Washington, DC
American University


231 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Kristen
What is your overall opinion of this school?

American has all the benefits of an amazing city with all feelings of safety. There is a lot of red tape, but also ways to g...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

American has all the benefits of an amazing city with all feelings of safety. There is a lot of red tape, but also ways to get around it. Get in good with professors and the faculty and they will take care of you.

Describe the students at your school.

AU is extremely diverse in just about every way you can imagine. AU is also very political. We got offended when we were no longer number one on the list of politically active campuses. We lean democrat but there are many, many republicans on campus. Dialouge is encouraged and rewarded in class, and you just get more out of a class that way.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Many of us choose not to go to GW or Georgetown because AU gives us more money. I personally came because GW wasn't green enough. We are Awkward University in the best way! It's an awkwardness that everyone can take comfort in.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors are hit and sometimes miss. Talk to upperclassmen and see what professors are good and not. I still go see professors that I don't have classes with any more. I would recommend an interdisciplinary major. Getting one together seems fairly straightforward. Take advantage of the opportunities and enhancement the city gives you. It is one of the greatest parts of going to this school. It focuses on learning and sets you up for success in the work world.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Doors are open. Friends come from your floor or classes or through friends. The ratio of males to females sometimes sucks, but I've found an awesome one! We study and watch West Wing and Family Guy late into the night. Parties are fun. House parties are the best. Speakers are awesome; again the city is a great resource for this. The city is awesome!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Locally? That we are rejects from GW and Georgetown. That AU stands for Awkward University.

Ashley
What is your overall opinion of this school?

i wish we had more school spirit. just right. people are always excited when they learn it is in washington, dc. in my dorm, ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

i wish we had more school spirit. just right. people are always excited when they learn it is in washington, dc. in my dorm, or friends'dorms, floor lounges. its definitly a city inhabited by college students. the most recent controversy was when a group of students rioted when Karl Rove spoke on campus to the College Republicans. there isn't a lot of school pride. its the only university in the actual city of dc to have an actual campus. i'll always remember being dropped off by my parents. the most frequent complains are about the lack of organization within the various AU offices, which they administration is in the process of fixing. also tdr, or the terrace dining room, no one likes the food even though the dining program has gotten good reviews multiple times in the past

Describe the students at your school.

since we have many international students, no one would feel out of place. students wear casual clothes, some wear business casual since they are coming from internships on the Hill and such. AU has been voted the most politically active campus for many years in a row before. many democrats on campus also a good number of republicans. not everyone is politically active though.

What are the academics like at your school?

many professors know my name. my favorite classes are the communication classes, and general education classes such as personal finance and sociology:views from the third world. students study pretty often. people participate in discussions often. since we're all around the same level, students aren't too competitive. the most unique class i've taken was understanding mass media. professors encourage office hour visits. the academic requirements are pretty strict but work well for the student. both.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

AU Dems are popular. there are athletic events, many high profile guest speakers. the dating scene is difficult, too many girls, not enough men. 2am on a tuesday doing homework or studying. not everyone drinks only if they want to

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

that the school is too small. it has a very community-like feel instead. the majority of students are good students, involved in many on campus and off campus events, clubs, and orginizations.

Andrea
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about American is the availability of internships. One thing I would change is the drinking policy. Th...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about American is the availability of internships. One thing I would change is the drinking policy. The school is just the right size. When I tell people I go to American they are either impressed, or not sure where the school is. When I'm on campus I spend most of my time in my dorm or at Davenports. Not really a college town, but DC has plenty to offer - plenty of free things to offer. The AU administration does a lot to make sure their students are happy. The most recent controversy on campus - not really sure - we do have a fire alarm problem though There is a lot of school pride - three words - AU Blue Crew The only unusual thing are the WWII chemicals under the presidents house. One experience I will always remember is finding out that all of my Arab friends from the Middle East were royalty, though they didn't act like it. Frequent complaint - TDR!

Describe the students at your school.

