American University of Sharjah

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American University of Shj
الجامعة الأمريكية في الشارقة
American University of Sharjah (emblem).png
Emblem of the American University of Sharjah
Type Private
Established 1997
Chancellor Björn Kjerfve
President H.H Sheikh Dr.Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 5,553
Postgraduates 458
Location Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
25°18′35″N 55°29′26″E / 25.30972°N 55.49056°E / 25.30972; 55.49056Coordinates: 25°18′35″N 55°29′26″E / 25.30972°N 55.49056°E / 25.30972; 55.49056
Campus Urban, 128 hectares (316 acres)

Burgundy, White

Nickname AUS
Affiliations AAICU[1]
Mascot Leopard
The Brandmark of The American University of Sharjah in United Arab Emirates.jpg

American University of Sharjah (abbreviated AUS; Arabic: الجامعة الأمريكية في الشارقة‎) is a co-educational institution of higher education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It was founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Sheikh Dr. Sultan envisaged the university as a leading educational institution in the Persian Gulf region. Located in University City in Sharjah, The university is a not-for-profit, independent institution of higher education formed on the American higher education model. It is a very diverse university that brings together more than 6,000 students from more than 99 countries and a full-time faculty of more than 370.[2]

AUS offers 26 majors and 46 minors at undergraduate level[3] and 14 master's degrees[4] through the College of Architecture, Art and Design,[5] the College of Arts and Sciences,[6] the College of Engineering,[7] and the School of Business Administration.[8]

The university is licensed by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (UAE) in the United Arab Emirates, which recognizes all undergraduate and graduate programs. American University of Sharjah is accredited in the United States of America by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

The bachelor of science degree programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering offered by the College of Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The bachelor of science degree program in computer science offered by the College of Engineering is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. The Bachelor of Architecture program of the College of Architecture, Art and Design is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) of the United States. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration as well as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degrees offered by the School of Business Administration are accredited by the AACSB (AACSB).


AUS was founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi. As AUS President, Sheikh Sultan has stated his vision for a distinctive institution rooted in the region’s Arab-Islamic heritage, in the context of the aspirations and needs of contemporary society in the UAE and the Persian Gulf region.[9]

The University Campus[edit]


American University of Sharjah is situated in University City, which is located 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the center of Sharjah (emirate) Sharjah and about 25 km from the neighboring emirate of Dubai.

The City of Sharjah[edit]

The location of the university enhances its mission. Sharjah is a global trade center and a city of learning and the arts, as confirmed by its 1998 UNESCO designation as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World.[10]

Campus Life and Services[edit]

The Campus Complex[edit]

American University of Sharjah Main esplanade.jpg

AUS is the flagship institution of University City, a 1,600 acre complex that includes other educational establishments. The university offers students full-facility dormitories, a sports complex, and a gym. Other amenities include a health center, a pharmacy, a bank, a post office, a barbershop, a ladies beauty salon, and two convenience stores. The distinctive architecture of the domes and arches of the academic and administrative buildings is accentuated with graceful Arab motifs.

The center of the AUS campus comprises 12 academic buildings. The academic buildings house classrooms and lecture halls of various sizes; a state-of-the-art library; science, language, computer and engineering laboratories; workshops and digital studios; and offices for faculty, academic administrators, and support staff.

The campus includes student residential halls (for men and for women) as well as a large Sports Complex and a Student Center. Approximately 40 percent of the student body lives in campus housing. Unlike most American universities, AUS requires faculty members and their families to live on campus with the intention of providing students with a learning and living environment that allows for on-going interaction with faculty members and their families.[11]

Testing and Professional Development Center[edit]

The AUS Testing and Professional Development Center serves as a central point of testing for both the AUS campus and the community. The center accommodates the placement tests for newly AUS admitted students as well as university testing. The center is part of the ETS Strategic Testing Network and offers the ETS Internet-based TOEFL as well as an institutional paper-based TOEFL in addition to other testing services.

