American Univesity of Beirut

The University

The American University of Beirut (AUB) is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher learning founded in 1866. It functions under a charter from the State of New York and is governed by a private, autonomous Board of Trustees.

The university has six faculties: Agricultural and Food Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Health Sciences, Medicine (including the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing), and the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business. At present, AUB offers programs leading to Bachelor, Master, MD, and PhD degrees.

The university became co-educational in 1922. The language of instruction is English.


Degrees awarded by the American University of Beirut are officially registered with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon and with the New York State Department of Education in the United States. AUB is accredited as an institution by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (267) 284-5000. The MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). MSCHE accreditation is an expression of confidence in AUB’s mission, goals, resources and performance based upon periodic internal and external assessment. The university was first accredited in June 2004, and this accreditation was reaffirmed in 2009, 2014 and 2019.

Six of AUB’s faculties/schools have earned accreditation from relevant accrediting bodies as listed below. In many cases, AUB’s faculties/schools are the first or the only ones of their kind outside of the United States to have programs accredited by US agencies:

The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences’ undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program (NDCP) was the first nutrition and dietetics program in the Middle East to receive US accreditation, in 2013, from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which is the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics’ accrediting agency of nutrition education programs. The program secured full re- accreditation, for the maximum allowable time of seven years, in 2017.

The Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture’s BE in civil engineering, BE in computer and communications engineering, BE in electrical and computer engineering, and BE in mechanical engineering were accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 2008 (reaffirmed in 2016). MSFEA’s undergraduate program in chemical engineering was also accredited by ABET in 2013.

The Public Health Program at the Faculty of Health Sciences received its initial accreditation in 2006 from the Council on Education for Public Health, an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education that accredits schools of public health and public health programs. In 2012, the program was reaccredited for a seven- year term. In December 2019, the CEPH Board voted to renew the accreditation of the program for another seven-year term, ending in 2026. The accredited Public Health Program includes the master of public health, master of science in epidemiology, master of science in environmental health, and the Ph.D. in epidemiology, as well as the newly launched bachelor of arts in health communication. In March 2021, the CEPH Board granted accreditation for the FHS undergraduate Environmental Health Program (BSc in Environmental Health), ending in 2026. The FHS public health program was the first to be accredited by CEPH outside the Americas and it remains the only CEPH- accredited program in the Arab region. Internationally, it is one of only nine non-US public health programs to hold CEPH accreditation. This has allowed FHS to become a full member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and to join the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, which are recognitions of academic excellence limited to CEPH-accredited schools and programs.

The Faculty of Medicine was granted full accreditation effective January 1, 2019 and for a period of six years by the Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Medical Education Programs (TEPDAD) International Medical Education Accreditation Council, the authorized medical school accrediting body of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) based in Turkey. This accreditation places FM in compliance with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates requirement.

The Faculty of Medicine has received “initial” institutional accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-International (ACGME-I) in 2015 and currently have “continuous” accreditation till year 2024. After obtaining initial institutional accreditation, the Faculty of Medicine’s GME residency programs started applying for ACGME-I accreditation. Currently, 18 residency programs have received ACGME-I accreditation (Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Diagnostic Radiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology, Pediatrics, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry, Radiation Oncology and Urology).

The Rafic Hariri School of Nursing became the first nursing school outside American territories to have its BSN and MSN programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2007 (reaffirmed in 2012).

The Suliman S. Olayan School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). It was the first school of business in Lebanon to earn this accreditation in 2009 (reaffirmed in 2014 and 2019).

Continuing Education programs including Business and Management, Cultural and Humanitarian Studies, Education, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, Health Care (Soft Skills), Media and Communications, Science and Technology are accredited by Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). (Accreditation 2019, Reaffirmed 2022).

Mission Statement

The American University of Beirut (AUB) is an institution of higher learning founded to provide excellence in education, to participate in the advancement of knowledge through research, and to serve the peoples of the Middle East and beyond. Chartered in New York State in 1863, the university bases its educational philosophy, standards and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education. The university believes deeply in and encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to foster tolerance and respect for diversity and dialogue. Graduates will be individuals committed to creative and critical thinking, lifelong learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility and leadership.


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 evangelical 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 traveled 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, Dr. Bliss traveled 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 the 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 June 1999.

Since the earliest years, the university has continually expanded and developed new faculties and programs. In 1867, it started the School of Medicine. Four years later, in 1871, both a school of pharmacy and a preparatory school were added. The latter became independent in 1960 and is now known as International College. In 1900, the university established a school of commerce which was later incorporated into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In 2000, it regained its independence and was later named the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business. When the hospital (currently the American University of Beirut Medical Center) opened in 1905, a school of nursing—today 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 Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture was established in 1951; the Faculty of Agriculture—now the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences—first opened its doors in 1952; and the School of Public Health—now the Faculty of Health Sciences—was founded in 1954.

