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What is University College?

University College Students

University College Collaborative (UCC) and University College Laboratory (UCL)

American University’s University College is a premier academic living, learning, and laboratory experience that builds collaborative communities for first-year students. It is American University’s oldest and largest living-learning community. Students customize their University College experience by opting for either the University College Collaborative (UCC), which schedules optional field experiences on different days and times throughout the semester, or the University College Laboratory (UCL), which emphasizes field experiences with a mandatory Wednesday lab. All courses offered in University College are credit bearing and fulfill a university requirement.

Option 1: University College Collaborative (UCC)

In this community, students enjoy participating in Washington, DC, field experiences but without a required Wednesday lab. You benefit from living in the residence hall with students who share your academic interests, attend seminars together, and engage in structured experiences outside of the classroom, but you also have the freedom to pursue work-study jobs, participate in athletics or ROTC, or register for a language lab—all options that often require Wednesday commitments.

Option 2: University College Laboratory (UCL)

The University College Laboratory (UCL) uses the resources available in Washington, DC, as an extension of the classroom. You choose a UCL seminar that meets during regularly scheduled class time but also has a required one-credit Wednesday lab. During the lab time, you will be out in the city with your classmates engaging in field experiences that illustrate the real-life applications of the theories and ideas that you are learning in class.

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