American University
Washington, DC, USA

Reviews

American University
3.70 Average Rating

Victoria from Minneapolis, MN

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
American University is by far one of the most under ranked universities in my opinion. The courses I've taken thus far have all been taught by professors that are not only passionate about the subject but have also made major contributions to their field. I am continuously challenged and have begun to look at domestic and world affairs in a new light.
Am enjoying being here
It has been so easy to get involved on campus and even easier to do things off campus. D.C. is the best college town because everything is free. It's hard to complain about being bored when there are free events happening every day in addition to the free museums and free concerts.
Bang for the buck
I don't think I'll be able to correctly judge this until I have graduated, but so far I think I am more than getting my money's worth. The classroom experience has been good and the speakers that come to campus have been excellent. I feel very fortunate to be where I'm at.
Tips for prospective students
Try talking to a few of the students while on campus and asking any questions you might have. The tour guides don't tell lies on the tours, but they are discouraged from discussing a few topics such as the gender imbalance.
Great for these types of students
Motivated students who would like to have a more meaningful college experience than a lot of forgotten drunken nights. (Though if that's your thing, it's still easy to do that at American)
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Chloe from Mandeville, LA

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
American is a school that is made up of a student body that passionate about several different areas but we all come together on campus. There is someone who is interested in just about every type of field and major that we have to offer and often people have multiple interests that will overlap with each other. To me AU brings the best parts of college and living in DC together.
Tips for prospective students
Come visit campus! It is the best thing that you can do for yourself while looking at schools. Come in with an idea of which of our five colleges you would be in so that you can take a look at that college and ask questions on your tour that are related to that college. Have a list of things that you are looking for in a school and have things that you will not take off that list. That's how I knew AU was the right school for me.
Academic Rigor
Professors demand a high quality of students. I have yet to have a professor where there was not a lot demanded out of me but I have come out of each class extremely happy that I took it. AU is set up with a system of general education requirements that make you take classes in 5 different areas so that you get a well rounded liberal arts education. As one of the few biology majors on campus I have also taken a theater class and have learned just as much as I have in my bio classes.
Dorm Life
The majority of freshman students live on the south side of campus. One of those dorms is being remodeled this summer and the dorm I live in was done a year or two ago. AU is also building a few new dorms next year so that is going to be exciting. As far as the dorm rooms go they are about the average size of a college dorm. There is a lot of storage space to keep all of your things, but I also recommend getting under the bed storage from the container store by campus, Target which is about a 20 minute bus ride away, or at Ikea which you would have to drive to when you move in. Living on campus is great and there are always a lot of actives that the residence halls put on. You will have a RA on your floor and they are there to help. Get to know your RA and those on your floor. Each floor as a common room with a TV, kitchen and couches. My floor does a lot of cooking and its a nice break from eating at TDR all the time. Each floor also has a study room for the times that you just don't want to go to the library.
Food and Dining
We have one traditional dinning hall, Terrace Dinning Room, known around campus as TDR. But there are other options as well. The main source for food is in the Mary Graydon Center where TDR is, as well as an Einstein's Bagels, a salad stop, Pronto (sandwiches), Eagle Express (box lunch), Salsa (Tex-Mex), and then Tavern (burgers). TDR, Eagle Express, Salsa, and Tav take meal swipes and everything else on campus takes Eagle Bucks or dinning dollars. In addition to what is in MGC there is a cafe in Ward, Katzen, SIS, the Mudbox in the library and a Subway by Bender Arena. Here is a tip on Eagle Bucks and Dinning Dollars. Dinning Dollars can only be used on campus where Eagle Bucks can be used off campus and on. I use my Eagle Bucks to buy food at Whole Foods.
What to do for fun
There is so much to do in DC. Getting off of campus is one of the best things that you can do. Going to the monuments, the Smithsonian (which is free!!), the Kennedy Center, Rock Creek Park or anything else in DC. There is always something happening on campus as well, my Facebook invite box is always full of things to do. On campus one of the big things are the speakers that come. This past year Bill Clinton came to speak at that has been the highlight of my year, it was a free event. The University Center also puts on movies every two weeks. Also for those that want to there are frat parties on the weekend or you can go down to K Street and go clubbing.
Bang for the buck
Yes AU is a bit high in cost, but the aid greatly reduces the cost of attendance. For all that is available on campus, in terms of jobs and internships that are open to AU students it is totally worth the cost of attendance.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
You will see wonk on campus. It's a DC term and something you will come to have a love/hate relationship with. As far as traditions go it varies depending on what groups you are involved with. But putting everything in a short form is one of the most common. We really like acronyms. Location wise there is the beach, which is on south side and on a sunny day you can see why it is called that. Then the quad. That's about it.
Great for these types of students
International students. Those who are very interested in politics or international relations. We have really good programs for both of those majors.
Clubs and Activities
If there is a club that you want to join then they have it here. I can't even tell you off the top of my head how many clubs we actually have here but I know that there is a lot. One of more unique ones to campus is our student government and all of the different aspects that they control. Anyone who wants to be involved in politics should consider joining.
Greek Life
There is a greek life on campus. There are 7 Panhellenic Sororities and 12 North American Interfraternity Conference members. The majority of students are not a part of greek life and there is no pressure to join but know that it is a part of campus.
Campus Safety
Safety on campus is something that AU takes very seriously. The Public Safety building can be found on the south side of campus and there is always an officer walking around campus. We have the blue light phones on various parts of campus. Also Public Safety is not just concerned with the well being of students on campus but that of the city as a whole. We are located right across the street from Homeland Security and that always has made me feel a bit safer.
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Molly from Eaton, OH

