Expand AU Menu

AU Honors | Admission


  1. Prospective Freshmen
  2. Currently enrolled American University students

1. If you are a prospective freshman to American University...

You are eligible to apply to enter the AU Honors Program through a supplement to the Common Application.

The program seeks students from every major so that we can create a fully interdisciplinary team of 45 students. 

Grades and standardized scores are important, but most important is demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Ultimately, we are looking to build a strong team, a cohort of 45 students who can work well together on the projects they will pursue through this one-of-kind program.

The selection process for the AU Honors Program will consist of two rounds. The first round requires a 500-word essay on the topic of a proposed AU Honors course. Click here to access the AU Honors application. Applicants selected for the second round will be asked to submit additional essays.

Students can apply to the AU Honors Program and to the University College, or a three-year program such as Global Scholars, Public Health, or Politics, Policy, and Law. Students can only enroll in one of them, however, because each has its own living-learning community and a different curriculum.

All Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars also participate in the University Honors Program.

There is no advantage to applying Early or Regular Decision. We will determine and announce in April who is in the University Honors Program, so all applicants are evaluated equally.

For an overview of the program, including information on scholarships and courses click here.

2. If you are an enrolled American University student, not currently in Honors...

You are eligible to self-nominate into the University Honors Program if you entered the university in Fall 2013 or earlier. 

We will accept applications through September 14, 2015. 

You may apply after two semesters at American University through the self-nomination process. To be eligible to apply, you must have a cumulative GPA of a 3.60 or better and evidence of achievement in rigorous coursework. You must also have at least four semesters remaining in residence as an undergraduate.

To complete the self-nomination process:

  • Complete the self-nomination form
  • Attach an unofficial copy of your academic transcript
  • Enclose a copy of your resumé
  • Request a letter of recommendation from an AU professor. Once you complete your self-nomination form, your professor will have a chance to attach their letter of recommendation.

Upon receipt of all documents, the University Honors Program will contact you to arrange a meeting with the University Honors Program director. At that time, program requirements, including the number of Honors course credits you will need to complete, will be outlined. Typically, students who self-nominate into the program are required to complete fewer than the 30 Honors credits mandated for Honors students who are admitted as freshmen, but at least 21, including 12 upper-level Honors credits.