FAQ'S

The Mentorship Program in DC is a fall semester, non-degree program open to students who have been admitted to AU for the spring semester. The Mentorship Program is an option for students to take courses at AU prior to formally starting their degree program in the spring.

The official deadline for reserving a spot in the Mentorship Program in DC is May 1, 2020. To select the program, you will need to complete an Enrollment Agreement and Housing Application form, found on the myAU Portal, and submit a $600 deposit. Please note that this deposit will be applied to your bill in Spring 2021, not to the fall Mentorship semester.

  1. Create your Admitted Student Portal (even if you already have a Prospective Student Portal), which gives you secure access to online resources at AU.
    • Go to myAU.american.edu
    • Select Create your account
    • Select I am a student and follow instructions to enter required information.
  2. Complete the Enrollment Agreement and Housing Deposit:
    • Go to myAU.american.edu
    • Double-click on the Academics tab on the left side.
    • Under Personalized Links, select Enrollment Agreement and Housing Deposit.
    • Complete the form and submit with $400 tuition and $200 housing deposits (via credit card or e-check) by May 1, 2020.
      Please note that the two deposits will be applied toward your spring 2021 tuition and housing fees.
  3. Specify Mentorship Program
    • You will receive a request to select your Mentorship Program (DC or UK). If you plan to participate in the fall 2020 Mentorship Program, indicate that option on the Enrollment Agreement. After you select the Mentorship Program, you will receive an email to select a Mentorship Program option (DC or UK). If you select the Mentorship Program in UK, you must submit an additional $1,500 deposit by May 1, 2020.

The Mentorship Program has between 140 - 175 students on average. Deposits are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here is a breakdown of program costs. The tuition, housing, meal plans, and student fees are the same rates as other students living and dining on the AU campus. Additional expenses may include food (eaten off campus), transportation to/from Washington, DC for the semester, books and school supplies, entertainment and social activity expenses.

Since the Mentorship Program is a non-degree seeking program, financial aid is not available. Financing options, including private loans, are available. Parents also have the option of using the American Payment Plan (APP), which splits the semester balance into convenient monthly payments, with no interest charged.

Any questions concerning financial aid packages should be addressed to an undergraduate financial aid officer in the Office of Financial Aid at (202) 885-6500.

Yes. This is something you should wait until October/November to discuss with your spring semester academic advisor.

The Mentorship professors are American University faculty with appointments to the School of Professional and Extended Studies. Professors teaching Politics in the US may also teach for AU’s School of Public Affairs or other academic units. In addition, College Writing, mathematics, and statistics professors hold appointments in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Ashley Barnes is the academic advisor for students in the Washington Mentorship Program. You can email (mentorship@american.edu) or call (202-895-4936) Ashley with any questions regarding academics and preparation for the fall semester. Academic advisors at AU provide academic counsel to students and assist students to select courses, navigate university regulations, and provide guidance on educational and professional goals.

The Mentorship Program in DC courses incorporate experiential learning concepts and provide students the opportunity for active learning, collaboration, teamwork, and interactive discussions. More information on the program courses is available on the Mentorship in DC Curriculum webpage.

There are no prerequisites for the internship. You are required to attend the internship three days each week; in addition, you attend an Mentored Field Practicum (MFP) class led by an AU professor. The internship is graded – with the grade comprised of the practicum supervisor evaluation (one at mid-term and one at the end of semester; 40% of the final grade) and the MFP professor's course grade (60% of the final grade).

The Mentorship Program in DC does not place students in internships. You are given the tools to secure an internship on your own, with guidance from your MFP professor and the Director of Experiential Education, Amy Morrill Bijeau.

To prepare you for the internship search, over the summer you work with program staff to create and finalize your resumes and cover letters. Then, you are given access to the program’s internship database, which has over 3,000 internship listings. You can begin searching for an internship over the summer, however most students will arrive without a placement, though they are resume and cover letter ready and prepared to start their internship search.

