Cornerstone Abroad features a curriculum that allows you to graduate on time with the class of 2025. You will take required courses from the AU Core and courses that meet your intended major requirements.

Courses and Schedule

Fall 2021 Semester at AU16.5 Credits

  • American University Experience - AUx1 (1.5 cr.)
  • CORE 105 Complex Problems Seminar (3 cr.)
  • WRT 100 College Writing (3 cr.)/can take WRT 106 (3 cr.) if received AP credit
  • Math (3 cr.)
  • Major requirement (3 cr.)
  • Elective (3 cr.)

Spring 2022 Study Abroad15.5 Credits

  • American University Experience - AUx2 (1.5 cr.) - taught online by AU instructor
  • WRT 101 College Writing (3 cr.)
  • Economics and Globalisation (3 cr.)
  • Two BSU electives (4 cr each) from the list below.

As part of the flexible Cornerstone Abroad curriculum, you take one course taught by AU faculty. Your remaining courses are taught by Bath Spa University (BSU) faculty, some are taken with your AU classmates and BSU students.

The following courses are required for Cornerstone Abroad students:

CORE 105 Complex Problems Seminar
(3 credits)

This required seminar for all students during their first year at American University demonstrates the value of approaching important conceptual problems and social issues from a variety of perspectives, often from multiple disciplines and including multiple voices.
Course counts as an AU Core requirement

WRTG 100 College Writing (3 credits)

Develop essential writing skills for your academic career. This online course is taught by an AU college writing professor based in DC and starts the week of August 27.
Course counts toward the Written Communication and Information Literacy I requirement.

BSU Economics and Globalisation(3 credits)

Provides an introduction to economics and globalization with an emphasis on its applicability to the analysis of contemporary business environment and strategies.
Equivalent to AU ECON-100, this course also meets requirements for certain AU majors.

BSU Elective(4 credits)

To allow you to set a foundation to become an engaged participant in the great conversations that will define the future, the BSU elective course options have been purposefully selected to allow you to learn new topics, alongside other BSU students and under the guidance of a BSU professor. Elective classes begin after arrival in England.

Select two BSU electives from the following:

Sustainability in Life and Work

This module is a thematic, multi-disciplinary module exploring sustainability from numerous subject and policy positions. You will gain a better understanding of the environmental arguments to help us further understand how social and economic factors must be brought into the equation when modelling policy and lifestyle choices.
This course is equivalent to GEO Elective Credit at the 100 level for 5 credits.

Design Thinking for Enterprise

This module uses Design Thinking methods to give you the confidence to use your own knowledge and experience to generate new ideas that solve real world problems and make a difference to people's lives. The module will show you how to think conceptually, design solutions and make decisions. Critical thinkers, able to express their ideas in written and oral form, and possessing information literacy.
This course is equivalent to MGMT-3xx.

Psychological Science for Student Success

Students will interrogate aspects of Bath Spa University student life through the lens of psychological science to develop the understanding, skills, and strategies to approach their university career with greater knowledge and intention. To develop useful skills in scientific literacy, critical thinking, self-reflection, written and oral communication, and teamwork.
This course is equivalent to PSYC-1xx.

Thinking Together – Humanities in the 21ST Century

This module provides a practical introduction to the distinct yet interconnected ways of thinking about how we live in the world that are shared by what we call ‘Humanities’. You will work with a team of staff and students from programmes across the School, including English Literature, History, Heritage, Politics, and Religions, Philosophy and Ethics. Through a series of lectures, workshops and visits your team will plan, research and deliver a project on an object or topic assigned to you at the start of the module.
This course is equivalent to PHIL-1xx.

Food, Nutrition and Health

The module provides an introduction to food, nutrition and health. It includes an overview of the basic food constituents and their importance in a healthy diet. The module will familiarise you with the practical methods of food processing, food development and sensory analysis. This module will give a sound knowledge of the science that underpins the study of food and human nutrition and factors that impinge on human health.
This course is equivalent to HLTH-205.

Conservation Biology

This module introduces the major biomes of the world and the rich diversity of organisms they support. It explores some major ecosystems and highlights the key biological characteristics of some of the major plant and animal phyla and how this relates to our understanding of conservation biology. Use of standard keys to aid in species identification will be demonstrated and practised. The applied discipline of conservation biology is discussed, highlighting the issues associated with identifying species, habitats or landscapes to conserve.
This course is equivalent to BIO-210X.

