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Funding Resources

All scholarship award decisions are made by the Dean's office at the School of Public Affairs, in conjunction with the Office of Financial Aid. Unless indicated, no separate application is required; students are considered at the time of admission to the School of Public Affairs. For questions, please contact our Office of Graduate Admissions at 202-885-6230 or spagrad@american.edu.

 

Scholarships & Fellowships

Donor-Funded Scholarships

Anita F. Alpern Scholarship Fund

Scholarship recipients for the Anita F. Alpern Scholarship Fund will be selected based upon merit and commitment to public service. Full or part-time students pursuing an MPA or MPP are eligible. The late Anita F. Alpern joined the faculty of the School of Public Affairs in the late 1970s and served for 20 years as a Distinguished Adjunct in Residence. She taught courses on public administration and administrative ethics in the graduate MPA and Key Executive Leadership programs.

Bernard & Adele Rosen Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to MPA students based on their academic and leadership experience, as well as their interest in applying knowledge and insights developed in the MPA program to a career in government service. Students who are newly entering the MPA program are eligible; a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA is required. This scholarship was established by Dr. Bernard Rosen.

Bernard H. Ross Public Administration Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a student pursuing an MPA or MPP degree. The recipient will show strong academic achievement at the undergraduate level and a record of community service, and will maintain a 3.2 grade point average to renew the award. Established by the School of Public Affairs in recognition of Dr. Bernard H. Ross' 38 years of scholarly service, this scholarship recognizes the impact that Dr. Ross' teaching, research, and publication have had on the field of public administration and public policy and on graduate education at American University.

John D. Young Memorial Fund

Candidates for this award must be first-year full-time MPA or MPP students who have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or better. They must provide evidence of leadership ability and a sincere commitment to a career in public service. John D. Young's family established this scholarship in memory of a man who dedicated himself to outstanding public service during his 36-year career in government and a decade of service to the School of Public Affairs.

Paul Howard Clarke, Paul Ager Clarke & Isabella Ager Clark Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to graduate students who demonstrate academic merit in SPA and an interest in public service. It was established through a bequest from Isabella Ager Clarke to honor her late husband, Paul Howard Clarke, and son, Paul Ager Clarke. Each member of the Clarke family was a native of Washington, DC, and the Clarkes have been involved in public arenas for many years, so it was a natural choice for Mrs. Clarke to decide that a family scholarship to benefit students studying in the School of Public Affairs was a suitable memorial.

Susan Dweck Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student enrolled in the MPA program. The award was established by Susan Dweck, BA/CAS '65, MSHR/SPA '88.

Key Executive Leadership Scholarships

Key Executive MPA Scholarship (PDF)

This scholarship provides financial support to incoming and continuing Key MPA students. Eligible students will meet the minimum GPA requirement and will demonstrate a passion for public service, leadership potential, and a commitment to apply classroom principles and techniques. Four scholarships are awarded in the fall for new Key students.

Anita F. Alpern Scholarship

The Anita F. Alpern Scholarship was established through a gift from the estate of the late Anita F. Alpern. Professor Alpern served for 20 years as a Distinguished Adjunct in Residence at SPA. She taught courses in public administration and administrative ethics in the graduate MPA and Key Executive Leadership MPA programs, and was instrumental in raising the visibility of SPA in the federal government.

The scholarship is awarded in late spring. Students enrolled in the Key Executive Leadership MPA program who are receiving little or no financial support from their employer are eligible. Awardees are selected based upon merit, financial need, and commitment to public service. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay describing their major strengths and how their participation in the Key Executive Leadership program has enhanced their leadership potential and public service, as well as recommendation letters from three individuals, including one Key faculty member.

Donald G. Zauderer Scholarship

This scholarship, awarded in the late spring, partially supports the costs associated with obtaining a MPA degree in the Key Executive Leadership program. Admitted applicants who are receiving no financial support from their employer are eligible. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay describing their major strengths and how their participation in the Key Executive Leadership program has enhanced their leadership potential and public service, as well as recommendation letters from three individuals, including one Key faculty member.

