Abstract Background Image Banner
#181 Overall Influence #113 Desirability Rank

American University

Private liberal arts and research-based university in Washington, D.C.

American University (AU) was founded in 1893. AU offers more than 160 academic programs, including 71 bachelor’s degrees, 87 master’s degrees, and 10 doctorates. It is especially known for its programs in political science and government, in international relations, and in business.

AU does not offer online undergraduate degrees, though it does offer several online graduate-level degree programs.

AU is associated with two Nobel laureates—Robert S. Mulliken for chemistry and H.S. Gasser for physiology or medicine.

Other distinguished AU-connected individuals include the following:

  • Computer scientist, Bruce Schneier
  • Novelists—Arnošt Lustig, Ann Beattie, Florence King, and Robert Bausch
  • Biographer, David Garrow
  • Film directors, Barry Levinson and Nancy Meyers
  • Actors—Goldie Hawn, Gale Harold, and Benjamin Salisbury
  • Comedian, Bryan Callen
  • Contemporary classical composer, Lloyd Ultan
  • Popular musician, Henry Rollins (Henry Lawrence Garfield)
  • Sculptor, Frederick Hart
  • Physicist, Ross Gunn
  • Chemist and educator, James B. Conant
  • Psychologist and African American Studies scholar, Edmund W. Gordon
  • Historian, Elizabeth Eisenstein
  • Economists, Julian Simon and Dambisa Moyo
  • Political scientists, James A. Thurber and Mary King
  • Legal scholar, Kenneth Anderson
  • Anthropologist and crime writer, Kathy Reichs
  • Radio talk show hosts, Bob Edwards and Clark Howard
  • Television news commentators—Cal Thomas, Steve Scully, Alisyn Camerota, David Gregory, Neil Cavuto, Barry McCaffrey, and Ayman Mohyeldin
  • Television personalities, Judith Susan Sheindlin (Jude Judy) and Willard Scott
  • Women’s rights activist, Alice Paul
  • Civil rights activist, Julian Bond
  • FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) founder and president, Greg Lukianoff
  • Political consultant, Corey Lewandowski
  • German Green Party co-founder, Petra Kelly
  • US foreign-policy commentator and historian, Robert Kagan
  • Political activist and 2000 US presidential candidate, Ralph Nader
  • Former US Representative, Paul Ryan
  • Current US Representatives—Donna Shalala, Jim Ramstad, Haley Stevens, Jamie Raskin, and Jim McGovern
  • Former US Senators, Robert Byrd and Max Cleland
  • Lebanese diplomat and philosopher, Charles Malick
  • Current Kurdish Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani
  • Current President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio
  • Current President of Columbia, Iván Duque Márquez

AU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS).

From Wikipedia

The American University is a private, Christian research university in Washington, D.C. Its main campus spans 90 acres on Ward Circle, mostly in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Northwest D.C. AU was chartered by an Act of Congress in 1893 at the urging of Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who sought to create an institution that would promote public service, internationalism, and pragmatic idealism. AU broke ground in 1902, opened in 1914, and admitted its first undergraduates in 1925. Although affiliated with the United Methodist Church, religious affiliation is not a criterion for admission.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


IncomeAverage Net Cost
0 - 30K$28,432
30K - 48K$22,578
48K - 75K$33,158
75K - 110K$37,117

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20016-8001

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

46 per 100K

Violent Crime

11 per 100K

What is American University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#27 World Rank
Political Science
#46 World Rank
#89 World Rank
#94 World Rank
#52 World Rank
#283 World Rank
#121 World Rank
#175 World Rank
#289 World Rank
#261 World Rank
Computer Science
#471 World Rank
#425 World Rank
#260 World Rank
#653 World Rank
#147 World Rank
#300 World Rank
Religious Studies
#60 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#178 World Rank
#645 World Rank
#792 World Rank

Other areas of influence

#212 World Rank
Social Work
#247 World Rank
#366 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#683 World Rank

Influential People

Who are American University's Most influential alumni?

American University 's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Political Science, Law, and Communications

Lynne A. Battaglia

American judge

Clinton LeSueur


Carol M. Highsmith

Carol M. Highsmith

American photographer

Severino Montano

Severino Montano

Filipino writer

Walter E. Boomer

Walter E. Boomer

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps

K. David Harrison

Canadian linguist

T. Don Hutto

Co-founder of [[Corrections Corporation of America]]

Susan B. Anthony II

American journalist, activist, and substance abuse counselor

Mo Hayder

British author of crime and thriller fiction

Jerome C. Glenn

American futurist

Lawrence Mishel

Lawrence Mishel

American economist

Alan S. Chartock

American radio personality