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    Dec 08, 2022  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023

College of Arts and Sciences General Information

Administration and Academic Advisors

Dean  Linda Aldoory
Associate Dean for Budget and Administration  Eric Leal
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies  Walter Park
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies  Núria Vilanova
Associate Dean for Research  Kim Blankenship
Director, Graduate Academic Programs  Lauren Tabbara
Manager of Undergraduate Academic Programs  Matthew Lantry
Senior Director, Advising, Retention and Recruitment  Tyler Atkins-Mose
Assistant Director, Advising, Retention and Recruitment  Benjamin Berg
Academic Advisors  Hadiya Alexander, Fara Amiri, Josh Keilholtz, Darian Mitchell, Tara Pylate, Valerie Rauenzahn, Rebecca Rudd
Premedical Advisor  Lynne Arneson

Students should make appointments to meet with academic advisors through the College’s academic affairs office in Battelle-Tompkins 100; by phone: 202-885-2453; or using the 24-hour online appointment scheduler:

Undergraduate Program Information

Academic Advisement

The College challenges students to assume substantial responsibility for defining their educational goals, yet provides careful professional guidance to help them respond to the challenge. Undergraduates plan their academic programs with academic advisors and faculty mentors according to their interests, professional plans, and academic progress. The academic advisor serves as the primary academic resource for their degree.

World Languages

The university encourages students to gain proficiency in at least one world language other than English, especially those embarking on a career in international relations, study of the humanities, or specialization in minority groups in the United States. Graduate study will often require proficiency in one or more world languages.


Internships engage students in practical experiences, support learning, and provide on-the-job training. Interns work in many organizations in both the public and the private sectors in the Washington area. The growing number of internships in the College is testimony to both their popularity and their success. For more information on internships, students should consult with their academic units and the Career Center.


No later than the end of the sophomore year, students in the College are expected to declare an academic major. In this field the student pursues study in depth and synthesizes academic knowledge. Major programs are described in the departmental sections. Students should become familiar with departmental requirements and regulations as stated in this catalog. When making a formal declaration of major, students are assigned a faculty mentor who will provide guidance until graduation. Students interested in the natural sciences, mathematics, music, and art need to take specific courses in the first year if they intend to complete a degree in eight semesters. Such students should declare their interests as soon as possible and seek explicit counseling from the appropriate department.


Undergraduate students may earn a minor in most departments and programs of the College of Arts and Sciences . All minor programs consist of a minimum of 18 credit hours, including at least 9 credit hours at or above the 300-level. For all minors, at least 9 credit hours of the stated requirements must be taken in residence at American University and at least 12 credit hours of the minor must be unique to the minor. For more information see Undergraduate Academic Regulations . For descriptions of specific minor programs, see individual departmental listings.

Individualized Majors and Minors

College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate students may design their own majors and minors  by applying to a review committee overseen by the Dean of Undergraduate Education. Students must have a 3.50 cumulative GPA and must apply no later than before the completion of 60 earned credits in residence at American University.

Individualized programs must meet American University’s minimum requirements for majors  and minors .

Preprofessional Programs

Preprofessional programs  are available in engineering , law , and medicine  and related health fields. Pretheology students find the university’s relationship with the Wesley Theological Seminary beneficial, and the Kay Spiritual Life Center directs an innovative program of religious activities that complements preprofessional studies in religion.

CAS LEAD Undergraduate Certificate Program

The College of Arts and Sciences Leadership and Ethical Development (Undergraduate Certificate)  (CAS LEAD) is a selective sequenced four-year certificate program designed to teach and empower students from all CAS majors to become effective leaders and problem solvers. The program, which was specifically designed for CAS students, is based on the study of ethics and leadership theory. Students apply to the program the summer before their first year or during the fall semester of their first year. The program can be added to any existing CAS major and is compatible with the AU Living/Learning Programs, AU Scholars, and the Honors Program, study abroad, and internship opportunities. For further information, including the application, see:

Social Responsibility Undergraduate Certificate Program

Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars are required to complete the 14-credit, cohort-based, four-year Social Responsibility (Undergraduate Certificate)  within four years. By pursuing multidisciplinary approaches to moral leadership, the certificate is designed to create socially-responsible leaders who are critical thinkers and engaged activists in the tradition of the American abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass.

Digital Technology Generalist Undergraduate Certificate Program

The Digital Technology Generalist (Undergraduate Certificate) [CAS]  is designed for students seeking to acquire digital technology skills required by employers across a broad range of professions. Students completing the program have fulfilled the requirements for the Digital Technology Generalist Credential of the Greater Washington Partnership (GWP).

Study Abroad

AU Abroad  offers the opportunity for students to study abroad and gain full American University course credit. All students are encouraged to learn and work in another culture. Students may spend a semester or year at prestigious universities in over 40 countries, spanning six continents. In addition, international study tours led by faculty members are offered during semester breaks and summer sessions. For more information and a full listing of programs, go to:

Honors in the Major

Many undergraduate major programs in the College of Arts and Sciences offer Honors in the Major  programs within their fields which are distinct from the American University Honors Program . In order to receive an Honors in the Major notation on the final transcript, students must be admitted by the teaching unit into the Honors in the Major, earn a minimum final GPA of 3.67 in the major (unless the academic unit and the Provost have approved a lower minimum major GPA for a unit’s or department’s Honors in the Major Program), and satisfy all requirements for the Honors in the Major. Individual teaching units may set a higher GPA or impose additional criteria for Honors in the Major. American University Honors students can apply to Honors in the Major. All students can apply to more than one Honors in the Major.

Graduate Program Information

The graduate programs of the College of Arts and Sciences  are directed toward the development of highly competent scientists, artists and performers, sensitive teachers, and critical scholars. To achieve this objective, the College provides an academic setting and climate favorable to the free interchange of ideas and the disciplined exploration and testing of concepts and hypotheses.

The following doctoral programs are offered: Anthropology (PhD) Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience (PhD) Clinical Psychology (PhD) Economics (PhD) , and History (PhD) .