American University
#205 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).


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

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

#39 World Rank #29 USA Rank
Political Science
#41 World Rank #37 USA Rank
#75 World Rank #40 USA Rank
#58 World Rank #50 USA Rank
#72 World Rank #58 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#118 World Rank #62 USA Rank
#123 World Rank #79 USA Rank
#207 World Rank #98 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#225 World Rank #102 USA Rank
#308 World Rank #141 USA Rank
#360 World Rank #142 USA Rank
#257 World Rank #144 USA Rank
#277 World Rank #145 USA Rank
#474 World Rank #158 USA Rank
#446 World Rank #195 USA Rank
#498 World Rank #205 USA Rank
Computer Science
#604 World Rank #221 USA Rank
#656 World Rank #250 USA Rank
#1396 World Rank #604 USA Rank

Other areas of influence

#207 World Rank #145 USA Rank
#225 World Rank #138 USA Rank
Social Work
#622 World Rank #183 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#817 World Rank #288 USA 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, Communications, and Business. American University’s most academically influential people include Bruce Schneier, Alice Paul, and Stephen A. Kent.

Bruce Schneier
Bruce Schneier

American computer scientist

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Alice Paul
Alice Paul

American suffragist

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Stephen A. Kent
Stephen A. Kent

Canadian sociologist

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Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn

American actress, film director, and producer

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Pamela Hartigan

American businessman

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Corey Lewandowski
Corey Lewandowski

American political operative and commentator

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Alice Bradley Sheldon
Alice Bradley Sheldon

American science fiction writer

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Richard Crasta
Richard Crasta

Indian-American writer and novelist.

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Queen Rania of Jordan
Queen Rania of Jordan

Queen consort of Jordan

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David Gregory
David Gregory

American television journalist and presenter

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America Ferrera
America Ferrera

American actress, voice actress, producer, and director

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Robert Kagan
Robert Kagan

American historian and foreign-policy commentator

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