Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission decisions are based on each applicant's academic record, resume, and the applicant's career interests and motivations. We also assess other characteristics such as maturity, leadership, personal character and potential contribution to the American University community.

Application Process

American University's Graduate Professional Studies has rolling admissions and you can submit an application anytime during our two admission rounds. However, if you require immigration support from American University, we recommend you apply no later than than the Final International Deadline. Once an application is submitted, we will review it and notify you of our decision within one to two weeks.

Graduate Professional Studies is a selective academic and experiential learning program. Due to the limited number of spaces in each track, candidates who receive an admission offer have approximately 4 weeks to place a deposit to join the program. The deposit deadline will be communicated in the acceptance letter and via email.

International Student Requirements

Fall 2019

Round 1 Application Deadline
March 15, 2019
Final Application Deadline
June 1, 2019

Spring 2020

Round 1 Application Deadline
October 1, 2019
Final Application Deadline
November 1, 2019
  1. Create an account and start your online application.
  2. After you submit your application, you must return to your account landing page and complete the required supplemental items (once you refresh the page, supplemental items should be an option).

    Note: Your application will not be reviewed until all required supplemental items have been received.

Applicants are required to submit the following supplemental items before their application can be reviewed:

  • Undergraduate transcript(s) and graduate transcript(s) if applicable (official copies are required from any institution outside the U.S.)
  • Resume
  • Letter of recommendation from either a professional or academic reference (Optional)
  • Proof of English Proficiency
Please submit all supplemental items either electronically (upload with your application), via email to, or via mail:

Mail Via United States Postal Service (USPS):

School of Professional & Extended Studies
Office of Enrollment
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016-8124

Mail Via Courier Service (UPS, FedEx, DHL):

Office of Enrollment
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 218
Washington, DC 20016-8001

In addition to meeting the other requirements for Graduate Professional Studies admissions, international students must submit official test scores from either the TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English - Academic (PTE) exam.

Minimum scores for admission to Graduate Professional Studies are:

PTE Acad

TOEFL Waiver

With permission from the GPS Admissions Office, students meeting the following criteria may request a TOEFL waiver if:

  1. They hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university whose only language of instruction is English.

  2. This university is located in one of the following countries whose official language is English: Anquilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Liberia, Malawi, Micronesia, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sint Maarten, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe

Please note that waivers are granted on a rare basis and all students are strongly recommended to complete the required test(s) well in advance for timely admission and funding consideration.

All international students (excluding U.S. citizens and permanent residents) accepted to the Graduate Professional Studies must apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa unless the student currently resides in the United States on another legal visa (e.g., A-1/A-2, G-4, H-1). Students are not eligible to attend this program on a B-1/B-2 or an F-2 visa, or through the visa waiver program. Students from formally affiliated member schools will enter the United States on J-1 exchange visas.

Visa Application Process

To begin the visa application process, the U.S. government requires you to show financial ability to support your program of study and living expenses while in the United States. A letter from a financial institution indicating available funds in the required amount must be submitted immediately after your acceptance to the program. Please email to request sample bank letters and financial support statements. Once all financial documents have been received by the Graduate Professional Studies, the international student director processes your paperwork and submits the financial documents to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) department at American University. ISSS will evaluate the submitted documents and issue the immigration documents necessary to obtain a J-1 visa or potentially extend an F-1 visa, on a case-by-case basis.

Questions About Your Application?

If you have any questions about your application, please contact the GPS Program Office at 202-895-4859 or