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Foundation for your Future Degree

Foundation for a Future Degree Participants

By participating in American University's Graduate Professional Studies (GPS) you can earn credits that may count toward a future Masters degree at American University. In the fall and spring GPS programs, you will earn 9-graduate credits through a seminar, an elective, and an internship or research course.

On average, graduate degrees at American University require approximately 33-42 credit hours for completion. If you apply and are admitted to a graduate program at American University, you could potentially apply the credits earned in your GPS semester to your Master's Degree requirements.* In some cases, this could be 25% of your future degree completed by way of Graduate Professional Studies!

*Course credit and articulation is subject to approval by the advisor in your intended graduate program.

Please note: students have successfully counted their credits earned through Graduate Professional Studies toward graduate degree requirements at other institutions. This is subject to the discretion of the institution the student wishes to pursue a program at after completion of their GPS semester.

Recommended Elective Options

Once you are admitted to American University's Graduate Professional Studies and are considering your elective options, you will want to review the Schedule of Classes. GPS students have the option of choosing an evening elective course at American University that is 500-level or above and does not require prerequisites. Please note that enrollment in your elective choice depends on space availability and, in some cases, you may be placed on a course waitlist for your first choice option.

As you consider your elective class, it will be beneficial to reference the course requirements of degree programs that you may want to attend in the future. If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree at American University after completion of your Graduate Professional Studies semester, please reference the appropriate school advising sheets below.


If you have questions about what elective course to take or how to use Graduate Professional Studies to build a foundation for a future graduate degree, please contact Lana Knox, Associate Director of Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate Programs, at or 202-895-4859.

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58% of students used Graduate Professional Studies to lead into a master's program at American University or elsewhere.

Quote from a student

“My GPS experience was extremely valuable. I figured out the career path I wanted to follow and developed a path/plan of how I would get there. I became acquainted with graduate school coursework and feel that I am better prepared for future employment. I would recommend GPS to everyone questioning what they should do after graduating from undergrad.”
GPS Student, Fall 2013