I was part of Queers and Allies, and all groups in this category make themselves known on campus, and make themselves known to people who look for them. Students who are too-closed minded would feel out of place Most students wear jeans/slacks with shirts/nice tops. Not too much pajama wearing at this school Yes different types of students interact The four tables would be of the Fraternity and Sorority people, Athletes, Intellectuals, and people who look like they listen to the most obscure bands Most American students are from the Mid-Atlantic and New England. A lot of Jersey people Financial backgrounds - Middle class Students sometimes are too politically aware for their own good. Newspapers are free in the dorms Predominantly left to center, but a strong right minority Some students are concerned with their financial future others have accepted that they could live in a box and be fine with it.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

the drinking policy is odd. No drinking on campus but you can come back drunk. Everything in moderation I say

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

This school is liberal, however, in my time here I have met many people who are conservative and who have a strong opinion in a certain subject despite their overall beliefs. There is a high gay and Jewish student body, however, I do not think it merits the stereotype of "GayJew" aka AU. As for the grade inflation, I really do not see it, but in my opinion, at this point, grades should not matter too much rather what you learn should be priority.

What are the academics like at your school?

My professors in 90% of my classes know my name My most favorite class is Critical Approach to Cinema and Politics in the U.S. Both subjects take you beyond the basis of the course. My least favorite is Statistics and Civilizations in Asia - just not my thing Students study often, but it is all relative Class participation is common and often required, unless you don't mind your grade American University students debate about everything - you just bring it up and the debate will begin Students are competitive but not to the point of obsession The most unique class I've taken in Critical Approach to Cinema My major is International Relations and Political Science - simply I'm going to Law School I don't spend too much time with my professors outside of class The requirement are good, not great, but good AU has education geared towards learning coupled with a fantastic career center

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Most popluar groups are AU College Democrats or Republicans, as well as Women's Initiative I am involved in the AU debate Society, and we travel the East Coast debating other schools Students do not leave their doors open Athletic events are popular, as are guest speakers, and Theater is hit or miss I can't speak about the dating scene I've been taken since I got here I meet my closest friends two ways: Half by living with them on the same floor, the other by pure luck I am playing Guitar Hero or studying if I am up that late Founders Day and Artemis Ward week happen each year People party often Greek life is small but very noticeable Last weekend I hung out at my friends apartment, cooked and played rock band, and the next day I went to the movies, went to the book store, went back to my friends apartment and watched another movie On a Saturday night you can go to the movies, go see an exhibit at the mall, walk around Dupont circle, or do something student government offers When I'm off campus I'm at a friends apartment

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That everyone here is too liberal, that everyone is gay or Jewish, and that there is grade inflation.

Theresa
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing: the political nature of the school Thing I'd change: the price - it's almost as much as Georgetown for a less pr...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing: the political nature of the school Thing I'd change: the price - it's almost as much as Georgetown for a less prestigious name and less prestigious professors The size: just right for me personally but it depends on your preference Reaction: they know or pretend to know half the time. Once they hear it is in D.C., they suddenly seem to assume that I am always on the Hill and know the day to days of Congress. And that I'm really smart. Spend time: the Quad or in the dorms College town: definitely Administration: unhelpful and still suffering from the last president's financial scandal. Most administrations are disliked by students, but the financial situation is pretty ridiculous. Recent controversy on campus: the last president School pride: as already addressed, not about sports - more so about rallies, speakers, and other events that are either political or community oriented

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There are more women on campus than men, but it isn't very noticeable. There isn't a huge gay population on campus, but it is possible that more of them are "out" because the campus is generally friendly towards the GLBT population. Yes, there are quite a few Jews - but American is a relatively diverse school.(In one of the blackest cities in America, I would like to see more African American students here - but it's possible that the reason for this is the fact we compete with Howard for black students. Still, for a "diverse" school, there are hardly any black students). We are politically active and we only seem to have school spirit (due to lack of division I teams) when we have a political speaker on campus. It is nice to be on a bus and here people talking about what was in the Washington Post today or what they learned while they were in Kenya last semester. While we also have people who are completely oblivious people, most students seem to care about their surroundings (locally, nationally, and globally). Students who are not political science/international relations majors don't feel left out of this community. Many of them are just as informed or enjoy the atmosphere.

What are the academics like at your school?

Yes professors know my name. My favorite classes have been in the Literature department because while it is small, it is strong and I have found my literature the most engaging. The study habits of students vary. There is a fair amount of students here who do not care at all but there are plenty of kids who are always at the library. We have a pretty good mix of students who embrace their education and those who would rather experience the other parts of college. I hear intellectual conversations outside of class all the time. It makes me proud of my school and my peers. I get this warm feeling. People are constantly debating or discussing - not just politics, but philosophy, literature, cinema, history, and economics. I spend tons of time with my professors outside of class. American University professors are very accessible and not so cocky that they mind just chatting with their students about things other than a quick question about an exam. I have learned as much outside of class from my professors as I have learned in my classes. The professors are probably the best thing about American.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Lots more women. Lots of gays. Lots of Jews. Politically active.

