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Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut bases its educational philosophy, standards, and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education. A teaching-centered research university, AUB has around 800 instructional faculty and a student body of around 8,000 students. The University encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to graduate men and women committed to creative and critical thinking, life-long learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership.
The University, which was granted institutional accreditation in June 2004 by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States and reaffirmed in 2016, includes six faculties: Agricultural and Food Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Health Sciences, Medicine (which includes the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing), and the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business.
AUB currently offers more than 130 programs leading to the bachelor's, master's, MD, and PhD degrees. The University became coeducational in 1922; its student body is 50 percent male and 50 percent female. The language of instruction is English (except for courses in the Arabic Department and other language courses).
The student faculty ratio is 11.2 to 1.
Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
The mission of FAFS is to foster the sustainable enhancement of the health and well being of people and nature throughout Lebanon and the region. To achieve its goals, the Faculty uses basic and applied research as well as student-centered learning to prepare leaders and agents of change to address issues of local and global relevance at the nexus of human nutrition, food security and the sustainable use of resources.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences embodies AUB’s core commitment to the liberal arts and sciences. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, humanities, and social, natural, and mathematical sciences, and is dedicated to advanced research in all of these domains. Through its freshmen and general education programs, it is the University’s principal gateway to higher studies and professional education. The faculty, through its teaching and research, promotes free inquiry, critical thinking, academic integrity, and respect for diversity and equality.
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture
The Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) at the American University of Beirut is a leading school in the Middle East offering undergraduate and graduate programs of the highest standards, contributing to the advancement of the engineering and architecture knowledge through teaching and research, and providing services to the community at large, while addressing the needs of Lebanon and the region. The FEA strives to maintain a challenging and intellectually stimulating research and teaching environment, and prepares its graduates to be life-long learners, professionals ready for practice and capable of being leaders in their field, and individuals committed to personal integrity and civic responsibility.
Suliman S. Olayan School of Business
Business education at AUB started in 1900 but remained under the auspices of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences until September 2000 when the University established an independent school of business as its sixth faculty. In 2003, it was named in honor of the late Suliman S. Olayan, international Saudi businessman and AUB trustee. Today, the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business provides rigorous undergraduate and graduate business education with uniquely crafted curricula that are balanced between theoretical and practical approaches. OSB graduates approximately 320 students from its undergraduate program and 70 students from its graduate programs every year. It has grown enormously in recent years and now has a number of established knowledge centers and initiatives that encourage teaching and engagement between OSB and the private and public sectors.
Faculty of Health Sciences
The Faculty of Health Sciences is a close-knit faculty, with 36 faculty members and 300 students. Our faculty offers a rich array of opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate study, as well as for participation in relevant research and community based public heath project
The Faculty of Health Sciences is the leading school of public health in the region serving the wellbeing of people and communities by conducting research and service that influence policy and practice and preparing competent health professionals who are agents of change in society.
Through its vital regional role in knowledge production and advocacy for social justice, FHS aspires to shape the global public health discourse.
The Faculty of Health Sciences prepares professionals in the disciplines of public health and health sciences through graduate and undergraduate programs, and introduces future physicians to public health. It contributes to knowledge and the improvement of the public's health in Lebanon and the region by conducting scholarly and relevant research and by responding to priority health issues and training needs in collaboration with stakeholders. In all of its functions, FHS promotes and adheres to the principles of ethics, social justice, and collective responsibility.
Faculty of Medicine
The AUB Medical School and Medical Center will reassert their historic position as the premier medical school and finest tertiary care center in the Middle East, respectively; characterized by a revitalized hospital infrastructure, responsive patient services, outstanding clinical performance based on innovative clinical and information technologies and best trained faculty, centers of clinical and research excellence, and a supportive network of associated clinics and hospitals locally and regionally. The medical school and center are committed to: educate and train the best physicians and biomedical research leaders to meet future health care needs in the region, advocating for the community’s well-being and access to care by providing quality patient care, cost effectiveness and patient satisfaction and performing premier clinical research and education.
In 1862, American missionaries in Lebanon and Syria, under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, asked Dr. Daniel Bliss to withdraw from the evangelistic work of the mission in Lebanon to found a college of higher learning that would include medical training. It was felt that this college should have an American educational character, should be administered independently from the Mission, and should be maintained by its own funds. Dr. Bliss travelled to the United States in the summer of 1862 to solicit funds for this new enterprise. By August 1864 he had raised $100,000, but because of inflation during the Civil War it was decided that he should raise a sterling fund in England to start the operations of the college, leaving the dollar fund to appreciate. After collecting 4,000 in England, he travelled to Beirut in March 1866.
On April 24, 1863, while Dr. Bliss was raising money for the new school, the State of New York, granted a charter under the name of the Syrian Protestant College. The college opened with its first class of 16 students on December 3, 1866.
The cornerstone of College Hall, the first building on the present campus in Ras Beirut, was laid on December 7, 1871, by the Honorable William E. Dodge, Sr., then Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. At this ceremony President Daniel Bliss expressed the guiding principle of the college in these words:
This college is for all conditions and classes of men without regard to color, nationality, race or religion. A man, white, black, or yellow, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan or heathen, may enter and enjoy all the advantages of this institution for three, four or eight years; and go out believing in one God, in many gods, or in no God. But it will be impossible for anyone to continue with us long without knowing what we believe to be the truth and our reasons for that belief.
