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International Applicants

American University's College of Arts & Sciences receives many applications each year from all over the world, and we understand the difficulties students may have in communicating with universities in a different country. Our goal is to make the admissions process as smooth as possible. A listing of special requirements for international students is below.

Visit AU's International Student and Scholar Services to obtain an I-20 or DS-2019 document.

English Language Proficiency

All international students are required to submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pearson Test of English (PTE), or from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Applicants who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited institution in the United States, or in countries* where English is the native language may be exempt from the English-language proficiency test requirement.

    The minimum acceptable scores on the TOEFL exam is 100 for the internet test [95 for the online Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program]. Registration materials for the TOEFL exam can be obtained from U.S. consulates, embassies, binational centers, or the Educational Testing Service. Please have scores sent directly to the College of Arts and Sciences. Our TOEFL institutional code number is 5007. TOEFL scores are valid for two years.

    The minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7.0. there is no department code or institutional code for IELTS. Please have scores sent directly to the College of Arts and Sciences. IELTS scores are valid for two years.

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
    The minimum acceptable PTE score is 68. Our PTE institution code is X1Q-GB-05.

Educational Background

With permission from the CAS Office of Graduate Enrollment Management, students meeting the following criteria may be eligible for a TOEFL/IELTS/PTE waiver if:

  1. They hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university whose only language of instruction is English

  2. The university is located in one of the following countries whose official language is English: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Micronesia, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sint Maarten, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe.

Please note that waivers are granted on a rare basis and all students are strongly recommended to complete the required test(s) well in advance for timely admission and funding consideration.

Official Transcript Evaluation

All international applicants are required to complete an official transcript evaluation. The transcript evaluation is not required for international applicants who have completed a Bachelor's degree in the United States. Transcript evaluations must be submitted to American University in lieu of the original international transcript.

In order to complete a transcript evaluation, candidates must submit their official transcript(s) to a transcript evaluation agency approved by NACES. The following transcript evaluators are recommended:

All transcript evaluations must indicate the following:

  • Course-by-course analysis: List of all classes and credits earned
  • Grade point average (4.0 scale)
  • Degree earned: Determine if the degree earned is equivalent to a US Bachelor's degree

Transcript evaluations must be sent directly by the transcript evaluation agency to American University by the application deadline. All transcript evaluations can be mailed to the following addresses:

  • 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

Financial Requirements

All students must be able to demonstrate financial ability to pay for their academic and living expenses before being issued an immigration document. Visit International Student and Scholar Services for program costs.

Financial Aid

Financial assistance for international students is available at American University in the form of merit-based financial awards only. International students seeking merit awards are encouraged to submit a complete application for admission by the appropriate deadline in order to receive consideration for a merit award.

Because the competition for merit awards is very rigorous, an award cannot be guaranteed. Furthermore, most of these merit awards do not cover the full cost of attendance at American University. The College of Arts and Sciences encourages all of its prospective students to seek out other sources of financial assistance from organizations or sponsors. Some organizations are listed below.

International Student & Scholar Services

Our International Student & Scholar Services office provides support services for international students, including: cultural adjustment assistance, pre-arrival and arrival orientation, and advising for personal, social, cultural, career, and employment matters. ISSS is authorized by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Information Agency to issue and sign the I-20 or DS-2019 forms.

Graduate International Gateway Program

The Graduate International Gateway Program (IGP) is a semester-long, academic bridge program designed specifically for first-year graduate students who have strong academic achievements, but who could benefit from more support in academic research, writing, reading, and oral communication skills in order to be successful in their graduate degree program at AU. You cannot apply directly for IGP. In order to participate in IGP, you must apply to one of American University's graduate schools and receive an offer of admission from that graduate school. If selected for IGP, you must successfully complete the three required perquisite courses by earning a B or better in each course. For more information on IGP, please visit their website.

Immigration Process, Procedures, and Requirements

For F-1 Student Visa

  • Documents needed for all international students:
    • CFIS form, financial requirements form, and bank statement need to be submitted.
    • After admission we will send you an I-20 form which you need in order to apply for a visa from the closest US consulate or embassy.
    • Courseload requirements: Graduate students are required to enroll for a nine credit courseload each semester.
  • Documents needed for J-1 exchange visitor visa
    • Visit the applying for a J-1 visa Web page