Harper
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about American is our emphasis on service. We don't just want students to have the best GPA or memorize facts...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about American is our emphasis on service. We don't just want students to have the best GPA or memorize facts--AU teaches students to actually give back to the community or world. I would change the size of our meal plan. As of now, there are three places--the Terrace Dining Room, the Tavern, and the Block Express on our meal plan while we clearly have many other eating establishments on campus. They should all count towards meal plan points. The school is also the perfect size. I can walk from one end of campus to the other in about 10 minutes, which is a good amount of exercise, but not too much! People react in either two ways when I say that I go to American: the first is "Oh wow, that's a great school. I hear their international studies program is one of the best." The second reaction, because of a misunderstanding, and I kid you not, is: "Wait, ok, I get that you go to an American university, but which one?" Washington D.C. is by far the greatest college town in the U.S.! First, it is our nation's capital and is full of history and prominence. The internship opportunities are incredible. The city is only 10 miles in diameter, and there are about 8 universities within range, so you can travel to different universities for different events and take classes at the other universities. What's unusual about American is that it is the birthplace of the Army Corps of Engineers. We have WWI remnants! Eisenhower also helped to create and promote AU's School of International Service. Eisenhower was huge on foreign policy and wanted an institution that would promote international affairs. One experience I will always remember is when Barack Obama chose AU to not only speak at, but to also receive his endorsement from Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy (he didn't choose GW or Georgetown!).

Describe the students at your school.

This campus is incredibly diverse and very accepting of different back grounds. No student would feel out of place. Most students wear whatever they would like, I think, but no one cares what you wear because it is class and we are there to learn. American's students are from all 50 states including DC and from, I believe, over 100 countries. American students are very politically active--in 2006 we were voted the most politically active campus in the nation. There is the notion that AU is predominantly left, but trust me, there are plenty of moderates, independents, republicans, and libertarians!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Yes, we are a very politically active school, but you will also find people who could care less about politics. Our Business school, Kogod, is ranked nationally and our Communications school is also great. We also have a ton of school spirit, especially for our sports. Our women's field hockey, men's basketball and wrestling are all ranked. We also have a huge club called AU Blue Crew, which is simply a group that promotes AU sports.

What are the academics like at your school?

Every professor that I have had so far knows my name. My favorite class so far is a tie between World Politics and Macroeconomics--both were eye-opening, stimulating, and solidified that I have chosen the right major. I don't have a least favorite class! Students study on average, at the freshman level, probably about 10 hours a week (not including homework). As you go up in status, I have heard that studying increases as well. Class participation is frequent because many professors do not like to lecture the entire time and prefer seminars. I find that American students have a mix of intellectual and social conversations--everyone here has ideas and opinions, but it's not all school all the time! My majors are international studies and political science. The School of International Service is an amazing school and gives its student's amazing opportunities with events and professors. I truly feel like I'm being prepared for the real world. The School of Public Affairs is equally as good. The professors are brilliant and extremely helpful. Education at American is competitive and stimulating, but is mostly for learning's sake. Events sponsored by the school, the library, writing center, and career center are entities that are geared towards helping students find their careers. I think that that distinction is extremely important for success.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

College Democrats and Republicans are very popular. All of the Division 1 sports are equally as popular, while the club sports get less attention. Students in dorms at the beginning of the year will keep their doors open in order to meet their floor/hall. However, as the year goes on, it is less frequent. Guest Speakers are extremely popular, with at least a few occurring each day. Sports events are next, which do attract a good crowd. Theater productions are popular, but not so much as the other two. I met my closest friends right across the hall from me in my dorm because at the beginning of the year we kept our doors open. Greek life consists of about 22% of students, so it is there if you want it, but not a necessity and you certainly won't be pressured into one. Last weekend, I went to the movies in Chinatown and shopped on Friday. Saturday, I ate at a downtown cafe and went to the Smithsonian Natural History museum. Sunday, I had a meeting for a group project, went to a review session for Microeconomics, and did homework. I do not drink, and about 26% of AU students never touch a drink, so each activity I do is without drinking. You can go monument hopping, museum hopping, shopping in Friendship Heights or Pentagon City, explore Georgetown, go to the Capital, go to a movie, go to the National Zoo, go to the National Archives, get a bite to eat with friends, and even go to a Frat party and not drink on a Saturday night. I only touched on a couple of activities--you will never be bored in this city!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

