How to Apply

Admission to CAS LEAD is based on two essays demonstrating leadership interest as well as two references and your high school transcript. We encourage all incoming freshmen in CAS to apply, regardless of past leadership experience. If you apply, you must be able to attend the program seminars during the scheduled time each semester.

You should also enroll in PHIL-120, Do the Right Thing, either during fall semester in the special section set aside for CAS LEAD students as soon as you can. PHIL-120 counts for both CAS LEAD and for AU CORE credit.

Please contact the program director Nabina Liebow (liebow@american.edu) with any questions.

To apply for admission in the fall:

  • Complete the Online Application no later than November 1, 2019

  • Also due November 1st, Submit your High School Transcript: online to CASlead@american.edu or by mail to

    CAS Leadership and Ethical Development Program
    College of Arts & Sciences, American University
    4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20016

  • Submit two essays as part of the online application:

    Essay 1 (250-500 words): Explain an injustice in the world that matters a great deal to you. Why do you think it’s important?

    Essay 2 (no more than 250 words): Explain why and how the study of leadership and ethical development interests you. In other words, why do you want to join CAS LEAD?
  • Submit two letters of recommendation by November 1, 2019. Notify your letter writers well in advance of the deadline and before your submit your application form, so they have sufficient time to write your letter. Each of these letters should be from a person who knows you well and has been able to observe your development and actions in the community, the classroom, a community or religious organization, the workplace, or a volunteer site. The letters should describe the ways in which the letter writer knows you. The letters should include the writer's observations of your performance or behavior and should also provide an assessment of your interest in developing as a leader. These letters should be submitted by e-mail to: CASLEAD@american.edu. If the reference writer cannot access the web, they may submit their letters by U.S. Mail to:

    CAS Leadership and Ethical Development Program
    College of Arts & Sciences, American University
    4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20016

Admission decisions will be sent no later than November 11, 2019.

Please check back later for the deadline for spring admission to the program. The application materials required are the same as the ones required for the fall admissions cycle.