You are here: American University Coronavirus Community Resource Info for Admitted and Prospective Students

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FAQ - New Students

Will in-person classes resume in the fall? When might the university know if classes are going to stay on-campus or be moved online?

American University will be open this fall, providing the high-quality, dynamic educational experience that is the foundation of our mission while taking all necessary steps to safeguard our community. We all want to return to our beloved campus, and we are exploring many scenarios involving in-person, online, and hybrid models. We will make a decision for the fall that is at the intersection of the best available information about health and safety and our ability to implement our work and educational pursuits at the highest level. Announcement of the fall plans will be made by mid-June.

I am still planning to come to DC to complete my degree. Can I begin my first semester courses online if no on-campus courses are being offered in the fall?

In the event that students cannot return to campus in the fall, most of the current fall course offerings would be available online so you could complete your first semester online and make timely progress toward your degree. We will continue to keep students informed of course offerings.

Can I begin the first semester of my program online even if AU is offering courses on-campus in the fall?

Taking courses online in the fall may or may not make sense for your degree if courses are already being offered on-campus.  While we do offer online courses every semester, we would recommend that once you are enrolled, you should work with your academic adviser to figure out which courses could be used to fulfill your degree requirements.

In the event courses are online in the fall, will the quality of the courses suffer?

American University will be open this fall, providing the high-quality, dynamic educational experience that is the foundation of our mission while taking all necessary steps to safeguard our community. We are exploring many scenarios involving in-person, online, and hybrid models. We will make a decision for the fall that is at the intersection of the best available information about health and safety and our ability to implement our work and educational pursuits at the highest level. Announcement of the fall plans will be made by mid-June.

Should online instruction be required to ensure health and safety, AU is ready. While COVID-19 presented a new set of circumstances, online education is not new for American University or our students. There are typically more than 500 online classes each year that are equivalent to our face-to-face instruction and have the same requirements and tuition levels. Our online MBA is ranked consistently in the top 20 in the country (#7 for marketing by US News and World Report, #12 for General Management by US News and World Report, and #20 Online MBA in the US by Princeton Review).

If AU's fall classes go online, can I defer my admission to the spring semester/to whenever classes are back in-person?

As of right now, we are not accepting deferral requests from fall admitted students wishing to defer if AU moves its classes to online for the fall 2020 semester. Students wishing to defer their admission, must provide reasoning that falls within the guidelines of our deferral policy.

Could I start out part-time?

Yes. Students for a wide range of reasons, separate from COVID-19, start out part-time. While part-time enrollment is a readily available option, going part-time may have ramifications for your financial aid/student loan/merit scholarships. Before making a final decision, we would urge you to speak to a member of the admissions team to discuss your options and understand any financial aid implications.

Could I start a course or two this summer rather than wait until the fall?

This option is a possibility for some graduate programs. We suggest you reach out to your admissions contact to discuss your options.

I have just received my bachelor’s degree from AU, could I still consider a bachelor’s/master’s program?

In rare cases, undergraduate students graduating in May 2020 may still be able to share credits as part of AU’s bachelors/master’s programs. However, there is an option to do a consecutive graduate program where you would be highly considered for a scholarship equivalent to the cost savings of the credit share.

I have just graduated with my bachelor’s degree in May. Could I begin a master’s program this fall?

Yes. We know that due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of the job market, many graduating students are contemplating their post-graduation plans. If you feel a graduate program might be a better option for you at this time, we would be happy to discuss our programs with you. For more information visit The Office of Graduate Studies.

What will tuition be if courses are online in fall? Will you be offering discounts? How does this impact financial aid packages?

We are preparing for a return to campus for classes and activities in the fall while taking all necessary steps to safeguard our community. Fall registration and charges will proceed as normally scheduled. We continue to monitor the situation and will make operational decisions based on the latest information from health authorities and local governments to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Will new student orientation be in-person or online?

To help our new students and families prepare for their AU experience in the fall, while at the same time addressing the challenges of COVID-19, this year’s new student orientation will be comprised of a 10-12 week interactive and engaging virtual experience beginning in mid-May and continuing through early August. Our virtual orientation offers access to university resources and departments, connects new students with orientation leaders, and creates opportunities to meet virtually with fellow new Eagles throughout the summer. Orientation fees are being waived and registration is now open. If you have any questions, please visit the orientation website or email orientation@american.edu

If classes go online for the fall semester, how does this impact financial aid packages?

Financial aid packages for AU students will not change due to the modality of course delivery.