International First-Year Applicants

How to Apply

Apply online using the Common Application. To be considered for admission to AU, your application and all supporting documents listed below must be received by the appropriate deadline. Your file will not be reviewed until all of the materials below have been received by the International Admissions Office:

  • Completed Common Application, including essay and CV/Resume
  • Application fee of U.S. $70
  • Common Application AU Writing Supplement
  • Academic records for grades 9-12 with official transcripts and certified English translations, if applicable
  • Two academic letters of recommendation
  • Demonstrated English proficiency
  • Completed AU Certification of Finances (AU CFIS) form showing at least U.S.$59,780 for first year of study and living expenses*
  • Bank letter showing at least U.S.$59,780 for first year of study and living expenses*

* Only for non-U.S. citizens who will need a student visa (F or J). Financial documents showing less than U.S. $59,780 will not be accepted. All financial documents must be dated within the past three months to be considered valid. Click here for sample bank letters, the AU CFIS and Transfer-in forms, and AU cost guide.

No SAT or ACT Needed! AU does not evaluate SAT or ACT scores for students (including U.S. citizens) graduating from secondary schools outside the United States. Please do not submit your SAT or ACT scores to our office.

Application Deadlines

If you plan to begin your studies in August (fall semester):

Early Decision I (ED I)
  November 15
Early Decision II (ED II)
  January 15
Regular Decision (RD)
  January 15

If you plan to begin your studies in January (spring semester):

All spring applicants
      November 1

(For students living outside the United States, we recommend October 1)

Submitting Your Application

Important: Please use a courier service (and keep your tracking number) to send your complete application packet to:

Undergraduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment
3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8001
Tel: +1-202-885-6000

Questions? Please contact

The Application Form

Complete the application carefully. Please make sure to include your full name exactly as it appears in the machine readable section of your passport (check the bottom of your passport page). The first three letters stand for your country of citizenship. Omit those three letters when completing the admission application form. Also include date of birth, complete educational history, country of birth, citizenship, current mailing address and a permanent address outside of the United States, even if you currently live or study in the United States.

Your Academic Records

Please have your academic records from each secondary school you attended for 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades sent directly from those schools to American University in sealed envelopes. These records should be submitted in their original language and accompanied by notarized English translations if applicable. Include any examination results such as IB, GCSE, GCE, Bagrut, Tawjihi, French Baccalaureate, CAPE, Abitur, Attestat or Secondary School Leaving Certificates.

Certain exam results such as, but not limited to, IB, WAEC, GCE, GCSE and CAPE must come directly to our office from the examination board or authority.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters are required. One must come from a teacher; the second letter may be written by your school's college counselor, your principal or headmaster or another teacher. These letters are confidential. Each letter must be in English. Please have your reference sign or place a school stamp across the sealed flap of the envelope.

English Proficiency

AU requires strong English language skills. All applicants (including US citizens) whose first language is not English can prove English proficiency by one of the following:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - TOEFL code 5007
    • Internet based test (iBT) score of 80 or higher.* (Sub-scores for each section of the TOEFL should be 20 or higher.)
    • Paper-based test score of 550 or higher
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    • Composite score of 6.5 or higher. (Sub-scores for each section of the IELTS should be 6.0 or higher.)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
    • Score of 53 or higher
  • SAT Critical Reading score of 530 or higher
  • For students in the DC area: KANSAS AEC Test of English Proficiency, administered by AU: Band 2 or higher.

*To be considered competitive, a 90 iBT score or above is recommended. Sub-scores for each section of the TOEFL should be 20 or higher.

NOTE: For international freshmen applicants who require an F or J visa:

TOEFL/IELTS is not required of non-native English speakers who are educated in US or IB secondary schools inside or outside the US, or in countries (*) where English is the native language, for at least 4 consecutive years (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 or equivalent) where English is the only medium of instruction and no ESL courses have been taken.

(*) English speaking countries include: UK, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec).

Note: For information on Conditional Admission options, please visit this page.

AU Certification of Finances for International Students (AU CFIS)

Applicants who require a student or exchange visitor visa (F or J) must submit to the International Admissions Office the AU CFIS form and a bank letter showing proof of at least U.S.$59,780 for your first year of studies and living expenses. All financial documents must be dated within the past three months to be considered valid.

Application packets without the AU CFIS form and bank letter will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Transfer-In Form: If you are currently studying in the United States on an F or J visa and decide to attend AU, you will be required to submit the "Immigration Transfer-In Form" before your AU I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued.

Visit for the AU Cost Guide, sample bank letters, and the AU CFIS and Transfer-In forms.

Advanced Credit for IB, AP, A Level, CAPE Secondary Exams

Students may be eligible to receive advanced credit for exams passed during secondary school. If you took IB, A Level, AP or CAPE exams while in school, please visit for full details on AU exam policies.


Common Application

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Education USA Logo EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries.

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AU Certification of Finances

AU Certification of Finances for International Students: To be completed by all applicants who require a student or exchange visitor visa (F or J) to study in the U.S.


Immigration Transfer-In Form

Immigration Transfer-In Form: To be completed by admitted students who are currently studying in the U.S. on an F or J visa and who decide to attend AU.

Download the form

Meet Our International Students

Meet some of our current AU international and US Global Nomad Students.

Student Profiles

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