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Application Requirements

Thank you for your interest in applying to a graduate program at the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University. Applications for Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 are now available. Master’s degree and graduate certificate program application files are evaluated on a rolling basis, while the doctoral admission process occurs once per year (Fall admission only). Before applying, carefully review the application file requirements. Below you will find tables that denote the required application components* by degree program. Application questions may be directed to spaapp@american.edu.

Applicants are encouraged to register for an application coaching session on our Recruitment Events page (info sessions tab). 

*Although listed for only one graduate program, The Key Executive Leadership MPA, SPA may request to schedule an interview with any applicant in an effort to gather additional information in supplement to the requirements outlined in the tables below.

Master's Degrees(On-Campus)
Dual Degrees (On-Campus)
Master's Degrees (Online)
Combined Programs - AU undergraduates only (On-Campus)
Certificate Programs (On-Campus)
Ph.D. Programs (On-Campus)

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Master's Degrees (On-Campus)

Masters (On-Campus)
Program Personal Statement Resume Letters of Recommendation  Unofficial Transcript(s) Standardized Test(s)* English Proficiency Test (TOEFL, IELTS, PET, or DET) Writing Sample Interview

MA Political Science 

Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required

**GRE Optional:

See note below

 

Required: International Applicants Only    
MA Political Communication Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only    
MS Data Science  Required     Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only    
Master of Public Administration (MPA) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only    
Key Executive Leadership (MPA) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only Required Required

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only    
MS Justice, Law, & Criminology (JLC) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required

**GRE Optional:

See note below
Required: International Applicants Only    
MS Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy (THSP) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required

**GRE Optional:

See note below
Required: International Applicants Only    

*Optional means an applicant may submit an official standardized test score for consideration in an effort to strengthen their file. 

** GRE Master’s Degree Program Notes: The MA Political Science program does not currently require the GRE; however, students with GPAs below 3.1 who believe their GPA does not reflect their academic potential are encouraged to include a GRE test score in their application file. The MS JLC and MS THSP programs do not currently require the GRE; however, students with GPAs below 3.0 who believe their GPA does not reflect their academic potential are encouraged to include a GRE test score in their application file.

Dual Degrees (On-Campus)

Dual Degrees (On-Campus)
Program Reference
JD/Master of Public Policy Applicants should refer to the JD and Master of Public Policy page.
LLM/Master of Public Policy Applicants should refer to the LLM and Master of Public Policy page.
JD/Master of Public Administration Applicants should refer to JD and Master of Public Administration page.
LLM/Master of Public Administration Applicants should refer to LLM and Master of Public Administration page. 
JD/MS Justice, Law & Criminology Applicants should refer to JD and MS Justice, Law & Criminology page. 

Master's Degrees (Online)

Masters (Online)
Program Personal Statement Resume Letters of Recommendation Unofficial Transcript(s) Standardized Test(s)* English Proficiency Test (TOEFL, IELTS, PET, or DET)
Master of Public Administration & Policy (MPAP) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
MS Counter-Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy (CTHSP) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required

GRE Optional

Required: International Applicants Only

*Optional means an applicant may submit an official standardized test score for consideration in an effort to strengthen their file. 

Combined Programs (On-Campus)

American University undergraduates only. The GRE is waived for all Combined Program applicants. There is no English Proficiency Test (EPT) score required for international applicants.

Combined Programs (On-Campus)
Program Personal Statement Resume Letters of Recommendation  Unofficial Transcript Terms of Agreement
BA/MA Political Science Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required Required
BA/MA Political Communication Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required Required
BA/MS Data Science Required     Required Required for Applied Public Affairs Track only
BA/Master of Public Administration (MPA) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required Required

BA/Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required Required
BA/MS Justice, Law, & Criminology (JLC) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required Required
BA/MS Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy (THSP) Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required Required

Certificate Programs (On-Campus)

Certificate Programs (On-Campus)
Program Personal Statement Resume Letters of Recommendation Unofficial Transcript(s) Standardized Test(s)* English Proficiency Test (TOEFL, IELTS, PET, or DET) 
Analytics & Management Required Required   Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
Cyber Policy & Management*** Required Required   Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
Executive Leadership  Required Required   Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
Leadership for Organizational Change Required Required   Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
Nonprofit Management Required Required   Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
Public Financial Management

Required

Required   Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
Public Management Required Required   Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only
Public Policy Analysis Required Required   Required

GRE Optional

Required: International Applicants Only

Women, Policy & Political Leadership

Required Required Required: Two (2) letters Required GRE Optional Required: International Applicants Only

*Optional means an applicant may submit an official standardized test score for consideration in an effort to strengthen their file. 

***Open to current or admitted Spring 2022 or Fall 2022 THSP students only.

Ph.D. Programs (On-Campus)

Doctoral Programs (On-Campus)
Program Personal Statement Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) Letters of Recommendation Unofficial Transcript(s) Standardized Test(s)**** English Proficiency Test (TOEFL, IELTS, PET, or DET) Writing Sample
Ph.D. in Political Science Required Required Required: Three (3) letters Required Required Required: International Applicants Only Required

Ph.D. Public Administration & Policy

Required Required Required: Three (3) letters Required Required Required: International Applicants Only Required
Ph.D. in Justice, Law, & Criminology Required Required Required: Three (3) letters Required Required Required: International Applicants Only Required

****No GRE waivers