What is American University Known For? Rankings, Acceptance Rate, Scholarships, and more 

The American University is a federally chartered research university located in Washington, D. C. It was chartered in the 1893 Act of Congress at the urging of bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who wanted to establish an institution that would promote public services, pragmatic idealism, and internationalism. The motion was later pushed, and the University started in 1902 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

This University has a suburban setting with a campus size of 83 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. The American University ranked 72nd in the 2022-2023 edition of Best National Universities by U.S. News. The University owns the flagship affiliate of National Public Radio’s; WAMU. The channel has been a source of nationally and internationally distributed programming such as The Diane Rehm Show and the more recent “The 1A”, as in “The 1st Amendment”.American University has over 160 programs in eight schools in science and engineering, business, liberal arts, and public health.

At American University, small class sizes are the norm, and their faculty members and staff are equally accessible and qualified. The University has 14,31 undergraduate students and an average class size of 20 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1.

Students are automatically admitted into any of the University’s schools or colleges as there is no need for additional applications, and students have two full years to pick a major. The 160+ programs at American University are dispersed between the School of Professional Studies and Executive Education, the School of International Service, the Kogod School of Business, the School of Communication, the School of Public Affairs, the School of Education, Washington College of Law (WCL) and College of Arts and Sciences.

American University Ranking

The American University has a series of excellent ranking positions which makes it one of the best universities in the United States. As a private institution, American University is one of the best in Washington, D.C., United States.

In a recent publication, American University was listed as one of the nation’s top universities in the new U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review ranking. In the U.SNews Best Colleges 2022-2023 edition, American University ranked No. 72 among the nation’s top National Universities list and No. 30 on the list of Most Innovative Schools.

In the world ranking, American University is ranked #702 in the Q.S. Global World Rankings 2023. Other ranking indices are:

  • The American University is ranked #41 in the 2023 edition of Best Colleges for Veterans
  • The American University is ranked #36 in the 2023 edition of Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • The American University is ranked #8 in the 2023 edition of Best School for International Business
  • The American University is ranked #86 in the 2023 edition of Best Value School
  • The American University is ranked #209 in the 2023 edition of Top Performers on Social Mobility

American University Acceptance Rate

Getting admitted into the American University feels like the American dream, considering the pedigree of her alumni network and the overall prestige. Meeting their GPA and ACT/SAT requirements is very much important to prove your academic preparation.

As of 2023, American University has an acceptance rate of 64.1%. This shows that you must put in the work if you really want to study at the coveted American University of Washington, D.C., because the school can sometimes be selective.

American University Admission Requirement 

With a 64.1 acceptance rate, getting admitted into American universities can be spittle but strict. The University has placed high requirements for admission test scores, admitting only students who are able to score at the top of these requirements. Typically, American University accepts high school students who are above average in their high school classes.

GPA Scores Requirements

The American University does not need or require SAT or ACT test results for admission processing, but rather they focus on your GPA as a criterion for admission. The required GPA by the institution is 3.65 and above.

American University Location

American University has two interesting academic campuses, with the main campus on Massachusetts Avenue and the second campus referred to as the East Campus on Nebraska Avenue. The Washington College of Law was moved to the Tenley Campus located in Tenleytown. American University also owns several other buildings in the American University park areas, Tenleytown, Spring Valley, and the East Campus in Wesley Heights.

The initial design for the campus was done by Frederick Law Olmsted. However, it was severely modified over time due to financial constraints. The campus is situated on 84 acres of land adjacent to Ward Circle at the intersection of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues. American University campus is mostly surrounded by the affluent residential neighborhoods characteristic of the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. The campus has a main quadrangle surrounded by a 5,000-seat arena, academic buildings, nine residential halls, and an outdoor amphitheater. It was designated as a public garden and arboretum by the American Public Gardens Association, having many exotic plants and trees beautifying the landscape.

American University Notable Alumni

The American University has been a home to great minds, helping nurture and train future leaders who have excelled in business, politics, healthcare, law, and even entertainment. Some of the notable alumni of the school include;

  • Robert Byrd: American Senator
  • Muriel Bowser: Mayor of the District of Columbia
  • Julius Masada Bio: President of SierreLeon
  • Michael Chasen: cofounder of Blackboard Inc
  • Gary Cohn: Former president of Goldman Sach
  • Alice Paul: Suffragist Leader
  • Judy Scheildin: T.V. personnel
  • Goldie Hawn: Academy Award-winning actress
  • Maria Butina: Member of the State Duma

American University Undergraduate Tuition and Fee

Before considering American University as your destination for higher education, it is important to consider the general cost of living in the institution, especially as an undergraduate.

Below is the 2022-2022 cost of attendance for undergraduate students enrolled at American University.

  • Freshman Resident

Tuition & Fees- $53,889

Room- $10,020

Board- $7,021

Books- $1,000

Transportation- Variable

Miscellaneous- $1,800

TOTAL- $73,730

  • Continuing Resident

Tuition & Fees- $53,889

Room- $13,101

Board- $7,021

Books- $1,000


Miscellaneous- $1,800

TOTAL- $76,811

American University Scholarships

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When admitted, American University automatically considers all students for scholarships, regardless of nationality. The Board of Scholars checks for students’ scholarship eligibility in consideration for academic/merit scholarships. In general, the school checks for academic excellence, social efficiency, sports activities, and voluntary services as criteria for awarding scholarships, as all recipients must have excellent academic credentials and exhibit exceptional leadership skills or sportsmanship skills(to those applicable).

Most of the merit-based scholarships at American Universities do not require an official application for financial aid. However, they encourage merit award candidates to complete the required forms for need-based aid if they really think that they may need financial aid in addition to their merit award. Merit award recipients who have also applied for need-based financial aid will be considered for any of the need-based aid they qualify for beyond the amount of the merit award. For more information on the school’s scholarships, click here.

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