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
American University has a wonderful, intensive general education program. It gives a great foundation and helps you to become a well-rounded student. In addition, the School of International Service (SIS) has an excellent International Relations major/program. I am very happy with the amount of learning I'm receiving here.
Am enjoying being here
Although American University has great academics, I have found the campus community to be lacking. As a sports fan, I was disappointed to find that sports are not very important at AU and the student body does not have much school spirit. But don't be discouraged, there are always plenty of activities to do on campus.
Bang for the buck
As you might know, American University has a rather high tuition rate. I believe that the conditions, for example, student housing, could be much better for the amount of money we are paying. But with the educational aspect in mind, the money is worth getting such a highly acclaimed degree/ education.
Tips for prospective students
Come to a campus visit! I came on a visit as a junior in high school and it was well worth it. Seeing the campus really helped me to make my decision about attending AU.
Meet with your admissions counselor. My dad emailed my admissions counselor and I met with him during my campus visit. It was very helpful and possibly helped my chances of being excepted. It shows that you are very interested in attending the school and will help the admissions counselor to remember your name when he or she reads your application.
Great for these types of students
Great for students that love diversity! There are so many different cultures represented here at AU.
Great for students looking to get an International Relations degree. The School of International Services is the largest school of its kind in the United States and second largest in the world!
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Molly from Hillsborough, NJ

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
AU is the best school in the nation for Internships. It really helps you widen your horizons with an extreme amount of opportunities. It is a tight community and I wouldn't change my decision for the world.
Tips for prospective students
My number one tip is to take your college search seriously. Choosing the right college for you is a big decision and honestly, transferring is a pain. It's an exciting time, so make sure to get excited about it!
Academic Rigor
The work at my school was the hardest part to get used to. However, it has made me a better student and person and I have much better time management skills than before. I also have learned how to not procrastinate.
Dorm Life
I love living in a dorm. They are pretty nice and almost all of them have wall units filled with storage. Living in a dorm has been a great experience because there is always someone around to hang out with.
Food and Dining
Our dining hall, Terrace Dining Room, can have its ups and its downs but there is always something to eat. We also have a lot of other options such as a panini place, Einstein Bagels, the tavern, and our own place that's kind of like Chipotle.
Bang for the buck
Our school is really expensive, but we have great resources here too. We are number one in the nation for internships and we have a great career center that can help you find a job even once you're an alumni!
Great for these types of students
Students who want to live on a campus, but still in a city. Also, it's great for students who are serious about their studies but also want to go out and experience things.
Clubs and Activities
We have over 150! There's basically something for everyone. And if we don't have what you want, it's really easy to make a club.
Greek Life
We have two types: social (the normal college greek like) and professional (which all have an aim like community service, honors, etc.) We have a small percentage so it's here if you want it, but it doesn't harm you in any way if you don't.
Campus Safety
We are so safe! We have public safety but we are also in the safest quadrant of DC.
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Emily from Hallandale Beach, FL

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
AU is perfect for International Relations, great for liberal arts majors and good for science majors.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely apply, AU is an amazing school. If any doubts, make sure you come by and visit.
Dorm Life
5. Living in is amazing, you are basically part of a HUGE floor family.
Food and Dining
4. The meal swipes could be worth more, but TDR is great.
What to do for fun
Everything - DC is your Oyster.
Bang for the buck
I'm on an almost full scholarship, but even if I had the money I would think twice. It can get expensive.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
TDR, The Beach, LA Quad, Main Quad, The Mud Box
Great for these types of students
SIS Majors
Clubs and Activities
Good greek life and a good club selection!
Greek Life
Good from what I've heard, although housing is off campus...
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AU Eagle

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
AU is a wonderful place for students wanting to be in Washington D.C. for future careers in government, the mentorship program for all SIS students is a perfect way to introduce the students to this part of D.C. AU is a very tied-in community with tons of clubs, political activism, and campus activities on the quad all the time.
Tips for prospective students
It's the little things that set you apart from others that AU really appreciates in their students. If you can be unique and still maintain good standing in high school, AU will love you.
Academic Rigor
Pick good classes and you'll be challenged. Like any place, if you pick slacker courses, you'll get to slack off, but all the best teachers will be the ones that challenge you to do your best in their classes and those teachers are abundant here.
Dorm Life
You get a chance to pick your roommates through a survey and messaging before school, so if you should be able to find someone you like easily. The RAs are readily available for help in any problem, especially those issues that might crop up when first sharing a room with other people. The rooms themselves are small, but easily made cozy and home-like.
Food and Dining
TDR is amazing. Most of the food is organic and grown locally, because the dining hall staff and students that help make decisions are environmentally conscious. The menu is different every day and one could go for every meal and never get bored of the food. They have a comfort food bar, an amazing salad bar, and a stir-fry station every day as well as several other stations around the cafeteria.
What to do for fun
During the first week of school, there are carnivals, glow-in-the-dark soccer and Frisbee games, and movie nights on the quad and in the amphitheater. Students flock to these events for the free food and entertainment. These are also great socializing events for students. AU also has a huge variety of clubs for students, from the book club to the extreme sports club, and, of course, the quidditch team, there's a club for anyone.
Campus Safety
AU's campus security is amazing. There are of course, the blue boxes all around campus, but campus security also has free self defense courses every few weeks. They also have the safe ride home program in which they will send a car to come get you in D.C., Virginia, or Maryland to get you back to campus safely.
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Sophie from Burlington, VT

