Expand AU Menu

Financing Your Education

Questions?

  • Graduate Admissions
    (202)-885-2040
    gradcomm@american.edu
    McKinley, Room 111

Mailing Address
SOC offers graduate fellowships in partnership with DC's leading media organizations.

SOC offers graduate fellowships in partnership with DC's leading media organizations.

The School of Communication offers graduate students both merit-based and need-based financial aid. Merit Awards, named scholarships and fellowships are administered by the School of Communication Graduate Admissions Office while need-based awards are administered by the American University Office of Financial Aid.

Applicants to SOC's full-time graduate degree programs for the fall semester must submit their application for admission and all supporting materials no later than February 1 for merit consideration. American University designated awards are administered by the Office of the Provost and have a deadline of Feb. 1.

Graduate Fellowships | Merit Awards | Named Scholarships | University Designated Awards | Need Based Assistance | Other Resources


Graduate Fellowships 

SOC has partnered with leading DC based media organizations to offer fellowships to graduate students. Fellowships provide varying amounts of tuition remission and stipend and allow students to gain professional experience while completing their graduate program. Available fellowship opportunities. Separate applications required.

 

School of Communication Merit Awards

All merit awards are based on an applicant’s academic merit, specifically the undergraduate grade point average and GRE scores (if required for admissions purposes). Additional work or educational experience will also be taken into consideration. Merit awards are valid for one year, with the award typically being divided evenly between the fall and spring semester. Merit awards vary in amount and are non-renewable.

Graduate Assistantships

This award consists of graduate tuition remission, stipend or both. Tuition remission will range in the number of credits offered. Students offered a stipend must be employed as a graduate assistant for an SOC faculty member in their academic division, for 10 hours per week. Assignment to particular faculty members are typically made during the first week of the fall semester.


Graduate Study Grants

These awards are specific to returning year MFA candidates and may be awarded to students who received merit awards during their first year of study. Graduate study grants consist of graduate tuition remission and/or a stipend, similar to a standard assistantship. Students must be enrolled full-time for both the fall and spring semesters to qualify.

School of Communication Named Scholarships


FILM SCHOLARSHIPS

The Mavis and Sidney John Palmer Scholarship

Professor Chris Palmer, Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and his wife Gail Shearer have established an endowment at American University. The scholarship honors Chris’s parents. Merit scholarships will be awarded annually, to an outstanding graduate student in SOC with an interest in environmental, natural history, or wildlife filmmaking. Scholarship recipients will be selected by a faculty committee. Committee members will review and evaluate a one-page essay from applicants, detailing the student’s aspirations and interest in the field of environmental, natural history, or wildlife filmmaking. Based on this information, the committee will select a scholarship recipient. In Summer 2013, the department will award two scholarships, each for $2,500. Applicants should send their resume and a one-page essay (as described above) to Professor Chris Palmer (palmer@american.edu) by June 28. Download application

Center for Environmental Filmmaking Scholars

Scholars of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking are selected annually to further the Center’s mission to produce the next generation of environmental and wildlife filmmakers.

Three Scholars are selected each year as they embark on their thesis projects. Scholars are chosen during the second year of their graduate program when they have accumulated at least 18 credit hours. Part time students are eligible.

Each grantee receives a total reimbursement of up to $1,500 of actual expenses for his or her thesis film. Expenses eligible for reimbursement must meet American University policies.

The following application requirements and eligibility conditions apply: 1. Scholars must be students in good standing, have a record of excellence in film, video or new media production, and a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Click here for more information.


JOURNALISM SCHOLARSHIPS

The Ed Bliss Scholarship

The Ed Bliss Scholarship was established in 2005 in honor of renowned newsman Ed Bliss, Jr. Ed Bliss was a pioneer in journalism, serving as editor to Edward R. Murrow and founding the journalism program at the School of Communication. Ed’s life and passion for excellence in journalism inspired many SOC students who now hold key positions in print, broadcast and interactive journalism. This prestigious scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student who exemplifies Ed Bliss’ passion for journalism, embodies his respect for journalistic values, and embraces Ed’s commitment to excellence in writing.

  • Awarded to an outstanding incoming graduate student with financial need who exemplifies Ed Bliss’ passion for journalism, embodies his respect for journalistic values, and embraces Ed’s commitment to excellence in writing.
  • Selected by a committee of journalism faculty members, chaired and managed by John Watson, division director. No separate application is required, students are considered at time of admission.


