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School of International Service Admissions

Graduate Admissions: How to Apply

A complete application consists of: 

  • an application form and $50 fee
  • statement of purpose
  • resume
  • letters of recommendation
  • transcripts*
  • applicable test scores**

*SIS now allows students to upload unofficial transcripts from most colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions for admission review purposes. This new feature allows most applicants to complete their online application entirely paper-free!

Note: Applicants who attended institutions outside of the U.S. are still required to submit official paper transcripts prior to the application deadline. 

All admitted students will be required to submit official transcripts prior to enrolling.

Please review our comprehensive Transcript Guide for full details on our transcript submission policy.

**Applicants are also encouraged to upload copies of GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score reports to the application. Uploaded copies will be used for internal reference purposes only. Your application will not be considered complete until all required documents, including official test scores issued directly by the testing agency, are received by our office.

Ready to get started?

Begin Online Application

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online. If you apply online you can submit your application form, resume, and statement of purpose electronically. Recommenders can also upload their letters online. Instructions on how to upload recommendation letters are provided in the application form.

If you already have a VIP account use the same user name and password to access the online application. New users who do not have a VIP account must create an account here.

Online Application Materials: You can save and edit your online application as often as you like until you are ready to submit it. Your application cannot be submitted until you have uploaded your resume, statement of purpose and filled in your recommenders' contact information. 

Should your recommenders prefer to send their letters via mail, you must fill out the recommendation cover sheet and send it directly to your recommender to complete. Mailed recommendation letters must be received together with the recommendation cover sheet in a signed and sealed envelope.  

Academic transcripts should be sent directly to SIS Graduate Admissions at the address below.

Download a Hard Copy of the Application Materials

If you choose to mail in your application please submit all of your relevant hard copy materials in one envelope if possible.

Your GRE and TOEFL scores must be sent directly from ETS.

Application Status and Updates: If you have applied online, use your assigned user name and password to log into the customized VIP access page where you can track the status of your application and see information relevant to your program of interest.

Mailing Address: There are several different Graduate Admissions offices at AU, so be sure to submit your materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions at the School of International Service, with the complete zip code: 20016-8071. The address is:

Office of Graduate Admissions
School of International Service
The American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016-8071

Deadlines: Please adhere to all deadlines in order to be considered for merit-based aid. We need to have received your materials by the deadline, so please allow for mail processing.