Academic Experience

The AU Cornerstone Abroad: Madrid SIS Scholars curriculum allows students to graduate on time with the class of 2027. Students take required courses from the AU core, courses that meet SIS requirements, Spanish language (offered at all levels from beginning to advanced), and incredible electives about Spanish culture and history with other AU students studying in Spain. No prior study of Spanish is required.


Abroad Semester (AU Madrid) – Fall

  • AU Core: 
    • WRT-100 College Writing (3 cr) or
    • ARTH 256 Mediterranean Art History (Creative Aesthetic HOM)
  • SIS Major: 
    • SISU 106 First Year Seminar
    • SISU 2xx International Migration and Refugee Crises (Regional SIS course- Europe)
    • ECON 200 Microeconomics
    • SPAN xxx (Spanish at all levels!)

Non-Abroad Semester (AU DC) – Spring

  • AU Core: 
    • WRT-101 College Writing Seminar (3 cr) [or WRT-106]
    • CORE 100 AU Experience I (with your cohort)
    • Complex Problems Seminar
  • SIS Major:
    • SISU 105 Intro to International Relations (with your cohort)
    • Spanish or Elective

Student Life and Excursions

The rich tapestry of Spanish culture and history cannot be grasped solely through classroom study; students embark on educational excursions throughout the diverse regions and communities that comprise the Kingdom of Spain. In past semesters, students have travelled within Spain to Andalucía, the Basque country, Barcelona, Asturias, San Sebastian, Galicia, Salamanca, Toledo, and Santander. Students also frequently visit sites in and around Madrid to expand on the topics covered in their coursework. During the semester, students live together in a residence hall with a meal plan.

On-Site Staff Support

Madrid SIS Scholars will be fully supported by AU staff in DC as well as the onsite AU Madrid team during their time abroad. The Program Director will teach the students’ first-year SIS seminar course and a Program Assistant will live on-site in student housing and plan excursions and experiential activities for the cohort. The Madrid SIS Scholars will have the support of the full AU Madrid staff including access to a mental health counselor.

Arriving at AU

This special cohort will continue to build on their experience abroad when they arrive on AU’s DC campus in the spring semester and join University College’s LivingLearning Community (LLC). In their second year, students will have the opportunity to live in a sophomore LLC. In their third year, students are encouraged to participate in another study abroad experience. In their final year, Madrid SIS Scholars will have the opportunity to complete their Capstone in Spanish.

Program Fees

Madrid Tuition (24-25)

Students participating in the AU Cornerstone Madrid SIS Scholars program will pay regular AU tuition for their semester abroad as well as a program fee that includes room and board. Financial aid is available for those who qualify and may be applied to this program. AU Abroad also has additional need based scholarships available. For information about financing options, consult with your university financial aid counselor. The American Payment Plan (APP) is available to AU Cornerstone SIS Madrid Scholars. An alternative to paying in full at the start of term, the APP divides the fall and spring semester balance into convenient, interest-free monthly payments. For information, call AU Central at 202-885-8000. To set up an online payment plan please visit the Student Accounts website.  


For all program questions, please contact Courtney Pollack at