Washington, DC
American University


225 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Andrew
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is in a good location in D.C. because it is not loud and right in the heart of the city, but if I did want to go t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is in a good location in D.C. because it is not loud and right in the heart of the city, but if I did want to go to the heart of the city, it is only about a half hour away on the AU shuttle and metro. If I could change one thing about the university overall, it would be to add a lot more housing because not all juniors are guaranteed housing, and I do not think that is fair. Upperclassman have a very slim chance of getting housing.

What are the academics like at your school?

Most classes at American are not too big. Most of my professors know me by first name, with the exception of my 80 student psychology class, which is also the only class where the teacher does not take attendance. Accordingly, the biggest classes in that class are on exam day because that is the only day that matters. I have found so far in freshman year I can get by with minimal studying, and the general education classes are easy. My major/department is audio technology. The class sizes are really small so the professors know us all and the equipment is really quality. Overall, the education at American is geared more towards learning for its own sake.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotype here at American University is that most guys are gay, and that there is a lot of Jewish people, including myself. There is also the stereotype that people at American did not get into Georgetown or George Washington, so they ended up going to American. The main stereotype is that most of the students are rich.

Julia
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There is a stereotype that we are all into politics and that we have a high gay population. In reality, there are a bunch of ...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There is a stereotype that we are all into politics and that we have a high gay population. In reality, there are a bunch of kids that like to talk politics. On the other hand, if you don't want to talk politics, that's possible too. Nobody will force you to discuss anything you don't want to. And I will say that there is a high gay population at the school. The only issue with that is that girls find it hard to find straight guys.

Elise
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Work hard to get into your dream school and don't take no for an answer. Be realistic about the financial burdens of your cho...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Work hard to get into your dream school and don't take no for an answer. Be realistic about the financial burdens of your chosen school. Some times chosing to go to a different less expensive school can be a wise choice.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

This is one of the most expensive schools in the US and the univeristy is not overly generous with financial aide.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

To study International Relations you muct live in Washington DC. It is all about politics here. The opportunities are endless for internships and jobs during and after school. Nerworking is an art here and we all learn howto do it.

Christine
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Although American University may not be the social, partying mecca of Washington, DC (as some misinformed frat guys seem to t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Although American University may not be the social, partying mecca of Washington, DC (as some misinformed frat guys seem to think), an AU education is definitely an asset for the future. AU students and professors are extremely motivated and innovative. It is the type of school where you should try to remember everyone (from your finance professor to that quiet girl who sat next to you in World Politics) because everyone is destined for greatness. Chances are that quiet girl will create the next big I-gadget. Comparatively, AU has a small campus and some may complain it feels like high school, but AU's location in Washington, DC definitely supplements the small campus feeling. Washington, DC is a great city and most students get internships around the city, gaining the chance to explore different parts of the city. The most recent controversies on campus have been surrounding the quick-selling tickets to the Founder's Day Ball at the Library of Congress and President Bill Clinton's visit. AU does not have much school pride when it comes to athletics. An AU student could probably name the past three AU student government presidents faster than one of the current AU men's basketball team members.

Describe the students at your school.

AU boasts a highly diverse student body, but I beg to differ. My high school was abnormally diverse, the minority being white students, so I was shocked by the lack of diversity at AU. I will say AU has a lot of international students; my first roommate was from Panama. AU does have a very large LGBT population and is a perfect place for those who are trying to figure out what they want to be in life. AU students are very open to alternate lifestyles. Students' wardrobes vary greatly. Some students will come to class looking like they literally rolled out of bed into their desk, while a Delta Gamma girl will come proudly wearing her letters. Being different is a staple at AU, so most students are comfortable talking to someone who might seem a little strange at first. Students are VERY liberal, but clubs such as the Kennedy Political Union try to stay as bipartisan as possible.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are a major focus of American University students and professors. The class sizes are usually small, except for general education lectures. Class participation is a BIG deal. Most professors count class participation as more than just attendance. You must be willing to speak up. Students are not too competitive with others for getting the highest grade, but they are competitive within themselves. Students will push themselves to create work much more impressive than what their syllabus required. I am a Political Science major and Business Administration minor. The SPA department is one of the most popular on campus. The SPA advisors are average, but most of my professors have been excellent. The education at AU is definitely geared towards getting a job. Networking with other students, professors, and professionals is highly valued and our Career Center is one of the best in the country.

Rachel
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about American University (AU) is the endless amounts of opportunities to get involved. Although very liberal,...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about American University (AU) is the endless amounts of opportunities to get involved. Although very liberal, AU has groups for just about anything you can think of. American as a whole is a very politically active university. Being in the nation's capital just makes opportunities to stay involved even more prevalent. AU is the perfect balance between a small and large school. What first attracted me to AU was the fact that it has a small school feel, but is located in a very active city. That being said, I wouldn't necessarily say AU is located in a "college town." DC as a whole is kind of the university's college town. Most DC residents know about American University and are kind/respectful of the students. In the end, I think American University is a great school, but it really comes down to what you make of your college experience. Compared to smaller liberal arts colleges that I visited, AU has a much different feel. It's just big enough that you can't really "know everyone," and you always tend to wonder where everyone was hiding when the warm weather hits and there's suddenly a maze of students on the quad.With that said, the school is also small enough to stay involved. Clubs tend to be fairly reasonable in size and class sizes are small as well. This makes it easy to stay involved and to meet people if you take the initiative to do so. AU is also top-rated for the amount of students involved in internships, so it's very easy to stay busy if one has the drive/will to do so.