The Robert Allen Bunnell Scholarship

The Robert Allen Bunnell Scholarship is named for journalist Robert Bunnell, MA ’82. Robert attended SOC as a visiting student his senior year and completed his graduate education at SOC in 1982 before his early death at age 38. The scholarship is awarded to an incoming graduate student majoring in Journalism and Public Affairs with both financial need and academic merit.

  • Awarded to an outstanding incoming graduate student majoring in Journalism and Public Affairs with both financial need and academic merit.
  • Selected by a committee of journalism faculty members, chaired and managed by John Watson, division director. No separate application is required, students are considered at time of admission.


The Pauline Frederick Robbins Scholarship

Pauline Frederick Robbins was a trailblazing female network news correspondent who graduated with a BA from American University in 1930. Pauline worked for NBC for 21 years and helped further the role of numerous women in the field of news broadcasting. The Pauline Frederick Robbins Scholarship is awarded to a female graduate student majoring in broadcast journalism who shows outstanding potential in and passion for the field of radio or television broadcasting.

  • Awarded to an incoming female graduate student majoring in broadcast journalism who shows outstanding potential in and passion for the field of radio or television broadcasting.
  • Selected by a committee of journalism faculty members, chaired and managed by John Watson, division director. No separate application is required, students are considered at time of admission.

The Van Swearingen Scholarship

The Van Swearingen Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student, majoring in print journalism, who demonstrates exceptional promise for professional excellence and achievement in their chosen field. This scholarship was made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Earl K. Van Swearingen, friends of American University and ardent supporters of excellence in print journalism and writing.

  • Awarded annually to an incoming print journalism graduate student who demonstrates exceptional promise for professional excellence and achievement in their chosen field.
  • Selected by a committee of journalism faculty members, chaired and managed by John Watson, division director.  No separate application is required, students are considered at time of admission. 

The Gridiron Scholarship

The Gridiron Club & Foundation, founded in 1885, is the oldest and most prestigious journalistic organization in Washington, D.C. Its 65 active members represent major newspapers, news services, news magazines and broadcast networks. In 1958, the club launched the Gridiron Foundation, which makes charitable contributions and provides scholarships. In 2009 the Foundation established the Gridiron Scholarship at the American University School of Communication, in support of the weekend Interactive Journalism Program.  

  • Awarded to an outstanding incoming student on the basis of outstanding professional achievement, academic potential and written recommendations (supplied as part the of application packet for the MA in Interactive Journalism).
  • Selected by a committee of journalism faculty members, chaired and managed by John Watson, division director.  No separate application is required. 

 American University Designated Awards

United Methodist Graduate Scholarships

This scholarship is awarded each academic year to new full-time graduate students who have held membership in the United Methodist Church for at least two years, have strong academic skills, and are either U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The scholarship is applied to tuition charges. For more information visit http://american.edu/provost/gsr/gradstudies.

Massey Foundation Awards

This fellowship is awarded each academic year to one or more incoming Canadian student pursuing graduate studies full-time at American University. The Fellowship is applied to tuition charges. For more information go to the grad studies page.

Need-Based Assistance

Both part-time and full-time students may apply for need-based assistance. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal need-based aid. To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to the processing center by March 1 or as soon thereafter as possible. You can get a copy of this form from AU's Financial Aid office or from most university financial aid offices. AU's Financial Aid office also maintains a comprehensive list of private loans and scholarships. If you do not have Internet access, you may electronically file your FAFSA in AU's Graduate Financial Aid office on the second floor of the Hamilton Building. Please call (202)-885-6100 to schedule an appointment and to find out what information you will need to bring with you.

Employment

Graduate students are encouraged to contact the university's Human Resources office at (202)-885-2639 about student, part-time or full-time employment. For off-campus employment, graduate students should consult American University's Career Center Job Listing Service at (202)-885-1800.

Note: International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa may work up to 20 hours a week, on campus, when classes are in session with the permission of the international student advisor. Students on all other types of visas should check with the International Student & Scholar Services office at 202-885-3350. Please contact the International Student & Scholar Services office for more information on employment options as well.

Internet Links

The following Web sites offer external scholarship information.

International students may also be interested in visiting these Web sites to locate additional sources of financial aid: