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Coordinates: 33°53′34″N 35°28′40″E / 33.89278°N 35.47778°E / 33.89278; 35.47778

Lebanese American University
Motto To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield
Established 1924
Type Private
Endowment $216.4 million[1]
President Joseph G. Jabbra
Provost Abdallah Sfeir
Students 7,700+
Location Beirut and Byblos, Lebanon

Lebanese American University is an American institution operating in Lebanon. LAU has two campuses, in Beirut and Byblos. LAU offers programs leading to Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees in engineering, arts, and sciences in addition to Doctorates in Pharmacy and in Medicine.



The Lebanese American University’s early days in 1835 find a reminder in an en-graved stone in Beirut’s city center: “Site of the first edifice built as a school for girls in the Turkish Empire.” The engraving refers to the American School for Girls, established in Beirut by American Presbyterian Missionaries. In 1924, the high school added a two-year junior college program. Three years later, the College was separated as the American Junior College for Women, and moved from downtown to Ras Beirut. In 1933, it relocated once again to its present location in Koreitem, West Beirut.[2] The founding institution was a force for the education of women in Lebanon and the Middle East long before most of the world recognized the need and moral obligation to educate women in a collegiate setting.

In 1948-1949, the College expanded into a four-year, university-level institution, and changed its name to the Beirut College for Women. In 1955, the College was chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York and in 1970 the Bachelor’s degree was recognized by the Lebanese government as equivalent to the License. In 1974, fifty years after its founding, the College became co-educational and was renamed Beirut University College.

Adding to the college’s constantly evolving programs, in 1985, the Board of Regents amended the charter to include two branches. In 1987, based on the amended charter, BUC opened its northern branch on the outskirts of the historical port of Byblos in rented buildings in Amsheet. In October 1991 classes started in the newly built campus at Blat overlooking Byblos. It was officially inaugu-rated on July 16, 1992 On January 24, 1987, four scholars at BUC Beirut Campus, Jesse Turner, Alan Steen, Robert Polhill, and Mithileshwar Singh, were abducted from the campus and held hostage. The kidnappers were unknown. In 1991, BUC established a satellite campus in Byblos, 42 kilometres (26 mi) north of Beirut.

In 1994, the college changed its name to Lebanese American University. As of 2007, over 6,400 students were enrolled in the five schools of the University: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Engineering and Architecture, the School of Medicine, and the School of Pharmacy.

In 2009 the university acquired Rizk Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in Lebanon as part of the development of their Medical School and program. LAU has also issues bonds worth $75 million as part of expansion costs that are expected to reach $120 million including the medical complex and the development of the doctoral medicine program. The first class enrolled in fall of 2009 and the program was commenced under the supervision of Harvard Medical International.[3][4][5]

In 2010 the Lebanese American University inaugurated its School of Nursing bringing the total number of schools to seven: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Architecture and Design, School of Business, School of Pharmacy, Medical School, School of Nursing. The new medical complex is under construction in the Byblos campus. The estimated cost of the center is $18 million. [6][7]

In other developments during the 2009-2010 period LAU acquired a land near the Beirut campus that is expected to allow the construction of a total area of 10,000 square meters to allow a new unified Arts and Sciences building. The Frem Civic Center is nearing completion in Byblos while the master plan and infrastructure upgrade is in its final stages in the Beirut campus. Finally the Gibran Khalil Gibran Library in Byblos is in the design process and expected to be built by 2015.[8]

Volunteer Outreach Clinic

The VOC is an assembly of medical doctors and LAU pharmacy students and faculty who provide free diagnosis, medications and counseling to the underprivileged population of the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps. Since 2001, every Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m, the volunteers take time away from their families and personal activities to serve the noble cause of "it is better to give than to receive."[9]


The Beirut campus remains the largest University campus. It has been expanded over the past five years, with a new Business School and the new Riyad Nassar Library. The Beirut campus is home to the School of Business and houses the larger portion of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Byblos Campus 2004

The Byblos campus is home of the four professional schools at LAU: the School of Engineering, the School of Architecture and Design, the School of Pharmacy, and the School of Medicine. The Byblos campus also has houses the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Business.


Since 1949, LAU and its predecessors have operated under a charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. (USNY is a purely administrative body which among other functions accredits colleges and universities in the state.)[10]

On September 21, 2007, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) granted candidacy status to the Lebanese American University. According to President Jabbra he said he felt "very strongly" that LAU would receive full accreditation in 2009.[11][12][13]

LAU's five-year Bachelor in Architecture program is accredited by the French government, which allows the graduates to practice in France and the European Union.[14]

The School of Engineering and Architecture plans to submit its engineering programs for future professional accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in the U.S. in January 2010 once LAU attains full NEASC accreditation. In the academic year 2006-2007, the school started laying out the groundwork for a self-study required by ABET. In addition, the school plans to seek European accreditation for its engineering programs to expand the recognition of our degrees to a global level.

LAU and Harvard Medical International (HMI), the medical-consulting arm of Harvard Medical School (HMS), have signed an innovative 10-year collaboration agreement that will significantly reinforce LAUMS' standing. LAU will also partner with Clemenceau Medical Center (CMS), an affiliate of Johns Hopkins International, and Rafik Hariri University Hospital for the clinical element of the program.[15][16][17]


School of Architecture and Design

The school was inaugurated in Fall 2009 bringing together under its name the 5 disciplines of design offered at LAU. It is expected to broaden to include Fashion Design and Photography majors in the future.[18]

Department of Architecture and Interior Design

The chairperson of the department is Dr.Maroon El Daccache. He received a research doctorate in architecture from the IUAV in 1992.[19] The Architecture program is accredited by the French government allowing the graduates to practice in the European Union.[20] The interior architecture and interior design programs are the only such programs in an American accredited university in Lebanon.[21]

Christopher Burns and Jean-Marc Abcarius of the German architecture design firm Abcarius+Burns are currently teaching various design courses at the university.[22]

School of Arts and Sciences

The mission of the School of Arts and Sciences is stated as follows:

In keeping with the mission of the University, the School of Arts and Sciences strives to promote excellence in teaching and learning, encourage research and other creative endeavors and foster tolerance for diverse viewpoints and honesty in academic, professional and personal affairs of both, faculty and students.

