Contact Us

Amanda Harrison
Manager, Honors and Scholars Programs

Anderson Hall, Room 112 on a map

Community-Based Research Scholars 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Frequently Asked Questions

There is no application to the program; students are offered a place in the program with their admission to the university. We are looking for academically strong students who demonstrate the ability to participate in research early in their college career and who have a passion for social justice and community service.

If you would like to be considered for the DC Community Impacy Scholars program at American University, you can indicate your interest in a few ways. You can contact your admissions representative, email, or include it in the Common Application section in which you explain your reasons for wanting to attend AU.

A living-learning community creates an environment in which you can more easily build relationships with other talented students, share academic interests and experiences, and adjust to college life in DC together. You will live together on the same floor as other Impact Scholars and students in the Honors program.

Students admitted to Impact Scholars receive merit-based or need-based aid as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. The terms of your financial aid are listed in your admission letter.

DC Community Impact Scholars is a two-year program, beginning in a student's first year at AU and continuing through the end of the sophomore year. After their second year, students are strongly encouraged to complete the Undergraduate Certificate in Community-Based Research.

In addition, after the first year Impacy Scholars have the option to be a peer mentor, serve on the student advisory board, apply to be a Program Associate (PA) or Teaching Assistant (TA).

For first-year students: in the fall semester, Impact Scholars take a special section of Complex Problems (an AU Core requirement) and the first part of a yearlong lab. In the spring semester, students complete the second half of the lab. In addition, students spend 20 hours each semester working with a DC community partner agency.

For sophomore students: in the fall semester, Impact Scholars take the first part of the Community-Based Research course, which is completed in the spring semester. 

The Complex Problems course meets the AU Core requirement. All other courses will also count towards the requirements for a Community-Based Research Certificate or as electives.

Incoming first-year students will live on the Scholars and Honors floor in Anderson Hall.

As sophomores, students have the option to continue living together on a designated floor in a sophomore building.

Impact Scholars may room with other Scholars and/or Honors students.

Impact Scholars will be expected to attend a fall orientation and retreat, as well as a limited number of other required program events throughout the year.

All first-year Impact Scholars also engage in community-based learning (either as a volunteer or in a public service Federal Work-Study position) for 20 hours per semester at a local nonprofit organization.

Please contact with any questions regarding the program.