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    Jun 10, 2023  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023


Student Registration

The registration system, Student Planning, is found on the student’s portal under Eagle Service.

Students should plan their courses as sections become available for each semester/term before registration begins. Furthermore, students should seek the appropriate approval from their academic advisors when planning their programs to best ensure a successful plan. Students must initially register or be on a waitlist for the courses in which they wish to enroll prior to the beginning of each semester/term or they will incur a late registration fee.

Registration information is sent to student American University e-mail accounts. Currently-enrolled students should monitor and confirm all transactions made within Eagle Service. It is also advisable to keep copies of all tests and papers submitted in fulfillment of course work. Registration for continuing students occurs in the fall for spring classes, and in the spring for summer and fall classes. The Office of the University Registrar maintains registration-related information on its website.

Note: International students in F-1 or J-1 student status are not eligible to enroll as nondegree students. International students in F-1 or J-1 student status should refer to specific instructions for international students.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is an essential element of the educational process. American University requires advisor/student conferences at least once a semester, but students have the responsibility for selecting their courses, meeting course prerequisites, and adhering to university policies and procedures. The advisor assists the student in obtaining a well-balanced education and interprets university policies and procedures.

Students should be aware of the university’s many advising resources and utilize these resources as needs arise. Students may consult faculty and peer advisors, department chairs, deans, and student support services throughout the university. The university has the responsibility to ensure that advising resources maintain high standards for serving students effectively and efficiently.

The university uses a degree audit system to track undergraduate students’ academic progress. The degree audit report displays academic program requirements completed and to be fulfilled. Prior to an official declaration of major, the reports are based on requirements for the student’s intended major. Students are encouraged to obtain a degree audit online from their account each semester. Students may also request a copy of their degree audit report from their advisor or the Office of the University Registrar or they may view their degree audit via their portal in Eagle Service, under Student Planning.

Special Registrations

Consortium Registration

The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area combines the resources of area universities and colleges. In cooperation with the Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Marymount University, Montgomery College, Northern Virginia Community College, Prince George’s Community College, Trinity Washington University, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the University of the District of Columbia, and the University of Maryland-College Park, American University offers qualified degree students the opportunity to enroll for selected courses at any of these institutions.

With the appropriate approvals, undergraduate and graduate degree students may take courses for AU residence credit at member institutions of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, provided the course, or a course similar in content, is not offered at American University in any term. Off-campus courses, courses in law and medicine, independent study and reading courses, special institutes, and noncredit courses (except ROTC at Georgetown and Howard) are excluded from the consortium.

To be eligible for this program, students must be fully admitted degree students who are actively enrolled and in good academic standing. Course registration must be approved by the academic advisor and department chair in the field of study for which registration is requested and by the Office of the University Registrar. Exceptions to an American University policy will be reviewed by the appropriate Vice Provost. Students are responsible for securing approval at the cooperating institution when requested.

American University students pay the American University tuition rate. Students registering for consortium courses at all universities will be billed for any special fees (such as lab fees) for the course. Consortium registration can be confirmed only after classes begin at the visited school. Students will be guided by the policies and deadlines of the home institution.

For course selection eligibility and registration, contact the Consortium Coordinator in the Office of the University Registrar at 202-885-2208. Information on the Consortium is also available at

Alumni Audit Registration

Alumni who have earned a degree from American University and who are in good financial standing with the university may enroll in one course each fall, spring, and summer term as alumni auditors. For current program status, please visit,

General Information

Alumni audit applications are made available approximately four weeks before the first week of classes each term. The application can be found online at

Registrations are processed during the first two weeks of classes for the fall and spring semesters and during the first week of classes in each summer session. Registrations are accepted only for courses which have not reached their enrollment limits.

Other course restrictions may apply and are specific to the school or program. All courses require professor or department approval. For auditing guidelines by school, go to Alumni audit registration is not counted in determining the minimum enrollment required for a class to proceed.

The Alumni Audit fee for fall 2022 is $150 per course, which supports the Alumni Association’s scholarship fund. Auditors are responsible for additional course fees that may apply. Spring audit fee will be confirmed during the fall semester.

