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Welcome to the School of Public Affairs

Pursue your Higher Purpose with SPA

Exterior view of SPA building

Congratulations on your commitment to pursue an advanced skill set that will position you as a leader with purpose for our next generation and, moreover, prepare you to confront the most pressing public challenges of our time.

Share with your family and friends that you are saying #Yes2SPA. Tag us @AU_SPA and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Admitted Student Checklists


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

✓ Create an AU Student Account

✓ Submit your FAFSA (This information enables the American University Office of Financial Aid to consider you for Federal loan options.)

✓ Confirm your intention to join the SPA community by remitting your enrollment deposit.

✓ After rendering your deposit, schedule an in-person or telephone meeting with your Graduate Advisor! It is time to begin developing your academic plan that translates into your advanced skill set.

✓ Submit official transcript(s) showing successful completion of bachelor's degree before the first day of the term. 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


✓ Connect and follow us on social media

✓ After submitting your deposit, you will be invited to join the 2018-2019 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, student life. The group is only open to students who have an email address.)

✓ Join us for a Virtual Topical Session. Please note the date and login information for our upcoming session.

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

Important Information

  1. Stay in touch...we are here to support you!
    Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  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.

Important Dates

Start: Wednesday, April 25

Required: Fall 2018 Class Registration*

Congratulations all new Fall 2018 SPA master's students! The School of Public Affairs (SPA) prides itself in offering personalized student services including academic advising. With this, please look for communication from your respective graduate advisor about scheduling an appointment to discuss academic planning and to register for your Fall courses. Your advisor will prove to be incredibly important to building an academic plan in order to meet the requirements of your specific degree program, enhance your applied skill set, and, of course, prepare you for your profession of purpose.

*Please be mindful that only students who have paid their enrollment deposit of $250 will be able to execute their fall registration. In order to remit your deposit, you need to set up your student account here. You will then be assigned necessary information to remit your enrollment deposit here. Questions about the enrollment deposit should be directed to

School of Public Affairs: SPA JumpStart (All Master's Programs)

Start: Thursday, June 21, 2018, 9:00 AM (EST)
End: Friday, June 22, 2018, 5:00 PM (EST)

Registration Close Date: June 18, 2018

Join us for SPA JumpStart

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) will host SPA Jumpstart that will offer a robust agenda that will cover 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 a faculty panel addressing a current issue/topic, campus resource fair, housing bus tour, professional networking session, current student/alumni panel as well as a culminating social reception with skyline views of Washington, D.C. or on the banks of the Potomac (based on venue choice). SPA's Jumpstart offers Fall 2018 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 affirm for the SPA's incoming cohort that their graduate school choice was absolutely ideal!

All Fall 2018 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.


Date: August 19, 2018

International Graduate Student Orientation covers important immigration, employment, and cross cultural sessions, as well as academic information specifically of interest to all international students beginning in Fall 2018 at American University.


Questions: or 202-885-3358

Date: August 23-25, 2018

Please save the date! Orientation is your opportunity to prepare for your new academic career, and have the opportunity to be introduced to the SPA faculty, student, and staff community. This event should be considered mandatory for all new SPA master's students beginning in Fall 2018. Additional details are forthcoming.

Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

Your new academic and professional career commences!

Virtual Sessions

School of Public Affairs: Graduate School Choice: The Rubric

Start: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
6:00 PM (EST)
End: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
7:00 PM (EST)

Please join SPA’s Assistant Dean of Graduate Enrollment for both an information session and Q&A.

Login Instructions:
Use this link to log on

Select "Enter as a Guest" & Type name
Click "Enter Room"

RSVP to:

School of Public Affairs: Admitted International Student Information Session

Start: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
9:00 AM (EST)
End: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
10:00 AM (EST)

Fall 2018 admitted international graduate students in the School of Public Affairs (SPA) are invited to join professionals from SPA's Office of Graduate Admissions and AU's International Student and Scholar Services for both an information sessions and Q&A.

Login Instructions:
Use this link to log on

Select "Enter as a Guest" & Type name
Click "Enter Room"

RSVP to:

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96 percent of SPA graduates are employed or in graduate school, or both