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.

At the end of June 2018, the number of degrees and diplomas awarded since June 1870 totaled 96,691.

​President​Dr. Daniel Bliss
​PresidentDr. Howard S. Bliss​1902–20
​Acting PresidentDean Edward F. Nickoley​1920–23
​PresidentDr. Bayard Dodge​1923–48
​PresidentDr. Stephen B.L. Penrose, Jr.​1948–54
​Acting PresidentDr. Constantine K. Zurayk​1954–57
​PresidentDr. J. Paul Leonard​1957–61
​PresidentMr. Norman Burns​1961–65
​PresidentDr. Samuel B. Kirkwood​1965–76
​Interim PresidentDr. James Cowan​1976–77
​PresidentDr. Harold E. Hoelscher​1977–81
​Acting PresidentMr. David S. Dodge​1981–82
​PresidentDr. Malcolm H. Kerr​1982–84
​Acting PresidentDr. Samir K. Thabet​1984
​PresidentDr. Calvin Plimpton​1984–87
​PresidentDr. Frederic P. Herter​1987–93
​PresidentDr. Robert M. Haddad​1993–96
​PresidentMr. David S. Dodge​1996–97
​PresidentDr. John Waterbury
​PresidentDr. Peter F. Dorman
​President​Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri
​2015 –

Marquand House, completed in 1879, is the campus residence of the president of the university. All presidents have lived there during their presidencies, except for Dr. Calvin Plimpton, Dr. Frederic Herter, Dr. Robert Haddad and Mr. David Dodge.

Three presidents died while in office: Dr. Howard Bliss, Dr. Stephen Penrose and Dr. Malcolm Kerr. Dr. Kerr, the ninth president, was assassinated outside of his College Hall office on January 18, 1984.

Location and Climate

The university is situated in Beirut, Lebanon, at the crossroads of the Middle East. The campus on the Ras Beirut peninsula stretches along the Mediterranean shore and overlooks St. George’s Bay toward northern Lebanon and the snow-capped mountains to the east. The campus of around 61 acres has 64 buildings, including faculty and administrative buildings, five libraries, three museums, the Charles W. Hostler Student Center, two men’s and five women’s dormitories, and the Medical Center. The luxuriant flowers, shrubs and trees make it one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.

Lebanon enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is pleasant and sunny for eight months of the year. The winter rainy season from November to March, however, is at times damp and cold. Although most Beirut buildings are centrally heated, warm clothing is recommended for the winter months. The average annual rainfall of 86 cm (34 inches) comes chiefly in the winter when the temperature may drop below 7˚C (50˚F).

Academic Services

Archaeological Museum

Founded in 1868, the university Archaeological Museum is the third oldest museum in the Near East. It was established with a donation from General Cesnola, the American Consul in Cyprus, and the collection has since grown steadily. In 2006, the museum was completely renovated with the construction of an additional mezzanine and an extensive reorganization through a chronological and thematic treatment of its collections. Today the museum exhibits a wide range of artifacts (15,000 objects; 10,000 coins) from Lebanon and neighboring countries. It traces humankind’s progress in the Near East from the Early Stone Age to the Islamic period. The collections on display provide educational benefits to students and scholars in Near Eastern archaeology.

The museum runs a research program including field excavations and publications of museum collections. Several types of educational activities (e.g., lectures, exhibitions, children’s programs, trips) are also organized in collaboration with the Society of the Friends of the Museum, which also runs the Museum Shop. The museum may be enjoyed by the public free of charge.

Opening hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. The museum is closed during official and AUB holidays.

Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

The Office of Information Technology (IT) is AUB’s and AUBMC’s central information technology service provider. The IT strives to provide members of the AUB community with secure, state-of-the-art and cost-effective information technology solutions that empower stakeholders to excel in the pursuit of their goals and in achieving leadership in education, research, healthcare and campus life. IT performs its duties in a team- empowered environment with agility, integrity, transparency, innovation and excellence as its core values. IT is composed of specialized departments that are responsible for revamping, implementing, deploying, supporting and maintaining systems and technology services aimed at enhancing user productivity through seamless access to services and resources. The IT departments implement innovative solutions focusing on functionality, flexibility, manageability, standardization, security and safeguarding data. The Office of Information Technology manages, through its various departments, the hardware, software, intranet and Internet, applications and services supporting many of the university’s academic, research, student life, healthcare and administrative functions. These include the student information system and other student services applications, Faculty Management Information System, data analysis and dashboards, academic technology services, the library information systems, the financial information systems, the asset management and maintenance system, the learning management system (Moodle), and the integrated hospital information system amongst many other enterprise services such as email and file sharing. The smooth and efficient functioning of these systems is overseen by a team of professional and experienced IT staff. You can view the services provided by the IT organization by visiting:

Intranet and Internet Services

IT provides a wired and wireless network infrastructure ensuring secure, reliable and widespread access for AUB users across the entire campus and hospital, including all dorms and faculty apartments. AUB students can connect to the AUB network from public computer labs or personal laptops and mobile devices via the campus-wide wireless network using any web browser. Students can access many web enhanced courses and online material that they are registered in.

