many other experiences outside of the classroom provide students with the opportunity to develop skills that are useful in a multitude of STEM career paths. See below for other opportunities about regular events and happenings.

Connect with us

Research & Internships

Why do research?

Science is about learning how the world (or universe!) works and research helps us learn more. Engaging in research is the next step in your development as a scientist and can be done anytime, on or off campus. Research on-campus can be done during the fall or spring semesters or during the summer. Competitive scholarships and fellowships are available to help defray the cost of staying in DC over the summer. Most off-campus opportunities described below occur during the summer and include a stipend.

How to find research opportunities

Faculty in the STEM departments at AU conduct research in a variety of fields and engage students in their research questions. Research interests for faculty are available on the departmental webpages. Once you find a faculty member whose research interests you, contact them using their email address listed to see if they have available research positions.  

Presenting your research

Students who conduct research on campus frequently present their findings at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Robyn Rafferty Matthias Student Research Conference organized each spring. This conference is a forum for CAS students to present original scholarly and creative works before colleagues, faculty, and friends.

Resources for STEM Students to Attend Conferences

Please review our checklist on conference funding.

Undergraduates

College of Arts and Sciences undergraduates who are giving papers or presenting research at scholarly conferences may request up to $400 from CAS Undergraduate Research and Travel Support to help defray allowable expenses of attending the conference. Undergraduates must apply for funding through the Provost's Office Undergraduate Research Support first and may not receive funding from both the Provost's Office and CAS.

Graduates

College of Arts and Sciences graduate students who are delivering papers or presenting research at scholarly conferences may request up to $500 from the College's Conference Travel Support to help defray allowable expenses.

Research & Internship Opportunities

If you are interested in earning academic credit for participating in STEM opportunities beyond AU, contact Meg Bentley (mbentley@american.edu) for details.

Summer Programs

There are a number of opportunities to engage in research off campus through a variety of summer programs and internships. Many of these programs include a stipend to help offset costs over the summer. We have compiled a list of internships, research, and/or clinical opportunities for STEM students. Students should also consult the NSF REU site for literally hundreds of opportunities around the US to participate in funded research during the summer.

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Internship

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is inviting AU students to join us for an exciting new program at the state-of-the-art Bird House exhibit opening this winter at the National Zoo. The Migratory Bird Center (MBC) is dedicated to understanding, conserving, and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Students can earn 1 to 3 internship credits with the possibility of work-study for qualified students. 

Scholarships and Fellowships

Scholarships and fellowships are available to help support students who engage in research with faculty on campus.

University Provost’s Office Awards

  • AU Summer Scholar and Artists Program
    Funded by the Office of Undergraduate Education, Scholars will receive up to $4,000 to conduct full-time research that demonstrates the potential to lead to significant scholarly or creative work.
  • Undergraduate Conference Travel Funding
    Students presenting their work at conferences or scholarly events may apply for funds to partially defray the costs of registration and travel.

College of Arts and Sciences Awards

In addition, many STEM departments have awards to help support their students engaged in research. Please contact your department directly for more information.

Office of Merit Awards

AU's Office of Merit Awards supports numerous fellowships and awards specifically for science students.

External Awards

Scholarships for Women in STEM (from Madison Trust)


STEM Student Clubs

Clubs and student groups are an important component of college and STEM at AU. These groups bring together students who share the same interests and provide opportunities to learn about potential careers, engage in leadership experiences, and help others. There are student groups for everybody!  

On the last Wednesday of every month from 5-6, the STEM Student Council meets. STEM Student Council is a chance for representatives from all the STEM student clubs on the AU campus to share their activities with a broader audience, form collaborations and build community across a diverse set of interests. Join us!

 

  • Underrepresented Students in STEM (USS)
    stemstudents.american@gmail.com
    The USS club aims to support underrepresented students in STEM and provide them the tools they need to succeed which they may have otherwise never developed. We aim to not only help students maximize individual potential but to give mentorship, guidance, and financial support in furthering education to fuel the next generation of STEM leaders.
  • Women in Science (WIS)
    auwomeninscience@gmail.com
    The WIS Facebook group showcases the many activities (professional, academic, research, service, outreach, and social) that the women and men in the sciences at AU are involved with. Current undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, administrators, and friends of WIS are welcome to join.

