The Romanian-American University is a higher education institution, a legal person of private law and public utility, part of the national system of education, founded in 1991, accredited by law in 2002, receiving the qualification “High confidence rating” from ARACIS in 2010, whose mission is to offer high quality education and research, in an intellectually stimulating environment both for students and for the teaching staff.

The Romanian-American University was founded in 1991 whose mission is to promote the educational values of the American academic education given the rich traditions of the Romanian education. The initiative of the establishment of the Romanian-American University belonged to the late Prof. Ion Smedescu, Ph.D., founder of the Romanian-American University and president of the Romanian-American Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture.

The Romanian-American University is an independent institution without being affiliated or sponsored by American University.

Why a “University” (an education institution)

Professor Ion Smedescu was born in the village Obârșia, in Cernișoara region, the Vâlcea county, in a rather modest family, from a financial point of view, but extremely “gifted” from another vantage point, as it had 10 children. At the age of 12, understanding the material difficulties that the family was faced with, Prof. Smedescu deems himself mature enough to make it on his own and chooses to take his life into his own hands, spending some time in an orphanage at Turnu Roşu, only to then study and graduate from the Norma School of Teaching “Andrei Șaguna” in Sibiu, between 1939-1947, getting a teacher diploma.

Subsequently, in 1952, he becomes an economist, after graduating from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Academy of Commercial and Cooperative Sciences/Institute of Economic Sciences and Planning, as the denominations under which the institution functioned at the time).


Since education played a fundamental role in his professional success, in 1991, at the age of 67, Professor Ion Smedescu decides to set up the Romanian-American University, thus returning to society some of what he received from it in his turn, and wishing in this way to offer, over time, an opportunity for professional and personal fulfillment to other children who would perhaps be as destitute as he used to be, but who were just as filled with ambition and determination to succeed in life.

Why “Romanian-American”?

Aware of the Romanian pro-American sympathies and spirit, but also holding the conviction that the most advanced model of education is the North-American one, where over 3000 colleges and universities compete with one another, the most successful of these being the private universities, the founding President, Prof. Ion Smedescu, together with other remarkable co-founders from the Romania of those times, along with a series of friends from the United States, such as Prof.      Steven Bowers or Dr. Ronald Carrier – President of James Madison University for over 27 years, considered as imperative to establish a university of both Romanian and American origins.

The University was set up having as a purpose the promotion of the educational values of the American higher education, against the background of the rich traditions of the Romanian education. In accomplishing this desideratum, the starting point was that in the United States of America higher education stands on the model of the behavior-driven American society based on the efficient organization of activity, resilient sense of duty, the cultivation of work spirit, self-respect and respect for the others, fair competition throughout one’s lifetime, competition with all the others and, last but not least, with oneself”, as Professor Ion Smedescu declared himself.