First, there is a stereotype that all AU students are obsessed with politics. There is also a stereotype that we are only an international studies/political science school. The third stereotype that I can think of is that we do not care about sports.

steph
What is your overall opinion of this school?

the students i want more things to be open late at night for food and for people under 21 just right not too positiv...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

the students i want more things to be open late at night for food and for people under 21 just right not too positively -- often its a "oh where's that?" or like wow you should have gone somewhere better. the davenport lounge, my hall in the dorm, my room college town :) YAY tenley the honors administration rocks and makes a huge effort to help you. as for the whole school, i don't even have a clue controversy? none. exciting event: OBAMARAMA! no school spirit. everyone is in sis volunteering at marvin gaye park for the freshman service experience and finding a heroin needle in the grass. not enough night life, dry campus, TDR

Describe the students at your school.

there is no racial diversity. seriously, none. i can go days without seeing more than like 5 non-white people. lots of LGBT, which is very accepted. broad range of socio-economic level, but in the honors program its most lower because everyone's on scholarship probably no one. it's really a tolerant campus everyone looks like crap for 8:30s. 9:55's, however, people are dressed to the nines. after 9 30 its almost unacceptable to wear sweatpants. definitely basketball players that are REALLY tall (or just athletes in general). frat boys. sorority girls. normal people. (the fifth table is for asians in the library). big geographic diversity, although there's a lot of PA, NJ, NY, MD, and Washington DC mixture VERRRRRY politically active and informed. generally liberal we dream of living in boxes on street corners doing things that we love and that make us happy

What are the academics like at your school?

all but 1 i love all of my classes, seriously, except for statistics. it sucks and is boring. i study all the freakin time, but that doesn't seem to be typical lots of class participation in the honors classes, which are smaller ALL THE TIME sort of, but not with one another unique........ all of the classes are stuff i didn't take in high school. international relations (school of internatinal service) with a focus in peace and conflict resolution, specialization in the middle east. minors in arabic and hebrew. occasionally, office hours are useful WAYYYYY too many general education requirements+math+2 semesters of english. it's hard to take the stuff that you know you'll love and want to learn about learning for its own sake

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

APO service fraternity (co-ed) equestrian team -- rides in MD, competes with regional schools doors are always open athletic events, not so much. guest speakers, especially politicians draw a crowd. theater, if that's what you are into there are a lot of couples my closest friends: my roommate, my hallmates, my boyfriend is across the hall, but i met and got to know him (and my other best friend) during the freshman service experience. i met my our best friend at a frat party because of an interesting tapestry. through the equestrian team, i met a whole different type of person, but they rock too. hanging out with my friends i dont know! as much as we can. they're big, but no one likes them went out for thai food for a friends birthday, then on a metro adventure. homework. frat party. radio show. anything you want.. being drunk is never a requirement bars, clubs, food, wandering, movies, everything.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

politically active, preppy, unathletic

Torry
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The customer service at American is amazing. The administration and everyone else who runs things around here know what they ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The customer service at American is amazing. The administration and everyone else who runs things around here know what they are talking about and want to help you do whatever it is you are trying to do.

Describe the students at your school.

AU students are pretty diverse. There are a lot of international students here and everyone seems to really respect everyone else. Because of this respect, I feel like I am in a great environment to learn because no one is afraid to speak during class and I don't hesitate to leave my door unlocked if I need to go to the bathroom or grab a bite to eat.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

most are interested in politics but there are a lot of people who are very social and like to party.

What are the academics like at your school?

I took a class on Contemporary Africa and it changed my life. My professor was an accomplished legislative director and made me understand African culture in politics from a different perspective than I used to. There were also several guest speakers and out of class events to attend that furthered my comprehension of the class. I changed my major because this course captured my interest in International Politics and International development.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The out of classroom academic activities are very cool because as residents of DC, we can get almost anyone to drop by and share a few words. Other than that it's pretty boring. The greek life is half-hearted and there are few who have a deep connection to the city's nightlife. It's really about finding the right crowd because everyone is looking for something different in their social life.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Interested in Politics, Awkward, anti-social

