There are three ways a student can join the University Honors Program:
- As an incoming freshman to American University
- As an incoming transfer student to American University
- As an enrolled American University student, not currently in Honors
There is no separate application for admission to the University Honors Program.
Admission to the Honors Program is highly competitive, and the academic qualifications of each student are carefully considered. While strong high school grades and standardized test scores certainly weigh heavily, more important is evidence of a strong motivation to learn several things well and a demonstrated passion for a particular subject. Strong candidates for the Honors Program are self-motivated and find ways to connect their interests, school work, and the real world.
Qualifying transfer students who have been admitted to AU will be invited to join the University Honors Program, without having to complete a separate application.
Freshman and sophomore transfer students who are not initially accepted into the University Honors Program, but who demonstrate academic excellence (a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher at AU and/or evidence of rigorous coursework), may complete the self-nomination process (explained below), following one semester at American University.
Students who are not invited to join the University Honors Program upon admission to American University, but who, once here, demonstrate academic excellence (a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher, rigorous coursework, innovative research, etc.), may nominate themselves for admission to the program, typically after completing two full-time academic semesters at AU.
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.