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Graduate Admissions

Admissions Process

Applicants are evaluated on their undergraduate coursework and grade point average, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, recommendations, written work, and breadth of background and experience. The Admission Committee begins reviewing applications in February. Before applying, carefully review the admission requirements.

PhD Application Deadline: January 1


Application Requirements

  • Application (Please note: Our application is currently undergoing an update and you will not be able to access the application at this time.  If you have an application in process, all of your answers will be saved.  When the changes are complete, please check all sections thoroughly as there may be new questions to complete or some questions may have been removed or revised. We appreciate your patience as we complete this important process.)
  • US$55 application fee: The fee is waived for AU alumni; former PPIA/IIPP participants; Teach for American participants; Peace Corps participants, AmeriCorps participants; FAMU Scholars; and McNair scholars. There are no other exceptions. Prospective candidates completing the online application can select "pay by check" as the payment method to complete the application but are not required to provide any payment
  • Official transcript(s) from every college attended
  • Personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • GRE scores (Official GRE scores should be sent from the Educational Testing Service to American University - Institutional code: 5733)
  • 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 Certification of Finances for International Students (CFIS) and a bank statement are also required, but may be submitted after admission.
  • Writing sample (12-25 pages in length)

Application documents that are not submitted online must be mailed to us at the following address:

American University School of Public Affairs
Office of Graduate Admissions

Ward Building, Suite 310
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

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