General Education at AUR

AUR’s general education requirements reflect the key concepts that make an American liberal arts university education unique. In addition to preparing students in the foundational skills of English writing, mathematics, the sciences, and the fundamentals of the Italian language, our general education program offers students the opportunity to develop the critical and creative capacity to explore larger questions of knowledge and meaning. Through required courses in the Arts and Humanities, the Social Sciences, and the Creative Arts, students will learn an interdisciplinary approach to complex topics and to examine concepts from a variety of angles.
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The First Year Experience-Explorations in the Liberal Arts

AUR’s First Year Seminar is a signature, two-semester sequence required of all first year students, irrespective of their choice of major. 

Communal learning—where all first-years students encounter the same questions, experiences, and texts—and the critical discussions that emerge from small discussion seminars, make AUR’s first year seminar distinctive. FYS 101 introduces first time in college students to the culture of being in an American university in the heart of Europe. FYS 102, Explorations in the Liberal Arts: The Meanings of Empire, is intellectually stimulating and personally transformative for students. Team-taught by four of AUR’s distinguished full-time faculty from a variety of disciplines, the course challenges students to engage with the historical and theoretical meanings of imperial power, from the ancient world to the British Empire to the technological imperialism of mainstream and social media.

The course features lively lectures from global experts, thought-provoking group experiences, and on-site visits ranging from the Roman forums to Cinecitta studios, prompting students to examine how human experience is expressed, how meaning is made, by what rules we should be governed. The interdisciplinary approach fosters a habit of mind that students will employ throughout their studies at AUR and into life beyond the classroom.
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Our programs

AUR is an American-style university offering Bachelor (B.A. and B.Sc.) degrees in

Archeology & Classics
Art History
Business Administration
English Writing, Literature & Publishing
  Film and Digital Media
Fine Arts
Interdisciplinary Studies
International Relations and Global Politics
Travel and Tourism Management

 and Masters (M.A.) degrees in 

Arts Management

Food Studies

Peace Studies

Sustainable Cultural Heritage

We also offer Associate degrees in International Business and Liberal Studies and, for individuals who are not fully confident in the level of their English language for academic purposes, we offer the AUR Academic English Program - which carries a scholarship upon completion and entrance to an AUR undergraduate program of study. 

How the American undergraduate system works 

The American system at AUR is based on individual courses, sometimes called classes. They generally meet three hours per week for a 15-week period, referred to as a semester, or the equivalent. When the course is completed, the student receives three credits. One hundred twenty (120) credits are needed to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. This usually means 40 courses, five each semester, or 10 per academic year, over four years. Some students start with advanced standing because their high-school education includes the Maturitá, the German Abitur, the French Baccalaureate, A-levels, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement (AP) courses or similar rigorous studies. With these you can earn a Bachelor’s degree with fewer AUR credits.

The credit structure of the Bachelor degree consists of three components: General Education, the Major and Electives, as follows; 

The AUR Bachelor’s Degree - 120 credits 

  • General Education - 37-40 credits
  • Major - 36-51 credits 
  • Electives - 29-47 credits 

    AUR Honors Program-The Liberal Arts at Work in the World

    For students with a qualifying GPA, the AUR Honors Program offers transformative learning experiences that allow students to apply entrepreneurial thinking to build a better world. Available to outstanding students from all majors, the program seeks to educate and train entrepreneurial leaders that seek out the toughest challenges, find opportunity in crisis, and demonstrate principled leadership. Whether that is applying Design Thinking to launch a website, or a film or publishing company, or finding enterprising ways of bringing technology to issues of archaeological and art conservation, the AUR Honors Program provides a truly unique opportunity.  Students will learn and apply best practices in American innovation and entrepreneurship to address some of the toughest challenges we face globally, as well as explore ways of creating professional opportunities rather than just finding them. Students are mentored by world-class “Entrepreneurs in Residence”, and have access to unique out of classroom opportunities throughout the program.  

    Key Principles of the Program

    • Social impact- creating net positive impact is essential to 21st century business models
    • Human centered- a human centered approach to designing and building solutions
    • Bias towards action- a bias towards making, building, doing
    • Practice based theory- theory is best understood when applied
    • Multidisciplinary- celebration of and integration with the liberal arts, sciences, and social sciences
    • Entrepreneurship as change making- entrepreneurship as an effective mechanism for creating change in the world
    • Self authorship- the creative process as a means of autonomy; moving from job seeking to job creating
    • Leadership Integrity- principled leadership ultimately creates long term success

    The program is directed by Visiting Professor of Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Kyla Fullenwider. A former  White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, Chief Innovation Officer, and startup founder, she brings almost two decades of entrepreneurial and innovation experience in the public and private sector to the program. She is also faculty in the Products of Design department at the School of Visual Arts and in the joint MBA/MA program at Johns Hopkins and the Maryland Institute of Art where she teaches social design and entrepreneurship.

    The Academic Calendar Year 

    The University uses a traditional American-style calendar. The year is split into two major teaching cycles (Semesters) of around 15 weeks each.

    The Fall Semester typically begins around September 1 and concludes in mid-December.
    The Spring Semester begins around January 20 and concludes in mid-May.  

    Optional short sessions are offered in Winter and Summer.