American University In Cairo, All You Need To Know

Joseph Kanu
Joseph Kanu  - Content Writer, Editor and Blogger March 23, 2023
Updated 2023/03/23 at 12:23 PM
American University In Cairo
American University In Cairo

Welcome here if you want to know about the American University In Cairo!

The American University in Cairo was established in 1919 by Charles Watson as a private research university in Cairo, Egypt. The institution offers an American style of learning in all its programs at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, along with a continuing education program.

To fully satisfy your search intent for the American University in Cairo, we are going to provide you with a piece of detailed information about the American University in Cairo including the institution’s academics, ranking, governance and administration, and others.

Name Of Institution:The American University in Cairo
Other Name:AUC
Founder:Charles Watson
Date Of Establishment:1919
Institution Type:Private Research University
Endowment:$535.5 million (2019)
Location:Cairo, Egypt
Mascot:The Eagle Horus
Accreditation:Accredited in the United States by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Instructional Language:English
President:Ahmad Dallal
Provost:Ehab Abdel-Rahman
Number Of Staff: 467 Full-time and 149 Part-time (45% international faculty)
Number Of Students:6,857
Campus:The main campus in New Cairo, and the old campus in Tahrir Square

The American University in Cairo was established in 1919 by Charles Watson as a private research university in Cairo, Egypt. The institution offers an American style of learning in all its programs at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, along with a continuing education program.

The student body of the university represents more than 50 countries of the world and its faculty members, adjunct teaching staff and visiting lecturers are from different parts of the world and comprised of academics, business professionals, diplomats, journalists, writers and others from the US, Egypt and other countries.

The American University in Cairo is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in the United States and as well National Authority for Quality Assurance and Assessment of Education in Egypt.

Institution’s History

The American University in Cairo was established in 1919 by a Protestant mission, the American Mission in Egypt sponsored by the United Presbyterian Church of North America, as an English-language university and preparatory school.

The University’s founder. Charles A. Watson looked at the establishment of a western institution for higher education so AUC was established to serve as both a preparatory school and a university. AUC preparatory school began operations with 142 students in October 1920, in Khairy Pasha Palace

The institution issued its first diplomas for junior college-level certificates to 20 students in 1923. Eventually, some disagreements between Charles Watson who had the intention of building the university’s academic reputation, and United Presbyterian leaders in the U S who wanted to get the institution back to its Christian roots.

After four years, Charles Watson came up with the decision that the institution could not afford to maintain its original religious ties, he concluded that “its best hope was the promotion of good moral and ethical behaviour”.

After Watson’s stance, the university was limited to male students, until 1928 when it enrolled its first female student, and in the same year, the AUC graduated its first class, with two Bachelor of Arts and one Bachelor of Sciences degrees awarded.

American University in Cairo added its first graduate programs to its ongoing Bachelor of Arts, bachelor of sciences, graduate diploma, and continuing education programs in 1950, and the following year, 1951 the institution scrapped the preparatory school program. 

After some years, AUC brought in bachelor’s, master’s, and diploma programs in engineering, management, computer science, journalism and mass communication and sciences programs, and also established some research centres in areas like business, social sciences, philanthropy and civic engagement, and science and technology. 

Academics and Rankings

The American University in Cairo offers a total of 37 bachelor’s degree programs, 44 master’s degree programs, and 2 doctoral degrees in applied sciences and engineering adding to a wide range of graduate diplomas in five schools covering Business, Global Affairs and Public Policy, Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences and Engineering, and the Graduate School of Education.

AUC designed its English language liberal arts environment to promote and enhance critical thinking, language and cultural skills and also to foster the habit of appreciation of own culture and heritage and even responsibilities toward the society in students.

American University in Cairo holds institutional accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States, its engineering programs are accredited by ABET (previously Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) and its business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance College Schools of Business (AACSB.)

In Egypt, American University in Cairo operates within the framework of the 1975 protocol with the Egyptian government based on the 1962 Cultural Relations Agreement between the United States and Egyptian governments.

