- Completed application, including essay and CV/Resume
- Application fee of U.S. $70
- Common or Coalition Application AU Writing Supplement (optional, but recommended)
- Academic records for grades 9-12 with official transcripts and certified English translations (if applicable), for
each secondary institution attended
- Two academic letters of recommendation
- Demonstrated English proficiency
- Completed AU Certification of Finances (AU CFIS) form showing at least U.S.$64,707 for first year of study and living expenses*
- Bank letter showing at least U.S.$64,707 for first year of study and living expenses*
- Copy of your passport information page*
- Interruption of Studies Statement if you have already graduated from secondary school at the time of application.
* Only required from students who need a student visa (F or J). Financial documents showing less than U.S.$64,707 will not be accepted. All financial documents must be dated within the past three months to be considered valid.
Click here for sample bank letters, the AU CFIS and Transfer-in forms, and AU cost guide.
No SAT or ACT Needed! AU does not evaluate SAT or ACT scores for students (including U.S. citizens) graduating from secondary schools outside the United States.
Your application and all supporting documents must be received by the respective application deadline.
If you plan to begin your studies in August (fall semester):
Early Decision I (ED I): November 15
Early Decision II (ED II): January 15
Regular Decision (RD): January 15
If you plan to begin your studies in January (spring semester):
All spring applicants October 1
For students living outside the United States, we strongly recommend September 1
Submitting Your Application
Important: Please use a courier service (and keep your tracking number) to send your complete application packet to:
Office of Enrollment
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW STE-218
Washington, DC 20016-8001
Important: You can scan and submit your Bank Letter, AU CFIS form, and TOEFL/IELTS official score report electronically as separate PDF attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no need to mail hard copies if you choose this electronic option.
The Application Form
Complete the application carefully. Please make sure to include your full name exactly as it appears in the machine-readable section of your passport (check the bottom of your passport page). The first three letters stand for your country of citizenship. Omit those three letters when completing the admission application form. Also include date of birth, complete educational history, country of birth, citizenship, current mailing address and a permanent address outside of the United States, even if you currently live or study in the United States.
Your Academic Records
Please have your academic records from each secondary school you attended for the U.S. equivalent of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades sent directly from those schools to American University in sealed envelopes. These records should be submitted in their original language and accompanied by notarized English translations if applicable. Include any examination results such as IB, GCSE, GCE, Bagrut, French Baccalaureate, CAPE Units One and Two, Abitur, Attestat or Secondary School Leaving Certificates.
Certain exam results such as, but not limited to, IB, WAEC, GCE, GCSE and CAPE must come directly to our office from the examination board or authority.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters are required. One must come from a teacher; the second letter may be written by your school's university counselor, your principal or headmaster or another teacher. These letters are confidential. Each letter must be in English. Please have your reference sign or place a school stamp across the sealed flap of the envelope.
AU requires strong English language skills. All freshmen applicants (including U.S. citizens) can prove English proficiency by one of the following:
- Four years of study (grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 or equivalent) in U.S.-accredited or IB, CXC or UK curricula (inside or outside the U.S.), where English is the only medium of instruction AND no ESL courses have been taken;
- Four years of study (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 or equivalent) in selected English-speaking countries* or in the educational systems of these countries* (regardless of location) where English is the only medium of instruction AND no ESL courses have been taken.
*English speaking countries include: UK, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec).
Or via testing:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - TOEFL code 5007
- Internet based test (iBT) score of 80 or higher. Sub-scores for each section of the TOEFL should be 20 or higher. To be considered competitive, a 90 TOEFL iBT score or above is recommended.
- Paper-based test score of 550 or higher (taken on or prior to May 31, 2017), or all paper-based test sub-scores of 20 or higher (taken after May 31, 2017).
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Composite score of 6.5 or higher. Sub-scores for each section of the IELTS should be 6.0 or higher.
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 53 or higher
- SAT Critical Reading score of 530 or higher (taken before 3/1/2016), or SAT Reading Test sub-score of 29 or higher (taken after 3/1/2016)
- ACT English score of 23 or higher
Important: Though English proficiency may be met in one of the above ways, the Office of Admissions may request additional documentation if deemed necessary.
For native speakers of English from the U.S., UK, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec) who list English as their first language on the Common Application, proof of English proficiency is not required, but may be requested.
AU Certification of Finances for International Students (AU CFIS)
Applicants who require a student or exchange visitor visa (F or J) must submit to International Admissions the American University, Washington, DC AU CFIS form (completed by applicant and parent) and a letter issued by a bank showing proof of at least U.S.$64,707 for your first year of studies and living expenses. All financial documents must be dated within the past three months to be considered valid and must be submitted by the application deadline date.
Application packets without the AU CFIS form and bank letter will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Please visit the International Student & Scholar Service's guide on financial documents for the AU Cost Guide, sample bank letters, and Transfer-In forms.
Advanced Credit for IB, AP, A Level, CAPE Secondary Exams
Students may be eligible to receive advanced credit for exams passed during secondary school. If you took IB, A Level, AP, the OIB English, or CAPE Unit Two exams while in school, please visit www.american.edu/admissions/examcredit.cfm for full details on AU exam policies.
Interruption of Studies Statement
If you have already graduated from secondary school at the time of application, please submit a short statement describing your activities since graduation.