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Frequently Asked Questions:

Foundational Courses: Students in the first year will typically take AUx1 (1.5cr.) in the fall and AUx2 (1.5 cr.) in the spring. They will also take a Complex Problems Seminar (3 cr.), College Writing (3-6 cr.), and University Math (3-5 cr.).

Habits of Mind: Students select one course from each of the five Habits of Mind. Students will not be able to satisfy Habits of Mind requirements with more than one course in any one discipline even though a discipline may have courses included in more than one Habit of mind. Courses required for other AU Core requirements (e.g., Writing-Intensive and Quantitative Reasoning) do not count in the one-course limit.

The requirements for the major, the area of a student’s academic concentration, are listed under individual degree programs.

Foundational Courses:
Students may not use College Writing, University Math, Complex Problems, or AUx to satisfy major requirements.

Habits of Mind: Students may use one Habit of Mind course as an elective toward each major or minor they pursue.

Integrative Courses:
Most departments will designate specific courses or sets of courses in the major to satisfy the writing-intensive (W2), quantitative reasoning (Q2), and capstone requirements. Unless otherwise specified by majors or minors, any integrative courses may be applied toward these AU Core Curriculum requirements.

To receive AU Core credit, a student must successfully complete AU Core courses with a grade of C or better.

The university awards credit for some Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, CLEP and foreign academic qualification exams.

College Writing (W1): Incoming freshmen may satisfy the first College Writing requirement by scoring a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Test, the AP Capstone, or a 5 or higher on the Higher Level IB Exam.

University Math (Q1): Incoming freshmen will be placed into a higher course level if they present a Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC score of 4, or 5; AP Statistics score of 4, or 5; SAT II Mathematics Level II Achievement test score of 650; or CLEP Calculus examination score of 75; British A-level mathematics examination with a grade of A or B; or International Baccalaureate higher-level mathematics examination scores of 6.

Finally, advanced credit exams may not be used to satisfy other AU Core requirements. Advanced credit exams may still be applied toward the major or minor, or as elective credit. Specific information about exam credit is maintained by the Office of Admissions and is available in all advising units.

Transfer credit earned at an accredited college or University may be used to satisfy some AU Core requirements.

College Writing: Transfer students who present 6 hours of acceptable composition credit from another institution will satisfy the College Writing requirement by passing the Writing Proficiency Examination within the first calendar year of admission to AU. Transfer students who present 3 hours of acceptable composition credit from another institution may satisfy the College Writing requirement within the first calendar year by passing a course that is in the College Writing sequence and approved by the College Writing Program with a grade of C or better.

University Math: Students may satisfy the University Math (Q1) requirement by transferring a course equivalent to MATH-15x or higher from an AG-rated collegiate institution.

Habits of Mind: Students who transfer 0-14 credits must satisfy all five Habits of Mind; those who transfer 15-29 credits must take courses from four Habits of Mind; those who transfer 30-44 credits must take courses from three Habits of Mind; those who transfer 45-59 credits must take courses from two Habits of Mind; those who bring 60+ credits must take one Habit of Mind course. Students may select, in consultation with an academic advisor, which Habits of Mind to complete.

Integrative Courses: Transfer credit may be applied to specific degree program requirements at the academic unit’s discretion. If the equivalent AU course is considered to be part of the AU Core Curriculum, the transfer course may also be applied to the AU Core’s integrative requirement.

Because of the special nature of the program, after the student has been admitted to a degree program at American University no credit toward the AU Core Curriculum may be earned through transfer credit unless taken on an approved AU Abroad program. No more than six credits of AU Core courses may be taken abroad.