Estimated Costs

33 credit hours at $1,622 / hour: $53,526

Travel and meal costs are not included, nor is lodging expense for commuters coming to Washington, DC for class. Students should budget for travel, lodging and meals for three residencies throughout the course of the program:

  • First Semester: 3-night Intro to Experiential Education and the Learning Community (a.k.a "The Launch") held at Airlie Center in Warrenton, VA ($1000 for non-credit course; approximately $585-$765 depending on lodging choice, which includes your room, all meals and refreshments throughout each day)
  • Second Semester: 6-night Use of Self in Professional Practice Residency held at Airlie Center in Warrenton, VA (approximately $1,230-$1,530 depending on lodging choice, which includes your room, all meals and refreshments throughout each day)
  • Fifth Semester: 11-night International Residency held most recently in Johannesburg, South Africa (approximately $3500 for travel, lodging, and meals, depending on the residency destination).

A $250.00 nonrefundable deposit is required upon acceptance to the program (applied to total cost of the program).

Guidance for Calculating Costs for Travel & Lodging

Out of town AU students often stay in local hotels with nightly rates that range from $99 to $129. These rates are subject to change. Students may also choose to stay at Wesley Theological Seminary adjacent to American University's main campus for approximately $70 per night, depending upon availability. The Seminary, however, is closed during summer sessions.

Financing Your Degree

In additional to personal savings, students may finance their education in a number of ways:

  • Employer Sponsorship: Many students receive sponsorship from their employers for costs associated with the MSOD degree.
  • Government or Private Loans: U.S. citizens may apply for federal need-based assistance. See FAFSA program. The AU Financial Aid Office can also be of assistance. Please contact
    (202) 885-6500 or

    Information for international students.

    Students who are on unemployment benefits may be eligible for training/education funding.

  • For Veterans: AU accepts GI bill payments and participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • Segal/Seashore Fellowship Fund: The Morley Segal and Edith Whitfield Seashore Fellowship is awarded to three or four students in an annual competition. These awards are in the range of $2500-3000.
  • Scholarships & Fellowships: In addition to the Segal/Seashore Fellowship, SPA offers other donor-funded scholarships. Also consider outside sources of aid.