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Graduate Admissions

Master's Degree Merit Scholarships

The School of Public Affairs seeks to enroll a diverse class of graduate students with a demonstrated record of academic performance and commitment to public service. Our approach to merit scholarships is to offer partial tuition assistance to a broad base of highly qualified master's degree students. Our evening class schedule allows students to pursue paid internships and employment during the day - students gain valuable work experience while earning a master's degree from our top ranked programs in just two years. We also offer a number of specialized scholarships to assist with funding for second-year master's funding.


SPA Student

Tuition (per credit hour): $1,526

Other fees may apply. To find out about other fees you may visit Student Accounts.

Financial Aid

There are several financial aid opportunities for most students, including:


Merit-Based Awards

The university has established the following merit-based awards to assist full- and part-time graduate degree students. Merit-based graduate awards are awarded to students by their respective departments using traditional merit indicators such as GPA, test scores, strength of recommendation letters, and experience. Merit awards include fellowships, assistantships, and tuition grants. The deadline for merit award consideration is February 1.


Graduate assistantships are merit-based awards that provide the recipient with a monetary stipend and tuition remission for degree-related courses. Students selected for a graduate assistantship are required to work with a faculty member.

Graduate Study Grants

Graduate study grants are merit-based awards that provide the recipient with tuition remission for degree-related courses.

Hall of Nations Scholarships

These awards are available to international students who do not have permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship. The Hall of Nations Scholarships are assistantships and graduate study grants.

Special Opportunity Awards

These assistantships and graduate study grants are for US-born minority students.

Graduate Study Scholarships

Hart A. Massey Fellowship

This fellowship is awarded each academic year to one or more incoming Canadian students pursuing graduate studies full-time at American University. The fellowship is applied to tuition charges.

United Methodist Graduate Scholarship

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. 

More Information

Success Story

Lacy Kilraine

SPA's Kilraine Hones Global Experience with MPP

SPA's MPP program has given Kilraine the broad range of skills she needed to complement her real-world experience.

More Success Stories

Additional Info

The NAASPA website provides a wealth of resources regarding financial aid, scholarships, fellowships and loans for prospective graduate students.