FAQ: 2018-2019

Many liberal arts universities in the United States offer first-year experience courses. Our American University Experience (AUx) curriculum addresses the most relevant issues facing students as they transition to college while learning about the resources available to them on campus and in Washington, DC. New students will take part in classroom activities and discussions, online homework, written assignments, and personalized mentorship experiences in AUx. In addition, AUx teaches students to explore and model ways of communicating and living in a diverse society and address divergent opinions on challenging topics.

In AUx, students will have the opportunity to learn from Instructors and upper-class Peer Facilitators who have been specially selected and trained to work with first-year students. First-year students will become part of a small (19 students or fewer), inclusive and affirming community. In order to foster and encourage conversation and learning, AUx classes are taught in non-traditional classroom spaces.

Students who have participated in AUx have a greater sense of belonging, which makes them more willing to engage with and contribute in their new learning environment. Previous AUx students have indicated that they have an increased satisfaction with their on-campus social lives as well as personal connections to faculty, staff and peers. In addition, AUx students have an increased familiarity with campus resources that address academics, bias and discrimination, finances, and mental and physical health. AUx students cite that they are often the "go-to person" for their friends who are seeking to find supportive resources on campus.

AUx is not a living-learning community. Students in AUx can participate in University College (UC), AU Scholars, AU Honors, Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar (FDDS), Community-Based Research Scholars (CBRS) or the Three-Year Scholars Programs Living-Learning Communities. Students in AUx can also choose not to take part in a living-learning community.

For first-year students entering in fall 2018: 90+ sections of AUx1 (1.5 credits) will be offered in fall 2018 and 100+ sections of AUx2 (1.5 credits) will be offered in spring 2019. Students who complete AUx1 in the fall of 2018 (1.5 credits) with a C or higher will take AUx2 in the spring of 2019 (1.5 credits). Student who receive lower than a C in AUx1 will need to retake the course again and receive a C or higher before continuing into AUx2. Student who receive lower than a C in AUx2 will need to retake the course and receive a C or higher to fulfill their AU Core Curriculum requirement.

At this time, AUx1 is not available to students transferring to AU.

AUx1 will not be taken by Washington Mentorship students in the fall 2018. Courses in the Mentorship curriculum will be regarded as equivalent to AUx1 and after matriculation, Mentorship students will be enrolled in AUx2 in spring 2019.

In fall 2018, restricted sections of AUx1 will be required of students in the International Accelerator Program (IAP).

In spring 2019, sections of AUx1 will be offered for spring admits.

These A-F graded courses will be co-taught by an AUx Instructor and a Peer Facilitator and meet once per week. Readings and videos will be assigned through Blackboard as online homework, and students will be asked to complete short written assignments. The content will be covered in class discussions, as the students come together as a group to process the material, participate in classroom exercises, and explore new ways of thinking.

The AUx Instructor and Peer Facilitator are there to help support students during their first year of college, both inside and outside of the classroom. They have been specially selected and trained to work with first-year students and are knowledgeable about the resources and opportunities available to them on the American University campus and in the greater Washington, DC area.

Starting in academic year 2018-2019, all incoming first-year students will be required to take AUx1 and AUx2 as part of the AU Core Curriculum. To receive credit for the courses, students must receive a C or higher in both courses.

FAQ: 2016-2017 & 2017-2018

Students who completed AUx1 in either fall of 2016 or fall 2017 (1.5 credits) with a grade of C or higher and AUx2 in spring of 2017 or spring 2018 (1.5 credits) with a grade of C or higher are eligible to receive a total of 3.00 credits toward their General Education requirements in their choice of Foundational Area 2, 3, or 4.

Please contact your advisor or school-based advising unit to determine how the courses should be counted.


If you have questions about AUx, please reach out to our staff:

  • Izzi Rose Stern, MA
    AUx Program Manager

Email AU Experience