Courses not available for Alumni Audit include independent study, research or reading courses, private music instruction, laboratory courses, seminars, workshops, institutes, partner-delivered online courses, maintaining matriculation courses, and Instructional Revenue Center (IRC) programs. IRC is a specialized and intensive course, or sequence of courses, offered on an experimental basis, or a program contracted by an outside agency to offer credit or noncredit training, which is closely related to the academic mission of the sponsoring teaching unit, and is designed primarily for an audience external to the existing student population. 

No credit is given for courses taken through this program, and courses will not appear on student transcripts. Alumni who wish to receive credit for courses must register as nondegree students and pay tuition at the prevailing rate.

Alumni who are currently enrolled in a degree program at AU may participate in the alumni audit option, except in courses for their degree program. Alumni auditors are expected to follow all university conduct policies.

For additional information, go to

For availability of courses, check the Schedule of Classes at or on Eagle Service.

Course offerings, modality, and cost are subject to change. For up-to-date information, please visit the audit website:

Course and Schedule Information

Course Numbers

Each course is designated by a subject code and a course number. The subject code identifies a particular academic discipline or teaching unit in the curriculum; e.g. ANTH = Anthropology; ECON = Economics; ARTH = Art History. The numbers identify the level of the course as follows: 0-99, Non-Credit Courses; 100-299, Undergraduate Introductory or Undergraduate Foundation Courses; 300-499, Undergraduate Upper-Level or Undergraduate Advanced Courses; 500-599, Graduate Courses that allow qualified, advanced undergraduates; 600-899 Graduate Courses. No undergraduate students may take 600-799 graduate courses except under specific circumstances where the courses are cross-listed with undergraduate courses as part of a combined bachelor’s/master’s program or by special permission of the associate dean of the academic unit.

Course Descriptions and Syllabuses

Descriptions of permanent courses currently in the university curriculum are included in the Course Descriptions  section of this catalog. Catalog course descriptions, as well as selected and rotating topics course descriptions, are available each term via Eagle Service.

A syllabus describing the general nature and scope of each course is available from the department offering the course for three years.

Course Prerequisites

Many courses call for a minimum background of knowledge, as indicated by prerequisite courses cited in individual descriptions. Titles and numbers are those of American University courses; equivalent courses satisfactorily completed at other accredited institutions also meet prerequisite requirements by transfer credit.

Students are responsible for entering the class with the required competence. Thus, prerequisites warn students of the knowledge they are to bring with them in order to meet the expected standards of performance.

Final Exam Policy

The Office of the University Registrar is responsible for scheduling final exams. Students are expected to take their final exams on the dates and at the times indicated on the schedule. The final exam period dates are published on the academic calendar, and the final exam schedule for full-term standard sections is published on the Office of the University Registrar’s website prior to priority registration for the fall and spring semesters. The final exam schedule for non-standard sections (those sections that do not follow the full-term meeting dates) will be published on the Office of the University Registrar’s website following the end of the Add/Drop period in fall and spring semesters.

Faculty are not allowed to move their final exams to the last day of class in fall or spring semesters. No final exams may be administered during a designated study day. Take-home exams must be distributed in a timely fashion and be due no earlier than the regularly scheduled examination date. All exams must be submitted by the end of the final exam period.

The final exam period is included in the university’s calculation of the contact hours required to award the class’ designated number of credits. All classes following the regularly scheduled term dates are expected to use all 15 weeks of the semester in support of the learning outcomes articulated in the course syllabus in one of the following ways: an in person final exam, an in-person meeting at the time of the scheduled final exam; a take home final exam; other significant assignment due at the time of the final exam. Faculty offering a take home exam in lieu of offering a final in-class exam, presentation, etc. during the final 3 exam date and time for that class are required to notify the Office of the University Registrar, so that the classroom space can be released and redistributed for other final exam scheduling purposes.

Courses that meet off-campus and/or online are not scheduled for an on-campus final exam but are required to develop instructional content to support the contact hours required for that course.

Final grade implications for missing the final exam, such as receiving a failing grade in the course, will follow the policies outlined in the course syllabus. Make-up examinations are at the discretion of the instructor as outlined in the course syllabus.

For the full Final Exam Policy, go to: