American University of Paris

The American University of Paris
Type private
Established 1962
President Celeste Schenck[1]
Academic staff
129 [2]
Students 1,173 [2]
Location Paris, Ile-de-France, France
48°51′32″N 2°18′13″E / 48.8590°N 2.3037°E / 48.8590; 2.3037Coordinates: 48°51′32″N 2°18′13″E / 48.8590°N 2.3037°E / 48.8590; 2.3037
Campus Urban, ten buildings [3]
AUP campus

The American University of Paris (AUP) is a private, independent, and accredited liberal arts and sciences university in Paris, France. Founded in 1962, the university is one of the oldest American institutions of higher education in Europe. The university campus consists of ten buildings, centrally located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, on the Left Bank near the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, and the Seine.[3]

The university's language of instruction is English, although students must prove a level of proficiency in French prior to graduation.[4] The university has over 1100 students, representing 108 nationalities, with an average student-to-faculty ratio of twelve to one. The university's faculty members represent thirty nationalities, with 69% holding doctoral degrees and close to 70% speaking three or more languages.[2]

The university sponsors more than 200 lectures and seminars every year. Past lecturers at AUP have included David Lynch, Martha Nussbaum, Jane Goodall, J.M. Coetzee, National Geographic photojournalist Reza, Calvin Klein, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Additionally, the university has hosted numerous international conferences, inviting an aggregate of over a thousand scholars, including Gary Becker, Nobel Prize-recipient of Economics in 1992 and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and Michel Rocard, former Prime Ministers of France.[5]

The university has been awarding honorary degrees since 1984. Amongst the recipients are scholars, writers, artists, political figures and researches, including Gene Kelly, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Caron, Robert Wilson, Pierre Salinger, Jessye Norman, I.M. Pei, William Styron, Simon Weisenthal, Pamela Harriman, Simone Veil, Sargent Shriver, James Ivory, Bernard Kouchner, Michel Rocard, Christine Lagarde, Christiane Amanpour, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Tzvetan Todorov, Muriel Spark, Mavis Gallant, J.M. Coetzee, Eugene Lang, Paul Muldoon, Jane Goodall, Archie Shepp, David McCullough, Christine Lagarde, Louise Arbour, and Martha Nussbaum.[6]


Founded by Dr. Lloyd DeLamater, a 40-year old US Foreign Service officer, in 1962 as the American College in Paris (ACP), the university was renamed 26 years later as The American University of Paris (AUP).[7]

ACP was a two-year junior college located in the American Church in Paris. Its inaugural class consisted of 100 students, many of whom were children of American service members and expatriates living in France and Europe. Fifteen part-time professors taught courses in Economics, English, Fine Arts, Government History, French, German, Spanish, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Sociology. Classes were held in meeting rooms of the American Church. In 1964, the first 40 students received their diplomas for two years of study, going on to complete their degree in the United States.[8][9]

ACP’s student body changed with time, in part due to the decrease of US military presence in Europe. Thirteen years after its founding, over half of the student body was non-American. In 1978, ACP became an accredited four-year, degree granting college, which was followed by the change of its name to The American University of Paris in 1988.[7]


The American University of Paris is accredited in the United States by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The American University of Paris is a non-profit educational institution incorporated in the state of Delaware and licensed by the State Board of Education as a Delaware institution of higher education. The American University of Paris is registered in the United States as a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

The University confers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and Master of Science degrees accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The institution is authorized to offer bachelor's and master's degrees through the State of Delaware.

The American University of Paris is declared to the Rectorat de Paris as an établissement privé d'enseignement supérieur libre. The Rectorat de Paris has also acknowledged that the undergraduate majors and Masters programs taught at the American University of Paris are of higher education level (les formations dispensées par l'établissement American University of Paris sont reconnues de niveau d'enseignement supérieur), which allows its students to be registered in the French social security system. AUP degrees are also recognized by the Ministries of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia, Norway, and Turkey.[10]


Undergraduate programs

All undergraduate students must complete the general education requirements as part of the liberal arts curriculum at AUP. The requirements include the demonstration of knowledge in Science, English, French, Mathematics, and the completion of FirstBridge, an interdisciplinary first-year learning community.[11]

The university offers 24 majors and 38 minors in its undergraduate program, along with courses covering a variety of other subjects, including Anthropology, Art History, Drama, Fine Arts, Environmental Science, Gender Studies, Mathematics and languages, including Arabic, Italian, Spanish, French, Latin and Ancient Greek.[12][13]

The university's academic departments include:[14]

The university also offers students the possibility of designing their own major, referred to as the Self-Designed Major.[15]

Graduate programs

The university offers nine graduate programs:[16]

Coursework Masters (38 credits)

Coursework and Research Masters (48 credits)

Research Masters (62 credits)

Financial aid and scholarships

The American University of Paris awards more than 3 million euros in financial assistance every year. The university offers several types of merit-based scholarships, including one specifically for students who have obtained the International Baccalaureate diploma. Based on their final score, students can receive a reduction ranging from 36% to 75% of tuition. The university also offers university-funded financial aid, which is both need- and merit-based. Scholarships are awarded automatically while students wanting to receive financial aid need to apply for it separately. Total financial assistance ranges from 25% to 50%. A limited number of awards are as high as 75% of tuition. The university is also a Title IV school, which qualifies it to certify U.S. federal loans to American citizens and permanent residents.[17]


The university is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, on the left bank and in close proximity to the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River and the Invalides. Its urban campus consists of ten buildings.[3]

In 2014, the university began a campus renovation plan that intends to renovate, by its close, every university building. The Combes building was renovated in 2014 and became the Student Life Center that houses the university’s own Amex Café, student clubs and government, the Thamer Salman Media Center, the Joy and Edward Frieman Environmental Science Center, as well as art studios, faculty offices, classrooms and the Fine Arts Gallery.[18] The Gallery, founded in 2003, has welcomed over 120 exhibitions to date and is curated by Ralph Petty, a Professor of Fine Arts.[19]

In the summer of 2015 the university’s administration moved into a renovated building on Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg.[20] The university is further renovating another university building to become the Student Learning Center that will include the Library, Academic Resource Center, and an integrated Office of Advising, Career Development, Internships and Leadership.[21]


The University Library, open to the AUP community, is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, a block away from the Eiffel Tower. The Library offers students over 72,000 books, more than 500,000 electronic books, 1900 DVDs and videos and additional access to other libraries around Paris. The University Library also provides online resources including e-books, e-encyclopedias, e-journals, and full text databases. Group study rooms and reading areas, wireless Internet access, electrical outlets for laptops, and flat screens are available. The library’s staff assists with research and provides information concerning additional resources in Paris.[22][23]

Athletics Program

Athletics has a long tradition at AUP. The first sports team was founded only one year after the university’s creation in 1962. Over the next decades, several other sports teams were introduced, some of which are still active at AUP today, including Volleyball, Equestrian, Soccer, and Martial Arts.[24]

After the re-establishment of a small sports activities program in Fall 2008, today's Athletics Program participates regularly in Regional University Championships (CRSU) with various teams.[25] Students can go to tryouts and integrate competitive teams, but also have the possibility to engage in recreational activities.[26]

Due to its collaboration with local sports clubs and fitness companies, AUP students benefit from preferential deals for gym memberships. The Athletics Office also supports students in launching their own sports team/club at the university.[27]

The student athlete community involves in annual fundraising events for local charity organizations. One example of this involvement is the annual 7K, a 7 km run through the 7th arrondissement of Paris.[28]

Student Life

The university hosts 1,173 students with 108 nationalities represented on campus.