American University in Cairo is licensed to award degrees in the United States and is incorporated by the State of Delaware, and has received specialized accreditation for many of its academic programs.

The university’s enrollment in academic programs includes more than 5,474 undergraduates with an additional number of 979 graduate students from 2017 to 2018. At the same time, adult education has also expanded and presently serves over 22,000 students every year in non-credit courses and contracted training programs offered through the university’s school of Continuing Education.

AUC Rankings

AUC is ranked No. 411th university globally and 9th in the “Arab Region” by QS World University Rankings in their 2021 rankings. Ten of the university’s graduate programs were ranked among the top in Africa and the best 200 worldwide in Eduniversal’s Best Master’s Rankings for 2015 and 2016.

Furthermore, American University in Cairo has been placed 81st out of 407 institutions worldwide in the Universitas Indonesia (UI) GreenMetric World University Ranking for 2015 and 2016.

Governance and Administration

American University in Cairo operates a fantastic governance and administrative system. The first president of the university was Francis Ricciardone. Ricciardone led the institution from 2016 until 2021.

The 13th president of American University in Cairo, Ahmad S. Dallal, is an alumnus of the institution who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and thereafter obtained advanced degrees from and taught at several renowned universities in the United States.

Below is a list of the university’s presidents from the most recent time to inception

Ahmad Dallal (2021-)

Ehab Abdel-Rahman (July–October 2021) (acting president)

Francis J. Ricciardone (2016–2021)

Thomas E. Thomason (2015–2016), interim president

Lisa Anderson (2011–2015)

David C. Arnold (2003–2011)

John D. Gerhart (1998–2003)

Donald McDonald (1990–1997)

Richard F. Pedersen (1977–1990)

Cecil K. Byrd (1974–1977)

Christopher Thoron (1969–1974)

Thomas A. Bartlett (1963–1969)

Raymond F. McLain (1954–1963)

John S. Badeau (1944–1953)

Charles Watson (1919–1944)

AUC Campuses and Structures

American University in Cairo was originally established in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. The 7.8-acre Tahrir Square campus was built around the Khairy Pasha Palace in the neo-Mamluk style. The structure inspired an architectural style that has been replicated throughout Cairo.

In 1928, Ewart Hall was established and named for William Dana Ewart, the father of an American who visited the campus and made a donation of $100,000 towards the cost of construction on the condition that she remain anonymous.

Ewart Hall was designed by A. St. John Diament, facing the south side of the Palace. The central part of the structure houses an auditorium large enough to seat 1,200, as well as classrooms, offices and exhibition galleries. 

The university continued growth required extension and even expansion, and in 1932, a new structure was dedicated to house the School of Oriental Studies, then east of Ewart Hall, the structure featured Oriental Hall, an auditorium and reception room built and decorated in an adaptation of traditional styles.

In the course of time, the university added more structures to what is presently known as The GrEEK Campus, for a total of five buildings and 250,000 square feet in downtown Cairo. 

New Cairo Campus

At the rounding up of 2008, America University in Cairo moved from the Greek Campus and officially inaugurated AUC New Cairo, a new 260-acre suburban campus in New Cairo, a satellite city about 20 miles from the downtown campus. 

AUC New Cairo is meant to serve as a reference for how architectural harmony and diversity can coexist creatively and how tradition and modernity can appeal to the senses. New campus spaces serve as virtual laboratories for the study of desert development, biological sciences, and the symbiotic relationship between environment and community.

The two campuses together host 36 undergraduate programs and 46 graduate programs and the New Cairo campus offers six schools and ten research centres. The Research Centers Building covers the AUC Forum, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies, the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, and the Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center.


The American University in Cairo is without a doubt one of the most prestigious institutions of learning in the world with a good acceptance rate and academic reputation. Just as promised, we have been able to provide you with all relevant pieces of information about AUC, and we believe you have learned a lot from this article.

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