accepted here and planning to attend soon
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
AU offers a lot and I am so psyched to start my freshman year! The School of International Service is superb.
Will enjoy being here
The students are friendly and TDR's food is pretty good. Also, the campus is a national arboretum, so there are beautiful gardens and trees everywhere.
Bang for the buck
It's really expensive, but I got great financial aid: a huge grant, some small federal grants, and a few loans. I'm still trying to decrease the loan amounts.
Tips for prospective students
Walk around campus and talk with the students. Look at the dorms and try the food to see if you fit in there!
Great for these types of students
people interested in international topics, foreign cultures and languages, and living in an awesome city
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Isabel from Wilton, CT

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Wonderful campus, international student body and engaged and engaging professors have made this a fabulous experience so far. I have had the opportunity to create my own major within the School of Public Affairs. As a student in the Honors Program, classes are small, which has given me an opportunity to get to know my professors and vice versa.
Tips for prospective students
Get involved and engage with your fellow students and professors.
Academic Rigor
As a student in the Honors Program, my classes to date have been quite rigorous.
Dorm Life
Most dorms are updated and pretty comfortable.
Food and Dining
Good food overall and a wide range of choices.
What to do for fun
Washington D.C. has so much to do, from monuments and museums to classic films and concerts! It's great city: vibrant and diverse yet manageable.
Greek Life
There are probably more students involved in Greek life than the number quoted by the university but it is not overwhelming; you don't have to be go Greek to have a great social life!
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Justine from Topeka, KS

a past student here
24 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Did learn a lot
As a student of International Relations, I don't think I could have chosen a better school. My professors were not only well-versed on theory, but they had made (and were STILL making) valuable contributions to their fields. Relative to other schools, AU also has VERY small class sizes (particularly in the Honors program), which makes professors very approachable, and AU offers a wide variety of specialized one-time-only classes that expand the course offerings DRAMATICALLY. In my 4 years there, I took classes on the Baby Boomer's influence on the sexual revolution, the politics of human rights in Cuba, drug cartels in Colombia, and humanitarian response in complex emergencies.
Did enjoy being here
AU is not only a great school, it's in a GREAT city. In DC, you can spend your weekends attending gala affairs at embassies or free swing-dancing lessons at the Kennedy Center or doing one of a million other things, mostly for free. Plus DC has so many NGOs and, obviously, government offices that it's easy to find an internship to gain real-world experience (and get credit for it!). AU also offers a lot in terms of student activities: concerts, forums and guest speakers, volunteer trips abroad, Greek life, etc. Trust me, you'll never be bored.
Bang for the buck
Yes, AU is expensive, but I tend to look at it as an investment in my future. Potential employers respect an AU degree because they know that AU graduates are well-rounded competent and professional. Plus, AU offers a lot of merit and need-based scholarships; contact the Financial Aid office if the cost is your biggest concern.
Tips for prospective students
Get to know your professors! AU professors are a wealth of information, and they're eager to help their students (future AU alum) succeed both in and outside the classroom. I've gotten great recommendations, internships, and even a job from visiting my professors during their office hours. Don't be shy!
Great for these types of students
Anyone interested in international studies, including regional studies (African Studies, European Business, etc.), future MBAs and students interested in business, students who want to have great internship opportunities, or anyone interested in politics.
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Kendall from Ridgefield, CT

a current student here
23 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors here at American are some of the best I've met between visiting campuses or friends at other colleges. They are very approachable, and dedicated to their fields of study. I haven't met one yet that doesn't have some sort of higher degree, and all have extra activities going on outside being a teacher.
Am enjoying being here
DC is such a great environment for college students, because there's always something going on in the city. American is unique because it has a campus, while still being inside the city.
Bang for the buck
While the tuition is very high, the quality of things on campus is very good. There are multiple different construction projects going on, but housing is currently a big issue. Many freshman find themselves in triples, and due to limited housing, juniors and seniors are having a harder time getting into campus housing. The food here is ok, though there are only two different options for places to use your meal swipes on campus.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely come visit the campus before making a decision, because that's what sold me on coming here. Especially in the spring you can really see how active students are in and outside the classroom, and how much a college with a campus in a city has to offer.
Great for these types of students
AU is perfect for all types of students that want to be actively involved on campus. I don't know a single person at American that doesn't do at least two extra-curriculars outside of their class load.
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