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American University


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We are a University of strivers and dreamers, of activists and artists, of scholars and servant-leaders. We realize that when we all contribute, we all succeed. We are, quite literally, one-AU.
American University is a student-centered research institution in Washington, DC, with highly-ranked schools and colleges, internationally-renowned faculty, and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world. Our students distinguish themselves for their service, leadership, and ability to rethink global and domestic challenges and opportunities. At AU, passion becomes action students actively engage in the world around them, and the leaders of today train the leaders of tomorrow.
With eight schools and over 160 programs, including bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, American University students choose a personalized curriculum of theoretical study and experiential learning, taught by internationally-recognized faculty in courses that take them from the classroom to the nation's capital, and all around the globe.
Nestled in a residential district of Washington, DC, our 90-acre campus gives you the advantages of a traditional college setting combined with unparalleled access to the energy, culture, and opportunities of our nation's capital. We are an intimate community within an urban city, where the stunning sights of our city are never far from view. Relax with your friends on our beautiful grounds (a designated arboretum) to take an impromptu trip to the National Mall the next. Whether you're learning in our century-old structures and state-of-the-art facilities, experiencing the arts in our museums and theatres, or venturing into the city, American University offers endless opportunities.
American University's Office of Human Resources invites you to explore a career at AU if you are looking to grow personally and professionally and do meaningful work. We value the strengths and contributions of our staff and faculty and have an engaged community committed to the student experience. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. American University provides a comprehensive benefits package, a flexible, supportive environment, and rewarding work that helps you achieve a fulfilling work-life balance.
As a classroom and research topic, sustainability is naturally cross-disciplinary and provides an opportunity to connect students and faculty with varying academic interests to collaborate. Students can enroll in courses that include sustainability in every school at American University. Many faculty members are engaged in research that contributes to the breadth and depth of knowledge in sustainability. More than 500 faculty members have been certified through the Green Teaching Program, which focuses on recognizing teachers who use green practices. American University combines a tradition of strong undergraduate and graduate education with a focus on experiential learning, global leadership, and public service.
American University was founded by John Fletcher Hurst, a respected Methodist bishop who dreamed of creating a university that trained public servants. Chartered by Congress in 1893, AU has always been defined by its groundbreaking spirit. Before women could vote, they attended American University. When Washington, DC, was still segregated, 400 African Americans called American University home. As we continue to grow in reputation and stature, we remain grounded in our founders' ideals as we continue to be a leader for a changing world.
Since being chartered by Congress in 1893, American University has been a leader in higher education in the nation and around the world. A global outlook, practical idealism, a passion for public service: They're part of American University today, and they were in the air in 1893, when Congress chartered AU.
George Washington had dreamed of a "national university" in the nation's capital. Nevertheless, it took John Fletcher Hurst to found a university that, in many ways, embodies that dream. The land Bishop Hurst chose for AU was on the rural fringe of the nation's capital, but it was already rich with Washington history. Abraham Lincoln had visited troops at Fort Gaines, which perched on the high ground now held by Ward Circle and the Katzen Arts Center. Presidential footsteps would continue to echo through AU history. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of a building, named Hurst's friend, President William McKinley. When the Methodist-affiliated university opened in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson gave the dedication.
Academic programs continuously gained high national rankings. The quality of AU's students was reflected in the high number of merit awards and prestigious national scholarships and fellowships, such as Fulbright awards and Presidential Management Fellowships.
The university's growing reputation in the creative arts was underscored with the opening of the 296-seat Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre in 2003 and the Katzen Arts Center in 2005. With 130,000 square feet of space, the Katzen includes a 30,000 square foot art museum with three floors of exhibition space, the Washington area's largest university facility.
In 2007, Neil Kerwin, SPA/BA '71, became the first alum president of AU. A noted scholar of public policy and the regulatory process, he has been part of the life of AU for 40 years, as a student, professor, dean, and provost, and guided the university through the process of implementing its strategic plan, "American University and the Next Decade: Leadership for a Changing World," which expresses a conviction that AU's academic strengths are grounded in its core values of social responsibility and a commitment to cultural and intellectual diversity.
It's a vision for the twenty-first century, but it's grounded in ideals that go back to John Fletcher Hurst and the dream of a university that makes a difference in its students, community, and the world.

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