College Hall and the first medical building were completed and put to use in 1873, and the bell in the tower of College Hall pealed for the first time in March, 1874. However, College Hall was extensively damaged by a savage explosion in the early morning of November 8, 1991, and the building had to be demolished. It was later rebuilt, and the new College Hall was inaugurated in the spring of 1999.
Since the earliest years, the University has continually expanded and developed new faculties and programs. In 1867, the University started the School of Medicine. Four years later, in 1871, both school of pharmacy and a preparatory school were added. The latter became independent in 1960 and is currently known as International College. In 1900, the University established a school of commerce which was later incorporated into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (which was established in 1866). When the hospital (currently the American University of Beirut Medical Center) opened in 1905, a school of nursing - now the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing - was also established. In 1910, the University opened a school of dentistry, which operated for thirty years. In the early years of the 1950s several program expansions took place. The Faculty of Engineering and Architecture was established in 1951; the Faculty of Agriculture - now the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences - opened its doors in 1952; and the School of Public Health - now the Faculty of Health Sciences - was started in 1954. The University established in 2000 an independent school of business (later named the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business) as the sixth Faculty of the University.
On November 18, 1920, the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York changed the name of the institution from the Syrian Protestant College to the American University of Beirut; other charter amendments expanded the functions of the University. All presidents of the University have been in residence at Marquand House, which was completed in 1879.
The American University of Beirut (AUB) is accredited as an institution by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Tel. 267-284-5000). MSCHE accreditation is an expression of confidence in AUB's mission, goals, resources and performance based upon periodic internal and external assessment. Accreditation is a voluntary process intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of a university, faculty, or program, confirming that it is worthy of public confidence. Accreditation affirms that AUB as an institution, as well as specific programs, meet or exceed international standards. AUB’s institutional accreditation status has been reaffirmed by MSCHE with the acceptance of the University’s Monitoring Report, submitted on April 1, 2016. The University’s next re-accreditation process will take place during 2018-19. AUB’s full and updated Statement of Accreditation Status is maintained on MSCHE’s website.
Six of AUB’s faculties and schools have earned accreditation of specific programs from relevant accrediting bodies. In many cases, AUB’s faculties are the first or only of their kind outside of the United States to have programs accredited by a US institution:
The Faculty of Health Sciences' Graduate Public Health Program became the first such program to be accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) outside of North America. (Accreditation 2006, Reaffirmed 2012)
The Suliman S. Olayan School of Business is accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It was the first business school in Lebanon to earn this accreditation. (Accreditation 2009, Reaffirmed 2014)
The Rafic Hariri School of Nursing became the first nursing school beyond American territories to have BSN and MSN programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). (Accreditation 2007, Reaffirmed 2012)
The Faculty of Engineering and Architecture’s undergraduate BE Civil Engineering, BE Computer and Communications Engineering, BE in Electrical and Computer Engineering, BE Mechanical Engineering are accredited by ABET Inc. (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). (Accreditation 2010)
The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program (NDCP) at has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which is the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics’ accrediting agency of nutrition education programs. (Accreditation 2013)
The Faculty of Medicine’s residency programs in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and General Surgery are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education – International (ACGME-I). (Accreditation 2015).
AUB is an urban university located in the heart of Beirut along the Mediterranean Sea (What is AUB's campus like?). It was the first and is still one of the very few residential universities in the Middle East and offers students a rich extracurricular and community life, which is an integral part of a well-rounded liberal arts education.
AUB students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as the arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, theater, music), the student newspaper, the AUB Choir, athletics, student government, student clubs—and much more. Although activities take place throughout the 64-acre campus, the focus of student activity at AUB is West Hall area and the Charles W. Hostler Student Center.
The Office of Student Affairs, which has primary responsibility for student life on campus, oversees student activities (clubs, societies, special events, and publications), athletics and sports, the Counseling Center, Career and Placement Services, the Work-Study Program, and AUB’s seven student dormitories.
AUB offers students the opportunity to meet with people from all over the world. Students from 75 countries are represented on campus. Our students epitomize the growing transnational character of today’s global society. Lebanon offers a rich mix of ethnic, political and religious perspectives with plenty of opportunities for discussion; both inside and outside the classroom.
Life in Lebanon
Life in Lebanon offers a unique and unforgettable experience. With its mountains perfect for skiing, cycling and hiking, its Mediterranean coastline, its world famous cuisine, its temperate climate and its rich culture and historical sites – Lebanon has something for everyone.
Beirut is the focal point for the region’s cultural life, renowned for its vibrant and inexhaustible nightlife, theatres, restaurants and cultural activities. With French and English widely spoken, it’s easy to feel at home in this diverse and fascinating city.
High quality, innovative teaching
With over a 100 exciting degree programs and an emphasis on small-group teaching, with an overall staff-student ratio of 1:13, AUB offers a dynamic and engaging classroom experience which combines the latest research with advanced approaches to learning.
AUB has a reputation for excellence throughout the Middle East, with partnerships and collaborations worldwide. AUB is ranked fifth in the region and among the top 250 universities world wide according to QS World University Rankings.
AUB was granted institutional accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States, which guarantees our students an outstanding educational experience.
With a welcoming and lively community, AUB is proud that over 26% of the entire student population is international, with over 75 nationalities represented.
Excellent student experience
AUB offers dedicated support to all international students from admission to graduation. This support includes: providing visa and housing advice, a listing of over 80 clubs and societies to join, counseling services, health services, career guidance and more.
AUB is a safe and friendly campus in the heart of Beirut, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Including a private beach, four libraries, athletic fields, three museums, an art gallery, a Medical Centre and numerous gardens.