American University

The Women & Politics Institute advances the study and discussion of women and politics, promotes opportunities for women in politics, and trains young women to become political leaders. The Institute offers Graduate and Undergraduate Certificates in Women, Policy, and Political Leadership (WPPL) that provide students with the opportunity to take courses taught by nationally recognized experts within their fields, to work in career building internships with women’s organizations and in the offices of women members of Congress, and to attend leadership workshops and lectures featuring distinguished women leaders.

Featured Events

Projects & Campaigns

  • Graduate and Undergraduate Certificates in Women, Policy and Political Leadership (WPPL) – This 15-credit hour program provides students with the information and skills they need to be involved in issues in women and politics. The program combines traditional courses that provide students with the theoretical and methodological foundation in the study of women and politics in addition to interactive weekend seminars that feature leading experts in the field working on women’s issues.
  • Campaign College: AU Women to Win is the first program in the nation to train college women to run for elected office and to participate in student government on their campus. Campaign College provides students with the necessary skills to be involved in campus politics and hopes to inspire future women candidates for local, state, and national office.
  • WeLEAD: Women bringing women to the power center. Run by the Institute’s Young Women Leaders Board, WeLEAD is the only training in the country that specifically works to increase the number of women working in political professions such as congressional and administrative staffing, campaign consulting, and lobbying, as well as encourages young women to run for office. The Young Women Leaders Board is a bipartisan group of women in their late twenties and early thirties who work in politics and actively mentor the participants in the program.
  • Women As Leaders – Women as Leaders programs provide delegations of international women elected officials, political activists, business leaders, and judges with the opportunity to meet their U.S. counterparts for cross cultural exchanges. Trainings with women judges have included meetings with U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Other delegations have met with several women members of Congress. These meetings have fostered strategic international cooperation and a better understanding of issues that face women globally.


Reports & Resources

  • O’Connor, Karen, Sarah E. Brewer, and Michael Philip Fisher. 2006. Gendering American Politics: Perspectives from the Literature. New York: Longman.
  • McGlen, Nancy, Karen O’Connor, Laura van Assendelft and Wendy Gunther Canada. 2004. Women, Politics, and American Society. 4 th Edition. New York: Longman.
  • O’Connor, Karen and Larry Sabato. 2008. American Government: Continuity and Change. 8 th Edition. New York: Longman.
  • O’Connor, Karen. Editor. 2005. Women and Congress: Running, Winning, and Ruling. New York: The Haworth Press, Inc.
  • Brewer, Sarah E. Editor. 2007. Women and Political Leadership Monograph: Perspectives from Men and Women in Politics. Washington, D.C.: Women & Politics Institute.