Describe the dorms.

Compared to other schools I visited during my college search, AU dorms are a big step up and this is coming from someone who has stayed in everything from a triple to off-campus housing to a single. AU has two sides of dorms: Southside and northside. Southside is louder, houses more members of Greek life and generally consists of newer dorms. Northside is quieter and has the honors floors. There is also Nebraska hall which is all apartment-style dorms, but is generally reserved for upperclassman. The dorms are safe, warm and the bathrooms are kept clean. I of course cannot speak for all of the halls. I have heard complaints of lack of hot water in some dorms, or lack of shower pressure, but I've never experienced this personally.

Describe the students at your school.

American University (AU) is a very liberal university. It has a large LGBT population and prides itself on an accepting and loving community. Anyone who has any qualms with members of the LGBT community and feels the need to voice their opinion about it, should probably not attend AU. Although the school provides itself on giving all students a voice, it has a no tolerance policy for disrespect and prejudice. AU has a very large group of international students. However, I would not say at first glance that the university screams diversity. Students are often dressed up and very fashionable. A friend from a different university is always in awe of how nicely dressed the students appear. In large, due to the number of internships/jobs and other professional opportunities offered at AU and in DC, you'll often see students in professional/business attire. Males as well as females often dress with fancy shoes, nice tops and designer clothes. This isn't to say that one will be looked down upon for dressing in jeans and a t-shirt or a sweatshirt, but it is definitely less common than may be seen at other schools.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at American University (AU) are great. As a communications student, I've had a professor who won two Oscars, an amazing photojournalist and a professor who photographs fashion week in NYC. The professors at American are dedicated, experienced and passionate about teaching. With that being said, as with any university, there are teachers who are better than others. On that note, I feel that it's very important not to simply choose a course because ratemyprofessor.com says the professor is an "easy A." It's also important not to be biased towards adjunct professors. Some of my all-time favorite professors were adjuncts, so it's important to stay open and explore all your options. Even now, as a senior, I have professors from freshman year who still remember my name. There are professors who have met with the class on weekends for field trips and who make extra time after class to chat and answer all your questions. Students are intelligent and passionate. There are so many who are interning on the hill or with non-profits and who dedicate their time to activism and outreach. As the case with any busy college students, there are often times where you can tell a classmate didn't have time to do the reading. However, when it gets down to crunch time, the library is full to capacity and everyone has their noses buried in the books. AU is a great university because it provides you with hands-on-learning experiences. Not many people can sit in a politics class and relate their personal experiences on the hill with class discussions or pop into your film class after their internship with PBS. What I have always loved about AU is that it's a school that allows you to take your learning out into the real world. The university career center is amazing and is always offering workshops to help students succeed. There are constant opportunities to network, take classes, meet with career counselors and to build up your resume. As a senior, I've found that one of the most beneficial things about being at American. I'm graduating not only with a fantastic education, but also with a resume that will appeal to employers. In our fragile economy, this is an incredible asset and something I am truly thankful for.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

American University (AU) is often stereotyped as a school with a very large LGBT (Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual,Transgender) population, as well as a large Jewish community. It is also often referenced as being a very liberal school as well as one with a large demographic of upper-class students. The LGBT and Jewish stereotypes are statistically accurate. There is a very large gay population at American University, which ties into them having one of the largest Queers and Allies groups in the Northeast region. AU also has a large Jewish population, along with many other religious groups. As a University, American affiliates with the United Methodist church, but its Kay Spiritual Life center welcomes all students and is often host to many religious groups and ceremonies. The school is also in general very liberal. AU is a very accepting university and welcomes people from all walks of life. Located in Washington DC and identifying as a private University, the school is naturally expensive. This I imagine attracts many students from more well-off backgrounds, but from experience, there is also a plethora of students attending AU on scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid.

Jade
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I like AU for many reasons and there are also a number of things I would change. I think the location and convenience of get...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I like AU for many reasons and there are also a number of things I would change. I think the location and convenience of getting into the city is great and provides students with a plethora of internships that other schools don't offer. It is also awesome to be in a city with some of the most socially engaged people in the country. I also like that AU has a campus feel that some city schools don't have. And the abroad program is great, everyone should go abroad! As for things I wish we could do differently. I wish that we had a football team and a greater sense of school pride because there isn't a lot of support for AU athletics. And though I love the fact that AU is kinda small, sometimes it is frustrating because you can't go anywhere without knowing someone. It also is not a college town, so if you are looking for the state school vibe, AU is not the place. But overall, I think I've gotten a great education here.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are great. I love that class sizes at AU are incredibly small so you really get to know your professors. I don't think I've had any classes over 75 people and that was only one class. Most of my classes are around 20 or less. I feel like I've learned a lot in my classes and from my professors and I would recommend AU as an academic institution. It was also easy to double major across schools. I have a double major and a double minor, each in a different school at AU, but it was easier to do than it would be at most schools.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

I think the most common stereotype of AU students as that they are all obsessed with politics, and although there are lots of students that are, there are also lots of students that aren't. It is the nature of any school located in the nation's capitol to be politically active, but it is really what you make it. Some people get involved in politics on campus or in DC, and many don't, myself being one of them.