The School of Arts and Sciences is the heart of the Lebanese American University and its oldest school. The School is the home of the liberal arts core, which is at the heart of the mission of the University, and is the major provider of service courses to all Schools at LAU. Indisputably, LAU’s pioneering and reputable programs in computer science, molecular biology, and international affairs in addition to its history in arts and communication, makes it the leader in the field; a fact that has always been echoed by the University’s graduates and their employers. Furthermore, despite its currency in research, teaching remains at the core of the mission of the School. The School houses the Computer Science and Mathematics Department, the Natural Sciences Department, the Social Science Department, the Education Department, and the Humanities Department. The school administers the Software Institute, the Peace and Justice Institute, the Institute for Migration Studies, and the Institute for Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation. The school is also organizes various conferences and talks concerning contemporary issues in specified fields.[23][24][25]


The School has 114 full-time faculty members of whom 86.6% have terminal degrees. The Dean of the School in Beirut is Dr.Samira Aghacy and the Dean of the School in Byblos is Dr.Fouad Hashwa.[26][27]

In 2009 326 undergraduate degrees were granted as well as 56 masters degrees and 27 teaching diplomas.[28]


Computer Science and Mathematics

The mission of the Computer Science and Mathematics at LAU is "to provide students with the ability to integrate the theory and practice of computing in the representation, processing, and use of information while upholding tradition of the liberal arts education." The Department offers Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and a Master of Science in Computer Science. The Department has recently added a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and a minor in actuarial studies. The Department has initiated the ABET accreditation process in Spring 2008, and has set up a two-year schedule to complete the assessment of all courses in the program and the self-study. The Department plans to apply for ABET accreditation on January 2010 and expects to receive it by Spring 2011.[29][30]

Humanities and Social Sciences

The Department offers degrees in Graphics Design and Communication. The Department prepares and houses annual student play productions and major play productions, and concerts with local and international musicians.

Natural Sciences

The Department offers degrees in chemistry, biology, and molecular biology. As part of its life sciences emphasis, the Department has established the "Genomics and Proteomics Research Unit".

School of Medicine

The Medical School had its first class in September 2009 inaugurating under the supervision of Harvard Medical International. [31][32]

Offered Degrees

School of Arts and Sciences

The school offers five graduate degrees, fourteen undergraduate degrees, seven minor programs, and a teaching diploma divided under six departments as follows:

Department of Communication Arts

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts[33]

Department of Computer Science and Mathematics

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science[3][34]

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education[4][35]

Master of Science in Computer Science[5][36]

Minors in Actuarial Studies, Computer Science, and Mathematics.[37]

Department of Education

Bachelor of Arts in Education[6][38]

Bachelor of Arts in Teaching of Arabic as Foreign Language[7][39]

Bachelor of Arts in Teaching of English as Foreign Langauge[8][40]

Master of Arts in Education[9][41]

Teaching Diploma[10][42]

Department of Humanities

Bachelor of Arts in English[11][43]

Master of Arts in Comparative Literature[12][44]

Department of Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Biology[13][45]

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry[14][46]

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition[15][47]

Master of Science in Molecular Biology[16][48]

Minors in Biology and Chemistry.[49]

Department of Social Sciences

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science[17][50]

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/International Affairs[18][51]

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology[19][52]

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work[20][53]

Master of Arts in International Affairs[21][54]

Minors in Sociology[55] and Political Science/International Affairs[56]

School of Business

A.A.S. in Business Management

B.S. in Business, Economics, and Hospitality and Tourism Management

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Executive MBA

Endorsed Internal Auditing Program (EIAP)

School of Architecture and Design

B.A. in Fine Arts[57]

B.S. in Graphic Design[58][59][60][61]

B.S. in Interior Design[62]

B.A. in Interior Architecture[63]

Bachelor of Architecture[64][65][66]

Minor in Computer Graphics[67]

Minor in Islamic Art and Architecture Design[68]

Minor in Graphic Design[69]

School of Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering

School of Pharmacy

Complete Pharmacy curriculum

School of Medicine

Built and designed with significant input from Harvard Medical International (now Partners Harvard Medical International). The LAU School of Medicine commenced with its first class in September 2009.

School of Nursing

The School of Nursing will start admitting students in 2010. Students will receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), after a three-year program.


Riyad Nassar Library (Beirut Campus)

The Riyad Nassar Library has over 250,000 information records, 960 current periodical subscriptions and four special collections.[70]

The library covers an area of 8,000 square meters and has over 140 desktop computers. It also offers 11 laptops for borrowing inside the library. These can be easily used with the wired tables and wire-less enviroment. It is the first regional Library to work seriously on transformation the larger portion of its subscriptions to online subscriptions adopting to the contemporary trends of library use and satisfying the needs of today's student. The library gives the Alumni access to all its collections and also gives the public access to a considerable number of online compilations. Currently the researches of former LAU students are in the process of being assembled on-line for access to students and the general public. The library boasts smart classrooms as well as an application of the learning commons principle.[71]

The director of the library, Cendrella Habre, has a masters degree in library and information science from the Pratt Institute. [72]

Byblos Campus Library

The Byblos Library has about 113,500 volumes of books and non-book materials and over 700 periodicals — current and retrospective.[73]



  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
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External links

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