American University in Dubai

American University in Dubai

American University in Dubai Details

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The American University in Dubai is a private, non-sectarian institution of higher learning founded in 1995. AUD’s enrollment in 2014-2015 averaged 2,700 students. In Spring 2015, over one hundred nationalities were represented in the AUD student body.

AUD offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and Certificates in Middle Eastern Studies and Professional Teaching. In addition to courses in their chosen program/major, undergraduate students in all disciplines must follow a curriculum in Arts and Sciences. This is in fulfillment of the general education portion of their degree requirements.

Through its Center for English Proficiency (CfEP), the university also conducts Intensive English programs designed to develop university-level English language skills in students requiring additional language study before commencing university.

Welcome to The American University in Dubai. Like all web-sites, this one contains plenty of information: facts regarding AUD’s accreditation, the degree programs we offer, student services beyond classroom instruction, facilities and people – students, administrators, faculty and staff – who make up the university community. The thread that links them all is AUD’s genuine American ethos, expressed nonetheless with consummate respect for its local habitat. The maintenance of high academic standards; an emphasis on innovative and critical thinking; the cultivation of curiosity and a spirit of inquiry; and the identification of the “whole person” as the target for human and cultural development are those factors which truly distinguish American education. It is significant that these are precisely the values which underpin the university’s identity. Furthermore, they account for the success of its graduates at home and abroad, a success that figures prominently in the university’s contribution to society. AUD is truly a place that brings out the best in its constituents by reminding them of their potential, calling for a demonstration of capability and rewarding achievement. I trust you find this journey through the world of AUD both informative and stimulating. At the very least, I hope it gives you something to think about…

Dr. Lance E. de Masi

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

School of Architecture, Art and Design

  • Department of Architecture
  • Department of Interior Design
  • Department of Visual Communication

School of Arts and Sciences

  • Middle Eastern Studies

School of Business Administration

  • Department of Business and Economics
  • Department of Finance and Accounting
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Marketing and Marketing Communications

Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication

School of Education

School of Engineering

  • Department of Civil Engineering
  • Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering


Following the Gulf War in 1991, a team led by Elias Bou Saab from the American College visited the Persian Gulf to establish relationships with various ministries of higher education as well as the region’s schools.

The lack of quality private education at the university level, coupled with an appreciation of the American model of higher education, led them to conduct a feasibility study on the prospects of establishing an American university in the Persian Gulf. The results confirmed the high level of interest and desire for a campus offering an American-accredited educational curriculum.

It also became quickly apparent that the Emirate of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, would be an ideal place to locate such an institution. Dubai was found to be a politically stable, cosmopolitan and outward-looking principality whose nearly non-existent private sector in higher education was just beginning to draw some attention.

Elias Bou Saab moved to Dubai in 1995 in order to officially establish the American University in Dubai, which in turn would not have been possible without the commitment and support from the outset of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai. To this day, His Highness continues his unlimited support for higher education in general and to the university in particular.

The American University in Dubai opened its doors in October 1995 as a branch campus of the American College, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

AUD’s initial enrollment was 165 students, over half of which were females. By the time former Secretary of State and Treasury James Baker gave the Keynote at AUD’s first commencement in 1998, enrollment had climbed to 499; and the Dubai government, as an expression of confidence, had decided to build a campus of 1,400,000 square feet for use by the university. AUD moved out of its initial premises to occupy this new, spacious, fully equipped campus in January 2000. Its enrollment at that time was 687.

The year 2000 was also significant because it was in that year that the university was officially licensed by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHE). The private sector for higher education had grown considerably since AUD’s founding, and the Ministry saw fit to establish a formal licensure and (subsequently) accreditation process. It was in 2000 that AUD’s largest academic department – Business Administration – was organizationally designated as a School. In 2001, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the American University in Dubai (AUD) and the Georgia Institute of Technology of Atlanta, GA to establish a School of Engineering. Representatives from Georgia Tech, including six senior faculty and administrative officers, visited AUD to finalize the adaptation of curricula to the requirements of the UAE.

In December 2007, and for the third time since its opening in 1995, The American University in Dubai received independent accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), one of America’s seven regional accrediting commissions. AUD is the first and only institution outside of the US and Latin America to be granted this honor by SACS. AUD is now a fully independent institution.

The American University in Dubai also maintains an exchange program with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Students from both institutions can take courses and receive credit through the exchange program.

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