GW Joins Association of American Universities

A scientist looking at test tube samples

The George Washington University last June joined an exclusive group of just 69 U.S. research universities and two Canadian institutions to earn membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU).

“GW is a university on the rise, and the invitation to join the AAU is a testament to the accomplishments of an ambitious community that strives for academic excellence and advances the university in its prominence and impact every day,” said GW President Ellen M. Granberg, noting that she looks forward to the ways AAU membership will help the university elevate this impact in its third century.

Founded in 1900, the association comprises the premier research universities working to shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education, and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities.

According to the AAU, member universities earn more than 60% of the competitively awarded federal research funding from agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services (including NIH), the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. Together, AAU institutions are leaders in the work to improve public health, and address national challenges, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

Membership criteria for the invitation-only association includes research funding levels; faculty awards, honors, and citations; and faculty membership in national academies. Additional factors include doctoral and undergraduate education measures including six-year graduation rates and SAT scores.

“AAU membership is an incredible achievement, and it is validation of the strength and influence of our university’s research and education,” said Board of Trustees Chair Grace Speights, JD ’82. “As chair of the board and as an alumna, I am very proud of our university and community.”

Joining GW in the invitation-only association to comprise the first new-member cohort in four years were Arizona State University; the University of California, Riverside; the University of Miami; the University of Notre Dame; and the University of South Florida. 

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