Analysing Nature

This module aims to introduce students to methods of generating and systematically analysing data relating to the natural world, and critically understanding data presented in research. An understanding of the principles of statistics will be developed and some useful statistical tests demonstrated. Students should acquire skills that will developed further at level 5 in preparation for independent research in the dissertation, and that will be key transferable skills for use in future employment or further study.
This course is equivalent to BIO-1xx.

World of Ideas

Whether we are studying history, literature or philosophy, ideas matter. But where do influential ideas – for instance, about knowledge, culture, nature, religion, and society – come from? How have these ideas changed over time? Who shapes these ideas today? And crucially, which concepts and practices really matter for an ethical, compassionate, and critical understanding of, and approach to, our contemporary world and its possible futures? This module introduces you to culturally and historically specific ideas and ways of thinking that are widely applicable across your undergraduate studies.
This course is equivalent to PHIL-120X.

Europe and the World 2 – Revolution, Nationalism, and Modernity

This module explores some of the defining and often devastating events, movements and processes that helped create the modern world, viewed in terms of the shifting relationships between Europe and the rest of the world. This module follows a broadly chronological approach, but also a thematic one: the impact of war and revolution, the processes of industrial and economic change, globalisation, the mass movement of peoples, shifts in and disputes across national boundaries.
This course is equivalent to HIST-2xx.


This module introduces you to the relationship between the state and citizens and the spaces of social and political action between them through the key social science concepts of power and resistance. You will examine sources of power, how power is used, the subjects and practices of resistance and the capacity of individuals, organisations and the state to generate, direct or resist social change in an increasingly complex, globalised and mediated world. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the modern state including modes of governance, political ideologies, and the processes of law-making and policy development. You will also explore the domain of civil society and how through social mobilisation, volunteering, activism and protest, individuals and groups engage politically with the state and other forms of organised power and authority. This may include study of activism by actors such as trade union movements, women’s movements, LGBT activists, anti-capitalist movements, anti-war movements, human rights campaigners and the disabled people’s movement.
This course is equivalent to SOCY-3xx.

Protest and Persuasion 

Learning how to use your voice – whether you are contributing to a debate, constructing an argument, or responding to others’ – not only lies at the heart of a higher education; it is also vital for ensuring the exchange of ideas and values that sustains any democratic society by challenging it to become ever more democratic. This module aims to teach you how to develop an argument by studying and analysing inspiring examples. In order to develop your own right to speak we will study figures drawn from a variety of cultures, religions, histories, genders, sexualities, as well as a range of different struggles – from civil rights and feminism to environmental activism, LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter.
This course is equivalent to PHIL-1xx.

BSU Elective Selection Process

For the BSU elective, enrollment will be based on available seats. Students will submit a list of 3 course selections – ranked in order of preference. BSU will enroll students on a first-come-first-served basis and after BSU degree students are enrolled.

The following is a preview of what your fall semester at AU will look like. There are two different tracks. You may choose a track based on availability.

Track 1

Monday/Thursday Classes

  • College Writing
  • Elective Courses (First-Year Advisors will help you select)
  • AUx
  • Complex Problems
  • Major Requirement

Track 2

Tuesday/Friday: Classes

  • College Writing
  • Elective Courses (First-Year Advisors will help you select)
  • AUx
  • Complex Problems
  • Major Requirements

In the fall, all Cornerstone students join AU's largest living-learning community, University College (UC). In this program, students enroll in a complex problems seminar which satisfies an AU Core requirement.


Students live together in first-year residence halls. Each floor has a theme inspired by a group of UC courses, which in turn inspires community events throughout the semester.


Courses are hand-picked Complex Problems seminars from the AU Core curriculum. The seminars create an environment for collaboration and communication across the classes.

In the Fall Join AU's Living-Learning Community


In the fall semester, Cornerstone students will be a part of University College, AU's largest living-learning community. This exceptional opportunity for first-year students combines the best residential and academic experiences!

In the Spring Study Abroad at BSU


Bath Spa University offers pre-degree study, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate degrees, focusing primarily on arts and humanities subjects, supported by a strong outcomes-based provision. Whatever path students wish to follow -- research, enterprise and teaching -- they provide the full range to ensure students can tailor their learning to support their future career direction.