Justin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about AU is the community. The school is big enough so that you can't know everyone, but small enough that yo...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about AU is the community. The school is big enough so that you can't know everyone, but small enough that you build small communities and end up knowing quite a bit of the student body. The added bonus is that we are located in the safest and most affluent part of DC, but it is easy enough to hop on the metro and explore what DC has to offer...including parties at other schools or historic sites downtown. On campus, I would say I spend most my time in Ward for class, Mary Graydon Center for food, and the library during finals time. It all happens in waves, depending on priority. I have never been in a place where administration cared more for its students than AU. AU's faculty and staff commit tons of time and energy to making sure we are happy. In Kogod, staff work with our student clubs in order to make sure our events go off without any major snags. The campus has a multicultural office that makes sure the underrepresented our represented. We also have an office that gears to the concerns of gay,lesbian, and transgendered students. Not to mention, AU goes through consistent upgrades to insure we are competitive with our neighboring schools. I will always remember when Barack Obama came to campus and ignited the crowd with excitement. Or when Ari Fleischer spoke my freshman year, and took a picture with me when he walked to his reception. Most people at AU complain that we have too much work to do, but who doesn't? Last biggest controversy on campus was probably our president being asked to step down, but that was a year ago.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

*There is a good sampling of conservative viewpoints on campus. *A good percentage of students ARE from the east coast. *Depends on how you define diversity. I have met students of so many backgrounds I can't count, so I would say AU does a good job in its selection process. *AU students are high caliber. We may not receive the same level of prestige and publicity, but we have some of the most gifted students in DC and nationally.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at AU are unique. Class size is always reasonable ranging from the size of a high school honors class up to a college lecture hall. However, most classes hover at the small range, meaning about 22-30 students. I have never had a professor that couldn't remember who I was. I haven ever had a professor who didn't have mandatory office hours or that was not willing to help. AU's requirements are such that we get to learn a little about a lot early, then learn a lot about our concentration later on. It builds a more universal, more globally experienced student. We engage in conversations outside of class all the time. Just last evening, I ended up spending two hours of study time talking about the 2008 presidential elections and gay marriage. We are as competitive as any student at any other school.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

*All the students on campus are very liberal. *The demographic consists of New Jersey or New York. *AU calls itself diverse but it isn't. *AU students aren't as smart as GWU or Gtown students.

Leah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

In my experience, AU has been a wonderful place to attend university. The location of the school is amazing, with shuttles to...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

In my experience, AU has been a wonderful place to attend university. The location of the school is amazing, with shuttles to the metro from which any part of the city is readily accessible. The size of the student population is ideal, there are enough students to still discover new friends in different classes but not so many that finding familiar faces proves difficult. There is always something to be doing in DC and the (free!) venues available to students (like the Smithsonians) are a wonderful resource.

Describe the students at your school.

AU students tend to be very tolerant individuals overall. With a large gay and Jewish community (hence the nickname “AU: Gay-Jew” students are hardly ever discriminatory. All persons at AU are welcomed despite their differences. Most AU students seem to hail from the New York and New Jersey area and are very, very politically aware. In 2006, AU was ranked the #1 most politically active campus in the US.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I think it?s fair to say that this stereotype is accurate. AU has a wonderful career center (ranked #3 in the nation) and D.C. is a city that really provides students in the area with a great opportunity for work and internship experience, which obviously contributes to an internship-driven student body. While this may translate into a less well-rounded education (less focus on math and science), having a foot in the door professionally while still getting a world-class grounding in IR or Poli-Sci is definitely an attractive feature that really appeals to a lot of students.

What are the academics like at your school?

Classes and faculty have been wonderful; professors are easily approachable and it’s rare to find a class with over 30 people, meaning students receive a lot of individual attention. Most professors learn your name within the first couple weeks and work hard to remain approachable. Often times, meeting with your professor outside of class is easy enough to arrange, especially with the “University Club” program in the main dining center, where professors may eat and invite students to dine with them. Course difficulty varies from class to class, naturally, but the overall workload is fairly manageable. Finding room in the packed library to study before finals time requires some effort though!

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

American University has a very wide range of activities for students to engage in. During the beginning of the year, the school puts on an activities fair to promote involvement which generally takes up the entire quad (no small feat). The administration will work with students to create and start up new clubs as well, if someone were to find their options lacking. Although Fraternities and Sororities aren’t given official school housing, their presence is most certainly felt on campus. Dorms are usually decorated with posters declaring the student’s Greek affiliation in lieu of actual housing and most parties around campus are hosted by these groups. If you’re not into drinking or partying though, there is still plenty to do in the city itself.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

American University students are most commonly stereotyped as humanities-oriented and internship-driven. Due to the lack of a well-developed math and science program, in combination with the nature of life in D.C. (fast past and professional) it’s not surprising that AU students have this reputation. The bottom line perception is that the school is less academically oriented and more internship-experience based.

Details

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

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