AUS is also the sole testing center in the United Arab Emirates for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE) and Professional Engineering Exam (PE) administrated by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying[12] (NCEES) in the USA.[13][14]

AMIDEAST Amideast, one of the region’s most prominent international testing administrators, is an AUS testing partner and has a permanent office on the AUS campus to administer TOEFL tests (paper-based) on aregular basis, as well as other recognized international tests.[15][16][17]


The AUS Library, an 11,000-square-meter state-of-the-art facility, provides collections, services and programs to support the curricular and research needs of the university community. The majority of the library’s rapidly growing physical collection of 141,000 items is in English; however, there are also materials available in Arabic. An online catalog system can be used to search for library materials from any location on or off campus. Using the library website, students and faculty can access e-books, online databases, full-text journals and other digital resources. The library works in conjunction with all parts of the university to provide academic resources for all classes taught at AUS. Facilities include PC workstations, an ‘information commons’ computer environment, two computer classrooms for teaching information literacy and research skills, book, study spaces, including group study and presentation rooms, media preview rooms; circulation/reserves and research help desks and self-checkout stations. The seating capacity is approximately 800. The AUS Archives department is a repository for institutional records that have been created by various academic and administrative departments of the university. The mission of the Archives department is to collect, maintain, preserve, and make available records that are of historical or legal value, as well as records that document the development of the university and the various campus activities.[18][19]


AUS offers a shuttle bus service between the student residential halls and other areas of campus. The Transportation Services can also provide transportation to the cities of Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Transportation Services also provides information on local taxi and rental car services. []

Global rankings[edit]

In 2012, American University of Sharjah was ranked in the world’s top 450 universities by the London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Of more than 2500 global institutions considered by the organization for 2012–2013, AUS was ranked in the top 2170 bracket, a substantial climb from the previous year's 601+bracket. AUS was ranked in the top 411-420 by 2016, making it the best university in UAE.[20][21]

The university’s Management Information Systems program, which is under the School of Business Administration, was ranked in the top 100 in information systems research productivity globally.[22][23]

Forbes Middle East has ranked American University of Sharjah as the best private university in the Persian Gulf region offering an MBA degree.[24][25][26][27][28]

American University of Sharjah was also ranked as the 122nd best university in BRICS and emerging economics.,[29] and 8th in the Arab world.[30]

Student life[edit]

Community services[edit]

AUS Community Services[31] allows students to experience first-hand the value of serving others through charity, awareness, and outreach programs.

Residential life[edit]

The university residential halls[32] offer a multicultural environment in which students from different parts of the world can learn from one another. All residential hall offer students many resources, including Internet access, study rooms, computer labs, dining areas, recreational areas, television rooms, laundry facilities, and fitness centers.

Student Center[33][edit]

The Student Center plays an important role in the extracurricular life at the university by serving as a central hub for student activities. It is primarily dedicated to serving the cultural, social and recreational interests of the student body as well as to providing students with a comfortable and inviting atmosphere to unwind. The Student Center is more than just a place for students to socialize and relax; it provide students with non-academic support services and facilities under one roof.

Student Organizations[34][edit]

Student-sponsored organizations are an integral part of the learning process at most institutions of higher education. The academic experience is enriched by participation in activities that allow students to pursue their personal interests outside the classroom.

Student Publications[35][edit]

Practical writing experience is available to AUS students through three student publications, The Leopard, Realms and Arabian Leopard.

The Leopard Newspaper: “A Reason to Roar”: The Leopardis an official university newspaper and a voice of AUS students. The leopard is the official AUS mascot and was chosen because the UAE preserves and protects the Arabian leopard, which is currently on the brink of extinction.

Realms: This magazine was founded as a literary outlet for AUS students. Realms gives all students a chance to read the stories, poems and essays of their classmates, as well as to contribute their creative work. Realms aims to foster an interest in creative writing and literature and to help students view the English language as a means of expressing their thoughts and feelings and not merely as an academic tool.

Arabian Leopard: The Arabian Leopard newspaper gives students the chance to develop and proudly present their Arabic writing skills and creative writing.

Model United Nations[36][edit]

American University of Sharjah Model United Nations, or AUSMUN, is an annual high school and university conference organized by the International Studies department at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Since its formal inception in 2008, AUSMUN has grown to be one of the most prestigious conferences in the country. With the official language of the conference being English, students from across the Middle East and the world convene to debate pressing global issues in a manner that coincides with the current world order. AUSMUN delegates tend to practice the art of negotiation, diplomacy, research, and public speaking during the conference.

Student Educational Services[edit]

Academic Support Center[37][edit]

This center provides students assistance in academic matters through group and individual advising. The center works directly with students on academic probation, and students with other academic difficulties, such physical challenges that impede academic progress or students specific learning disabilities.The center offers advising for students concerning majors, career paths and career interests in relation to their academic programs. The center supports the mission of the university by coordinating and tracking student retention and the progress of first-year students.

Cisco Academy[38][edit]

AUS hosts a Cisco networking academy in the College of Engineering. The academy trains students and professionals to design, build and maintain computer networks and prepares them for industry-standard certification.

