Trisha Shetty (Editor)

American University of Beirut

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

$500 million

Bliss, Beirut, Lebanon

Undergraduate tuition and fees
16,512 USD (2011)

Number of students



Muhamad Harajli

+961 1 350 000

American University of Beirut

Former name
Syria Protestant College (1866-1920) American University of Beirut (1920-present)

That they may have life and have it more abundantly.

Notable alumni
Ray R Irani, Najib Mikati, Zaha Hadid, George Habash, Selim Hoss

Lebanese American University, Saint Joseph University, Lebanese University, Beirut Arab University, University of Balamand


The American University of Beirut (AUB); Arabic: الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت‎‎) is a private, secular and independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. Degrees awarded at the American University of Beirut (AUB) are officially registered with the New York Board of Regents.


The university is ranked as the number one university in Lebanon and among the top 250 universities in the world by the QS World University Rankings.

The American University of Beirut is governed by a private, autonomous Board of Trustees and offers programs leading to Bachelor's, Master’s, MD, and PhD degrees. It collaborates with many universities around the world, notably with Columbia University, George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, DC; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the University of Paris. The current president is Fadlo R. Khuri, M.D..

The American University of Beirut (AUB) boasts an operating budget of $300 million with an endowment of approximately $500 million. The campus is composed of 64 buildings, including the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC, formerly known as AUH – American University Hospital) (420 beds), 5 libraries, 3 museums and 7 dormitories. Almost one-fifth of AUB's students attended secondary school or university outside of Lebanon before coming to AUB. AUB Graduates reside in approximately 100 countries worldwide. The language of instruction is English.


On 23 January 1862, W.M. Thomson proposed to a meeting of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions that a college of higher learning, that would include medical training, should be established in Beirut with Daniel Bliss as its President. On April 24, 1863, while Dr. Daniel Bliss was raising money for the new college in the United States and England, the State of New York granted a charter for the Syrian Protestant College. The college, which was renamed the American University of Beirut in 1920, opened with a class of 16 students on December 3, 1866. Dr. Bliss served as its first president, from 1866 until 1902.

AUB alumni have had a broad and significant impact on the region and the world for many years. For example, 19 AUB alumni were delegates to the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945—more than any other university in the world. AUB graduates continue to serve in leadership positions as presidents of their countries, prime ministers, members of parliament, ambassadors, governors of central banks, presidents and deans of colleges and universities, leading academics, businesspeople, scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, and nurses. They work in governments, the private sector, and in nongovernmental organizations.

During the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) AUB pursued various means to preserve the continuity of studies, including enrollment agreements with universities in the United States. On 18 January 1984, AUB President Malcolm H. Kerr was murdered.

On March 21, 2008, the Board of Trustees selected Peter Dorman to be AUB's 15th president. He succeeded John Waterbury who was president of AUB from 1998 to 2008. Dorman is an international scholar in the field of Egyptology and formerly chaired the University of Chicago's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

On March 19, 2015, the Board of Trustees formally approved the nomination of Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, as the next president. He was officially appointed as AUB's 16th president after holding an inauguration ceremony on Monday February 25, 2016.

As of June 2011, the total number of degrees and diplomas awarded totaled 82,032.


The 61-acre (250,000 m2) American University of Beirut campus is on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on one side and bordering Bliss Street on the other. Based in one of Lebanon’s few geographic locations, AUB’s campus in Ras Beirut consists of 64 buildings, seven dormitories and several libraries. In addition, the university also houses the Charles W. Hostler Student Center, an Archaeological Museum as well as the widely renowned Natural History Museum. Students also benefit from a range of recreational and research facilities, such as the 247 acre research farm and educational complex hosted by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences' AREC (Agricultural Research and Education Center) in Beqaa, Lebanon.

Faculties and schools

  • FAFS, Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences
  • FAS, Faculty of Arts & Sciences
  • FEA, Faculty of Engineering & Architecture
  • FHS, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • FM, Faculty of Medicine,
  • HSON, Rafic Hariri School of Nursing
  • OSB, Suliman S. Olayan School of Business
  • Students

    During the fall of the academic year 2013-2014, the American University of Beirut had 8,315 registered students:

  • 6,676 undergraduates (7.4% in FAFS, 41.1% in FAS, 31.7% in FEA, 2.8% in FHS, 2.4% in HSON, and 14.5% in OSB)
  • 1,639 graduate students (4.8% in FAFS, 25.3% in FAS, 20.2% in FEA, 9.2% in FHS, 25.9% in FM, 3.8% in HSON, and 10.8% in OSB)
  • 75.7% of the students are Lebanese, 10.2% come from other Arab countries, 6.4% from the USA, and 2.8% from Europe.

    By the academic year 2015-2016, the total number of students studying in AUB surpassed 10,000 students.


    In 2007, the American University of Beirut reintroduced PhD programs. Currently, it offers doctoral programs in the following programs:

  • Arab and Middle Eastern History
  • Arabic Language and Literature
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Research in the American University of Beirut is also carried by 28 centers and institute in a variety of fields.

    Medical center

    The AUB Medical Center (AUBMC) is the private, not-for-profit teaching center of the Faculty of Medicine. The AUB Medical Center (AUBMC), which is accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCIA) on hospital accreditation, includes a 420-bed hospital and offers comprehensive tertiary/quaternary medical care and referral services in a wide range of specialties and medical, nursing and paramedical training programs at undergraduate and post-graduate level. Since 1905, AUB’s medical services have included a nursing school. In 2008, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) invited AUB’s Rafic Hariri School of Nursing to become a full member, making it the first member of the AACN outside the United States. The American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program awarded AUBMC its prestigious Magnet designation on June 23, 2009. AUBMC is the first healthcare institution in the Middle East and the third in the world outside the United States to receive this award.