With an AUBnet account, all students, faculty and staff have full access to Internet, email, personal websites and other services such as network printers, intranet applications and the High Performance Computing (HPC) system.

AUB also offers the Eduroam service that allows students, faculty and staff to access the Internet from other universities around the globe, which are members of the Eduroam network, using their AUBnet account.

Computer Labs

There are several computer labs on campus which provide access to the Internet and a variety of other resources (such as printers) and applications (such as SPSS).

Students may also request access to servers hosting applications such as Microsoft Office, special software for statistics and graphics, and various programming languages.

Microsoft Office

All current students can download the Microsoft Office 365 suite of applications on up to 10 devices (5 laptops and 5 mobile devices) free of charge. For more details, visit

Mobile App

AUB offers a mobile app that allows students to check course holds, grades, schedule, deadlines, academic calendar as well as program offerings. The mobile application also facilitates search for library books and articles as well as access to e-learning (Moodle), Instructor Course Evaluation (ICE) and the latest issue of MainGate.

IT Help Desk

Friendly and knowledgeable IT help desk specialists are always ready to support students, faculty and staff. For IT-related support, contact the IT help desk by email at, dial ext. 2260, or visit one of the many IT support locations on campus in person anytime Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm (7:30am-3:00pm during summer hours). For more information, visit our website:

Medical Center

The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) is a private, non-profit, in- patient and out-patient teaching facility of the Faculty of Medicine. As a state-of-the-art tertiary/quaternary medical facility, it operates 386 beds, serving 34,282 in-patients per year, and an out-patient facility receiving 332,310 visits (254,350 private; 28,809 general outpatient department; and 49,151 emergencies) per year. It provides a wide spectrum of medical, nursing and paramedical training programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in different specialties and subspecialties with 407 residents and fellows (63 Fellows, 2 PGY VII, 16 PGY VI, 45 PGY V, 68 PGY IV, 78 PGY III, 81 PGY II, 117 PGY I). It is served by 340 predominantly US-trained highly-credentialed physicians. AUBMC is considered the primary and tertiary/quaternary referral medical center in Lebanon and neighboring countries. It is fully equipped and hosts a number of centers of excellence.

IT Medical Center Processes and Systems

The IT Medical Center Processes and Systems (IT MCPS) department serves the Faculty of Medicine and AUBMC communities by providing IT servers and solutions to address business, clinical and financial automation needs. AUBMC is presently going through a fast-paced process re-engineering effort focused on improving medical care through enhancements of its business and clinical operations in line with JCI and MOH accreditation standards. Information technology plays an essential role in achieving these goals.

Major areas of the Medical Center now have IT solutions. The current homegrown Hospital Information System (HIS) is comprised of dozens of business, clinical and financial applications accessible through a web portal although they may have been developed on different platforms. This architecture has allowed AUBMC to gradually use new technologies to significantly improve operations. This has also facilitated the ability to integrate with procured third party solutions.

The IT MCPS team continues to leverage emerging technologies to creatively meet the growing needs by expanding, upgrading or building new solutions until a new HIS is purchased.


AUB libraries consist of Jafet Memorial Library (the central library of the AUB campus), the Engineering and Architecture Library, Saab Memorial Medical Library, and the Science and Agriculture Library, with its annex AREC (Farm) Library.

The Library has a long history in Lebanon and the region as reflected in the rich collections it houses. These collections include 450000 print books, 1450000 electronic books, 5000 print periodicals, 600000 volumes of electronic serial backfiles, and over 1.1 million audiovisual items of all formats, many of which are microforms of a substantial number of local and regional journals and newspapers dating back to the late 19th century. The Archives and Special Collections unit contains 800 linear feet of archival material; 1800 manuscripts (mostly in Arabic); 10000 volumes of AUB theses, projects and dissertations dating back to 1907; 5000 posters; 1000 postcards; and 2000 maps; as well as 75000 photographs of unique and historical nature. The Archives and Special Collections also includes over 10000 rare books. The Library subscribes to 350 electronic databases and provides access to 190000 electronic periodicals. The print and electronic collections of the Library are developed and enriched on a regular basis to support the academic and research programs of the university.

