Syracuse University


American University Beirut

Program Description


Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut (AUB) bases its educational philosophy, standards, and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education. In 2004, the University was granted institutional accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States. A teaching-centered research university, AUB has about 700 instructional faculties and a student body of around 8,000 students. The University encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to graduate men and women committed to creative and critical thinking, life-long learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership. It is well known for its international study body, which attracts undergraduates and post-graduates from across the region as well as from the US and other Western countries.

AUB currently offers more than 120 programs leading to the bachelor's, master's, MD, and PhD degrees. The University became coeducational in 1922; its student body is now 50 percent male and 50 percent female. The language of instruction is English (except for courses in the Arabic Department and other language courses). The student faculty ratio is 13 to one.

Lebanon & Beirut
Lebanon is a country in Western Asia, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. Before the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), the country experienced a period of relative calm and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, and banking. Because of its financial power and diversity, Lebanon was known in its heyday as the "Switzerland of the East". It attracted large numbers of tourists, such that the capital Beirut was referred to as "Paris of the Middle East." At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.

Until July 2006, Lebanon enjoyed considerable stability, Beirut's reconstruction was almost complete, and increasing numbers of tourists poured into the nation's resorts. Then, the month-long 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah caused significant civilian death and heavy damage to Lebanon's civil infrastructure. However, due to its tightly regulated financial system, Lebanese banks have largely avoided the financial crisis of 2007–2010. In 2009, despite a global recession, Lebanon enjoyed 9% economic growth and hosted the largest number of tourists in its history. During the recent spring 2011 uprisings and protests against dictatorships in the region, Lebanon’s democratically elected government and its citizenry have been able to stay the course.

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon with a population ranging from some 1 million to over 2 million as of 2007. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's coastline with the Mediterranean Sea, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan Area, which consists of the city and its suburbs. Beirut holds Lebanon's seat of government, and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy with its city centre, Hamra, Verdun, and Ashrafieh-based corporate firms and banks. The city is the focal point of the region's cultural life, renowned for its press, theatres, cultural activities, and nightlife. After the destructive Lebanese civil war, Beirut underwent major reconstruction, and the redesigned historic city centre, marina, pubs and nightlife districts have once again rendered it a tourist attraction. By 2009, Beirut was named “ a top place to visit” by The New York Times. In the same year it was also listed as one of the ten liveliest cities in the world by Lonely Planet.

Program Calendar

Fall Semester: mid-September to February
Spring Semester: February to mid-June

Academic Program and Courses

Most Syracuse University visiting students, graduate and undergraduate, enroll courses offered through AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle East Studies (CAMES) program, while they also study Arabic language at all levels. See for a list of courses and course descriptions.

While you can choose courses from this list (or from other course offerings at AUB) please note that enrollment is re subject to space availability and that some classes may have pre-requisites. Therefore, it’s wise to choose substitute courses along with your preferred selection. A normal course load is 12-15 credits and most courses are 3 credits each.

You will also need to get these courses pre-approved for SU credit by appropriate Syracuse departments. Please try to do this before you leave the SU campus. Final course schedules are posted in July for the next academic year.

Living arrangements

The American University in Beirut has sufficient on-campus housing for only about one-fifth of its student body. Study Abroad undergraduate students who do not have family in Beirut are given preference in on-campus housing but on-campus housing cannot be guaranteed. A description of the residence halls can be found at

Off-campus housing is plentiful in the neighborhood surrounding the University (Hamra), as well as in such up and coming neighborhoods as Ain Mreisseh, Achrafiyeh, and Gemmayzeh. The typical cost of a one-bedroom apartment close to campus can ranges from US $800- US $2000 per month.


Travel is not included in the cost of the program. You are responsible for getting to Beirut by the program start date.


All visitors to Lebanon need a valid passport, and all nationalities, except Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals, must obtain a visa to enter the country. Your passport should be valid for a period of not less than 11 months from the date of joining the University. Any indication of having visited Israel, including exit stamps from Jordanian and Egyptian border posts with Israel, will result in students being denied entry to Lebanon. As of the time of this writing, it may be possible for citizens of certain countries (including the U.S.) to obtain a visa upon arrival in the country after paying an appropriate fee tied to the amount of time to be spent in Lebanon. However, it is highly advisable to check with the Lebanese embassy in your home country well in advance of departure day, as regulations may change.

Cost & Aid

You will pay SU tuition and can apply all SU financial aid except work study. Besides tuition, you will also be charged a $550 program fee (fall 2012) which covers pre-departure meetings, International Student ID card and services not covered by tuition and for which a separate fee is not charged. Housing and AUB student fees are billed directly from AUB. You are responsible for round-trip airfare, local transportation, books, personal effects and incidentals. ESF students will be charged Syracuse University tuition for attendance in this program..

How to apply

Applying to this program requires completion of both the SU Abroad and AUB application. All of the application material should be submitted to the SU Abroad office by October 10 for the spring semester and March 10 for the fall semester. As there is a current Department of State Travel Warning for Lebanon, each applicant will be screened and reviewed by an SU committee as part of the admissions process.

Part 1: Syracuse University

  • 1. SU Abroad application online at
  • 2. $70 application fee payable to Syracuse University
  • 3. Study Abroad Approval form – signed by the Dean’s office of your home college
  • 4. One academic recommendation (we can use one of AUB’s recommendations)
  • 5. Interview to be arranged with SU Abroad and other senior SU officials

Part 2: American University in Beirut

Meet with an Advisor

Kristine Clay– – 443-9417