Community of Scholars

Students in Community of Scholars enroll in a rigorous 3-credit college class (course descriptions below) that blends two weeks of traditional on-campus classes with a final week at home for additional asynchronous online learning. This hybrid format allows students to sample the distinct features of each learning platform.

Hybrid Format

Students in the Community of Scholars program will attend traditional classes on campus for two weeks, followed by a week at home during which they remain engaged with their professor and complete a final paper or project. During the two weeks on campus (July 10 to 21 with residential students arriving on July 9), students attend class from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. After lunch, students will participate in afternoon activities, including briefings at Washington institutions (such as the State Department, World Bank, and embassies) and college skills-building workshops taught by AU staff. Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Canvas platform. Students will live in AU dorms and eat in AU’s campus dining facilities. Upon returning home, students will remain in contact with their professor and peers for an additional week of asynchronous instruction and a final assignment due July 28. Although most students live on campus during the two weeks, commuter students are welcome and will be provided lunch every day and included in many evening activities. 

Please note that Community of Scholars will follow whatever the prevailing AU guidance is regarding COVID-19. If, for whatever reason, the program is cancelled, your deposit and any tuition funds already paid will be refunded. 

Summer 2023

Applications for Summer 2023 are now live. Apply Now

Program Benefits

During this intensive summer program, you will:

  • Pursue your academic interests in International Relations
  • Earn 3 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

Course Offerings

Students choose one of the following course options.

Difference, particularly cultural difference, is the source of many conflicts in international relations. This course will explore conceptual components and theories of conflict, culture, and conflict resolution—with a special focus on the role that culture plays in both starting and resolving conflicts. An in-depth examination of contemporary international conflicts will be used as illustrative case-studies. The class will then bridge the gap between interpersonal, group, and international conflicts by exploring strategies of conflict resolution and cross-cultural understanding.

Climate change and other environmental hazards present humanity with profound challenges. Fundamental to solving these challenges is an awareness that human well-being rests on two essential factors—a healthy planet and healthy individuals. In this course, we will explore the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and global health. The course will explore the root causes and the social, political, economic, cultural, and ecological dimensions of both these areas. This interdisciplinary course introduces students to urgent environmental and health dilemmas with an eye towards successful strategies of response. Examples of lasting solutions do exist, and we will explore what common qualities are necessary to support positive change.

How does the U.S. government confront dictators, maintain allies, and protect the nation from international threats to national security? This course will introduce the major departments, agencies, and actors within the government involved in foreign policy and national security. It will explore how they operate in the new strategic environment by considering major threats and issues facing the United States today, from terrorists to rogue states to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The course will also address the conflicting goals, agendas, and trade-offs present in any foreign and national security policy. Debating the range of policy options, students will explore how the U.S. might best act to enhance U.S. national security and international position.

Tuition & Fees

Financial aid for this program is only available for students enrolled in DC public and charter schools. For more information, please email Students are encouraged to seek out and apply independently for private scholarships that may be awarded by local organizations such as businesses, churches, and civic groups.


  • 3 credits of college tuition
  • Transportation to off-site briefings at government agencies and other sites
  • Afternoon briefings and workshops
  • All classroom materials
  • Lunch
  • Access to AU's library and other AU campus resources


  • Dormitory housing in doubles or triples in a centrally-located AU dormitory
  • All meals
  • Evening and weekend activities: barbecues, international film viewings, museum and shopping trips, Arena Stage or Kennedy Center performance, and evening monument tour
  • Air-conditioning and Internet connections
  • Round-the-clock dormitory staffing with controlled building access
  • Linens provided

Note: Room and board is available only for students enrolled in campus program.