Students have the opportunity to learn and meet other students through clubs and organizations, including the Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots, AUPPA (student political association), White Mask Theatre club, AUP’s debate club, AUP Cares (philanthropic club), AUP Green (environmental club), Student Government Association (SGA), and the Graduate Student Council (GSC).[29]

Students also manage student-run media production for print, digital and broadcast media. They produce the Peacock Magazine, write articles for The Plume, a news student-run news website, and film videos for Peacock TV, the university's own student-run video production club.[30] The university supports student media through three media workshops that allow students to get involved in production teams, overseen by faculty and staff.[31]

Students live in the city of Paris. In 2013, the university partnered with Comforts of Home to provide all students with furnished, Internet-equipped, shared housing options in two-to-three bedroom apartments. All incoming first-year, transfer, and visiting students are required to arrange their housing through the university, either in a shared student apartment, or in a home stay. Graduate students or returning Undergraduate students have the option of searching for an independent apartment with the assistance of the AUP Housing Office.[32]

The Cultural Program provides students with the opportunity to participate in cultural excursions, faculty-led study trips, and other activities. They range from one-day trips to month-long excursions to a variety of destinations across the globe including, London, New York City, Vienna, Istanbul and others.[33] The Coup de Pouce fund gives students the possibility to apply for financial assistance for faculty-led study trips.[34]

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) was created to link technology to the curriculum and to supplement academic support services at the university. On the first floor of the Passage Landrieu building, ARC provides multiple services to students, including library research stations and video production equipment, peer tutoring services, and a writing lab.[35]

Notable professors


The university has over 16,000 alumni who work and live in 142 countries.[36] A study of more recent graduates indicates that 86% are employed or pursue graduate studies within one year of graduation. 90% of undergraduate and 93% of graduate program alumni report that AUP was helpful in their career paths. Half of alumni reported that they were pursuing graduate or professional studies three years out. The majority of recent alumni (83%) are fluent in two or more languages, and 78% have worked in a language other than their native tongue. More than half also having worked in a country not native to them.[37]

Individuals of note who have attended the university include:


  1. About the University President. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  2. 1 2 3 AUP Facts. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  3. 1 2 3 Campus Map. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  4. French Language Proficiency Requirements. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  5. AUP News & Events, Lectures & Conferences. Retrieved on 2015-10-30.
  6. Honorary Degree Recipients. Retrieved on 2015-10-30.
  7. 1 2 AUP History. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  8. Giniger, Henry (16 September 1962). "U.S. College Set to Open in Paris" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  9. "40 Graduated at Paris College" (PDF). The New York Times. 2 June 1964. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  10. AUP Accreditation. Retrieved on 2008-03-29.
  11. General Education Program. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  12. University Majors. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  13. University Minors. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  14. Academic Departments. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  15. Self-Designed Major. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  16. Graduate Degrees. Retrieved on 2015-20-10.
  17. Scholarships and Financial Aid. Retrieved on 2015-20-10.
  18. Campus Redevelopment Plan Combes. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  19. Fine Arts Gallery. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  20. University Administration Moves. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  21. Campus Redevelopment Plan for Grenelle. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  22. Library Fast Facts. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  23. Library Map. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  24. "AUP Magazine - 50th Anniversary Edition". The American University of Paris. Spring 2013: 24–25. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  25. Competitive Sports at AUP. Retrieved on 2015-20-10.
  26. Recreational Activities at AUP. Retrieved on 2015-20-10.
  27. Gym Membership Benefits. Retrieved on 2015-10-20.
  28. 7k Charity Run. Retrieved on 2015-20-10.
  29. Clubs at AUP. Retrieved on 2015-10-30.
  30. AUP Student Media. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.
  31. University Support for Student Media. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.
  32. Housing at AUP. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.
  33. Cultural Program at AUP. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.
  34. Coup de Pouce, Financial Assistance. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.
  35. Academic Resource Center. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.
  36. AUP Alumni. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.
  37. Alumni outcomes, Undergraduate Success, Graduate Success. Retrieved on 2015-30-10.

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