  • 1991 March 11 » The Assembly of the establishment of the Romanian-American University took place in Bucharest, when its Statute was approved, which stipulated the establishment of 7 schools: School of Domestic and International Business, Banking and Finance, Management, Hotel and Tourism Economy, Computer Science, Medicine and Public Health, Law, Engineering in design and product aesthetics.               
  • 1991 March 28 » the Decision no. 364 of the Ministry of Education and Science approved the establishment of the Romanian-American University.
  • 1991 April 17 » the Ruling no. 295/17.04.1991 of the Court of Law of 1st Sector, Bucharest, “based on art.32 of the Decree 31/1954 and art. 84 et seq. of Law 21/1924” granted legal personality to the Romanian-American University, based in Sos Oltenitei, No 35-37, sector 4. April 17 becomes “Romanian – American University day”. 
  • 1991 June 10 » the assembly for the establishment of the Romanian-American University‘s Senate was held, where the late Prof. Ion Smedescu, Ph.D., was unanimously elected Rector and was appointed “Founding Rector of the Romanian-American University”. Moreover, the first management positions were elected according to the law (vice-rectors, Senate scientific secretary, executive manager, deans) and the curricula, enrolment figures, tuition taxes as per education forms and the enrolment fees for the admission were also approved.
  • July 1991 » the organization of the first admission exam, subsequent to which 1773 students were admitted.
  • 1991 October 1 » the opening ceremony of the first academic year (1991/1992) took place at the Palace Hall. Until 2003 all the opening ceremonies will take place in this location.
  • 1991 December 11 »  the end of 1991 witnessed the enactment and vote of the Constitution of Romania, by means of each private education was legally recognized as part of the national system of education. Under these new provisions, on the initiative of the late Prof. Ion Smedescu, the RAU Rector, on December 11, 1991, the “Romanian-American Foundation for Promoting Education and Culture” (FRAPEC) was established, by the Ruling no.34/22.01.1992 of the Court of Law of 1st Sector, Bucharest. The goal of FRAPEC was “the promotion and dissemination of Romanian cultural and civic education values in America and of American values in Romania”. Among the 27 founding members of FRAPEC there were prestigious university professors, researchers, lawyers, economists, medical doctors etc. The foundation took under its auspices the Romanian-American University, in order to abide by the law in effect and elected the late Prof. Ion Smedescu, the RAU Rector, as President.
  • 1992 – 1993 » years of quantitative and qualitative accumulation for the University. In February 1992, the University’s Center of Scientific Research was established, and in May 1992 the first session of student scientific research presentations was organized, becoming a tradition in time.
  • 1994 – 1995 » the process of temporary authorization, as per the provisions of the Law no. 88/1993 on the accreditation of higher education institutions and the acknowledgement of diplomas.
  • July 1995 »  By GD NO 568/1995 the University obtained the temporary authorization for the following schools: Domestic and International Business, Banking and Finance, Management – Marketing, Domestic and International Tourism Economics, Computer Science for Business Management and Law.
  • October 1995 » The duration of full time studies has been changed from 5 years to 4 years, in accordance with the provisions of Law 84/24.07.1995 (Education Law).
  • 1996 » the first class graduates of the university took the bachelor’s exam at state higher education institutions. Until the accreditation of the university, in 2002, all bachelor exams will be conducted similarly.
  • 1997 » all university schools operate in a single rented location (ISPCAIA, Bd. Expoziției nr. 1).
  • December 1998 » The University submitted to the Ministry of National Education the ”self assessment reports” of the five schools in order to obtain their accreditation.
  • 1999 – 2002 » the development of the accreditation process of the schools and the university, according to the legal provisions in force, an essential stage for the establishment by law. Four years of continuous verifications regarding the fulfillment of the general and specific accreditation standards.
  • 1999 – 2003 » Construction of the Romanian-American University campus.
  • April 1999 » The Romanian government submitted to Parliament a draft law on the establishment of the Romanian – American University.
  • 2000 » The School of European Economic Integration Studies was established, temporarily authorized by the G.D. no. 1215/2000.
  • May 2000 » The Romanian Senate votes the law on the establishment of the Romanian – American University.
  • 2001 » The University is participating for the first time in the European mobility project Leonardo da Vinci.   
  • 2002 April 25 » The Plenum of the Chamber of Deputies adopts the law on the establishment of the Romanian – American University (April 25).
  • 2002 May 15 » Law no. 274 on the establishment of the Romanian-American University as accredited higher education institution is published in the Official Gazette and, implicitly, the accreditation of its 5 schools takes place.
  • September 2002 » the first exam at the completion of the bachelor studies is organized in the Romanian-American University. There will be an institutional monitoring period of 3 years after accreditation, according to OMEC no. 4548/2002.
  • September 2002 » The Ministry of Education and Research approved the organization and development of the first master programs (post-academic studies with a duration of 3 semesters) according to the law.
