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McKinley Building, Room 111

Office of Graduate Academic Services 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Financing Your Education

The School of Communication offers graduate students both merit-based and need-based financial aid. Merit awards, fellowships, and named scholarships are administered by the School of Communication's Graduate Admissions Office. Need-based awards are administered by the American University's Office of Financial Aid. There are also a variety of awards designated directly from American University and many opportunities from external sources. In addition, we support our nation's service members and their dependents through generous veterans' benefits

All merit awards are based on academic merit and professional experience, specifically your undergraduate grades and leadership activities as well as career-related accomplishments.

Merit awards are valid for one year, vary in amount, and are divided evenly between the fall and spring semesters.

Graduate Assistantship is a position offered within the School of Communication that allows students to be mentored by a faculty or staff member, but also requires the students to work 10 hours per week supporting the faculty or staff member. The payment is in the form of a bi-weekly paycheck.

Graduate Tuition Remission is monies awarded to top applicants in the form of a scholarship. The monies are awarded and deducted from your tuition and appear on your student account.

Deadlines
Spring term:
October 15
Fall term:
February 1

The School of Communication offers prestigious merit-based scholarships and fellowships. Fellowships provide varying amounts of tuition remission and stipend, and allow you to gain professional experience while completing your graduate program. 

 

Both part-time and full-time students may apply for need-based assistance, although only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal need-based aid. To apply, you'll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the American University deadline. Please list the American University (AU) FAFSA code, 001434, in the university release section.

We strongly recommend that you complete the FAFSA online, but if you do not have Internet access, you may schedule an appointment with the American University Office of Financial Aid to complete the form electronically there, or submit a paper form if you prefer. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to find out what information you will need to bring with you.

AU's Financial Aid Office also maintains a comprehensive list of private loans and scholarships.

Financial Aid for Prospective Students

Financial Aid Office 
202-885-6500
facousnelor@american.edu
American University 
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Financial Aid for Current Students

AU Central
202-885-8000
financialaid@american.edu
Asbury Building, Room 201
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW 
Washington, DC 20016

Graduate Assistantships

We offer numerous graduate assistantships allowing students to work with and support faculty or staff mentors. Most graduate assistantships do not require additional information from you to apply, however you can apply to these specific assistantships directly.

The School of Communication is seeking a Graduate Assistant to assist the newly created position of SOC Inclusion Officer. The incumbent will work closely with the Inclusion Officer, Inclusion Coordinator, and other SOC staff on specific projects and tasks related to diversity and inclusion. This position will include, but not limited to creating an email newsletter, conducting interviews with staff, students and faculty, assisting the SOC Inclusion Officer and staff members with events, analyzing data, benchmarking, developing communications, online research, and other administrative tasks as assigned. The assistant must work 10 hours per week for 18 weeks. The hours are flexible and most of the work can be done remotely.

Qualifications

  • Passionate about diversity and inclusion issues on AU’s campus
  • Interest in topics related to gender, race, culture, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and identity
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Strong computer and communication skills
  • Detail-oriented organized, and capable of multitasking and prioritizing tasks
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Eligibility

  • Applied and admitted to a graduate program within the School of Communication
  • Enrolled full-time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship, permanent resident or international student

How to apply

Please submit, as part of your application to one of SOC's master's programs, the following documents:

  • An essay, no more than 250 words. Provide concrete examples of how you have contributed to inclusion and diversity issues personally and/or professionally.

Compensation: $4500, paid via a bi-weekly paycheck (taxable income).

The School of Communication is seeking a Graduate Assistant to work with Professor Chris Palmer, Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Distinguished Film Producer in Residence. The incumbent will work closely with Professor Palmer on specific projects and tasks related to the natural world, climate change, biodiversity, wildlife, as well as on other projects that Professor Palmer works on, including IMAX films, weekly speaker events, classes on success, and many other topics. This position will include creating and promoting events, conducting research, drafting articles and speeches, reaching out to donors and celebrities, managing the Center’s website and social media outreach, managing Classroom in the Wild, running the Eco-Comedy Video Competition, raising money, writing a newsletter, and other duties as assigned. The assistant must work 10 hours per week for 18 weeks. The hours are flexible and virtually all of the work can be done remotely.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Enthusiastic, professional, productive, diligent, responsive, creative, efficient, organized, and good-natured
  •  Interested in the natural world and in topics related to environmental issues
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  •  Strong computer and communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence

