American University - Washington, DC | District of Columbia Schools with Design Programs | Graphic Design

American University

School Summary
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 885-1000
Degree Type:
Less than one year certificate; One but less than two years certificate; Associate's degree; Bachelor's degree; Postbaccalaureate certificate; Master's degree; Doctor's degree - research/scholarship; Doctor's degree - professional practice
Campus Setting:
City: Large
Campus Housing:

About American University

American University is located at the top of Embassy Row in northwest Washington, D.C. Students and visitors can find their way to any of the great resources of our nation's capital via University shuttle service and easy access to the subway and taxis. With national landmarks, renowned museums, national parks, botanical gardens, and even the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, D.C. offers sights and sounds not found anywhere else in the world.

American University offers four-year undergraduate degrees, graduate certificates, and masters and doctoral programs. Masters programs are typically completed in two years. Students may choose a standard program or interdisciplinary programs that can be either previously established by the university or designed by each student individually, with assistance from academic advisors and faculty. There are six colleges and schools within the university, including the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication.

Within the College of Arts and Sciences, the art department offers programs in graphic design and multimedia design and development. The BA in graphic design offers specializations in either print design or user experience design, which is kinetic and interactive. Internships and co-ops are also available to give students direct experience with working designers. The BA in multimedia design and development is an interdisciplinary program with courses from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication. The students learn the history, theory, and practice of new media, integrating visual and performing arts, graphic design, communications, audio technology, and information sciences. The program was designed to train students in creative expression in an increasingly technological society. The College also offers an MFA program in multimedia.

Within the College of Communication, the department of Film and Media Arts offers a BA in visual media. This degree includes coursework in photography, film and video production, and digital imaging and design. Students can also study motion graphics and animation. In the third year of study within this degree program, students may apply for the combined BA/MA program that allows for faster completion of an MA in film and video or an MFA in film and electronic media. Through this special program students also bypass the graduate school requirement of completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The MA and MFA, as well as an MA in producing film and video, are available as separate graduate programs as well.

AU offers several scholarships, most of which include automatic consideration for all incoming freshmen and transfer students. These are academic or merit-based scholarships, generally awarded to students with excellent academic credentials and exceptional leadership skills. Other scholarships that may be available to eligible students include the AU Presidential Scholarship, the AU Deans' Scholarship, and the AU Leadership Scholarship. In addition, AU offers athletic scholarships to outstanding athletes, tuition exchange scholarships to children of employees of any of over 160 participating colleges, and United Methodist Scholarships to children of active, ordained Methodist ministers.

AU faculty includes award-winning authors, filmmakers, lawyers, scientists, and journalists. The low student-faculty ratio of 14:1 means that the faculty is accessible to all students. AU offers a career center, local internships, Honorary Societies, and more than 100 study abroad programs. The Campus Life office has sixteen departments offering support and services to the entire diverse campus population, including campus activities, clubs and organizations, community service opportunities, a Greek system, student government, and student-run publications and media.

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Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,