Community of Scholars: Two Distinct Formats

Community of Scholars is offered in-person on AU's campus or virtually. Students choose the format that works best for them. The virtual format includes three weeks of live classes conducted via Zoom as well as asynchronous instruction. The in-person format includes two weeks on campus followed by a third week at home for additional instruction and completion of a final paper or project. Only the on-campus format offers a residential option.

On-Campus Format

If students select the on-campus format of Community of Scholars, they will attend traditional classes on campus for two weeks, followed by a week at home during which they remain engaged with their professor and complete a final paper or project. During the two weeks on campus (July 11 to 22 with residential students arriving on July 10), students attend class from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. After lunch, students will participate in afternoon activities, including briefings at Washington institutions (such as the State Department, World Bank, and embassies) and college skills-building workshops taught by AU staff. Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Canvas platform. Students will live in AU dorms and eat in AU’s campus dining facilities. Upon returning home, students will remain in contact with their professor and peers for an additional week of asynchronous instruction and a final assignment (July 25 to 29). Although most students live on campus during the two weeks, commuter students are welcome and will be provided lunch every day and included in many evening activities. 

Online Format

If students choose the virtual format of Community of Scholars, they will attend live classes for three weeks (July 11 to 29), engaging with their professor and peers via Zoom.  Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Canvas platform. Additional asynchronous instruction will be accessed at hours that suit students' schedules. Students will also attend several virtual afternoon briefings delivered by officials at various government agencies, such as the State Department and embassies. Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Canvas platform. The dates for the online option are July 11 to 29. Classes will meet via Zoom on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET with a final class on Friday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 


Summer 2022

Applications are now open until May 1.

Apply Now

Program Benefits

During this intensive summer program, you will:

  • Pursue your academic interests in International Relations
  • Earn 3 college credits
  • Explore international institutions in Washington, DC
  • Learn about international careers
  • Meet other students who are passionate about creating meaningful change in the world

Course Offerings

Students choose one of the following course options.

Difference, particularly cultural difference, is the source of many conflicts in international relations. This course will explore conceptual components and theories of conflict, culture, and conflict resolution—with a special focus on the role that culture plays in both starting and resolving conflicts. An in-depth examination of contemporary international conflicts will be used as illustrative case-studies. The class will then bridge the gap between interpersonal, group, and international conflicts by exploring strategies of conflict resolution and cross-cultural understanding.

How does the U.S. government confront dictators, maintain allies, and protect the nation from international threats to national security? This course will introduce the major departments, agencies, and actors within the government involved in foreign policy and national security. It will explore how they operate in the new strategic environment by considering major threats and issues facing the United States today, from terrorists to rogue states to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The course will also address the conflicting goals, agendas, and trade-offs present in any foreign and national security policy. Debating the range of policy options, students will explore how the U.S. might best act to enhance U.S. national security and international position.

Tuition & Fees

Financial aid for this program is only available for students enrolled in DC public and charter schools. For more information, please email Students are encouraged to seek out and apply independently for private scholarships that may be awarded by local organizations such as businesses, churches, and civic groups.


  • 3 credits of college tuition
  • Transportation to off-site briefings at government agencies and other sites (on-campus program only)
  • Afternoon briefings and workshops
  • All classroom materials
  • Lunch (on-campus program only)
  • Access to AU's library and other AU campus resources


  • Dormitory housing in doubles or triples in a centrally-located AU dormitory
  • All meals
  • Evening and weekend activities: barbecues, international film viewings, museum and shopping trips, Kennedy Center performance, and evening monument tour
  • Air-conditioning and Internet connections
  • Round-the-clock dormitory staffing with controlled building access
  • Linens provided

Note: Room and board is available only for students enrolled in campus program.