Jenna
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Plain and simple, I love American. I applied as an early decision student and still think that the day I was accepted was one...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Plain and simple, I love American. I applied as an early decision student and still think that the day I was accepted was one of the best days ever. American has a great campus feel, while also having a perfect location. It's rare to find a great city school that also has a traditional college campus like AU does. I knew when I picked a school that I wanted a medium sized university so that I would not have huge classes and that is something AU definitely offers. My largest class was around 50 people and most of my classes are no bigger than 30. It offers a unique experience to get to know professors and other students well. All of my teachers have been really helpful. One example is when I took a theory class for Sociology and I was completely lost. I went to my professor for help multiple times during her office hours and she really helped me understand the material. I wound up getting an A in the class! Besides the academics, AU has so much to offer both on and off campus. There are so many clubs and organizations to get involved in, or students can volunteer out in the city. Washington D.C. has the perfect mix of fun, free things to do on weekends and great opportunities to help the students prepare for their futures.

Describe the students at your school.

AU students are really diverse. There is a vast amount of interests, but I must say that everyone is really focused on social issues and wants to make a change in whatever area they are studying. In addition, a lot of students have a strong international focus. Many of them study abroad during their college career or do an alternative break to volunteer in another country or domestically.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotype of students at American University is that the students who go here either want to change the world or be the next president. It may sound funny, but when you really look at this stereotype it just means that the students at AU want to be successful. We have a very strong international relations program and a lot of students who come to Washington D.C. for school are interested in politics, so it is natural to have a stereotype like this. Students at AU get really involved in internships (AU is ranked as the number one school for internships in the country) and everyone wants to make a difference. I would say that this stereotype does fit a lot of the students that go here, but like any stereotype it cannot be a generalize for everyone at American University.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are over 200 different clubs and organizations that students can get involved in on campus, so it's hard to choose which ones to pursue. I am a huge part of the AU Ambassadors, a group dedicated to helping prospective students decide if AU is the right school for them. During my Sophomore year I was the coordinator of campus tours, which means I ran the campus tours part of Ambassadors. We have a large number of students who are Ambassadors and have lots of fun together! Some of the other major organizations that students are involved with are the Kennedy Political Union which helps to bring public speakers to campus. Two weeks ago we have Bill Clinton come! The Student Union Board focused on getting major bands and artists to perform concerts on campus too. About 23% of students get involved in Greek Life, whether it be a social or professional fraternity. Even if the social Greek Life scene is not for you, the professional frats are a great way to get involved, meet new people, volunteer, or do stuff that is associated with your major.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are great, as I mentioned in a previous question, the small class sizes lead to great discussions and more interaction with professors and students. One class that I took for my Sociology major was called Sociology of Birth and Death. It was so fascinating and really interactive. We took a field trip to a funeral home when we were discussing how society deals with deal and we had a panel of midwives comes to the class when talking about the birth part of the class. So unique! I learned so much! I am currently taking a class called Marketing of Social Change which looks at marketing in a different way than marketing for a big business or corporation. it's really helpful because this is the type of marketing work that I want to do one day.

Miranda
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The School is very cutting-edge and up-to-date with resources and infrastructure. However, sometimes it takes a long time for...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The School is very cutting-edge and up-to-date with resources and infrastructure. However, sometimes it takes a long time for them to change and remodel new buildings so that students can see the value of their tuition dollars at work. The school needs to get a larger donor base and endowment to help alleviate the burden of attending this institution.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Student Government, Kennedy Political Group, and Women's Initiative. Also, Greek life seems to grow every year.

Describe the students at your school.

Diversity is seen as a strength, though most students are white and spoiled.

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors are skilled experts in their field and teach to student's strengths. They are very understanding and not uptight. It is easy to get A's here.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Passionate and actively involved in the local and global community, but often lazy. Yes, it is accurate for the majority of students, but a minority is very academically-driven.

Alex
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself to really get on the ball and to look and apply for as many scholarships that i can. I did not take that ...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself to really get on the ball and to look and apply for as many scholarships that i can. I did not take that seriously in high school and am finding it difficult to be eligable for as many scholarships now. I would also tell myself to do more volunteer work, and apply for more schools that I was interested in. I started at my current school without even really knowing where it was until July of that year. I always knew I was going to college right out of high school even though I wasn't sure what I wanted to go for but when it came time to do everything I didn't and it is hurting me a bit now. I love my school, the people, and opportunities that I have been able to experience but one of the best transitions would have been to not worry about the money. Even being a Phi Theta Kappa member, it is still difficult to find school funding that isn't out of my pocket.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 7,900
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $44,853
  • Acceptance rate
  • 26%

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