International Exchange Programs[39][edit]

The Office of International Exchange Programs was established to provide AUS students and faculty with exchange opportunities, including sending and hosting visiting scholars, aiding faculty members in arranging international study tours, developing exchange agreements with universities around the world, and achieving membership in the top global exchange consortia.

The Office of International Exchange Programs works with AUS students who wish to study at universities in other countries either for a semester or a year. The office also facilitates the admission of international students coming to AUS to study.[40][41]

In addition to facilitating student exchanges and study abroad, the AUS Office of International Exchange Programs also administers processes enabling faculty-led study tours, visiting scholars, visiting guests and delegations, tuition exchange programs, and the dissemination of information regarding international scholarships and internships.[42][43][44]

Learning and Counseling[45][edit]

Student Learning and Counseling Services offers support services to enhance the success of students. These services include assisting with academic growth, educational and career goals, problem solving, decision making, understanding and appreciation of oneself, and interpersonal relationships. Services are free, voluntary and available to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at AUS.

Mathematics Learning Center[46][edit]

The Mathematics Learning Center provides one-on-one tutorial sessions for students enrolled in all 100-level mathematics courses. Student may drop in for consultation during the weekly scheduled sessions to seek understanding of certain course-related concepts.

Writing Center[47][edit]

The AUS Writing Center help students become independent and confident writers. Available to all AUS students, the Writing Center offers one-on-one writing conferences by appointment or on a drop-in basis. Consultations may include thesis development, organization, outlining, paragraph development, vocabulary, sentence structure and mechanics. The Writing Center also offers workshops on a variety of writing topics throughout the academic year.

Research and grants[edit]

AUS supports and promotes the research and consulting activities of its faculty members. In addition, AUS offers its students opportunities to work on faculty research projects, to present papers with faculty at international conferences and to assist faculty in developing research grants.[48]

Despite its relatively young age, American University of Sharjah has made significant strides in conducting, important, useful and high quality research.[49][50][51][52]

Research centers[edit]

AUS has established a number of research centers as part of its commitment to research and community outreach.

Institute of Materials Systems[53][edit]

The Institute of Materials Systems was established in 2001 based on the recommendations of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministers for Public Works and Housing to promote materials research and education. It collaborates with governmental and private sectors in areas of materials research and applications, focusing on quality control, performance, sustainability, development and use of standard procedures, and quality assurance materials used in the region. Objectives of the institute are to conduct applied research focused on materials properties and applications in harsh environments; assist governmental departments in establishing local and regional codes of practice; provide independent technical evaluation and consultation services on materials-related issues; enhance education through seminars, conferences and short courses; and establish collaboration with similar centers of excellence worldwide.

Gulf Ecosystems Research Center[54][edit]

Gulf Ecosystems Research Center is a multidisciplinary research center established to monitor and conduct research on Persian Gulf ecosystems and offer advice on long-term solutions to ecological problems. The center provides a host of research opportunities not only for AUS faculty but it is also intended to draw the best minds globally to its doors. The university aims to make it a focal point for Persian Gulf studies internationally. In synch with the strategic initiatives of AUS, the establishment of the AUS Gulf Studies Center is part of the university’s mission to become organically linked with society and to play a key role in helping develop answers to both national as well as regional challenges.

Development and Alumni Affairs[edit]

American University of Sharjah fosters a good relationship between the university and its alumni by providing opportunities for mutual involvement that contribute to the missions and interests of both.

The university, through its Office of Development and Alumni Affairs (ODAA), promotes a spirit of unity and of possible collaboration among current and former students on current as well as future university projects. The alumni are valuable assets, and they are provided ways to aid in the further development of the university by drawing on their knowledge, skills, financial resources and their sense of deep loyalty to their alma mater.[55]

The university also offers students and alumni comprehensive career services. It works closely with industry in the UAE and the region to promote interaction between potential employers and AUS students and alumni. It organizes corporate briefings, the AUS Business Forum,[56] the Annual Alumni Reunion[57][58] and the annual Career Fair,[59] and provides information on job opportunities, internships and summer employment.

The university also has a strong alumni association, AUS Alumni Association[60] (AUSAA) which is the glue that holds the university’s ever-growing alumni family together. As the official body comprising all AUS alumni, the purpose of the association is to connect and reconnect graduates with the university through popular events and experiences such as annual class reunion dinners and business forums, among many others.

Notable Alumni[edit]


See also[edit]

American universities in the Middle East:


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  61. ^ Mishal Kanoo: “Never Quit Learning”

External links[edit]