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group of laughing students in an SIS classroom that participated in the Community of Scholars program

Launch Your Journey into International Affairs at American University

Discover the Community of Scholars pre-college summer program at the American University School of International Service. The Community of Scholars is designed for high school juniors and seniors seeking to deepen their understanding of international affairs and world politics. Admitted students enroll in a three-credit class taught by distinguished AU faculty over three weeks, which includes two weeks of immersive on-campus learning complemented by a dedicated week of asynchronous study.

Beyond the classroom, participants will delve into Washington, D.C.'s vibrant landscape, visiting government agencies and organizations, and gaining firsthand insights into the global ecosystem. This experiential component provides invaluable firsthand exposure to the intricate workings of international relations.

Upon successful program completion, students will have an official transcript from American University, marking a milestone in their immersive journey and newfound expertise in international understanding. Join us in seizing this exceptional opportunity to elevate your understanding of the world stage.

Summer 2024 Session Dates: July 8 – July 19 (on-campus; students arrive July 7); July 22 – 26 (asynchronous learning).

See Program Details for more information, including dates and tuition information. 


Class Hybrid Format
Eligibility & Requirements
Washington, DC

Community of Scholar participating students enroll in a three-credit college class taught by highly respected faculty at AU's School of International Service. The classes are offered in two distinct formats: on-campus (two weeks) and online asynchronous (third week).

Full program details (including course offerings and tuition costs)

The Community of Scholars is designed for rising junior and senior high school students who have a strong interest in international affairs. Current sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. International students with a demonstrated proficiency in English are also encouraged to apply (please refer to the FAQ section concerning international applicants).

To apply to the program, students are required to submit a statement of purpose, a transcript (minimum 3.0 GPA), and a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor. 

The Community of Scholars program will give you a first-hand opportunity to sample life in the nation's capital. AU's main campus is nestled in Northwest Washington, DC, adjacent to Embassy Row and just minutes from downtown. Outside of class, students will see DC in action by visiting institutions such as the U.S. Department of State, International Monetary Fund, and Embassies.

The program includes numerous additional structured activities, such as an evening monument tour and group activities, including a festive "International Night" with food, decorations, and music from around the world. Students will have ample free time to study and enjoy campus life, whether it's visiting with a friend at AU the School of International Service’s Davenport Café, or relaxing on the AU quad.

Summer 2024

Applications for Summer 2024 are open.


Program Benefits

During this intensive summer program, students will:

  • Pursue your academic interests in International Relations
  • Earn three college credits
  • Explore international institutions in Washington, DC
  • Learn about international careers
  • Meet other students who are passionate about creating meaningful change in the world

Frequently Asked Questions

Successfully completing Community of Scholars program will allow you to demonstrate that you have stretched yourself and taken initiative beyond what is normally expected from high school students. On your college applications, you will be able to list your course and "check off" that you took a college course for credit.

Students, residential and commuting, have access to AU's fitness center and pool, Bender Library, the Katzen Arts Center, the track, and the volleyball and tennis courts.

NOTE: To use the fitness center, a student must be 18 years old and complete a form that must be signed by the student and their parents before coming to campus. 

Students will have the opportunity to visit government agencies, embassies, and other organizations throughout the two weeks students are on the AU campus.

Still have questions?

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