What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

American University vs George Washington University?

Hey guys, I'm standing at a crossroads between applying to American University and George Washington University. My main interest is in studying international relations. Can anybody provide some key differences in terms of academics, internships, and student life at these two schools?

6 months ago

Sure! Both American University (AU) and George Washington University (GWU) are great choices for studying international relations, but there are some differences in academics, internships, and student life between the two.


AU's School of International Service (SIS) is well-regarded and focused on a more interdisciplinary approach to international relations. So, you'll explore different fields like economics, political science, sociology, and more in your coursework. Professors at AU tend to have strong expertise and connections in various fields of international relations, which can help you form a broad understanding of the subject.

On the other hand, The Elliott School of International Affairs at GWU is also highly respected, but it takes a more policy-oriented approach. During your studies, there will be more emphasis placed on understanding and shaping current and future policies in different regions of the world. GWU is also known for its location just a few blocks from the White House, which allows closer connections to government agencies and policymakers.


Both universities are located in Washington, D.C., which offers abundant internship opportunities, especially in international relations. However, as noted above, GWU's central location means proximity to government agencies, think tanks, and international organizations, which can give you a slight edge in finding internships and networking opportunities

Student Life:

AU has a beautiful, suburban campus which provides a more traditional college experience. AU has on-campus housing, and there's a strong emphasis on community involvement and on-campus activities. AU is also known for its politically engaged and diverse student body, which creates a vibrant campus life.

GWU, located in the heart of D.C., has an urban campus feel, and you'll be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city. Some students may find it more challenging to find a sense of community due to the dispersed housing options (including off-campus housing) and the nature of an urban campus. On the flip side, however, many students find the city to be an integral part of their college experience. There's also a strong focus on political involvement and social advocacy at GWU.

In summary, if you prefer a more interdisciplinary approach to international relations and like the idea of a traditional college campus, you might lean toward AU. However, if a policy-oriented curriculum and a bustling urban campus in the heart of D.C. sound more appealing, GWU might be a better fit. Both schools provide excellent opportunities for academics and internships related to international relations, so the choice mainly comes down to your personal preference on academic approach and campus atmosphere.

Best of luck deciding, and good luck with your applications!

6 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.