All four libraries have their own student computer labs and share a state-of-the-art electronic classroom. Secure and reliable wireless connections are available in all four libraries, and staff in all of them provide customized reference and instruction services via emails, walk-ins, social media, and in classes; through an active program of user education, which promotes a culture of information literacy at all levels. Researchers from Lebanon, the region and beyond continuously seek out the libraries for their unique, rich, and historical collections, particularly on Lebanon and the Middle East.

The libraries employ 35 professional staff, 50 support staff, and dozens of student assistants. Jafet Library opens a total of 109 hours per week and 24/7 during reading and exam periods. The Science and Engineering Libraries open 90 hours per week.

The Saab Memorial Medical Library (SML) is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Nicholas Saab (AUB School of Medicine graduate, 1959). The Library has been functioning in its present quarters as part of the Medical Center since 1975 and qualifies as one of the best medical libraries in the Middle East. Its collection consists of 5000 e-textbooks and 40000 books, of which over 2000 are of historical value (such as Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine, 1593). SML acts as a hybrid library that is constantly increasing its e-resources while maintaining traditional services. It has all of the most important medical and allied health databases and provides access to all core medical and health sciences journals. In 1978, SML was designated by the World Health Organization as the National Focal Point for Lebanon. The Library has a special collection called the Lebanese Corner, which includes publications about Lebanon or by Lebanese authors, in the fields of medicine and other health related topics. Although SML services are provided mainly to AUB members, it also provides services to all other medical and allied health users throughout Lebanon. The Library opens for a total of 109 hours per week. With its rich, up-to-date medical collection, SML aims to promote research, education and patient care in the medical and allied health fields. SML provides training to medical librarians and healthcare professionals in Lebanon and the region.

Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA)

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) coordinates institutional assessment and research activities. It is responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of accurate and timely information about the university’s environment and performance. This information supports institutional management, operations, decision-making, planning functions and assists to achieve excellence in student learning community service.

The office also develops and conducts assessments for various purposes at institutional, regional and international levels.

More specifically, the functions of OIRA are to

  • coordinate assessment and evaluation of university programs and processes (e.g., registration, admission, advising) to support planning, decision-making and improvement;

  • formulate and implement data-gathering activities such as surveys, interviews and focus groups for a wide variety of internal (e.g., accreditation) and external (e.g., comparison with peer institutions) uses;

  • develop, administer and report assessments required by the university for admission, placement and other educational purposes;

  • develop and administer comprehensive assessment plans for student support programs like USP and Mastercard;

  • serve as a testing center for various international administrations and organizations (e.g., ACT,ETS, IELTS, FRM, CFA, etc.);

  • administer instructor and course evaluations, and provide feedback to faculty members to improve teaching and 360 degree evaluations;

  • develop recruitment batteries for organizations;

  • and provide consultancies to institutions of higher education on the development of assessment plans and quality assurance systems.

Office of University Advancement

The Office of Advancement develops and strengthens relationships with key AUB constituencies around the world to advance the mission of the university. Through strategic communications, the office helps to position the university by engaging alumni, supporters and influential friends; and by securing philanthropic donations, volunteer involvement and other support. The office champions the university’s fundraising priorities including increasing financial aid; reinvigorating liberal arts education; promoting interdisciplinary research relevant to the region; advancing academic programs, building projects and fulfilling the AUBMC 2020 Vision that will reinforce the position of the Medical Center as the leading provider of health care, medical education and related research in the region. The office works closely with the Worldwide Alumni Association of AUB on relations with AUB’s more than 66,000 alumni. The Office of Advancement includes Development, Alumni Relations and Advancement Services.

In 2016-17, AUB launched its most ambitious fundraising campaign that coincided with the university’s 150th anniversary.

Non-Discrimination Notice

AUB is committed to the principle of equal opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national or ethnic identity, sex, gender or gender identity, marital status, disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, alienage or citizenship status, political affiliation, or any legally protected characteristic, in its programs and activities to the fullest extent permitted by Lebanese law. This includes prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the university’s Equity/Title IX Coordinator at or +961-1-350000 ext. 2514, or to the Office of the President, College Hall, 5th Fl., Beirut, Lebanon. You may also contact one of AUB’s Deputy Title IX Coordinators representing each faculty/school and several key units. A list is available at Student inquiries related to disability accommodations or special learning needs should be addressed to the Accessible Education Officer in the Office of Student Affairs at accessibility@aub. or ext. 3246. For AUB’s full policies, visit

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