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Schools & Colleges

CAS Classrom Lab

College of Arts & Sciences

  • Founded in 1925, CAS, the largest school or college at the university, is headed by Dean Peter Starr, professor of literature, who oversees 323 full-time teaching faculty.
  • Home to 17 departments, all offering bachelor’s degrees and most offering master's degrees, the college also has several certificate and preprofessional programs.
  • CAS offers doctoral degrees in anthropology; behavior, cognition, and neuroscience; clinical psychology; economics; and history.
  • The College recently introduced a three-year public health bachelor’s degree and three online master’s programs—in applied economics, nutrition education, and teaching English as a foreign language.
  • The School of Education, Teaching, and Health resides in CAS.
Kogod Classroom

Kogod School of Business

  • Dean John Delaney leads the business school, which has 70 full-time faculty, all of whom are research scholars and teachers.
  • Founded in 1955, Kogod houses six academic departments, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and graduate certificates.
  • Kogod ranks among top business schools in the U.S., according to Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review and The Wall Street Journal.
  • Undergraduates and graduate students can choose from more than 100 locations to study internationally, including nearly 30 accredited business programs in more than 20 countries.
SOC Classroom

School of Communication

  • Dean Jeffrey Rutenbeck leads the communication school, which was established in 1984 and has 52 full-time faculty members.
  • SOC has deep partnerships with many of Washington's most influential organizations, including The Washington Post, The Smithsonian, National Geographic, NPR, The National Park Service, NBC, USA Today, and the Newseum. 
  • Dozens of professionals serving as adjuncts and SOC’s impressive global alumni network, share extensive connections for internship, fellowship, and career opportunities in Washington, D.C., and beyond.
  • SOC advances professional education, communication research, and innovative production through its undergraduate and master's degrees, an online digital media skills certificate program, and a three-year doctoral program.
  • The school’s world-class centers and institutes broaden the student experience in investigative reporting, environmental filmmaking, and social media.
SIS Lobby

School of International Service

  • Founded in 1957, SIS, the largest school of international affairs in the country, is headed by Dean James Goldgeier and has more than 100 full-time teaching faculty.
  • Diverse academic programs prepare graduate students for the professional world; the school also offers a multidisciplinary doctorate and an online master’s degree.
  • The SIS Practica program gives students real-world experience in project management and consulting in the United States and overseas. 
  • Dual-degree master’s programs allow students to earn two degrees: one from American University and the other from one of several renowned partner institutions overseas.

School of Professional and Extended Studies

  • Created in 2012, SPExS is AU’s seventh and newest major academic division.
  • Under the leadership of Dean Carola Weil, the school builds on the renowned Washington Semester Program, which since 1947 has hosted students from the U.S. and abroad.
  • SPExS offers degree credit, certificates, noncredit courses, and short-term continuing education for undergraduates, postbaccalaureate students, and professionals.
  • In addition to the Washington Semester, programs include Washington Internships for Native Students and Washington Mentorship, Summer Internship, and Graduate Gateway Programs.
SPA Classroom

School of Public Affairs

  • Dean Barbara Romzek heads the school and the 80 full-time teaching faculty.
  • The School of Public Affairs was created as a department in 1934 and established as a school in 1957.
  • SPA has three departments—government, public administration and policy, and justice, law and criminology—and offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
  • SPA is also known for its nondegree offerings in such areas as campaign management, women and politics, and lobbying.
students sit at tables outside a glass and concrete building

Washington College of Law

  • One of the most diverse law schools in the country, WCL is headed by Dean Camille Nelson, who began her tenure as dean in July 2016.
  • Established in 1896, the law school was the first to be founded by women, becoming a part of American University in 1949. 
  • Its innovative legal education includes real-world experience through a nationally acclaimed clinical program and externships. 
  • Students benefit from opportunities within government, international organizations, public interest and nongovernmental organizations, and more.