Fall and Spring Program Components

Each semester in the AU Gap Program includes an internship and a seminar course, for a total of seven undergraduate credits. You have the option to enroll in a single semester (fall or spring) or take a year-long program.

Seminar3 Credits

While in the AU Gap Program, you will be enrolled in a 3-credit seminar course designed to take full advantage of Washington, D.C. The classes are interactive sessions led by a professor who will introduce you to local, national, and global experts. You will learn from guest speakers and participate in site visits.

Internship and In-Class Course 4 Credits

Supplementing the graded internship experience, you will participate in a Mentored Field Practicum (MFP) class. Led by an experienced American University instructor, the MFP course enables you to have a successful educational experience at your internship, as it provides a forum for exploring common challenges and opportunities in the workplace, including job responsibilities, communication with co-workers, diversity in the workplace, and goal setting.

You will also identify skills crucial to success in the professional field in which you are interning and you will connect theories and knowledge gained in your seminar classes with "real world" experiences.

Seminar Topics

American Politics Seminar

Students will study the theory and the practice of American politics in the classroom, then see politics in action in the nation’s capital through meetings with experts and site visits to political institutions in Washington, DC. Students will emerge with a better understanding of government, particularly key constitutional principles, the political process, policy-making institutions, civil rights, and current political issues. Offered in fall and spring semesters.

Global Business Seminar

Students will learn about global business as it plays out in an international capital. This seminar immerses students in the theory and practice of global business through meetings with experts and site visits to such organizations as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Offered in fall semester only.

International Affairs Seminar

Students will learn the theory of international affairs and U.S. foreign policy through lectures. They’ll then see these theories in practice through meetings with decision makers and experts in international relations, and site visits to organizations such as Congress, think tanks, and embassies. Students will gain a better understanding of international relations and the process of U.S. foreign policy formulation and implementation. Offered spring semester only.

Please note that the University reserves the right to make program/subject cancellations and changes or substitutions in cases of enrollment interests or changed conditions in the interest of the group.

Sample Internship Sites

  • 1776 - a global incubator for startups
  • Capitol Hill - including both Senator and Representative Offices
  • Center for International Study and Development
  • Crouch & Crouch Law Offices
  • Department of Justice
  • Earth Day Network
  • Isports
  • National Public Radio
  • Running Start
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • Sierra Club
  • Small Business Administration
  • Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy
  • Voice of America
  • Washington Times