How to Apply

For a more detailed description of the documents required, or to find requirements and deadlines specific to your program, see Requirements and Deadlines.


If you are requesting to be considered for a Merit Award, the priority deadline is February 1 unless otherwise specified.


Our system will automatically save any application that you have started. To access a saved application, click on the My Account tab on your profile page.

Arrangements for disability accommodations can be made with the Academic Support and Access Center at 202-885-3360,

Application Steps

  1. Create and Submit Application

    Once you have created your account , you can start your online application. The online application is divided into the following sections:

    • Personal Information
    • Demographics
    • Academics (institutions attended)
    • Plans (your intended academic program and concentration)
    • Certification & Signature

    Listing Institutions Attended: In order to upload transcripts, you must fill out the Institutions Attended field in the Academics section of the online application.

  2. Pay Application Fee

    Once you have submitted your application, you will immediately be directed to the Application Payment screen. The application fee is $55, payable by credit or debit card. We accept Visa, Discover, and Mastercard.

    Note that you cannot add supplemental documents until you have paid your application fee. You can reenter the application form through the My Account tab on your profile page.

  3. Submit Supplemental Documents

    After you have completed your application and paid your application fee, you can begin uploading your supplemental documents, such as a statement of purpose, resume, writing samples, etc.

    To find out which documents your program requires and to see descriptions of each document, see Requirements and Deadlines.

    You may upload the following documents through the application portal:

    • statement of purpose
    • unofficial transcripts
    • resumé
    • writing sample*
    • portfolio*

    The following documents must be sent through an external provider:

    • Letters of Recommendation*
    • Test Scores (GMAT GRE, IELTS, TOEFL, and PRAXIS)*

    *Note: Writing samples, test scores, and portfolios are only required for a limited number of programs. Please check the Requirements and Documents page for more information on program-specific requirements.

    Unofficial Transcripts

    All applications require transcripts from degree-seeking college institutions. AU standards ask for a minimum 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work.

    A transcript uploaded by a student is considered "unofficial." Departments use these during their review period. Official transcripts are required only after the applicant has accepted admission to American University. Official transcripts must be sent and received by a university representative and should confirm the earned degree when applicable.

    International transcripts will need to be evaluated and show equivalency of the U.S. 4-year degree.

    Your Unofficial Transcripts can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.

    Letters of Recommendation

    Master's programs and the PhD program in Economics require two letters of recommendation. All other PhD programs require three letters of recommendation. Recommenders will evaluate a candidate based on academic performance, motivation for program of study, intellectual capacity and/or research and writing ability.

    Recommendation letters can be uploaded only after the application has been submitted and the fee paid.

    To upload letters of recommendation, go the Recommendation Requests section of the Supplemental Items Listing page and click Start (see below).

    Fill out the Recommendation Request form to send your recommender a notification so that they can submit their letter. Repeat this process for every letter of recommendation that you need to submit. If you experience any errors with the Recommendation Request form or if you need to submit a new request to a new recommender, contact

    Other Test Types

    To submit other test types, send a legible screen shot of your score report to

    Email and Mailing Addresses for Supporting Documents

    (Note: Do not send questions to this email address. If you have any questions about the application process, please direct them to

    Postal mail

    CAS Graduate Admissions
    Office of Enrollment
    4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20016-8081

    Express, Courier, Overnight (Express Mail, Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, etc.)

    CAS Graduate Admissions
    Office of Enrollment
    Suite B1
    3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20016-8081