I was a student on a Gap Year before going to ... University of Chicago

I already knew I wanted to come to DC, find an internship, and take classes, and the AU Gap Program offered all three of those things. It was also one of the few programs I could find that focused on pre-college gap students, and it gave me the chance to experience college life in more of a transitional way.

Read more about Howey's experience in AU Gap

The AU Gap Program allows me to feel like I'm growing academically...

I wanted the first half of my gap year to feel productive and partially academic. The AU Gap Program allows me to feel like I'm growing academically with classroom-based learning, but also gaining real world knowledge through my internship and the cosmopolitan environment and opportunities that surround me.

Read more about Jemima's experience in AU Gap

Shape a Future of Success

AU Gap offers an academic and internship experience in our nation's capital, providing the perfect springboard to develop a foundation for future academic and career success.

AU Gap is designed for students who are finishing high school early or for those who are taking time or want a different experience before transitioning to college. We based the AU Gap Program on our hallmark Washington Semester Program - a leader in providing internships for more than 70 years.

Key Benefits

  • Attend a semester seminar in American Politics, International Affairs, or Global Business
  • Visit nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and businesses
  • Meet with local, national, and global experts
  • Receive one-on-one support with developing a resume, writing cover letters, and cultivating interview skills
  • Intern at a D.C. organization
  • Gain insight to determine a course of study or career avenue
  • Recent internship sites
    • Council of Economic Advisors
    • DC Commission on the Arts
    • Democratic National Committee
    • Department of Education
    • National Geographic Society
    • Peace Corps
    • Red Cross
    • Republican National Committee
    • Senate Foreign Relations Committee
    • US House of Representatives
  • Live on AU's campus
  • Join clubs and organizations
  • Earn college credit and have a college transcript at the end of your Gap experience

Challenge Yourself


Students, faculty, and staff describe the breadth of the AU Gap Program.

American University's Gap Program is proud to be accredited by the American Gap Association.