  • October 2003 » the inauguration of the Romanian-American University’s Campus with the attendance of representatives of the country’s leadership and of the partner American universities.
  • 2004  » The University adheres to the Erasmus Charter.
  • June 2004 » a new legal provision – Law no. 288/2004 on the organization of academic studies – led to a major reform of the structure of the Romanian higher education. The law was enforced starting with the academic year 2005-2006 and concerned the Bologna reform and the transfer to the organization of academic studies per 3 cycles: bachelor-master-doctorate and the generalization of the application of the European Transferable Credit System (ECTS). Law 288/2004 was accompanied by numerous regulations on the organization of university studies in all higher education institutions. Thus, for the field of “Economic Sciences” the structure of university studies was established as follows: 3 years – bachelor programs, 2 years – master programs, 3 years – PhD, and for the field “Legal Sciences” as follows: 4 years – bachelor program, 1 year – master program, 3 years – PhD. The duration of the studies shall be the same regardless the form of education.
  • September 2004 » the temporary authorization was obtained for the part time studies at the schools of Domestic and International Business, Banking and Finance, Management-Marketing, Domestic and International Tourism Economics and Law, according to the law.
  • October 2005 » The university has restructured its educational offer in accordance with the provisions of the Law 288/2004 and other legal regulations, respectively 8 bachelor programs have been created: “International Business” and “Finance and Banking” at the School of Domestic and International Business, Banking and Finance, Economy of trade, tourism and services” at the School of Domestic and International Tourism Economics, “Management” and “Marketing” at School of Management – Marketing, “Computer Science for Economics” at the School of Computer Science for Business Management, “Economics and International Business” at the School of European Economic Studies and “Law” at the School of Law. Six of these bachelor programs also had part time studies, so the university organized, starting with the academic year 2005/2006, 14 bachelor programs.
  • 2007-2010 » according to the provisions of Law 87/2006 – “Education Quality Law” – the University begins a new process of accreditation of the curricula of studies and the institution as a whole: the accreditation of master programs; the accreditation of temporary authorized programs; the temporary authorization of the new bachelor programs; the (re)accreditation under the periodic external evaluation procedure (every 5 years) of all bachelor programs accredited since 2002 and the institutional accreditation of the university in the framework of the periodical evaluation procedure (every 5 years).
  • May 2007 » the consecration of the Chapel inside the university and the awarding of the first title Doctor Honoris Cauza of the Romanian – American University to His Beatitude Teoctist, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
  • 2007 – 2008 » the 5 schools in the economic area of the university became members of the Association of the Economic Schools from Romania (AFER), renowned professional-scientific body including the most valuable higher education economic institutions in Romania.
  • 2007 – 2008 » regular external evaluation (every 5 years) of all accredited bachelor programs (in 2002).
  • February 2008 » accreditation of the bachelor program within the School of European Economic Integration Studies and change the name of the school in School of European Economic Studies.
  • March 2008  » The university creates a new bachelor program – “Accounting and Management Informatics”, organized within the School of Domestic and International Business, Banking and Finance, for which it obtained the temporary authorization.
  • July 2008 » the first promotion “Bologna system” of graduates of the economic schools.
  • June 2008  » certification of the Romanian-American University as research and development unit according to GD 551/2007, by MECT decision no 9692/04.07.2008.
  • September 2008  » The university obtains accreditation for the first 10 Master programs (cycle II of Bologna university studies) in the fundamental field of “Economic Sciences”, designed in accordance with HG 404/2006.
  • October 1 » the university awards the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to professor Ronald E. Carrier, PhD – President Emeritus of James Madison University.
  • 2008 October 5 » Prof. Dr. Ion Smedescu, the Founding Rector of the university passed away.
  • December 2008 »  the election of the professor Ovidiu Folcuț, PhD as Rector of the Romanian-American University.
  • July 2009 » the first promotion “Bologna system” of graduates of the Law School.
  • September 2009 » accreditation of all bachelor programs for part-time studies.
  • October 2009 » accreditation of the first 2 master programs (cycle II of Bologna university studies) in the field of “Law” and 4 more master programs for the economic schools.
  • 2010 July 22 » Following the institutional assessment the ARACIS Board awards the qualification “High degree of trust” – the highest national qualification as regards the quality of educational services rendered by an academic education institution, according to the law.
  • September 2010 » accreditation of 2 more master programs for the economic schools.