Building STEM Community and Support at AU

  • Science Hours
    Every Wednesday from 3-5, join other students, faculty and tutors from STEM courses. Come for the cookies, coffee and community!
  • STEM Time
    Once a month on Wednesday evenings, gather to hear from a STEM professional at AU about their journey and experiences. All students are welcome for community and homemade goodies. See the STEM newsletter for dates, times and speaker bios!
  • SUGER & SPICE
    SUGER is Summer Undergraduate and Graduate Experiences in Research. SUGER is available to any students conducting research during the summer. SPICE is its academic year counterpart and takes place monthly after Science Hours on Wednesdays. See the STEM newsletter to get information about SPICE events.
  • Tutoring from ASAC
  • Academic Coaching
  • Quantitative Math Support

Building Community Before You Arrive

Academic Boost for Calculus Online (ABCO)

Mid-July 2023 (time of day will be determined by student schedules) 
There is no cost to participate. 

If you want to register for Calculus, then you need to take the math placement exam. If you took the placement exam and scored between 24 and 28, then we encourage your participation in our Academic Boost for Calculus Online (ABCO) program! In ABCO, students attend 10 hours of Zoom-based math classes over two weeks with Dr. Behzad Jalali, AU’s Director of Quantitative Support in the Mathematics/Statistics Department. Students will have access to a free online textbook and be provided with problems and feedback. Throughout ABCO, Dr. Jalali will provide feedback on problem sets and guidance and advice on whether students should register for Calculus in the upcoming fall semester. At the end of ABCO, students will have an opportunity to take a new placement exam to help determine whether they are ready to take calculus. There is no cost for participating in ABCO, but we do ask that students commit to participating for the full two weeks. Zoom hours will be determined based on student preference and will occur sometime in mid-July. Students should indicate their interest in ABCO by emailing Dr. Jalali at bjalali@american.edu.

AU Excel STEM Cohort

Mid-August for online math refresher | Week prior to semester August 21 for orientation programming at AU | Cost: $400-600 (scholarships are available for students who demonstrate need) 

No matter which math course you are registered for this fall, you can warm-up those math skills over three days in August alongside other students and build community with an early move-in date at AU! Online math refresher courses will be offered in mid-August. Students who participate in this online math refresher course will be invited to campus at the beginning of orientation week. Students have three days of programmed activities to build community and meet STEM faculty and upper-level undergraduates pursuing quantitative-intensive or STEM majors. Participation in the online math refresher/early arrival opportunity is $400-600—scholarships are available to those who can demonstrate financial need. All new AU students are invited to apply, especially first-generation students. For questions and to indicate interest, email Meg Bentley (Director of STEM Partnerships and Innovation) at mbentley@american.edu.

Anti-Racist STEM at AU

The STEM departments at American University are committed to upending traditional STEM education which has sidelined the Black and LatinX communities, women and those from other identities who do not fit the archetype of a scientist. We offer antiracist pedagogy, student groups, internships, scholarships, summer programs, and other opportunities to combat systemic racism in the sciences.

Please see the CAS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page for additional information.

STEM Opportunities Beyond AU

If you are interested in earning academic credit for participating in STEM opportunities beyond AU, contact Meg Bentley (mbentley@american.edu) for details.

HEADSUP with McKinely High School

AU students have the opportunity to mentor high school seniors from McKinley Technical High School in their senior capstone project. If you are interested in becoming a mentor please contact Meg Bentley, mbentley@american.edu

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Internship

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is inviting AU students to join us for an exciting new program at the state-of-the-art Bird House exhibit opening this winter at the National Zoo. The Migratory Bird Center (MBC) is dedicated to understanding, conserving, and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Students can earn 1 to 3 internship credits with the possibility of work-study for qualified students.

Recommendations for STEM Students to Thrive at AU

To thrive academically…

  • Get yourself some Academic Coaching at ASAC
  • Visit your professors during office hours
    • Introduce yourself
    • Ask about concepts and ideas from class
    • Ask about their research and professional journey

To thrive socially…

To thrive professionally…

  • Find a mentor – your mentor can be a faculty member, a staff person, or a peer.
  • Try lots of thing but commit to things you truly enjoy
    • Don’t forget about summer opportunities
  • Go to departmental seminars and follow us on LinkedIn
  • Keep your resume updated by visiting the Career Center