Washington, DC
American University


237 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

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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