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Welcome to the School of Public Affairs Pursue Your Higher Purpose with SPA

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Congratulations on your commitment to prepare for a profession with purpose, leading our next generation in confronting the most pressing public challenges of our time! 

Admitted Student Checklists


✓ Celebrate the academic and professional achievements that led to your admission to one of the country's premier Public Affairs schools!

✓ Create an AU Student Account. Your AU Student Account will prove to be an integral resource for you as a graduate student. The platform is used for course registration, grade submission, financial account management, and other vital resources.

✓ Submit your FAFSA. American University's FAFSA code is 001434. The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) at American University will consider this information to consider you for Federal loan options. Questions may be directed to or 202.885.6500. (Please note OFA's webinar options below.)

✓ Confirm your intention to join the SPA community by remitting your enrollment deposit. The $250US nonrefundable deposit is a tuition prepayment. You will see the deposit ultimately credited to your AU Student Account. Your deposit is required to hold your place in the incoming class, accept any merit aid that may be extended, and register for classes.

✓ After rendering your deposit, schedule an in-person or telephone meeting with your Graduate Advisor! It is time to begin developing the academic plan that will translate into your advanced skill set. New graduate student registration begins on November 20th/in April 2020!

✓ Access the new Graduate Student Checklist by following the navigation below:

  1. MyAU Portal Login
  2. Click on Life @ AU Tab
  3. Scroll down to "New Students" Tab
  4. Click "New Graduate Students" link
  5. Click "Start your Checklist"

✓ RSVP to SPA's New Master's Student Orientation by emailing Mandatory orientation is an important onboarding event as you begin your academic and student life at AU/SPA.

✓ Submit official transcript(s) showing successful completion of bachelor's degree before the first day of the semester. Please know that failure to submit official transcripts may result in a hold being placed on your student account prohibiting course registration and/or merit aid allocation. If your transcripts are in a language other than English, certified English language translations must be provided. Mail to SPA Graduate Admissions, Office of Enrollment, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016-8081, USA or email official e-transcripts to


  • Join American University’s Office of Financial Aid (OFA) for an upcoming webinar:

    • Friday, March 13 at 12:00 pm EST. Register here.

    • Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00 pm EST. Registration link is forthcoming.

    • Wednesday, June 24 at 12:00 pm EST Registration link is forthcoming.

✓ Connect and follow us on social media. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

✓ Join us for an SPA CareerStart virtual session. The dates and registration information for the session are forthcoming.

✓ After submitting your deposit, you will be invited to join the 2019-2020 AU SPA Admitted Grad Students Facebook group. This offers a forum for you to get to know your new peers while engaging with our current Graduate Student Council (GSC) on issues like housing, internships, and student life. The group is only open to students who have an email address.

✓ Visit American University's Off-Campus Housing site, which offers access to living options in the area and helps you develop a student profile in an effort to identify potential roommates. Questions may be directed to or via telephone 202.885.2645.

Important Reminders

  1. Stay in touch...we are here to support you!
  2. Use your AU email account only and always! All correspondence will now only be sent to your "" account. Please regularly monitor your inbox.
  3. Explore the portal. It contains a wealth of information that will inform and support your student life on campus.

Join us for one of our SPA Spring Engagement Day(s)!

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) will host two Spring Engagement Day events. The first date offers an abbreviated agenda with an evening social reception and the second date offers students a full, visit experience with a kick-off social reception and robust agenda on the following day.  

The March 27th event offers a half-day visit schedule followed by an evening Happy Hour. The April 3rd and 4th dates offer a full visit day on campus on Saturday preceded by a Friday evening “launch” event with keynote and author panel from SPA’s student-driven Public Policy Journal (PPJ).

SPA's Spring Engagement Day(s) offer Fall 2020 admitted master's students an opportunity to explore academic fit, engage with faculty and their future peer network, as well as experience the beautiful American University (AU) campus and the excitement of Washington, D.C. The experience is sure to enable students the privilege to envision themselves as part of the robust AU and SPA communities.

The SPA Spring Engagement Day visit agenda(s) will include faculty current issue talks, departmental meetings with Chairs, Program Directors, and Academic Advisors, a career services and professional outcomes presentation, current student panel, as well as a session devoted to SPA’s merit aid strategy.

All Fall 2020 admitted graduate students to SPA are invited to attend. Make your travel plans now to join us! More details including a detailed itinerary and travel logistics will be offered to registered participants closer to the event.


SPA Merit Aid award recipients for Fall 2020 must respond to their offer by signing their Merit Aid Terms & Conditions document and transmitting to to indicate their acceptance.

Confirm your intention to join the SPA community by remitting your enrollment deposit. Enrollment deposits may be paid from the point of admission until a degree cohort is full.

Fall 2020 new student registration begins April 2020. Contact your Academic Advisor to register for Fall classes.

Join us for SPA JumpStart 2020!

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) will host SPA Jumpstart that will offer a robust agenda spanning two days on the beautiful American University (AU) campus. The agenda will be designed to cater to all of SPA's traditional, master's degrees and will "JumpStart" new students' academic, professional and social engagement in graduate student life. The agenda will offer career development panels and workshops, an academic component, campus resource fair, housing bus tour, current student/alumni panel as well as a special, culminating social reception. SPA's Jumpstart offers Fall 2020 enrolled master's students an opportunity to further engage with: SPA faculty, staff, and current as well as incoming students; campus and community resources; and their new Washington, D.C. home. The experience is sure to jumpstart the incoming cohort's pursuit of a profession of purpose!

All Fall 2020 enrolled SPA master's students are strongly encouraged to make plans to attend. More details including a detailed itinerary and travel logistics will be offered to registered students closer to the event.

Questions: or via telephone at 202.885.6230.

Registration period closes Thursday, June 11, 2020

6:00pm-7:00pm (EST) SPA CareerStart Virtual Sessions: Registration is Forthcoming!

JumpStart your career development with a SPA CareerStart virtual session. Please join your SPA Graduate Career Advisor, Rob SanGeorge, for a comprehensive overview of the robust American University career services available to you! Post-attendance, you will be invited to schedule a 1:1 coaching session, and, if your enrollment deposit has been paid, will be added to AU’s restricted social media platforms that offer daily postings of internships and full-time positions in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Please hold the date for mandatory international new graduate student orientation. The registration process and draft agenda are forthcoming.

Please hold the date for mandatory new graduate student orientation. More information including draft agenda are forthcoming.

Your pursuit of an advanced skillset and profession with a Higher Purpose officially begins!