Application Process

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.

*Note: You can only upload your supplemental documents (such as writing samples or resumes) after you have submitted the online application and paid the application fee.

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

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.

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 submit your application until you have paid your application fee. You can reenter the application form through the My Account tab on your profile page.

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
  • resum√©
  • writing Sample*
  • portfolio*

The following documents must be sent through an external provider:

*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 address

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