    On April 4, 2011, the American University of Beirut (AUB) announced an ambitious plan for the development and implementation of a new AUBMC 2020 Medical Complex. The AUBMC 2020 Medical Complex will lead to the growth of the hospital from an approximately 350-bed institution to a 600-bed medical complex that will also include new adult and pediatric hospitals, the creation of specialized centers of excellence in oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular disease, amongst others, as well as an expansion in the existing services and buildings. Another component to AUBMC’s growth, will be the recruitment of top-caliber, highly specialized and accomplished faculty, and the creation of a Heart and Vascular Center and a Multiple Sclerosis Center.

    University museum

    The Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut is the third oldest museum in the Near East with displays covering all periods of history. The museum also carries out archaeological research projects.


    The American University of Beirut (AUB) library system includes two main divisions:

    University libraries

    The university libraries include the Nami Jafet Memorial Library, the Engineering and Architecture Library and the Science and Agriculture Library. The Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC) in the Beqaa Valley also includes an annex to the Science and Agriculture Library.

    The University Libraries are home to a rich collection that consists of:

  • 587,778 volumes
  • 923 periodical titles, of which 244 are in Arabic.
  • 57,679 electronic journals in 206 databases.
  • 1,139,340 audiovisual items of all formats, the majority of which are microforms of a substantial number of local and regional journals and newspapers going back to the early 20th century.
  • 1,398 manuscripts in “Archives and Special Collections”, some of which have been appraised as museum pieces,
  • 7,714 volumes of theses, projects and dissertations going back to 1907,
  • 3,940 posters and 1,902 maps, as well as 46,418 photographs, of a unique and historical nature.
  • Saab Medical Library

    The Saab Medical Library (SML) serves the AUB Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing, in addition to the entire AUB campus.

    Although many library resources are accessible remotely from on and off campus, the libraries themselves are equipped with e-classrooms, computer labs, and wireless connectivity. Trained and experienced library staff conduct classes and workshops throughout the year to introduce and train users to take advantage of the libraries’ collections, information resources, and innovative technologies.


    In October 2002, the American University of Beirut launched a five-year $150 million fund raising campaign called the Campaign for Excellence to celebrate its 140th anniversary in 2006–07. The University raised more than $171 million during the campaign, which ended in December 2007, to upgrade its facilities, strengthen academic programs, enhance faculty recruitment, and increase its financial aid budget. In 2014, the American University of Beirut received its largest single donation of $32 million from Jamal Daniel to help the AUBMC 2020 vision.


    Degrees awarded by the American University of Beirut are officially registered with the Ministry of Higher Education in Lebanon and with the Board of Education in the State of New York. AUB was granted institutional accreditation in June 2004 by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The University’s accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in June 2009.

    In September 2006, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) acted to accredit the University’s Graduate Public Health Program in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). The AUB Graduate Public Health Program is the first CEPH accredited public health program outside the North American continent.

    The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited AUB’s Rafic Hariri School of Nursing for five years beginning October 13, 2007.

    In April 2009, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) granted the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) initial accreditation. AACSB is the leading international accrediting agency for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. Less than five percent of business schools worldwide have earned AACSB International accreditation. AUB's Olayan School of Business is the first business school in Lebanon and the second in the region to receive such accreditation.

    The Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the American University of Beirut received accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) in July 2010, becoming the first university in Lebanon to receive such an accreditation. The accredited programs include the undergraduate BE degrees in civil engineering, computer and communications engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering.

    Board of Trustees

    The American University of Beirut (AUB) is governed by an autonomous Board of Trustees consisting of a wide array of high accomplished personnel, most notably:

  • Ray R. Irani, PhD (Billionaire & Executive Chairman, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Los Angeles, California)
  • Michael I. Fares (Billionaire & Private Investor, London, UK)
  • Carlos Ghosn (Millionaire & President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan; President and Chief Executive Officer, Renault, Paris, France)
  • Dr. David R. Bickers (Vice Chairman for Medicine and Health & Carl Truman Nelson Professor and Chairman, at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center; and Director of Dermatology Service, Columbia Campus, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Manhattan, New York)
  • Saad Hariri (Former Prime Minister of Lebanon)
  • W. Ronnie Coffman, PhD (International Professor College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Cornell University, Ithaca, New York)
  • Philip S. Khoury, PhD (Ford International Professor of History and Associate Provost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • Huda Zoghbi (Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology, and Neuroscience, Houston, Texas)
  • Marwan Muasher, PhD (Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC)
  • Ambassador Frank G. Wisner (International Affairs Advisor at Patton Boggs LLP. New York City)
  • Najib Mikati (Former Prime Minister of Lebanon)
  • Notable alumni

    By January 2013, the American University of Beirut had 58,036 living alumni; 45.6% reside in Lebanon.

    Nineteen former AUB students were delegates to the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945, perhaps the most famous among them was Charles Malik, a Lebanese philosopher, diplomat and president of the United Nations General Assembly from 1958 to 1959. The legal advisor to the Lebanese delegation was Sobhi Mahmassani, a legal scholar and public figure who served on the AUB faculty until 1964. Another notable alumni is Omar Al-Saqqaf, who was the former minister of foreign affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani is an AUB graduate, as is Eliyahu Eilat, a Diplomat, orientalist and ambassador of Israel to the USA.


    American University of Beirut Wikipedia

    Similar Topics