As a faculty member at American University for more than 32 years, Dr. Zauderer co-founded and directed the Key Executive Leadership Program. He has continually worked to improve the program out of a profound sense of obligation to students and their sponsoring organizations. Dr. Zauderer is known as a caring teacher who brings out the best in his students. His knowledge, wry sense of humor, and emphasis on colleagueship, intelligent discourse, and respectful sharing of diverse ideas has helped create a relaxed and focused atmosphere for deep learning in the classroom. His family, friends, colleagues, and former students have honored his contributions by establishing this scholarship, and placing a tree and monument next to the Woods-Brown Amphitheater on the AU campus.

Master of Science in Organization Development Segal-Seashore Fellowship Fund

The Segal-Seashore Fellowship Fund was created in recognition of and appreciation for the founders of American University's Master of Science in Organization Development (MSOD) program, Morley Segal and Edith Whitfield Seashore. The fund provides scholarship support and assists with costs related to MSOD educational expenses.

MSOD students travel from all over the United States and abroad to participate in what is, for many, a life-changing experience. Our program enables them to master the concepts and skills essential to organization development and equips them to help organizations accomplish sustainable, transformational change. The Segal-Seashore awards provide financial relief to several students each year in an effort to make the education more affordable .

William K. Reilly Fund for Environmental Governance & Leadership

The Center for Environmental Policy at American University joined with corporate, philanthropic, and nonprofit organizations to establish the William K. Reilly Fund for Environmental Governance & Leadership. This initiative, in honor of one of the most respected environmental leaders in the nation, supports a student scholarship, an annual lecture series, and core program development activities for the center. The Reilly Fund also supports the William K. Reilly Environmental Leadership Award, which recognizes leaders in environmental governance and problem solving.

Presidential Management Fellowships

The Presidential Management Fellows program attracts outstanding master's or doctoral students to careers in the federal service. This rigorous two-year paid fellowship includes 80 hours of training each year, challenging assignments, accelerated promotions, and opportunities to network between agencies. It is a stepping stone to highly visible and respected leadership positions in the federal government. Fellows are hired by agencies and given exposure to domestic and international issues in specialty areas, including:

  • Accounting/Finance/MBA
  • Health/Medical Science
  • Economics
  • Information Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Public Policy
  • Engineering
  • Public Administration
  • Statistics
  • International Affairs
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Law

American University students have done very well in this fellowship program. In 2016, AU had 42 finalists, ranking first among all universities in the United States.

Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship

The Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program supports returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their dedication to community service while pursuing a master's degree at the AU School of Public Affairs. Peace Corps volunteers who have served at least 12 months-either consecutively or through a combination of tours-are also eligible for the Coverdell Fellows Program. SPA's Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program contributes to the civic and service needs of the community at large through an innovative collaboration between SPA and the Peace Corps.


Veterans Benefits

American University is proud to invest in supporting our nation's service members and their dependents and to honor the sacrifices they have made for our country. We have been recognized by GI Jobs Magazine as a one of the nation's top Military Friendly Schools.

We partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs to administer several education programs for active duty military personnel, veterans, and dependents. We also take part in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program. Our Veteran's Liaison Network helps student veterans work toward their educational goals and promote a successful academic experience.

External Scholarships & Awards

Below are some resources for external scholarships and other funding opportunities. American University's Office of Financial Aid can connect you with other sources of external funding, along with a scholarship directory containing opportunities in many academic specialties and areas of interest. Federal, state, and local governments; foundations and professional associations; universities and other academic institutions; and public and private companies offer a wide range of scholarships, fellowships, and internships.

Please be aware that the following organizations are not endorsed or recommended by American University or the School of Public Affairs. Neither the university nor the School of Public Affairs monitor the content of these sites-the links listed below are maintained by third parties. We have no control and provide no guarantees regarding the opportunities listed below. The list is updated as new information is gathered, and should never be considered complete. It is the responsibility of the student to investigate each individual opportunity for its validity, and to take necessary precautions when sharing information.

General

Student Employment

You can find student, part-time, or full-time employment through American University's Human Resources office. For off-campus employment, AU's Career Center has a job listing service.

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 their international student advisor. Students on all other types of visas should check with International Student and Scholar Services, which can also provide more information on employment options.