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Kyle Johnson
Assistant Director, University College and Sophomore LLCs

Anderson, Room 107 on a map

University College Program 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ - Joining University College (UC)

UC is for first-year students who live on campus and are not participating in another Living-Learning Community. Students from all schools and majors are eligible.

No! There is no extra financial commitment for participating in UC. Note that some optional co-curricular activities may ask a small fee for participation.

Space is limited in UC based on housing, and individual seminars are limited to 19 students. To secure a space in the community, please submit your course preferences early to UC via your AU portal. Once capacity is reached and/or the deadline is passed, students will be placed on the waitlist and accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

Please email to find out if space is still available.

FAQ - UC Seminar & Housing Placement

We will notify you of your seminar placement and housing area by 12pm EST on May 4, 2023. Room and roommate assignments will be sent out by Housing & Residence Life at a later date.

When you submit the UC reservation form, you will provide your first choice seminar and two alternate seminars. Please note that you will only be able to choose a seminar that has available seats. We will plan to place you in your first choice seminar. However, if any changes are necessary, the UC office will contact you before moving you to one of your alternate choices.

You will receive a submission confirmation email from the UC team after completing the reservation form. UC program staff will send official seminar placement confirmations by 12pm EST on May 4, 2023.

The Examined Life cohort is housed within University College, based on sections of the Examined Life seminar. Just like other UC cohorts, Examined Life cohort students will live together in a first-year residence hall. The Examined Life seminar is framed around morally complicated texts from authors such as Plato, Augustine, Mary Shelley, Frederick Douglass, and Simone de Beauvoir.

Seminar change requests are accepted for the following reasons:

  • Disability accommodations, with documentation from the Academic Support and Access Center
  • Academic scheduling requirements, with documentation from the student's academic advisor

Requests will be approved on a case-by-case basis pending seminar availability. To request a change for academic or accommodation reasons, please email to discuss your options.


You must live with students in your housing cohort based on your seminar placement. Within that group of students and following Housing & Residence Life policies, you are allowed to select a roommate. You will be given opportunities to connect and talk with students in your cohort, in the hopes that you find your roommate on your own. However, some students do choose to be randomly assigned within their cohort.

Students of AU Cornerstone are also University College students. AU Cornerstone students are a part of a UC cohort and will be housed with that cohort. Cohort placement is determined by your chosen Complex Problems seminar. Not all members of your UC cohort will be in AU Cornerstone. We will connect students after the deadline with others in their cohort. If you'd like to be with another AU Cornerstone student in your cohort, you can match with them during the roommate matching process.

FAQ - UC on Campus

UC Students will move in August 22, 2023, prior to general population. A separate orientation process will be provided for all Living-Learning Community students.  

The residence halls for Academic Year 2023-2024 are Anderson Hall, Letts Hall and McDowell Hall. Cohort C and Cohort D will be in Anderson Hall. Cohort B, Cohort F, Cohort G, and Cohort H will be in Letts Hall. Cohort A and Cohort E will be in McDowell Hall

All UC students can expect to live together on specific floors of first-year residence halls. If you require special housing accommodations, please contact Housing & Residence Life by email at Exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  • Actively participate in Complex Problems seminar.
  • Positively interact with peers, staff, and faculty.  
  • Attend co-curriculars hosted in both the Fall and Spring semesters.  
  • Maintain in good academic and social standing with American University.  
  • Reside in the LLC community throughout the entire academic year.  
  • Attend semester kickoff experiences. 
  • Attend summer engagement opportunities as available. 

Yes! UC students are encouraged to participate in student organizations, university athletics, community service projects, and other campus engagement opportunities.

You cannot participate in both UC and any of the following programs:

  • AU Honors
  • Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars (FDDS)
  • Community-Based Research Scholars (CBRS)
  • Any program that requires a specific Complex Problems seminar and/or requires students to live together on campus

Starting in Academic Year 2023-2024, students will be able to participate in the Lincoln Scholars Program in addition to UC. However, students may not participate in Cornerstone if participating in the Lincoln Scholars program.

Every year, students can attend our Ice Cream Social during Welcome Week. At the end of the Fall semester, students can also attend our Winter Wonderland themed event. Outside of those two signature events, we have offered the following programming in previous years:

  • New York City day trip
  • Washington Nationals game
  • AU women's basketball game
  • Flashback Friday movie night
  • Game nights
  • End of year block party

Though your residence hall floor will house only UC students, the south side of the American University campus is home to most first-year residential students, creating a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. To maintain your full-time status, you will also register for three or more courses which will include students from the entire American University undergraduate population.

Research and previous student experiences tell us that students who participate in a Living-Learning Community have better connections to their campus, stronger relationships with classmates and faculty members, and higher grades throughout college. In UC, you will complete an AU Core requirement in your first semester. Additionally, you can remain engaged with UC by applying for a Program Leader student staff position as an upperclassman.

Yes! Students who reserve their spot in University College can live in Black Affinity Housing (Roper Hall). This opportunity is available on a first come, first served basis.  

Not at all! It will actually add to your AU experience. Black Affinity Housing will require students to live in specific housing (Roper Hall) that is separate from University College. However, students in Black Affinity Housing can expect to be housed with and near other students who opted into Black Affinity Housing and University College.  

After completing the University College Reservation Form, please notify our staff about your interest in Black Affinity Housing by providing your name and AU ID number via e-mail ( Our team will work with the Housing & Residence Life Team to ensure your placement. Please note this opportunity is available on a first come, first served basis. 

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