On the first day of class, you attend the school’s Internship Fair, where you can meet with over 100 internships sites. In addition, you also work with your MFP professor and the Director of Experiential Education to develop search criteria and strategies to secure an internship.

Approximately 90% of students will have an internship by the third week of September.

You can research, interview, and obtain a placement in a variety of fields. In the past, students have had placements with Congressional Offices, lobbyists, nonprofits, veterinarian offices, art companies, research institutions, and businesses. The type of activities completed varies from position to position.

After securing an internship, you and your supervisor will create and sign an Experiential Learning Form (ELF), which guarantees that 85% of job responsibilities will be substantial (meaning it should not only be coffee runs or making copies). While these tasks may sometimes occur, your experience should provide insight into a particular field.

Before your internship starts, the Experiential Learning Form is reviewed and signed by the Mentored Field Practicum professor.

See what some of our students have done in the past.

You will start to make contacts, build skills, and gain real-world experience. Internships are available in areas of interest ranging from politics and social justice, communications, international affairs, psychology, business, the arts, and sciences.

The typical class size is about 20-25 students. This allows for more interaction and mentorship between professors and students.

The Mentorship Program DC is flexible and allows you to take up to 14.5 credits.

All credits and grades received in the fall semester will transfer to your American University degree and appear on your AU transcript. You need to complete all 14.5 credits (or bring in AP or IB credit)in order to graduate in May 2024.

The following courses are required:

  • College Writing 
    Fulfills the Written Communication & Information Literacy I requirement.
  • Mentored Field Practicum is an elective course.
  • The American University Experience (AUx)
    Full-year course for students transitioning into their first year of college at American University. 

In addition, you will take one of the following courses:

  • Politics in the United States
    Counts as an elective course and is a requirement for certain majors.
  • Math 125, 160, 170, 211, 221
    Can be applied to the Quantitative Literacy I requirement.
  • Statistics 202, 203, 204
    Can be applied to the Quantitative Literacy I requirement.
  • Economics 100, 150, 200
    Fulfills major requirement or elective.

Please note that students who enroll in the Mentorship Program in DC must abide by the policies, regulations, and codes relating to student behavior at American University. Any student who violates the Academic Integrity Code while in the Mentorship Program in DC will have their spring admission offer reevaluated. The GPA earned in the fall semester will be the student's starting GPA for the spring semester. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to meet the standard for satisfactory academic progress. If a student earns below a 2.0 for the fall semester, they will start the spring semester on Academic Probation.

You have access to the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) on AU's campus. ASAC can be reached by phone at 202-885-3360. More information about ASAC accommodations and services is available online.

In addition, during the fall semester, the Mentorship Program in DC advisor, Ashley Barnes, assists students with fall courses and questions about accessing AU resources.

You have full access to all AU facilities and activities. These include computer labs, library, fitness centers, resource centers, clubs, campus events including noteworthy speakers.

Mentorship students, like other first-year resident students, are not allowed to bring cars. Under special circumstances, students may be granted permission, but this must be arranged with campus transportation services.

First-year students living on-campus are required to have a minimum of 175-block meal plan each semester. However, you may opt to have a larger 200, 225, or 250-block meal plans. Commuter students (living off-campus) are not required to have a meal plan.

You have access to the Student Health Center, located on AU’s campus. DC law states that all students must have health insurance - through their parents or through AU. If you have insurance by way of your parent's plan or your own, you can waive AU Health Insurance through your myAU.american.edu portal. More information about the Student Health Center and insurance requirements is available on the website.

The tuition insurance is an optional tuition refund plan for students and parents. This private insurance program enhances American University's published refund policy, helping minimize financial losses should students suffer serious illness or accident that results in withdrawal from AU before the semester is completed.

Housing & Residence Life at AU will determine housing assignments. Room and roommate requests are made through the housing preference application. You will gain access to your roommate's name and information when it is posted to the housing portal.