ELIGIBILITY

  • Applied and admitted to the MA in Film and Media Arts or MFA in Film and Electronic Media
  • Enrolled full time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship, permanent resident, or international student

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit, as part of your application to one of SOC's master's programs, the following documents:

  • An essay, no more than 500 words, describing why you would enjoy working with Professor Palmer on issues related to the natural world and environmental issues, and how this assistantship will help you reach your academic and/or professional goals


Compensation: $4500, paid via a bi-weekly paycheck (taxable income)

The School of Communication is seeking a Graduate Assistant to work with Professor Bill Gentile, Journalist in Residence. The selected student will work closely with Professor Gentile on a variety of projects and tasks related to his Foreign Correspondence class, his FREELANCERS with Bill Gentile documentary series, and AU's membership in the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium, all of which are designed to promote awareness surrounding, and the practice of, foreign correspondence. This position includes conducting research and outreach related to the FREELANCERS series, coordinating and
promoting AU-Pulitzer co-hosted events, working with colleagues in the Foreign Correspondence class, drafting articles and posting on social media, assisting with the competition and the selection of applicants to the AU-Pulitzer Center International Reporting Fellowships, and other duties as need arises. Some travel may be involved. The assistant must work 10 hours per week for 18 weeks. Hours are flexible.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Enthusiastic, professional, productive, diligent, responsive, creative, efficient, organized, and good-natured
  • Interested in current events, foreign affairs, international news and media
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Strong computer and communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence
  • Intermediate visual language skills (shooting/editing photo and/or video)
  • Foreign language skills preferred but not required

ELIGIBILITY

  • Applied and admitted to a master's program within the School of Communication
  • Enrolled full-time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship, permanent resident or international student

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit, as part of your application to one of SOC's MA programs, the following documents:

  • An essay, no more than 500 words, describing why you would enjoy working with Professor Gentile on issues related to the craft of foreign correspondence, foreign affairs and international media, and how this assistantship will help you achieve your long-term career objectives
  • One letter of recommendation

Compensation: $4500, paid via a bi-weekly paycheck (taxable income).

The School of Communication is seeking a Graduate Assistant to work with Professor Caty Borum Chattoo, Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) and Executive in Residence. The Center for Media & Social Impact is an innovation lab and research center that studies, creates and showcases media designed for public good and social change. Focusing on independent, documentary, entertainment and public media, the Center bridges boundaries between scholars, producers and communication practitioners across media production, media impact, public policy, and audience engagement. The Center produces resources for the field and academic research; convenes conferences and events; and works collaboratively to understand and design media that matter.

The graduate assistant will work closely with Professor Chattoo on specific projects and tasks related to media and social change, as well as other research and creative initiatives focused on this topic. This position will include supporting scholarly and public research through writing, archival research and editing; producing original editorial articles for CMSI's Media That Matters blog; supporting CMSI's strategic communication efforts in social media and blogging; supporting CMSI events, such as film screenings; producing the bimonthly e-newsletter; and graphic design as needed. The assistant must work 10 hours per week for 18 weeks. The hours are flexible and virtually all of the work can be done remotely.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Self-starter, enthusiastic, professional, productive, diligent, responsive, creative, efficient, organized, good-natured
  • Must have experience meeting deadlines
  • Interested in the role of media for public good and social change
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Proven ability to conduct archival research, via scholarly and news databases (Lexis-Nexis, Proquest)
  • Excellent GPA in undergraduate career (3.6 or higher)
  • Strong computer and communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence
  • Bonus, but not required: (1) Quantitative research skills in communication (via communication undergraduate degree or professional experience), (2) graphic design familiarity/experience (Adobe InDesign)
ELIGIBILITY
  • Applied and admitted to an SOC MA graduate program, with a preference for those in the MA in Strategic Communication program
  • Enrolled full time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship, permanent resident, or international student
HOW TO APPLY

Please submit, as part of your application to one of SOC's master's programs, the following documents:

  • An essay, no more than 500 words, describing why you would enjoy working with Professor Chattoo and the Center for Media & Social Impact, along with a statement of your highlighted professional skills (please consider the qualifications list) and how this assistantship will help you reach your academic and/or professional goals
  • A writing sample that showcases your writing ability; this does not have to be on the topics included above, but should showcase your best work


Compensation: $4500, paid via a bi-weekly paycheck (taxable income)