AUIB | About

A Brief History of the

American University of Iraq - Baghdad

The American University of Iraq – Baghdad (AUIB) is a non-profit University and will officially open its doors in the summer/fall semester of 2019. The University will begin with the English Language Academy (ELA) and soon thereafter with the opening of four colleges including the College of Arts & Sciences (applied sciences, social sciences, and humanities); the College of Business (marketing, finance & banking, and management); the College of Global Affairs & Public Policy (security and strategic studies, international relations, diplomacy, and public policy), and the College of Health Science (pharmacy, nursing, medical analysis, and dentistry). All classes are taught in English and students are required to pass 8 levels of English in the ELA before being admitted to the baccalaureate program. Students may test out of all or part of the ELA if their English speaking and writing skills are of a high caliber.

AUIB began as a dream of influential individuals in Iraq and United States business, industry and government who want to see a world-class institution of higher learning established in Baghdad, reminiscent of the days when the city was an educational and cultural mecca and the flourishing capital of the Muslim world.

Baghdad was once home to the House of Wisdom, a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age. From the 9th to the 13th centuries this prestigious academy attracted scholars from throughout the region. The House of Wisdom - a precursor to modern universities - became a major center of teaching and research in the humanities and sciences with studies conducted in mathematics, chemistry, zoology, geography, astronomy and more. For nearly 500 years the House of Wisdom hosted the cream of the intellectual elite. By the 9th Century the House of Wisdom had grown into the largest repository of books in the world.

The House of Wisdom was destroyed during the sack of the city following the Mongol siege of Baghdad, thus beginning the decline of the Islamic Golden Age. Regardless, Baghdad remained a vibrant, thriving city. There was freedom of expression and cultural and religious tolerance. With its wide tree-lined streets, outdoor cafes, busy food stalls and bookstores, Baghdad was wealthy and proud.

All of this changed in 1980 when the war with Iran began. Until recently, Baghdad was under a near-continuous stage of siege that all but destroyed the city. Today, it is nearly impossible to envision what Baghdad was like during its hey-day. However, the vision of the founders of AUIB is to establish a new university that is now paving the way for a complete revival of Baghdad.


The American University of Iraq – Baghdad will have a transformative impact on Iraq, the Middle East and beyond by distinguishing itself as a diverse learning community offering the highest caliber academic programs and continual innovation in research, creativity, and entrepreneurship.


  • To create a supportive and nurturing intellectual and cultural environment that focuses on problem solving, leadership, communication, and deep disciplinary knowledge.
  • To cultivate a university community strongly committed to cultural and religious tolerance and the free exchange of ideas where education, research and community service can flourish.
  • To impact society in a positive way by encouraging students to learn, discover and create, thereby ensuring all graduates will achieve their full potential.
  • To ensure that excellence is the standard for teaching, scholarship and creative expression and to instill in our students a culture of service that respects the dignity of every person.


Discover. Learn. Inspire. Change.

What does AUIB stand for?

We are committed to the highest levels of ethical conduct.

We will work from a shared vision of excellence built on hope for a better future for all.

We will be consistent in our actions, values, methods, principles, expectations, and outcomes.

We are willing to take risks and act innovatively with confidence and courage that we are making the world a better place. We are bold in our desire to succeed!