  • January 2011 » Law 1/2011 – the national Education Law – appears, which brings major changes to the structure and functions of the teaching, organization and functioning of higher education in Romania.
  • February 2011 » The University diversifies the educational offer through the creation and accreditation of the first two bachelor study programs, exclusively taught in English: “International Business” (School of Domestic and International Business, Banking and Finance) and “Computer science for economics” (School of Computer Science for Business Management).
  • April 2011 » The university awards the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the university to professor dr. Iftekhar Hasan, Cary L. Wellington Finance professor at Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (April 14).
  • April – September 2011  » the process of evaluation for the classification of the university and ranking of the study programs, as per the provisions of the G.D. 789/2011. According to the provisions of OMECTS 5262/2011 on the acknowledgement of the results on the classification of universities, the Romanian-American University is an education focused university. The results of the ranking of the study programs valid for the academic year 2011-2012 were: 2 programs in category Aprograms of excellence (International Economic Relations and Finance), 4 programs in category B and 1 program in category D and E (temporary authorized program).
  • June 2011 » The University awards the title Doctor Honoris Causa to academician Mugur Isarescu, Governor of the National Bank of Romania (June 30).
  • 2012 – 2021 » the resumption of the regular evaluation process for each specialization, form of education and language of instruction, in strict compliance with the 5-year period following the previous evaluation.
  • 2013 » The first international institutional evaluation of the University by EUA-IEP takes place (March – October).
  • ianuarie 2014 » the honoring of the chapel painting in the University and the opening of the reading room “Lux Mundi” by His Beatitude Father Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church (January 16).
  • February 2014 » the purchase of the land and the sports base from the Șos. Stratulesti no. 4-6 – the University’s largest investment after 2004.
  • October 2014 » The university launches the first master studies programs exclusively taught in English: “Finance” – providing a double degree, unfolding in partnership with the University of Siena, and “Strategic Marketing”.
  • October 2014 » another master program is accredited at the Law School.
  • February –the periodic institutional evaluation, at 5 years and the awarding, on August 24, 2015, by the ARACIS Council, the qualification “High degree of trust” for the period 2015-2020.
  • May 2015 » RAU Sports Center opens.
  • July 2015 » accreditation of the bachelor program “Accounting and Management Informatics”.
  • October 2015 » The University launches two more master programs taught in English, accredited: “International Business and Entrepreneurship” and ”Computer Science for Business”.
  • 2017 » diversification of the educational offer by accrediting two more English taught master programs – “Business Management in Tourism and Aviation” and ”International Economic Relations and Economic Diplomacy” – and a Romanian taught master program within the School of Management – Marketing.
  • October 2017 » the establishment of the School of Physical Education, Sports and Kinesiotherapy and the authorization of two new bachelor studies programs: “Physical Education and Sports” and “Kinesiotherapy”. (HG 615/2017)
  • 2019 » the accreditation of the master domain “Accounting” with the master program “Business Management and Audit”.
  • 2020 March 12 ». The university goes into “on-line” learning due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • September 2020 » The University adapts its offer of master programs to the requirements of the market. It includes 16 accredited master programs, of which 6 are taught in English.
  • 2020 October 1 » The University opens “on-line” the academic year 2020/2021. All activities remain “online” in the first semester due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 2021 » The university continues to carry out all activities “on-line” due to the pandemic situation.
  • April 2021 » The Romanian-American University marked three decades since its foundation and in this matter organized an anniversary week with special guests, students, professors, graduates, representatives of the Romanian academic environment, as well as representatives of the business environment.

    The RAU Official Ceremony and the students’ cultural moments took place on a digital platform that offered the participants a unique experience.

  • September 2021 » By earning the highest distinction given to Romanian universities, “High Degree of Trust,” from the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, following the external evaluation process of the academic quality, the Romanian-American University affirms the quality of the education provided and its position of excellence in the Romanian university environment for the third time in a row.

    The Certificate attesting the awarding of the Qualification “High Degree of Trust” for the period 2021–2026 was given to professor Costel Negricea, Ph.D., the Rector of the Romanian-American University, by professor Iordan Petrescu, Ph.D., President of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

  • 2022 » Starting from 2022, students at the Romanian-American University returned to campus to carry out educational and extracurricular activities in a physical format, while also benefiting from a series of activities carried out in a hybrid system.