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Graduate Admissions

Certificates & Non-degree Programs

Certificate Programs

The School of Public Affairs at American University offers a wide range of graduate certificates. Certificate programs offer students the opportunity to explore a particular field of study, acquire professional skills in a short period of time or prepare for a full master’s program. The School of Public Affairs offers graduate certificate programs in: Leadership for Organizational Change, Non-Profit Management, Public Financial Management, Public Management, Public Policy Analysis, and Women, Policy & Political Leadership. For more information please click on the certificate program of interest.

Certificate Application Requirements

  • Application
  • $55.00 application fee. The fee is waived for AU alumni; former PPIA/IIPP participants; Teach for America participants; Peace Corps participants, AmeriCorps participants; FAMU Scholars; and McNair scholars. There are no other exceptions.
  • Unofficial transcript(s) from every college attended. Official transcripts are required if the student is admitted.
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (Only required for public policy analysis.)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English test scores for international students. The Institutional code for the TOEFL is 5007. The preferred minimum TOEFL for is 250 on the computer test and 100 on the IBT. The preferred minimum IELTS score is 7. The preferred minimum on Pearson Test of English is 68. The University code for PTE is X1Q-K6-10. The CFIS (Certification of Finances for International Students) and a bank statement are also required, but may be submitted after admission.
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (Only required for Woman, Policy & Political Leadership)

Non-degree Programs

Non-degree status is available at the master level for those who have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or equivalent degree from abroad.

The preferred application deadline for non-degree is prior to the first day of classes in the semester the applicant wishes to enroll – late application and registration is possible up through the end of the drop/add period for non-degree students. An applicant who is denied admission to a Masters or PhD program within the School of Public Affairs may not apply for non-degree OR certificate program admission within the School of Public Affairs for a minimum of one calendar year.

Up to 12 credits earned at American University as a non-degree student may be applied toward a degree program at American University if later admitted to a degree program.

Note: guaranteed student loans and merit awards (School of Public Affairs scholarships, assistantships and fellowships) are NOT available to non-degree students.

Non-degree Application Requirements

  • Application
  • Official transcript(s) from degree granting institution


For more information or to submit an application, please contact an advisor: